Day 07, Tour09, Ahus, Sweden to Simrishamn, Sweden, mostly on Cykelsporet

The Baltic Sea which I rode near all day today
This image makes the weather look more threatening than it was today
I did hear thunder, I did ride between storms, and on a lot of wet pavement

After an absolutely great breakfast at my B+B, I took had a relaxed morning visiting with its owner and using her computer to upload yesterday's ride report and web page. Then I headed south looking for the Swedish East Coast Bicycle route - Cykelsporet - which I would not have found if she hadn't told me exactly where it started.

The cycle route sign on the road that runs along the coast south of Ahus
The Baltic is typically about half a mile away and there are many small roads going to beaches

This is the part of Cykelsporet that run in front of the B+B and on into Ahus
The fact that it is part of Cykelsporet is indicated by that little black bicycle sign

Actually, the B+B is right on the cycle route, but that isn't obvious and the place where Cykelsporet leaves the road and become a nice path throught the woods for 6 km isn't marked as Cykelsporet! This is not much of an issue for riders coming north but it would have been a real problem for me, heading south if I hadn't been told right where the path was. If you come north, you'll see a sign for the B+B I stayed at when you reach the road - Avagen, with accent marks over both As - at the end of the path through the woods. The B+B's is at 71 Avagen, roughly half a mile north of where you turn on it. There is another small sign by the bike lane at that point. I highly recommend that B+B for a pleasant environment, a good bed, and a great breakfast, all for a very reasonable price.

The first section of bicycle path I rode today

A later section, whch was less fun, but fortunately short

Most of the 'path' is small paved roads rather than bicycle path

The route is good, peaceful, and easy riding till Maglehem. Then it has a three mile segment on highway 19. If you aren't used to riding on highways with narrow lanes and small - typically a foot or less - shoulders, you'll find 19 uncomfortable. Then, at Brösarp, you get on 9, which is worse ;-{! If, like most people, you are coming from the south - better winds that way - 19 will be easy after 9 -}. 9 is even narrower and is quite hilly and curvy to boot. These roads would be very dangerous if they were in the US. In Sweden, they are just less pleasant riding than the small roads. Drivers here are MUCH more respectful of bicyclists than US drivers. I did have one yahoo passenger yell at me today while I was riding on highway 9. I have no idea what he yelled - I couldn't even tell what language he yelled in - but it wasn't encouragement ;-}.

The first section of highway 9 that I rode today. I was amazed at how hilly it was,
but it was flat compared to several later sections of the Cykelsporet!

Another shot of highway 9
I spent too much time on highway 9 today!

While the first half of riding today was easy and peaceful, the second half was not. It was hard riding and often quite stressful. Cykelsporet even pulled what I think of as an ACA stunt. They picked the steepest road they could find and routed over it ;-{. Admittedly, this avoided a section of highway 9, and had a mile or so of lovely riding on top of the ridge, but I don't think that was worth the pain of the over 10% grade climb. In part, this is an A-Fib's fault. Getting out of A-Fib requires moderate exercise. I didn't get much of that this afternoon. I spent too much time pushing time my limits and I was wiped out by mid-afternoon when I got to Simrishamn.

Coming into Kivik on highway 9

When I got to Kivik, which is where highway 9 gets to the coast, I decided to route to Simrishamn rather than stay on the Cykelsporet route which went inland again. I was tired of those hills ;-}! I saw a sign which said 20 km to Simrishamn by bicycle and tried to follow that route. It was a nice route which ran along the ocean, but it took me to the Stenshuvud National Park and ended ;-{. I back tracked and, using my GPS, figured out that I had to go back to highway 9 to get to Simrishamn ;-{. That involved climbing on a pretty steep little road with too much RV traffic.

In Sweden, where wild camping is OK, camping in national parks isn't
Neither is bicycling in this park

When I got to highway 9, I should have taken it toward Simrishamn, but there was another road that was marked Cykelsporet, so I took it instead. It was very steep and I was very tired and in need of food, so I stopped part way up it for a break. When I restarted, I found I couldn't sustain the climb - A-Fib exhaustion - so I pushed my bike most of the way to the top. When I finally reached the top, it was very nice riding, even for an exhausted rider, and I could see rain falling on either side of me and hear thunder from the storm on the seaward side, so I kept pushing to get past that rain. It wasn't very long before that road came back down, steeply, and Cykelsporet was back on highway 9 again. I would have ridden 9 instead if I had known that was going to happen.

A telephoto shot of a sailboat on the Baltic near Simrishamn

Riding on 9 wasn't much fun and it was wet from a recent rain which made it even less fun, so, when Cykelsporet left 9, I followed it. That turned out to be a good move since it got me away form the wet road with heavy traffic. I rode in Rorum - pretty town - where Cykelsporet headed further inland on a rough, chip-sealed road. I decided not to go that way but to continue on the smooth road through Rorum. That road led me back to 9 ;-{, but now 9 had a cycle path beside it and it was much more pleasant to ride. The cycle path, and/or diversion onto smaller roads kept me off 9 the rest of the way into town.

I rode down to the harbor and found the tourist office. I asked about B+Bs and they suggested one that cost $135. I said that was a but too much, so we ended up with a room in a house - no breakfast, a shared bathroom, and bring your own sleep sack for about $45. It is a nice place and a good deal, but it wasn't available for a couple of hours, so I dragged my exhausted body around Simrishamn playing tourist, It is a pretty town with a nice harbor, and a touristy pedestrian mall with lots of shops and restaurants. I found a little cafe out side of the area and had a very late lunch. the lady running it is very nice, so nice that when I said I liked breakfast much earlier than she opened her cafe, she said she'd be there a 6 AM and I should just knock on the door and she'd fix me breakfast. So much for unfriendly, reserved Swedes! I told her I wouldn't do that to her, but that I would be there when she opens the cafe at 9 AM. On my way to my room for the night, I stopped at at a supermarket and picked up food for supper and my 'first' breakfast tomorrow.

Next morning: I've decided I need to take a rest day today. My body needs to recover from yesterday's abuse before I ride on to Ystad where I will take a ferry to Poland tomorrow.

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