Once I was packed and all ready to go on my bike ride from Stockholm, Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark I posted this photo with the caption, “Packed and ready to go.”
In seven days I’ll ride about 500 miles on a solo, unassisted, unsupported journey. It was not until these final days before I departed that I realized a lot of people assumed I was a part of an organized ride. Several people have asked what one packs and what my plans are for the journey. Here’s the plan.
Because I am planning to stay in hostels and hotels I am able to pack very lightly. I also won’t carry any food with me, other than starting out every day with a few protein bars. I also like to have something like a Snickers or some other candy with me. The quick energy you get from sugar can help you finish those last ten miles of the day.
My general plan is to ride about 75 miles a day, whether permitting. Day 2 I am currently planning a longer day (about 110 miles). The forecast looks mostly good (partly cloudy, partly sunny, scattered showers). Early in the trip I think I will be motivated to get miles behind me as long as the weather is good. Once I get into rural Sweden I need to be conscious of how far I am from the next town, which is one reason I am planning 110 miles for Day 2.
On a typical day I’ll….
Have breakfast and then ride 20 miles.
Stop for a cup of coffee and then ride 20 miles.
Stop for lunch and then ride 25 miles.
Have a beer and then ride for 10 miles.
Because the days are so long in Sweden this time of year and getting longer every day (sunrise about 4:15 AM and sunset about 9:15 PM) I will have lots of daylight to ride. If I wake up one morning and it’s raining, I can wait until after lunch to see if the weather clears. If it’s not cleared, I still have to get on my bike. I hope it clears.
Here’s everything I am bringing with me on my trip:
Pannier Bag that Mounts to the Saddle Post of my bike
Two Cycling Bibs
Two Short Sleeve Cycling Jerseys
One Long Sleeve Thermal Cycling Jersey
Cycling Gloves (fingerless)
Cold weather Cycling Gloves
Cycling Socks (1 pair)
Compression Socks (1 pair)
Thin ski socks (worn with street clothes)
Slip on Street Shoes
Pair of Levi’s
5 pair of underwear*
Multi Tool for Bike
Two Spare Tubes
Hand Tire Pump
Three Spare Spokes
Two water bottles mounted to frame
Chromebook (and power cord)
Phone (and charger)
Two pairs of sunglasses
doTerra On Guard Beadlets
Small rock that says “Dad” from my daughter
Small note from my daughter that says, “I love you, Dad.”
Links of old bikes chains to give to people I meet along the way
The combined weight of my bag and contents of my bag (when I am wearing my cycling gear and street clothes are packed) is 15.1 lbs.
I add the * to my underwear because everyone seems to be interested in underwear. To clarify, I am wearing a pair of underwear on my flights from Los Angeles to Stockholm. When I get to Stockholm I will throw those away and put on a fresh pair that I’ll wear while in Stockholm. Then, upon leaving Stockholm, I’ll throw that pair away. So when I depart Stockholm for Copenhagen on my bike, I’ll be carrying three pairs of underwear. (Why are people so interested in this?)
I’ll be carrying only one set of street clothes. That’s my Levi’s, a casual shirt, and my lightweight casual slip on shoes. I’ll change into these every evening when I am done riding and suspect they’ll hold up well over the course of the week.
In Stockholm I am staying with some people I met from Stockholm when they were on vacation in Tahoe. The Swedes have, so far, proven to be incredibly kind and generous people! I talked to these people on a chairlift for no more than five minutes and they invited me to stay in their home when I came to Stockholm. I am also meeting up with someone my first day in Stockholm who is skilled bike mechanic who will help me put my bike back together, which is now partially disassembled for the flights.
En route I plan to stay at hostels and budget hotels, or perhaps be a house guest with other people I meet along the way! Once I get to Copenhagen I plan to splurge a bit on my accommodations. If everything goes as planned, I’ll have two nights in Copenhagen before flying home.
I’ll be posting updates from the road on my personal Facebook page and Instagram account. I’ll also post from the Family Trek Facebook Page. I also plan to do some Facebook Live videos. If you want to see the Facebook Live videos, make sure you like Family Trek on Facebook because I plan to do the Facebook Live sessions on the Family Trek Facebook page.
I feel confident and ready for the ride physically, but I appreciate your prayers for my bike (nobody has ever attempted a greater ride with less knowledge of bike mechanics) and for the weather. The forecast looks good now, but I am not sure how I am going to do this if suddenly I am looking at sustained cold and wet weather.