10-12//8/16. Over the last three days we have been heading south from Ribe in Denmark reaching Husum in the Friesland area of Germany.
The weather has not been very summerlike, or rather, it has been like the archetypical north European summer weather with added wind. The old poster advertising Skegness would be a very apt way of describing it – “bracing”!
The direction of the wind has been varying somewhat. On Wednesday it continued its helpful phase moving to a north westerly direction as we turned south but on Thursday it went back to the south west which was most definitely not what the doctor ordered! Today, Friday, it started out hardly blowing at all, which was OK, but strengthened as the day progressed and was from the south west which was our general direction of travel.
In addition, there have been quite a few showers, some heavy, which have not helped with our enjoyment. On the plus side though has been the profile of the countryside – in a word “flat”. At the end of each day the Garmin has showed less than a metre of ascent for every km travelled.
The campsites have been good – good facilities, reasonable prices (at least compared to some on the Baltic coast), sheltered from the wind. The only problem with them has been the spacing – they seem to be located in groups of 2 or 3 about 40 km apart. This has meant that we have been stopping in the early afternoon when we would have preferred to have done another 20 km but were unsure about doing another 40 km comfortably because of the strength of the wind which seems to increase in the afternoon. First world problems eh?
Friday saw the first puncture since May last year! We had spent a couple of hours riding on a path next to the sea that went through fields of sheep so the bikes got splattered with ovine ordure. We reached a road and, after Christine had removed the worst of the mess from between her tyres and mudguards (this was the cause of the crash that resulted in her broken arm last year), we set off. Or so Stephen thought! 4 km later he reached a junction and stopped to wait for her. When she didn’t appear he started cycling back slowly, wondering if he had missed a turn. Christine was sat with a flat tyre 100 yards on from where she had been cleaning the bike.
Because she had not gone very far on the “clean” road the tyres were still filthy so The Mechanic’s hands were immediately covered in sheep shit! And the rain started just to make things really pleasant!
This was only the second puncture in almost 20,000 km of cycling and it was in the tyre which we fitted to replace the one that burst in Japan so it wasn’t one of those with weapons-grade puncture resistance. That’s pretty good going, we think.