We awoke in Randers to find ourselves amidst a vast open park. It was the first time since Norway we’d managed a true full nights’ sleep, so after packing up camp and making a quick morning supply run, we decided to burn a couple hours in town. The destination: Randers’ one main tourist attraction, a tropical forest enclosed in an enormous set of biodomes.
Unfortunately the entry fee was ludicrously high, so we instead retired to a nearby park for a quick picnic breakfast. It was full of young students enjoying the start of summer vacation. From time to time an open-topped party truck – like the ones in Aalborg – would circle the block still celebrating a recent college graduation. It was another of those fantastic vibes that made me never want to leave.
Honestly, every town I’ve visited in Denmark has thus far had such a nice feel – I really wish we had a bit more time. But we had to press on.
Keep your eye on the goal: Just two more legs to Roskilde.
The third leg of our cross-country ride was by far the shortest; barely over 40km. Yet unexpectedly, I felt it was one of the hardest.
Could it have been the improper meal the night prior?
I’ve already mentioned Peder’s experience with long-distance rides, and his emphasis on the importance of a pre-ride dinner. What I didn’t mention is that he’s experimented deliberately with different types of foods – and learned that pasta in particular, one night in advance, is an absolute must. In a pinch bananas can provide a quick burst of power – but nothing can replace that big pasta dinner. Our fatty pizza meal, although filling, was clearly no substitute – and I once again felt like I was trying to ride straight through a brick wall.
Plus the wind had picked up again, even stronger than day one, making progress painfully slow. It just goes to show that when evaluating the difficulty of a trip…distance can be the least of your worries.
But luckily, much like the previous two days, the scenery was beautiful enough to keep our minds (mostly) off the pain. Vast green wheat fields, little farms with cows and horses, and small towns every dozen or so kilometers where we’d stop and knock on someone’s door to ask for a refill of water. So far everyone has happily obliged…and expressed their disbelief at the scope of our cross-country journey 🙂
We arrived in Aarhus, a coastal city and one of Denmark’s largest, around 7pm.
…Or I guess I should say we arrived in its outskirts.
Just a few kilometers from our goal I got a huge piece of dirt in my eye that burned excruciatingly for the next several hours. I ran into the first McDonald’s I saw, but try as I might I could not flush it out. Until suddenly – just as quickly as it had started – the pain disappeared. It was as if nothing had happened at all. So we hopped on our bikes and finished the trip to Aarhus.