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Since the dreams of three days of dirt road racing were crushed (by C-19 pandemic), I turned to gravel grinding at home instead. Here’s how, with the impressions in reasonably fresh memory, a Ride Report from Giro d’Ostrogothia
Day 1 Åby- Simonstorp -Hävla- Byle -Regna- Ljusfallshammar 116 km
Partly Cloudy, 11 ° C, Feels like 11 ° C, Humidity 37%, Wind 3 (8) m / s from NW
With a loaded bike and on mixed ground (asphalt, gravel and a little trail) I left in the headwind. There is always a feeling of curious expectation when I head out, may it be a short overnight trip on familiar trails or as now a little longer trip in a bit of new landscapes.
The sun was shining anyway and I got a few good luck wishes on the way by the guard I met on a dirt road between Kalbo and Brenäs . The road would be milled so it was only for me to wait for the pilot (!). I told him about my trip to Spain last summer and although the guard’s eyes revealed that he thought I was crazy, he sent me away with a ”good luck”.
Just before the overnight stop at the Kärnskogsmossen nature reserve and the old military cottage Bergön, I had to cycle a few kilometers on the embankment from Pålsboda -Finspångs railway which is always nice and also sends an idea to my mind …
Day 2. Bergön-Goddegård-Motala-Vadstena-Borghamn-Omberg-Ödeshög-Sommen-Torpön-Österbymo 225 km
Cloudy, 6 ° C, Feels like 3 ° C, Humidity 66%, Wind 3 (10) m / s from SE Rain from at 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
I set the clock at five (!!). Wanted to get up and see if I had the chance to see the Black grouse display that takes place every year at the end of April / May. To my great delight, there were four Black grouse cocks about 50 meters outside the window. Could not take a good picture through the dirty windows and I did not want to scare them and go out for a closer look. Satisfied, I crawled back into the sleeping bag, only to be visited a few minutes later by three retired couples clearly over 70 years old , no corona social distancing there. I closed the door around me and heard them drink their morning coffee.
When they then went out for bird watching, I went up, had breakfast and packed the bike for my day south.
The weather had gotten worse during the night and the wind turned, but in the morning I saw the sun from time to time.
Down by the waters of Vättern, at the foot of Omberg, it started to rain. A rain that followed me for the rest of the day. This, in turn, forced the mobile to stay in the pocket and the number of photos became a little less. But Omberg is fine, even in rainy weather. I headed east and into the forest, towards Sommen and the ferry ride to Torpön . It would turn out to be a ferry ride with obstacles. Every full and half hour from the ferry location on Torpön said the website and with a few minutes to spare I reached the north side. ”Push the button for the ferry,” the sign said, so I pushed, twice even. When it was time for departure, the ferry was still on the other side. Well, I thought to myself, either I was ONE minute late, or the captain got mad because I pushed TWICE so I stood in the rain waiting for the next departure. Ten minutes before it’s time for ferry departure again, I pressed the button, only once though. The clock goes over time. What the hell? i found a number and called. It was to the cafe which was closed but the man who answered promises to call someone. A few minutes later I see a person coming down to the ferry and it starts its slow journey across the strait. The captain apologizes, the button has not worked for a long time, he saw no car in the binoculars, do you want a sandwich, no it costs nothing and five minutes later I’m back on the bike. A little colder and wetter than I had hoped.
The goal for the evening is the cottage at Klintens nature reserve on the Forssjön . In fact 3.5 kilometers into the province of Småland.
Day 3. Försjön-Österbymo-Svinhult-Ydrefors-Horn-Falerum-Gusum-Ringarum-Söderköping-Norrköping-Åby 230 km
Cloudy, 5 ° C, Feels like 2 ° C, Humidity 92%, Wind 3 m / s from NNW Rain to and from all day. Sometimes even hail.
The was cottage cozy and charming but the roof leaked. Luckily, I had my bivy -bag with me so I slept good. After morning porridge and coffee, I once againg straddled my bike cycling through the deep forests in the border country between Östergötland and Småland. It is clear that it was a hard life here and that these districts were hard-pressed during the emigrant years.
Sometime after lunch, when I looked at potential overnight places, the idea came instead of crossing the bays of Slätbaken and Bråviken by ferry instead of cycling home. Sure it would be a long day again and maybe not quite the planned trip, but my route – my rules!
Now cleaning the bike and material care remains. At the same time, new plans for new adventures are being made…