Day 13-1. Nørklit/Bulbjerg Camping to Hirtshals.Distance D 120.05 km Max 38.5 km/h Time 7.42:58 Average 15.5 km/h
Distance S 119.13 km Max 291.0 km/h Time 7.10:33 Average 16.6 km/h
The rain woke us up several times during the night but when we awoke the sound of droplets drumming on the outer tent had ceased. Despite this it was still a very, very damp morning and we carefully eased ourselves out of the tent trying not to dislodge the heavy condensation from the outer tent. We were still a bit bleary from the previous days exertions in the rain but our motivation levels were high. Today we would get to Hirtshals and tomorrow we'd be back in Norway. There was no mention of Jongkind and Williams 1st Law of Cycle touring as we went about our morning routines.
By eight we were ready to break down the tent and then we shuffled off to the kitchen to make some breakfast. After eating Damae disappeared into the loo block to fix her hair and I stood outside. I fell into conversation with the German cyclist who was on tour with his family. He noticed the Rohloff and we had a discussion about how fantastic they were. We got onto the subject of recumbent bikes and he admitted to having a HP Velotec Scorpion that he used for touring. He reckoned that it took between five hundred and one thousand kilometres for your legs to get used to a recumbent seating position. On this trip he was using a normal bike which he preferred when touring with his children. It was a good start to the day to chat with another interested cyclist especially to hear about his experience of recumbent cycles. The conversation came to its natural end and the German cyclist went off to attend to his children.
Then the Dutch gentleman I spoke to briefly in the kitchen the evening before sidled up to me. He looked at the Rohloff for a moment and he then passed the comment "I bet you only use three of the gears" thus suggesting that a Rohloff was a complete waste of money. Inwardly I rolled my eyes thinking "Why would I spend that much money on a Rohloff only to use three of the gears" but chose to reply with the fact that I tended to use at least eleven of the gears each day and all fourteen on most days. He didn't seem entirely satisfied with my answer and shuffled off back to the kitchen.
A short time later, Damae re-appeared which meant it was time to go. The sun started the important task of attempting to break through the grey cloud cover, which was nice. We got on our bikes and headed onto the road where we turned left and I promptly fell off my bike. I am not sure how this happened, I guess I was probably mulling over the contrast of the enthusiastic and friendly German cyclist and the cynical and reserved Dutchman. In any case I had to pick myself and my bike off the ground before checking that all was well with the bike. We then noticed that my bike computer had registered a new top speed for the day, and for the trip for that matter. I had done 217km/h for an instant. We smiled and headed off into the grey morning.
First event of what was going to be a long day, was Bulbjerg. It took us around twenty minutes to get from the campsite to the top of Bulbjerg where we stood around taking pictures. Damae, who was using my old Olympus C730 camera for the first time had not noticed that the mode dial had moved and took some very over exposed pictures. I satisfied myself with a few more pictures of the view from the top, having taken plenty on the previous visit. In contrast to the last time the views were dominated by low grey cloud which was a good enough reason to capture the grey tones of light and shade.
As it was a bit cold and damp, and we had just started cycling for the day we decided to push on after ten minutes at the top. We took the bumpy concrete track down to pick up the NSCR and headed north once more. The gravel track that had been extremely rough in 2006 had been re-laid in the intervening period and was now in the 'rather good' phase of the decay process. Our Smart SAMs had coped much better in general with the range of surfaces on the Danish NSCR than the thirty eight millimetre tyres on the old bikes, but this section was just in a much more usable state than last time.