My host yesterday is an avid cyclist who does thousands of miles every year. That includes a yearly race around the Swedish lake of Vättern, 300kms in a single day. He does that in 11-12h, and the record is like 7h. So that’s more than 40kms/h speed on a bike, on a full day. I’m happy when I do 20 these days 🙂 I will actually go along that lake in the last leg of the trip! I’ll be there in a bit more than a week.
He accompanied me this morning to a ferry crossing the Elbe. I wanted to avoid Hamburg around the west. When I was planning the trip I saw no correct way to have the city as a stop, it didn’t fit. I would have liked to see the place where Kennedy famously said “ich bin ein Hamburger”. Next time.
So the whole game plan was, finding a ferry, and do a large curve to stay out of the town. We aimed for a ferry at Cranz initially, not far from Buxtehude. But the water from the tide was so low, we had to go to the next stop by the river itself, right in view of the Airbus factory, a main industrial station for the region. They fly planes and part to and from Toulouse every day. When we reached the stop, the next ferry was more than an hour away, once again because of the low tide. The only solution was to go a bit closer to Hamburg, cross with another ferry, and then come back west on the other side. I would have gained less than 30mns, so I preferred simply waiting. The weather was really nice and many people and cyclists were passing by and waiting too.
I took the ferry some time after 11am, and reached the other side. It’s a milestone of sorts, the Elbe looks like the middle of the trip. And indeed after today I’m over 1000kms, with about 900 to go. 13 days of riding, 11 to go. I still went a little west, before doing this large curve north, then north east. For a long time I was on a forest road, cutting through fields before reaching a normal road again. It was almost warm, the road was dry, so it was perfect.
I arrived at almost 4pm, very late compared to the usual end, but mostly because of the waiting. Still, I was pretty tired. I didn’t stop often enough along the way, being in a hurry to move forward. I’ll try not to do that tomorrow, another long ride to reach the island of Fehmarn, another ferry out of Denmark.