The final day’s ride was by far the easiest – ironic, because it’s also the day I’d been dreading the most. According to Peder’s recollection, the trip from Aarhus to Roskilde had taken far longer than any other – yet it turned out to be no worse than the previous three. His impression was no doubt due to memories of riding late into the night, easily attributable to a sluggish start after a fantastic houseparty in Aarhus. Plus the addition of a boat ride in the middle.
And just like Peder on his previous visit, we once again found ourselves riding late into the night. But conditions were great. Temperate, no wind at all, and not even a hint of a hill or incline. Just another pleasant ride through the vast Danish countryside.
We passed all the familiar scenery: farmhouses, small towns, horses, wheat fields, and windmills – making fantastic time due to following a schedule he’d learned during his service in the Norwegian army: 50 minutes on, 10 minutes’ rest.
The day also contained two particularly memorable events, the first of which occurred as we stopped for one of our brief ten-minute breaks. We sat on a lawn munching bananas and crackers as a flash of lightning appeared in the distance. Thunder was soon to follow, accompanied by the slightest of drizzles.
We initially debated if we should press on or wait it out – storms are remarkably quick in this part of the world. We decided to continue. And within seconds of starting down the road, I heard Peder scream from behind
“IT’S COMING!! GO GO GO!!!”
Behind us a wall of rain approached like a flash flood. In the blink of an eye a slight drizzle had turned to a torrential downpour. We bolted for the nearest carport where we looked out in helpless disbelief. Then, about 10 minutes later, it was gone.
I can only imagine how drenched we would’ve been had we made it just a few hundred yards out of town; many of the cyclists and pedestrians we passed throughout the day were absolutely soaked to the bone.
The second memorable event was a brief little scene from Jurassic Park. Remember when Wayne Knight was driving to the docks with his batch of stolen dinosaur embryos? He plowed into a sign, leaving him clueless about which way to go.
Well, for much of the day’s ride our path zigged and zagged completely apart from the highway. It was very well marked, so staying on track was easy – until we reached one particular intersection.
It was in the middle of nowhere, with endless fields stretching in every direction. A car had apparently rammed into the sign, leaving it impossible to tell where it’d been pointing. All we could do was guess.
Luckily we guessed right 🙂
The rest of the ride went smoothly, and we arrived in the town of Roskilde around midnight. We cleaned ourselves up in a McDonald’s bathroom, picked up some OJ at a gas station, and proceeded…at long last…to the festival.
What lie ahead was truly beyond anything I’d ever imagined.