Dec 132010

I mentioned a few posts ago that, on arriving in Copenhagen, Peder and I were greeted by a rather unwelcome surprise. Our plan to return to Oslo by bus hit a snag when we learned that all the companies had changed their rules, forbidding bicycles on board. So we caught a train to Sweden instead, hoping that we could figure out a way home from there. These things tend to work themselves out, one way or another.

Well, once again it looked like we had our work cut out for us.

To start, when we awoke in Gothenburg it was absolutely pouring outside – a drastic change from the perfectly clear day before. And just like in Denmark, it turned out that none of the Swedish buses would allow bikes. Nor would the trains.

Since I was feeling a bit under the weather, we spent the first half of the day waiting out the storm while I napped on our hostel’s sofa. Then our plan went as follows:

Although the Swedish buses don’t sell tickets onboard, the office is very near the buses themselves. Thus, after looking up the schedule online we decided to just head to the station and wait. If a driver agreed to help us out, one of us could sprint to the office, buy our tickets, and sprint back.

Driver #1 refused the bikes…but told us he would’ve let them on if they’d been in a box. So we asked for the nearest bike shop and bolted across town.

The trip back to the station was perhaps the most technically challenging ride I’d ever done. Just imagine hauling kilos of luggage on a bike with an awkward and bulky cardboard box dangling from one hand…in the pouring rain.

But we made it, and with just minutes to spare until the last bus of the day we disassembled our bikes all over the floor of the station, packed them up, and hopped on without issue.

A couple hours later we were back home in Oslo.

  4 Responses to “Bike Trouble”

  1. Yikes! That sound like quite the ordeal…but I’m glad it worked out in the end. It can be hard when buses/trains/subways won’t let you on with a bike. If you do a lot of traveling, you might want to look in to a folding bike…you can fold it up, put it in a bag, and the drivers will never know. (You don’t even have to take the whole bike apart). Check these ones out:

  2. The whole thing isn’t actually as hopeless as it sounds. Normally we probably could have chucked the bikes in the train cargo wagon as they were, and swooshed home to Oslo. The problem was that it just so happened that they were upgrading the train tracks when we were there so we’d have to take a bus to the Norwegian border. Doh! And the ticket vendor couldn’t guarantee that the *bus* would allow the bikes.

    Option #2: Hop on the local train to one of the stations *near* the Norwegian border, bike across, then catch a Norwegian local train in to Oslo. Think again! Some real genious had ordered work on these tracks too (a totally separate set of tracks), meaning there were no trains running northwest out of Gothenburg at all. An unbelievable coincidence and incredibly bad planning. Luckily we managed to get what we needed, disassemble the bikes, load the massive cardboard boxes onto the bus without protests, and be on our way.

    As for foldable bikes, I don’t think that would be an option for biking across the entire length of Denmark 😛

  3. wow……cool how that all worked out

  4. @LBJ: I have looked into folding bikes, but another giant thing to carry…meh… 😛

    @Peder: Yeah…if only we’d just given in and decided to take the bikes apart from the start it probably would’ve all been easy and we coulda just bussed the whole way there. I guess ya live ya learn!

    @Andy: As it usually tends to do, one way or another 😉

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