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Day 59 ......Jessheim to Elverum.......121 km ......(total 4,815 km)

Ok . That was mildly hard. Hot and hilly and missed a turning that cost 7 km of which 5 km was a hill that I didn’t have to climb in the end after all, but that’s a story for another time . 

Setting off from Jessheim the roads were flat and mildly straight as I headed firstly east. They were also traffic free at 8am in. Sunday morning. 

Once I turned directly north to follow the Vorma river towards Eidsvoll Verk the straightness disappeared almost as quickly as the flatness. I mean seriously how hilly could a road be that ran near or alongside a river? Very is the answer you’re looking for. One short hill climb , then descend, then climb, then descend, then climb blah blah and on it went . To keep myself amused I counted how many times the gradient was steep enough for me to use the easiest gear (or as The Redeemed One calls it “the granny gear”) of my 30 gears. To me that constituted a Hill. 121 km on the day and 68 times I found myself clicking down to the last gear in order to make it over the top. 

The Vorma River is an impressive piece of waterway draining as it does out of Norway’s largest lake called Mjosa which at 362 square km in size is a fairly reasonably sized piece of water.  

At least the Norwegian barns continued to impress on this stretch of the road .

Entering Eidsvoll Verk I discovered that despite being a reasonably sized town there was almost zero businesses open. Given it was at the 30 km point and was the first town resembling civilisation I had come across in the day I was hoping for a coffee. I said almost zero open because there was the solitary business operating . A shell petrol station. Cognisant that given the dearth of eateries I had seen open I decided to buy my lunch there as well as have a coffee. Prudent move. I didn’t see another business open until the 95 km point and that too was a petrol station . 

Shortly after leaving Eidsvoll Verk my navigational skills went missing . See that dark blue line ? That’s where I have been. See that light blue line? That’s where I should be going . So heading north from the bottom of the page I should’ve veered right at some point. Too enraptured by the thrill of a steep down hill section I missed that turning . (Second time it’s occurred on this ride... steep downhill and miss a turn off ) Got to the bottom and thought to  myself it was all too good to be true so checked the map. Sure enough it was. So back up the hill I went and that blue dot is me back 

at the top of the hill panting and cursing . Gggrrrr.

Can’t get enough of these barns. 

Entered my first tunnel in Norway. All 120 meters of it. Apparently there’s a few more to come so am keeping count of them. This is tunnel 3 of the entire ride. There was one in Spain and one in France .

Lake Mjosa is somewhat large. 123 meters above sea level it has a coastline of approximately 273 km and at its deepest point is 483 metres deep. Its widest point is  15 km and get this .... its total volume of water is 56 cubic kilometres.

I rode alongside it for 2 hours and saw two, yes two, pleasure craft on it . 

What I did see of course was another one of these fat free nutters. Going quicker past me than I was going past him. 

Eventually the road left the lake and I headed east to Elverum. Not before delighting me with one more attractive church. 

My delightful and very clever buddy in life , aka KSR, had come to the rescue when it came to sourcing a campsite for me. Too weary and hot and with poor reception I asked her to see if there was a decent campsite near Elverum. The expression “came up trumps” would be apt. How’s this for a view for the night?

Bank side to another great river of Norway known as the Glomma.  

Just a note about the fragility of life to end on and how we should appreciate our health when we have it. 

As I was riding around Lake Mjosa there were several large groups / peletons of cyclists roaring past me. Groups of 10-20 at a time. Some looked professional and others like a group of mates out on a Sunday ride . As I climbed up a slight hill with a small bend around the corner came a group of 10 riders. 100 meters in front of me rider 10 clipped the back wheel of rider 9 bringing them both down very quickly. It all happened in slow motion right in front of me and am sure I could hear the crack of riders 10 collarbone as he hit the asphalt. Never mind the sound of rider 9 also coming down with a thud.

So there he is one moment riding with 9 mates on a glorious sunny day in a beautiful setting and within the blink of an eye his day, week and months ahead have changed irrevocably. 

Take nothing for granted and cherish being healthy when you are. Enjoy life and it’s moments and cherish the company of those who you love and who love you. 

Who knows what fate has in store. 

Amen .

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