There’s a lot to be learned from this trip. Not just that it can be pretty
boring traveling alone, but also that the weather down here can be pretty
nasty. But something about equipment.
1. I don’t need a tent.
While camping is something I can still do, I just don’t wake up as
refreshed as when sleeping in a bed, and it makes a difference when I get
going in the morning. Also, free camping is not as easy down here as one
might think, because it’s pretty rocky, and there are few paths off the
road. And I hate campgrounds and the sort of people who stay there. A hotel
might cost 500 NOK, but it’s worth it And there are a few hostels along the
road, like the one I stayed in last night. Lastly, the sleeping bag + tent
+ mattress account for more than half my luggage.
2. No backpack.
This is simple if I don’t bring the tent, and makes moving about on the
bike a lot easier. Having a small bag that is easy to reach for map &
camera is pretty good, though.
3. Water in bottles
I brought my camelback, which is great for walking trips, but for a bicycle
ride, bottles are best. There are plenty of opportunities along the road to
refill the bottle, but a second bottle is still a good investment.
4. Bananas are messy
I had one explode in my backpack, and everything is sticky in There now.
Bring a container to put them in, or don’t bring bananas. Dry peaches are
5. You need one pair of pants.
That’s in addition to a pair of cycling shorts. Something to wear in the
hotel/hostel while the cycling pants dry. In addition, a shirt and a pair
of socks for each day. Which comes to very little total weight.
6. Bring chargers.
Not only my phone will run out of juice, but my Palm, too – at least on a
longer trip it would have.
7. Bring the right music
I had one good MD with me (Flunk, Ugress) that was getting me over the
hills and had the right beat for cycling, but the others were too slow.
Also, bringing a norwegian audio book was fun, but not actually helping
with my speed.
8. Know your route
On the first day especialy, I lost a lot of time going the wrong way. The
route doesn’t always have enough signs, and going the wrong way cost me a
lot of time.
9. Bring only one book
Bring a book to read, but one that will last you a while. Give it away and
get a new one when it’s read, don’t weigh yourself down with too many books.
10. 70 km/day
70 km a day is a good distance to do over a longer period. I’m sure I could
have kept that up for a few more days, it is enough to reach the major
cities each day, and going between 17 and 20 km/h takes 3-4 hours cycling a
day. Doesn’t sound ilke a lot, but with all the hills, it still means I’m
tired at the end of the day. I also get to the end of each stage at a
decent time and was able to go to the beach, shower, watch some TV, I could
even have cooked if I’d had the nerve.