Jason (+ Bike in Europe / - Bike in West Africa) travel blog

Campsite View

Padise Convent - Wall & Tower

Padise Convent - From the Tower

Padise Convent - Under Reconstruction

Padise Convent - View of Manor House

Padise Convent - Stream

The Light at the end of the road ...

... What it can be like riding into the sun


Start: Kersalu

End: Haapsalu

Weather: Sunny

Ride: 85km

Awoke at 8.30am, which was later than hoped, but at least I was refreshed from a good night's sleep. Ate breakfast and completed yesterday's journal entry.

It was noon by the time I had packed up, taken a short stroll along the beach and hit the road. I left national cycle route 1 shortly thereafter to take a short cut. Even though this road was poorly sealed it was still easy to cycle and there was very little traffic. The scenery was mundane alternating between forest (mainly conifers) and farmland (mainly in fallow or abandoned). At least it was sunny.

When I rejoined the cycle route at a junction, I was surprised to discover that the road was unsealed. I was glad when that road ended after a few kilometres because of the corrugations and the dust thrown up by cars that passed occasionally, which would drift over me because I was predominantly riding into a headwind.

At the next junction I stopped for a drink and an ice-cream and changed from my hiking shoes (that I wear when I plan to do a bit of walking) to my cycling shoes (that I only wear when cycling long distances because they are falling apart).

I stopped again shortly thereafter because I had reached the ruins of a 14th century convent in Padise. I had changed my shoes too early because the ruins were worthy of a clamber as there was unrestricted access up narrow spiral stone staircases to various rooms and the top of a tower. Most enjoyable. I spied a picnic table from the tower so I extended my stay to include lunch.

Back on the road by 3.30pm, but progress was sluggish. Thought it was due to the headwind, but as I began to lose control of the bike, it became apparent that the rear wheel had developed a slow leak. Pumped up the tyre to try to nurse the bike to a suitable spot to change tubes, but after a couple of kilometres, I realised I was fighting a losing battle and settled for the remains of a wall of a demolished modern brick building (looked like their may have been a fire).

To access the tube I removed the wheel and discovered a broken spoke, which I disregarded for the time being. When I removed the tube from the tyre it was clear that the tube had worn adjacent to the small gash in the tyre. In addition the tyre was beginning to wear out internally, so I decided to replace the tyre with the old slick tyre I was carrying as an emergency. Although the slick tyre was prone to punctures from bits of flint, it was better than a tyre that would wear out tubes and eventually bulge and become useless.

So I replaced the tube and the tyre. I didn't replace the spoke because I was short on time to reach a ferry by the end of the day and it wasn't a very comfortable site for prolonged repair jobs. The wheel turned adequately without the need to true the wheel once I had tightened a loose spoke.

I was riding again by 4.30pm and despite the headwind I was powering along. Late in the day (the sun is rapidly setting earlier & earlier) I'm often at my peak riding strength plus the surrounding forest was a conducive environment for cycling.

Doubled the distance traveled (from 27.5 to 55km) before I stopped again. The sun was now close to setting and catching the ferry seemed unlikely. However, I decided to push on to the town near the ferry port to visit a supermarket and to see if I could find a ferry timetable before making a decision on when and where to camp.

I didn't find ferry information, but I did find a supermarket. I also found a water sports centre and a bus station (actually a beautiful old train station with one of the most elegant restrooms I've been in) with a schedule showing a bus to the island at 9.45am, so I figured that there would be a ferry around 10am.

The supermarket and water sports centre both closed at 10pm, so taking into account that the Tourist Bureau opened at 9am, I decided to camp close by. This would allow me to return to town once the tent was set up, so I could have a shower at the centre and buy dinner from the supermarket. Then I could visit the Tourist Bureau first thing in the morning and hopefully confirm that there is a 10am ferry, which would give me ample time to ride 9km to the ferry dock.

I found a campsite in forest on the edge of town and set up camp in the dark (again). It was 9pm when I rode about 2km back to the water sports centre, so I skipped the swim and sauna and settled for a piping hot shower. Luxury! Then at 9.45pm I entered the supermarket with just enough time to buy a few items for dinner and breakfast.

Sometime after 10pm, I was back at camp eating dinner in my tent. Then it was straight to sleep.

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