Twenty-eight: Fjordvej to Hirtshal. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

July 11, 2013

Twenty-eight: Fjordvej to Hirtshal.

Fog in the morning with visibility down to two hundred metres. I was happy to have a shoulder to ride upon, though traffic was light. The fog lifted instantly around eight and I reached the next town, Logstor before nine.

8.30 AM. I like the contrast of the ripening wheat and the roadsigns.
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I stopped at a Netto supermarket and bought two pastry whirles covered with icing sugar and a cold Macchiato from the fridge. Then four kilometres further, the road came to a narrowing of the fjord, a sound with a bridge across, which was in the process of opening up to let three yachts pass through. Two had a red with a white cross Danish flag and one, a blue with a yellow cross Swedish flag. Each in turn steered their masts carefully between the two vertically raised carriageways.

Just down from the bridge approach on the other side was a rest-place by the shore where I had my morning stop. The Macchiato was a poor substitute for real coffee, but the iced pastries were what they were, a satisfying second breakfast. And I was feeling a lot better today than the day before when I just wanted to lay down at this time. Instead, I opened the map up wide and spread it across the table in front of me. There wasn't even a breeze today so I could do this. The direct red road to Hirtshals was ninety-nine kilometres. The dotted line representing "Cycle Route 1" detours a lot. Though, a little further from here, there's a turn off which would mean, I wouldn't have to spend much more time on the busy road. Furthermore, the side road eventually connects up with "Route 1". And with a combination of "1" and side roads, the way to Hirtshals could be a lot less than ninety-nine kilometres. We would see.

Whoever lives in this house has a good set of ladders for gardening.
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Barely a kilometre on, I saw the turn off. Then an Artic-truck passed slowly while indicating and turned left, so, it wasn't to be such a quiet side road after all, but there was a cycle-path alongside. Checking again with the map, I followed the road to a place called Tranum, which when reached, I stopped at an OK grocery shop. I needed a few things but only bought water and a cold can of Carlsberg, as everything else was pricey. From the village, Is expecting to soon cross "Route 1" and the rest of the day would be on nice trails and coastal road all the way to Hirtshals. But I never saw a blue cycle sign. Instead, I rode kilometre after kilometre on a concrete road where the joins gave the wheels and me a regular jolt. And eventually Is back on the busy route 55, which wasn't too bad as there was a good cycle-path. It was then a pretty forgettable ride for the rest of the way, the path turning off and passing through every small town on the way to Hirtshals.

There was a bit of a rise towards the port town, then over the crest and downhill for the last kilometre with the sea and ferry terminal ahead. I was soon following signs for Smyril Line and Fjordline, through one roundabout after the next. I didn't see the curb begin as I turned in after rounding a roundabout. It was thirty centimetres in from a white-line at the edge of the road, which, I though marked the edge off the cycle-path. The curb was pretty much invisible until I was riding sideway into it. The front-left-pannier caught on the high-side and came off instantly and before I could do anything else, both the bike and me came tumbling to a mess on the pavement. My right arm stung when I'd picked myself up after the moments shock on the ground, thinking this is the end of the tour as the bike's too damaged to go on. The arm had a big graze with the blood oozing on the surface and my knee and shoulder stung too, though no clothing had been torn. A car pulled to a halt and the driver asked out through the open window "Are you all right?" "Yeah. Am, just grazed" I replied hold my arm. "Are you sure?" he asked again before moving on.

Apart from the grazes I was alright. I was anxious to see that there was no serious damage to the bike, so I stood it upside-down resting on saddle and handle-bar, then spun each wheel in turn. They were true and after scrutinising everything, I could find no damage.

Shaken, I still needed to get to the Smyril-line's terminal, so I kept following the signs which led to booths where cars check-in, beyond which I couldn't go. I couldn't see a passenger building anywhere and as it was almost eight, I thought I'd come back in the morning.

Along the shore I saw woodland and I'd passed a road in that direct, so I doubled back and turned that way, and after passing a few warehouses, I came to a trail turnoff leading into the wood, which would've been a good place to camp if only for the mosquitoes.

Farmers had a hard old life of it in bygone days.
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Accidents can occur with a split second's misjudgement. Here it's seven o'clock and I'm tired after twelve hours on the road; just after riding round a roundabout and turning towards the ferry-terminal, I didn't quite spot the curb beginning on the inside of the white-line until it was too late and I ran against it sideways and came tumbling down on the side.
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Expenditure: DKR116.

Today's ride: 131 km (81 miles)
Total: 2,534 km (1,574 miles)

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