The tour in a few numbers - The Middle of Sweden - CycleBlaze

The tour in a few numbers

Well, that was it. It's hardly the longest or wildest tour you'll read about this week - but I hope I've passed on some information that will be useful (or at least entertaining) to anyone else who decides to go down the middle of Sweden. I can see the appeal of the coasts and the cities - and I can see why the unending landscape of pines and lakes might not be to everyone's taste. But I went in search of something that felt really foreign to me, and as a Southern-Englander, being able to travel 30 miles through woods before I came to the next village is really not what I'm used to.

Enough of this waffle - we need quantification:

Miles ridden: 830 (1,336 km)
Days in the saddle: 11 (excluding "rest" day)
Mean miles per day: 75.5 (122 km)
Hours in the saddle: 74 hrs
Mean miles per hour: 11.2 mph (watch out, Wiggins)
Mean hours/day: 6hr 44min

This was, in short, much too much. I'd originally planned on capping myself at 60 miles - less than 100km - a day. On the plus side, I kept a surprisingly consistent average speed.

Meters climbed total: 12,600m [BUT see below!]
Metres climbed corrected: 10,300m
Meters climbed corrected/day: 910m

This is a bit of an estimate since RideToGPS definitely screws this up around the border. Other than the series of valleys I had to cross to get into Norway, it was also surprising how little the climbing registered: I think the climbs were generally very gentle.

[NOTE Nov 2019 - after my very hilly tour of the Czech Republic where I averaged less than this per day, I went back and took a look at the elevation plots supplied by RideWithGPS. It's sort of interesting how wrong they are, and the reasons for this interesting to, so I've made a more detailed post on it.]

Dime bars eaten: Several dozen?
Calories eaten: At least 3,600 in Dime bars alone. Add another few thousand in Halloumi.
Calories burnt: No idea. But I lost quite a bit of weight, and it's not like I have much to start with.

My clothes were noticeably looser fitting as I came home. Another hypothesis is that they had stretched due to heat and, ahem, sweat, however.

Punctures: zero!
Mechanical faults (that made me stop to repair): Just two: my chain breakage, and loss of a nut holding on a toe-clip (replaced with zip-tie)
Losses: Two back lights, yes two of three, lost on bumpy roads
Gains: One sweet Swedish hat

In contrast to my body, the Blue Shift did really well. Those Marathon plus tyres are really working for me - a year later, and I'm still to have a puncture. My only mechanical fault of significance was really a 5 minute job (it just took me longer due to frustration and klutziness).

Falling off: None! (came close a couple of times on gravelly roads)
Car trouble??: Unless you count getting frustrated with ultra-courteous drivers who refuse to overtake, none.
Bad roads: Just one, the wired 2+1 near Jönköping. Many of the other roads would be rather bad for driving on, but were just great for cycling.
Navigation errors: Surprisingly few. Den Haag remained my worst. Biggest problem was finding things in towns.

This has to be one of the safest places to actually cycle. On the other hand, if you did fall over and had no mobile signal, you might be waiting for many hours before seeing any passing cars.

Number of nights camped: 12
Wild camps: 7
Rainy days: 1!

The weather was supremely kind to me

Most useful item. Compass, oh yes.
Least useful item. Raw Garlic head.

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