In a world increasingly preoccupied with throwaway materialistic things; where people are constantly busy earning money to pay for those things, or so their children can have those things;
This is the story of my dreams of travelling the world by bicycle. Because it's there. And because I dont want to die without experiencing the truly important things in life .

A sense of wonder and a sense of adventure.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Helsinki Here I Come.

Finally my time is drawing near to take off to Scandinavia for my Nordic cycle tour. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't a tad nervous.  Jumping on a plane and heading to the other side of the world with just a couple of bags of stuff and a bicycle with the intention of camping in a tent for two months while you cycle unknown roads always makes me nervous.  But to be honest for me the nervousness is usually centred around how I will cope with the loneliness of cycle touring more than the nuts and bolts of actually doing it.
Every trip seems to have its own set of factors that give you cause to worry in addition to this loneliness factor. The altitude scared me when cycling in Peru, getting food was a constant fear in Bolivia, the fear of being killed by motorists kept me awake at night in Brazil. The chaos on the street would often make me not want to leave my hotel room and jump on my bike while cycling in Asia.
It should all fit in one of these boxes.
This upcoming trip has me worried more about the weather that I may encounter than anything else. I'm cycling to the north of Norway in the Autumn, and until recently I haven't been able to find anything on the net that would give me an idea about how cold it could get above the Arctic Circle in September. But last week I found a u tube video of someone who had done it, and ( Famous last words ) , it didn't look too bad. I'm certainly not expecting to come back to New Zealand with a tan though.
In the interests of my new desire to cycle tour with less stuff I will be taking my one man tent that has unknown water resistance,  and very limited home comforts. I'm cutting right back on stuff as practise for the TransAm cycle race that I intend to do next year.  Check out the site if you're interested.  So far there are about 30 entrants from a multitude of countries.

The last time I used this one man tent I  vowed to never use it again because of its claustrophobic nature. But it is so light and compact that I have decided that if it's all I have when I land in Helsinki in the next week then we will just have to learn to get on. Having used it no more than a handful of times since I bought it in the 1980's I can not remember whether it actually protects it's occupant from the rain. Limited research has shown me that there is no way I will be able to afford a roof over my head in Scandi so things are going to be unpleasant if it leaks. Freedom camping however is accepted where I'm cycling this time so I want to take full advantage of it.

The final bicycle service has been done in the workshop and M.U.M 2 just needs to be boxed for the flight.

It had better be a little bit cold in Finland as I cycle north since one of my three cycle bags is full of warm type clothes. Booties , thermal socks , merino training top and gloves. In addition to these I have a bigger than normal sleeping bag and woolie hat. And i couldn't go on this trip without the trusty little kerosene primus that I took across Canada a couple of years ago, and was of course made in Sweden back in the 1940's.
These items will all be regarded as unnecessary luxuries for my race across America next year but on this trip I won't be attempting to ride 300 kms per day. In fact my schedule for this trip is only 100 to 200 kms per day. I won't want to get to camp early I suspect as the tent is not exactly conducive to lying around in. A bit of soft pedaling and the odd Billy up may be the order of the day unless the weather is shite,  in which case I generally get too cold to muck about.

Next post will be from Helsinki with luck. Tomorrow I will box the Mercian, clip my nails , shave my legs , hair ,and generally wander around the house and about the garden soaking up Nelson ' s winter sunshine. When I return it will be mid spring.

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