Nordkapp!

I made it thanks to your support

Nordkapp.

At 11,49 November the 9th I arrived to the northern most point of Europe. This after having given up several times. I reached the goal thanks to many of you telling me to continue. I would have returned south several days ago if it wasn’t for that. 

I’m happy to have made it even though the trip sometimes hasn’t been a pleasant one. The beauty of the nature and knowing that it was possible to get here, makes the effort worth it. Thank you!

Magerøja, the island where Nordkapp is.

I am writing this post in a hurry because I want to continue the journey south as soon as possible. In a few days the temperature will rise from the current -28°C to -16°C on the Finnish highlands. I then want to take the opportunity to get as far south as possible before the severe cold returns.

These images are showing the journey in chronological order starting in Alta, Norway.

Before leaving Alta, I had to borrow a heater to melt the ice formed by the condensation of my body on the inside of the velomobile. Thank you Alta River Camping for the heater!
Thick fog and very cold on the highland.
I could only see through a gap under the visor.
Guesthouse in Skaidi.
Smørfjord.
Europe’s northernmost point.

Photos taken by Edmund J Grønmo

Photographer unknown

A happy me. 🤠
Altitudes and kilometers the last bit to Nordkapp.
My route so far.

For those of you who have the energy to read more

A human powered vehicles network (HPV) has made som questions for their site www.ligfiets.net. Here are my answers.

How long was the trip and how long did it take you?

Total amount of riding days: 20.

Totalt amount of days 31. I had to stay at half way for several days waiting for a delayed mail delivery.

Total amount of kilometers 2,313 from my home in Stenungsund north of Gothenburg to Nordkapp.

Totalt amount of climbed meters is almost two Mt Everest, 16,247 m.

What were the conditions: snow, rain, temperature? Were all roads passable?

This has been one of the coldest autumn in this region for many years. Most difficult was to cycle when temperature was -26°C. I did give up several times but kept going.

I had planned to be here two months earlier but was delayed because of a kidney stone attack. I did plan a very joyful ride, but now the ride was much more difficult than I expected. Sometimes there was a lot of snow on the roads and I had to wait for days before I was able to continue.

From my log 2nd November:
I start long before light is coming. It is snowing and it seems as if they don’t bother plowing the roads on Saturdays. I have to force my way through a thick layer of snow and as soon as I drive outside the tracks made by cars and trucks I’m stuck. Several lorries use chains on there wheels and leave deep grooves on the hard packed snow that is beneath the soft snow. It is like riding on a gigantic washboard.

Was it possible to drive from hotel to hotel or did you camp? I can imagine that many hotels or campsites will be closed in November.

Fortunately I managed to find simple accommodations almost every where in the north, hostels or cabins on camping sights. In one occasion I had to stay in a hotel. But I like to be on the safe side and would not make this trip without full camping equipment good enough for minus forty degrees. I have to plan for emergency stops and be able to survive by myself if something happens. This is making the velomobile very heavy and I would not have been able to make this trip without e-assist for the steepest hills. In these conditions the battery is only giving out 25% of its normal power. It might have been possible to make the trip with no electric assist if only having the clothes on the body and a credit card in the pocket, but I would never take that risk.

Did you have any special precautions such as winter tyres?

I was surprised to see how well summer tires work on hard packed snow when driving a four wheel velomobile. It might have been possible to make 95% of this trip with normal tires. Fortunately I had been sent winter tires by mail to the north, but mounted only the ones with studs on the back (Marathon Plus in the front and Marathon Winter in the back). Without the studs I would not have made it all the way, especially not in the steep hills of Nordkapp.

Have you been able to solve the problem of cold feet?

Fortunately yes. This trip had not been possible otherwise.

Velomobiles are made for warmer climates which is understandable, but here the solution is to have many layers which can be difficult to fit in a narrow velomobile. There will always be some parts chafing on the inside of the velomobile.

This are the layers for the feets from the inside: two pairs of woolen socks, electric heated insoles, double wool felt shoes, thick woolen socks specially knitted by my aunt, 10 mm insoles made of sleeping mat, large overboots with fiber fur on the inside and breathing cloth on the outside and sandals with clips. This arrangement can not be used if temperature is 0 or above since it would get wet.

