No better way to tell you how our first ever Brompton bike trip went, than by throwing several not so random numbers in the mix. Don’t you worry, we’ve kept it fun so it’s not just for accountants.
1 – the amount of punctures we had on our trip
We already cycled + 900 km when not one, but two sharp pieces of metal pierced the rear tire of one of our bikes. Luckily this happened on a day off when our bikes weren’t heavily packed while we were cycling to the Fjällbacka camping after a visit to the Vitlycke museum. Since the nifty Brompton toolkit doesn’t contain pliers – I needed them to loosen the hub chain thingy – I had to borrow 2 of them at the campsite. For the first time in my life I successfully changed a tire. Like a boss! A large can of Pringles was my reward, which I gradually emptied by every step taken during the process. That’s just how I roll!
4 – the number of city breaks we incorporated in our bike touring trip
First up was Hamburg, a city which seemed to be under siege during our visit. Remember ‘Welcome to Hell’ during the G20 visit? Well that actually happened right at our temporarily doorstep. The upside of all this mayhem were the many empty streets of Hamburg where we cycled with ‘much gusto’. Copenhagen, the bicycle capital of the world and one of my all-time favorite cities was our next city stop, later followed by Goteborg and the Norwegian capital Oslo. We didn’t do a lot of cycling in Oslo, but Goteborg definitely added some ‘altitude’ on our Strava account.
5 – different means of transportation we combined our bike trip with
After having cycled 320 kilometers in a mere three days we penciled in a bike free day and took a bus from Groningen (The Netherlands) to Bremen (Germany). On the seventh day – or rather the eight because it was around three in the morning – we boarded a ferry that set sail (not literally) from Travemunde (Germany) to Malmö (Sweden) while we were sleeping in our cabin. There was no other option but to take the train from Malmö to Copenhagen (Denmark) since cycling over the bridge is a big nono.
We took one more ferry (Helsingor – Helsinborg) and four more trains (Falkenberg – Goteborg, Goteborg – Uddevalla, Halden – Oslo and Oslo – Airport) during our trip. In hindsight we could have cycled from Falkenberg to Goteborg. The train to Uddevalla however was a well thought out plan to escape the continuous pouring rain in the city on the day of our planned departure. “we preferred to add a little less mileage to our journey, than having to wear soaking wet shoes / gear for three days in a row.” After having read that a Belgian cyclist was hit by a car in a Norwegian tunnel and sadly died as a result, we decided to avoid tunnels in Norway and play it safe. The fact that we already cycled + 1000 kilometers at that point made it an easy decision.
We preferred to add a little less mileage to our journey, than having to wear soaking wet shoes / gear for three days in a row.
Our journey ended with a smooth flight – airplane, not stairs – from Oslo to Brussels, where my sister in law picked us up with our own car. So there you have it. Our Bromptons have seen the inside of a bus, two ferries, several trains, an airplane and a car, and this without any problem or extra costs. Who’s laughing now!
6 – number of countries this bike trip concluded
Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, count the numbers people, that’s six countries. When it comes to mileage Sweden (435 km) easily wins the golden medal, followed by the Netherlands (297,5 km) and Germany (218,8 km). In Belgium, Denmark and Norway we cycled a little over 100 km altogether.
22 – number of days we were ‘en route’
The longest I had ever been away from home was 16 days. This was when I toured the West Coast of the USA with a friend. This twenty-two day long bike trip would top that with 6 days. What’s more, it would easily be the longest time I’ve ever spend with my girlfriend. Like all the time, twenty-two days, 24/7! And a glorious twenty-two days it were.
229 – how many kilometers we walked
We might have cycled a lot, it didn’t stop us from walking around every now and then. In these three weeks, we managed to walk 229 kilometers. Morning walks to local shops for groceries, city walks when our bikes were having a rest, evening strolls… you name it!
1053 – how many kilometers we cycled according to Strava
It could have been more kilometers – and it actually were – if only I didn’t forget to turn on my Strava every now and then. My guess is that we cycled 1075 kilometers on our small wheels. That’s an average of 48,86 kilometers per day. Now are we going to top that with numbers? Well yes, ‘cause the only way is up!
6550 – meters we’ve climbed
Bring on the polka dot jersey, ‘cause we have climbed approximately 6500 meters during our trip. Thank you Sweden – and in a lesser extent Norway – for your hefty climbs. And let’s not forget Holland. Who would have thought a country as flat as the Netherlands had a couple of unexpected climbs up its sleeve. On the other hand, the name of the national park which we crossed, De Hoge (which means high) Veluwe, should have been a clear indication. Oh how I love to climb! Mont Ventoux? Bring it on! My better half however begs to differ.
351.356 – how many steps we did according to fitbit
We already told you how many kilometers we walked – 229 to be precise – converted to steps that’s a whopping 351.356 or a 15970 daily average!
If you – like myself – are a numbers geek, don’t hesitate to ask us the strangest questions. How much weight I lost, how many snails unfortunately didn’t survive this journey… If I can answer in numbers, I will!