Can’t slow down

I literally can’t seem to slow down. I had a short day on Thursday and yet it was still 49 miles. The reason, a broken spoke so I stopped early to fix it. Even some of the unpaved farm tracks and fire roads that have been part of my route in Sweden haven’t diminished my appetite for mileage despite sapping my energy and probably causing that broken spoke. I know that cycle touring should be about enjoying yourself, I know it’s not a race but a part of me likes pushing myself. 62.5 miles (100km) in 6 hours of riding is now the ‘normal’ target day.
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A long daily target also works well at the moment too because Sweden is big! Fairly populated in the south where I am but I’ve covered 255 miles in 4 days and yet I think I’m still 150 to 160 miles away from Stockholm! Putting all this into perspective in the 16 days I’ve been on the road of this trip I’ve covered almost half the distance of my entire 7 weeks in France and Spain.
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However I won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Sweden is expensive and I haven’t managed to find somewhere to stay in Stockholm through warmshowers. So my current plan is to get the overnight ferry to Turku and then press on to Helsinki. I hadn’t appreciated the ferry is a 12 hour crossing and only leaves early in the morning or late at night but it’s almost a blessing in disguise. I had considered heading up the east coast of Sweden to Umea but another 6 nights solo in the tent on top of the 6 to Stockholm doesn’t appeal. I haven’t had a proper conversation in 4 days and probably won’t for another 4 at least. It’s sending me slightly mad.
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Now don’t get me wrong I’m usually in favour of a bit of solitude. However I think my route across Sweden might be a bit crap. It seems to follow the motorway so the wild campsites at night as well as being visually nothing to shout about so far, also have a soundtrack of traffic noise. Add to that the mosquitoes which force me inside the tent once eating is dispensed with and it’s a bit uninspiring. I have seen a few interesting daytime sights but to be perfectly honest northern Europe all starts to look the same after a while!
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So I’ll keep pressing on and hope my body holds up. From leaving Malmö last Tuesday I’ll be averaging 62.5 miles per day for 8 days with a slightly shorter day into Stockholm on Monday to break it up. This will be the longest distance and time I’ve ridden on a tour without a day off. I hope there is a shower on the ferry or it’ll be a new record for not showering too!

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