Drenched

EUROPE 20

02/07/2011

DRENCHED

I drifted off to sleep last night having dreaming of blue skies, with the Norwegian rains left far behind me. I awoke to a far harsher reality: it had poured overnight, and while there was a brief lull as I packed the tent away the deluge resumed while I was having breakfast.

The only positive that can be said for the weather today is that it wasn’t as cold as Norway, so although I was drenched after 10 minutes riding, at least I wasn’t that cold. Riding all day in the rain isn’t a great deal of fun – but when you’ve been going for four hours without reprieve, and the rain gets heavier still, all you can do is throw your head back and laugh. It must have been a strange sight for the passing motorists to see a soaked Englishman on a bike laughing at the weather.

The little of the landscape I could make out was much like England – complete with fields, hedgerows and even the odd thatch cottage. If it hadn’t been for the rain, it would have been an easy ride today: I had a slight wind at my back and while not as flat as it appeared last night, the Danish hills barely registered with my legs after the mountains of Norway. I spent most of the day on quiet side roads paralleling a motor way, and whenever I had to join a larger road there was an immaculately maintained cycle path paralleling it. Denmark seems to be incredibly ‘bike friendly’ – the cycle lanes are well thought out with their own system of crossings and traffic lights, and at junctions bikes have right of way. This last point took quite a bit of getting used to after years of showing deference to cars in the UK.

I didn’t stop today: although it wasn’t cold every time I stopped moving I would start to cool down and wind chill would to kick in, leaving me shivering on the roadside. It was with some relief therefore That I arrived in Viborg with 100 miles complete. It took me longer than usual to get the tent up, and by the time I made it to the showers I was freezing. I jumped straight into the warm water in all my cycling gear (I couldn’t have got any wetter) and gradually started to warm up. After near-daily rain for the last week, most of my gear is wet or damp despite my stringent ‘wet-dry’ drills, so I’m hoping for some sunshine soon.

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