Do you think a quattrovelo makes this trip easier than a three-wheeled velomobile?

Absolutely yes. I would not ride a three-wheeled velomobile on steep bumpy and extremely slippery downhills. We know how dangerous it can be to ride with a three wheeled velomobile on rumble strips by the side of the road. Then you can multiple that risk with 100 here. And most important, I think it might be impossible to ride in these conditions without having brakes both in the front and the back.

Did you have any special experiences in hotels or special encounters during your trip?

I like to camp as much as possible, but in the north of Sweden several people that I met wouldn’t let me to. They insisted in inviting me to stay at there homes. The closer I did get to Nordkapp, the more touristic and difficult it was to find cheap accommodations. Tourism is understandably a source of money and this is the same all over the world. I prefer to cycle on less touristic places where it is easier to meet people in a more relaxed manner. That is one of the reasons why I have accepted being a part of the 202020 Velomobile Challenge. It consists in visiting 20 countries at ones own speed and route during 2020. For now we are two participating velonauts and I hope more will join. The website www.202020.eu will be published when I get back home. For now have a look at https://www.facebook.com/202020VelomobileChallenge/

Thank you everyone, cheers and regards!

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17 svar på Nordkapp!

  1. Detta är en bedrift.
    Vet att många cyklar i grupp och ensam till Nordkapp sommartid.
    Var där 2015 med husbil minns en flicka som satt och grät hennes cykel hade havererat många trasiga ekrar. Hoppas hon fick hjälp men bilden av henne har jag kvar i minnet. Har själv cyklat mycket.

  2. Arne Bivrin skriver:

    Coolt Alve 🙂

    Imponerande och inspirerande. En dag när jag blir stor ska jag också köpa en QV.
    Allt gott,
    Arne

    • Alve Henricson skriver:

      Då får du skaffa modellen lite större som heter Quattrovelo+,

  3. Bill Thornton skriver:

    Amazing. I think your Artic adventure beats my Velomobile record of 60.87 mph or about 98 km/hr at Battle Mountain… I salute you !

    • Alve Henricson skriver:

      Thank you Bill for your generous comment. My intention was never to compete, I was just hoping for a joyful ride to the north when I started this trip. Congrats for your rides in Battle Mountain! Cheers

  4. Calle Ring skriver:

    Alve, our world needs you!

  5. Torbjörn Berg skriver:

    Gratulerar till en enastående prestation!
    Du har återigen visat formeln för ett framgångsrikt projekt:
    En galen idé x envist kämpande + hängiven påhittighet + det lilla extra.
    Inspirerande!
    Torbjörn & Åsa

  6. Never stop starting, never start stopping. Du er helt ekstrem Alve. Det har vært helt supert å følge deg her men du slutter vel ikke å skrive før du kommer hjem igjen.

    • Alve Henricson skriver:

      Tack, men som det heter på spanska, ”no es para tanto”. 🙂
      Jag lovar att skriva lite då och då, men inte så mycket. Önskar jag hade min riktiga kamera med, inte bara telefonen….
      Rulla på! 😉

  7. Velotroll skriver:

    Wow, what a Trip.
    I will do this too. When I’m retired in 1 or 2 years. But in summer. Nothing compared to your trip. I love Scandinavia.
    As you may imagine along my Name.
    VELOTROLL 😉
    QV 27

    • Alve Henricson skriver:

      I recommend early spring or late autumn if you don’t want to be eaten by mosquitos.
      You have a funny name, but I would appreciate a real name before allowing comments on this blog. Regards

  8. Rob Ruitenbeek skriver:

    Dear Alve, Wow what a trip and what a dedication to finish it. Snow is rare here in the Netherlands, but I know from experiance that it is very heavy riding snowy roads. The extreme cold and road conditions are a true test for the Velomobile. I think that the builders in Dronten may be proud of their product. Stay safe on your trip back, you are only half way!
    Rob Ruitenbeek (Quest 844)

  9. sven stoffelen skriver:

    Tnx for the nice reports and congrats for getting to the nordkapp. Big respect for this adventure.

    Kind regards Sven (the Netherlands)

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