Day 16-1. Midsund to Molde and back.
Distance D 64.73 km Max 54.5 km/h Time 4.12:56 Average 15.4 km/h
Distance S 64.89 km Max 53.5 km Time 3.57:42 Average 16.4 km/h
Damae awoke needing the loo at around five in the morning. I was a bit groggy but then noticed the colours in the morning sky. I eased myself out of the tent with my camera and took a picture of the lightest part of the sky. The sun wasn't quite up and I wasn't going to wait for it to appear. Still I thought the pre-sunrise was wonderful.
The second start to the morning was rather late, after breakfast we drank coffee with Karin and Onno. Onno was from the Rotterdam area and Karin from Germany. Both spoke German and Dutch so we got along fine. They used a big pot and kokmalt coffee which is supposed to be boiled up making a strong but mellow brew. We decide to try that some time. Finally after the usual sorting out we were on our way and the first stop was to be the centre of Midsund to scout around and pick up some information.
We left the campsite to darkening skies and fifteen minutes after arriving to the 'centre' of Midsund the heavens opened. So much for our expectations of a beautiful summers day. The rain fell in big drops rather like during a summer thunderstorm, wetting everything nicely. I'd just come out of the Spar (which seemed well stocked) and sat outside. Damae seemed involved in a discussion with the lady in the handcraft shop and after I got bored of people watching I joined them.
The lady taught Norwegian to the foreigners that settled in Midsund and was full of lots of useful information about the place. We learned that there was a shortage of women on the island probably due to the fact that whilst there are skilled men's jobs there is not much work for women who have followed further and higher education. We also heard that Midsund had a festival just before the Molde jazz festival which meant that big names sometimes played in Midsund, and that people who had grown up in Midsund often came back to get married on the island. In fact today there were two such weddings, so the place was crawling with people from Oslo. Funny, the place seemed empty to me, there are more junkies wandering round the station area in Utrecht at midnight than there are people going shopping in Midsund on a Saturday.
Eventually the weather cleared enough to consider continuing and we bought a few postcards to send off later. Next door at the Spar we bought a set of matching stamps and with rain gear on headed on towards Molde. We took the road along the south side of Midsund that according to our guide was a mix of asphalt and gravel track. However the road turned out to be asphalt all the way along, with a large section clearly newly laid.
Just after leaving Midsund we noticed our brakes seemed to be binding a little. After some poking and adjusting I realised that we had to back off the adjusters so that the brake levers almost touched the handlebar grips when fully on. We'd been adjusting the Maguras like V-brakes and expected them to come on earlier. Well actually I thought that this was the solution to the problem but I would have liked some confirmation at the time.
It was clear that the day was going to stay wet. The road itself was not well graded so there were quite a few short but very steep climbs, and correspondingly fast descents, as the road went up and down. We were very glad that this road was now covered in tarmac and realised just how much harder going it would have been if covered in gravel. The plan was to come back on the road on the Northern side of the island, for a bit of variety and also as we had not wanted to take the gravel road in both directions. The weather dried a bit as we cycled along but somewhere close to Nord Heggdal the rain started in earnest again. Our rain jackets went on again and we then climbed up to highest point on the southern road before descending rapidly down to the ferry terminal. The descent was short but fast and the road rather narrow. I didn't particularly want to come back this way as we would have to go up this hill with cold legs.