2008 North Cape

Tour 2012 Verbania – North Cape
Travel “Three friends for one bike”

starting date: 28th June 2008, Trobaso – Verbania
arrival date: 25th August 2011, North Cape – Norway
across:: Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Norway
distance covered (km): 4.780
average speed (h): 21km/h
total cycling time: 212 h
pedal strokes: 951.750
bycicles: Tandem bordeaux, Maiocchi (210kg total weight with bags)
stops: 26
flat tires: 21 mit&ti, 24 Enzo

postcards sent: 450
charity organisation: Youth Project
amount devolved: 1.500€

Our first journey took us from Verbania to North Cape, biking for 4.600km for a total of 210h bike riding, crossing Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway in its entire length.
Can definitely say it will be an important experience. In this occasion we rode a tandem, with us Enzo Gabrieli from S. Vigilio, who shared with us countless races back in the days. As far Tiziano and I are concerned, this is a true challenge since we will be dragging around a cart reaching a total weight of 210kg. We can guess from the get-go that it won’t be easy to ride uphill and if it wasn’t clear enough, we immediately feel what is like when we hit Monte Ceneri, 554 m of altitude, or Passo del Maloja, 1815 m of altitude or again Julierpass at 2284m and so forth.

Got to say that the first legs of the trip were the toughest.

The first stretch was Verbania – St. Moritz 213km in 12h straight, which we completed in a status of total exhaustion. That is the point where Enzo joined, since he left from his hometown S. Vigilio near Brescia. The second stop was set at Lindau, another 190km for a overall 9h ride. At that point Enzo, puncture his tire in the proximity of Tienfelgasten, stumbling downhill for a few meters. Luckily he gets away with a damaged saddle and sore pelvis. The incident doesn’s stop us from carrying on our journey. The third stop is Langnau which we reach by covering further 182km in about 8.30h in a long, rainy day. After that, Hünfeld in 225km within a 11h ride, where we cruise amid sunflowers and a lot of green. Fifth stop is Braunschweig after 210km and 8,4h on our bikes. Extremely hot day, with peaks of 38°. Soy and potatoes fields, here and there strawberry cultivations and again, plenty of nature.

We reach Göteborg in Sweden, by adding up long stretches of at least 180km.
We get to Lillehammer when we are at our twelfth stop, the city which hosted the Winter Olympics in 1994, located North of Lake Mjøsa, surrounded by farms, forests and small villages.
Norway strikes as a beautiful country, gradually getting wilder and less civilised as we proceed North. We even had the pleasant surprise of spotting a baby whale, such a feeling! Among other wild animals we encountered seals and moose populating the coast and the forest. We were less pleased with the overwhelming amount of mosquitos, especially as we approached Lapland in the extreme northern region of the country.
The Lofoten Islands, famous for the top-notch fishing, its untouched nature and hidden villages, are a true beauty.
Reached Honningsvåg it starts pouring, so we find cover in a camping site nearby where we get changed, cook something to eat and comes 10pm we decide to head as North as you could possibly imagine, Cape North.
The wind is really blowing strong here, a hard uphill road to climb , cold and lots of rain.
We really get the full package as we head to our final destination.
We leave Olderfjord and manage to hit Cape North in 195km and 11,10h bike ride.
Dead tired and feeling really cold, at twenty past midnight, we conquer the top. Up there we spot a camping hall where we find cover and set up our sleeping bags for the night.
Reaching Cape North was really heard, we had to ride through the “Nordkapptunnelen”, (a submarine tunnel which links the Island of Magerøya to mainland), which also presents an inclination of 9%, stretching for 7km split equally in 3,5km uphill and 3,5km downhill, at 212m below the sea level.
The morning view from up there pays back for the time we spent on our bikes, 24 days in a row.
Thanks to Mattia Anesa, met in Honningsvåg, we manage to send our postcards as planned.
Another strong friendship was created there.
Ready to head home, we already plan our next trip.

Milena, di mi&ti