Evidently Mother Nature did not want us to do a bike tour this summer.
Dr. Darling and I have been on vacation for the last two weeks with plans to spend five or six of those days on a bike tour. Unfortunately, this kind of trip is highly weather-sensitive, but could we possibly get a couple of consecutive rain-free days? HELL NO.
When it became apparent that we wouldn’t be able to be out for the better part of a week on the Swedish island of Öland, we regrouped and decided to shoot for two or three days on the Danish island of Bornholm. This plan involved taking the train down to Ystad and then hopping a high-speed ferry out to the island.
But the forecast on Bornholm wouldn’t cut us any slack either. Frustrated and feeling like the opportunity to bike at all was fast disappearing, we decided to just “saddle up” under cloudy skies on Tuesday and cycle to Ystad, where we would check the weather prognosis again before deciding whether or not to get on the boat.
I suppose we should have known better. Summers in southern Sweden are notoriously unpredictable weather-wise, though we’ve been pretty lucky with August in the past. This time, we didn’t even reach the outskirts of the city before the rain started. But it was warm, and we were appropriately dressed for it, so we soldiered on anyway. But unlike my previous cycling-in-the-rain experiences, this is the first time I was wearing glasses. Between my HUGE blind spot on the right-hand side and the raindrops on my safety lenses, it was a miracle I managed to stay on the road at all.
We stopped in Svedala for a late lunch, primarily just to get out of the rain for a bit. Once our bellies were full we were ready to resume cycling, but the temperature had dropped and once again we were just on the edge of town when the precipitation went from a steady shower to a downpour, so we turned around and made a beeline for the train station. The remainder of the trip down to Ystad took about 35 minutes, and thankfully it wasn’t raining when we rolled our bikes off the train.
Unfortunately our timing sucked (as usual). We had just missed the ferry and it was a 3-hour wait until the next one. So we checked the weather forecast (not good) and made a few phone calls to check on accomodation options in case we didn’t want to pitch the tent in a puddle. Turned out there were rooms available, but the longer we sat around in the (blissfully dry) ferry terminal, the less the frugal Swede liked the idea of spending money on a hotel room when we could get back on the train and be home in an hour.
And in the end, that’s exactly what we did. Which means that when I go back to work next week and my colleagues ask me what I did on my vacation, I’ll get to tell them that I rode a fully-loaded touring bike 25 kilometers in the rain to have a hamburger in Svedala.