Ostersund – Asarna 74.6kms 846’ ascent.
We have agreed that days when we don’t ride are a necessity for the purpose of personal and equipment maintenance. Their disadvantage is that the urgency associated with our daily routine is carelessly cast aside. So, this morning at 6.45, my body required a stiff talking to in order to leap enthusiastically from my really quite comfortable bunk. The little lecture worked well and by 7 the kettle was boiling, and the morning rush was in full swing.
We had some reservations about our route out of Ostersund as we knew that, as cyclists, we were unable to use the nearby section of the E14. We should have had more faith in the clever designers of the city’s road system who had provided a cycle way which took us for over 12 kms and thence onto the part of the E14 that we could ride along. According to our trusty map, our chosen route was classified as’ scenic.’ The definition of this term in Sweden would seem to be much the same as it is in France e.g. there are a lot of trees with brief glimpses of water and/or mountains but the essential ingredient is that the road must undulate quite significantly in order that these marvels of nature can be viewed from a variety of angles. This is not quite so effective from a cyclist’s point of view, as many glimpses are missed while concentration is centred on obtaining sufficient oxygen. Nonetheless, we did notice a significant change to the countryside in general. Trees are definitely fewer and fields with cows grazing, are emerging. The lakes (well more like inland seas) are around almost every corner and, except for their propensity for attracting Alan’s greatest fans, are quite beautiful. We even came across a café at lunch time, which served lunch! And on a Sunday! And very good it was too. So, sandwiches for supper.
We are accustomed to expect our daily travel distance to increase as we ride, so it was with no surprise that an extra 12 kms was required before we reached our campsite for this night. Tonight’s cabin is perfectly situated on the high bank of a rushing, rocky river and the sun has just come out. It’s hard to imagine a better experience and we count ourselves very fortunate.