Hunter 6: Johan Bjorklund
It's funny how a week of time experienced under intense circumstances outside of situations you regularly experience usually blur together into one big mess. Already a few days after you remember what has happened, but it's like the memories and experiences from that bubble of time has melted together. Plus, you only remember the good things.
This June I drove to the far north of Sweden to Riksgränsen together with four friends for Sverigetempot, the world's longest brevet in 2014 with 2100km to cover in 177 hours. Julius & Patch were also riding, Tereza & Olle came along to document the trip. So as soon as we got into the car we entered the bubble where only the five us would share these experiences along with the almost 50 other cyclists and people we would meet on the way.
On June 25 we started riding toward the furthest southern point of Sweden in Smygehuk. We had divided the riding into seven days with around 350km each of the first days and then a little less the last days to have a buffer if something went wrong. 300km in the saddle each day for a week gives you a lot of time to think about and talk about pretty much everything. Eventually you reach that trance like state where things start melting together and all of a sudden you've come a hundred kilometers or so further without almost noticing. When you think of it afterwards it's like trying to remember a dream, but in a good way.
I had to abandon during the fifth day. My left knee had been hurting on the previous day with the pain being almost unbearable. Then it started to pour down rain for 200km the last hours riding in the darkness on small gravel climbs I started feeling good again. Then I woke up the morning after and couldn't bend my knee anymore and it felt like it was burning up. I was taken to the hospital, eventually diagnosed with what they think was borrelia that attacked the knee when the body was under a lot of pressure and had to stay there for five days while the others made it to the finish line well in time.
Now a month later when we're out of that bubble I only remember the good times and the amazing landscapes of northern Sweden, all the memories of pain and suffering are long gone. That being said, I'll see you in Riksgränsen at the start again in 2016.