The Road Ahead

Seven weeks today I shall be off on the first day of my ride to Nordkapp. To say that I am a little trepid at the thought of it, would be a huge understatement. In the interim, I have to gather together all the kit I will need for the trip. Going that much further north than last year, the temperatures might drop to near zero on the coolest nights north of the Arctic Circle. However, the average daytime temperature should be somewhere around 15 degrees Celsius.

My soul wish is that I do not experience the amount of rain encountered last time. I anticipate that I will be camping far more frequently due to the sparse population in many of the places I aim to cycle through. In fact, chances are that I will end up free camping most of the time. This means both good and bad things. On the plus side, there is nothing quite as liberating as finding an isolated spot and camping out for the night. If you like peace and quite, and I do, this is just the ticket. On the other hand, laundry, washing and conversation will all be far more complicate.

Part of the route I will be following will take me through Germany. Unless I take a rather lengthy detour on my way northwards towards Denmark, I will have to traverse Hamburg. Not that I dislike the city, cycling through large conurbations tends to make life all the more tricky with cars blazing past you and getting hopelessly lost.

It would necessitate the need to carry yet more kit that requires recharging. On that note, I had the first stab at a kit list yesterday. By Jove, I’ll be carrying a lot of gear. That’s the consequence of doing this solo I suppose.

A couple of people have indicated their interest in joining me on the ride. I’d love to have company. The more I think about it, life would be so much easier with another person present. For example, shopping; I will have to leave my bike, albeit chained up, along with all my panniers, which do not have locks, attached to the bike outside of the shop. In smaller towns and villages, this should not present too much of an issue. However, in a larger metropolis, I’m not sure it will be there when I emerge from buying groceries. Then there is all the end of day chores. Last year, Pete, Mary and I shared the cooking, laundry and tent pitching, which worked out really well. It won’t me a problem, probably something I get used to very quickly. Just that after several houses cycling; it would be nice to share the load.

All that aside, I am completely focused on the ride. I cannot wait to see the places that lie ahead of me. From all the cyclist’s blogs I have been reading, it should be a trip of a lifetime. So, now I must marshal my forces and complete preparations for the next Long Way Up ride.

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