A saga of sunshine and showers, brown cheese and Tine yoghurts.
Forward: Damae's two cents.I had always wanted to do an active summer vacation and so when Stan proposed we go cycling for our summer vacation I agreed; after all, was it not an active vacation? I might sooner think of white water rafting, canoeing, hiking or kayaking when somebody talks about an active vacation but this fitted the bill too. We had gone on some cycle weekends in Holland together and with groups and based on this we thought we'd give three weeks and twelve hundred kilometres on a bike a try. I remember wondering if we would make it, if the bikes would survive the plane and if my bottom would survive the cycling. With the motto nothing ventured nothing gained, I figured that whatever happened we could make something of it.
I clearly remember arriving in the burning sunshine and our bikes being unharmed and thinking it might just work. Not much later we got a bit lost coming out of Bergen airport whilst trying to find our B&B and ended up lifting our bikes over barriers and turning around several times. I got flustered trying to read the cycle map which I had never done before, Stan got grumpy and I clearly remember wondering what I had gotten myself into.
In my 4-H Club as a kid our motto was "Learn to Do by Doing" and that applies to how we learnt how to do cycling vacations. Things improved and worked better as we developed routines that worked for us; Stan sorts breakfasts, evening meals and maintains bikes while I do bedding, groceries and camping reception conversations. Another important thing we leant to do by doing was listening to our bodies. I, for example, start fast and then need to eat after the first hour so that I don't get wobbly. Suprisingly, I usually have reserves of stamina in the evening to go on to that shower. Stan, on the other hand, likes to start a bit more slowly in the morning and after that is faster than I am at everything except downhill. Stan doesn't need to eat after the first hour but it is important for him to eat lunch by one and dinner by six or he gets wobbly.
For this trip I would say that we ventured out to the NSCR and gained a passion for Norway and cycling. Our cycling habit has now begun in earnest and we will definitely be cycle camping again next summer.