From the northernmost point in Europe to Stockholm
I am resting after riding my velomobile 716 km in 3 days from Oulu in northern Finland to Åbo where I took the ferry to Stockholm. I’ll take this opportunity to give you a short report before I continue to my home at the Swedish west coast.
Avoiding -33° Celsius
I was very, very happy to have made it to Nordkapp in these cold and harsh conditions. On my way to the north I had given up several times but kept on going. It was tougher than what I had expected. My original plan was to reach Nordkapp in the autumn, but I was delayed, and the winter had arrived much earlier than normal.
After resting one day at Nordkapp, I decided not to send the velomobile back as cargo even though the temperature on the highland was -33° Celsius. Nordkapp is close to the water and therefore warmer than the inland. If I stayed close to the coast until the temperature on the inland decreased, then I would probably be able to cross the highland fast before it got colder again.
I had three route options to choose for the return trip, the Norwegian coast, the Swedish coast or the Finnish coast. Norway is very hilly, the roads by the Swedish coast are not bicycle friendly and I hadn’t seen Finland before. My choice of route was easy, Finland it would be.
From my log
11 November 2019
-1°C when starting
-13°C at the end of the day
Today it has been minus 33 degrees Celsius on the Norwegian and Finnish highlands to where I am going. Will run short day stages to fit in a forecast that promises only minus ten degrees a few days from now.
12 November 2019
13 November 2019
Total Duration: 12:45
Avg Speed:17.2 kph
This is one of the hardest rides during the whole trip. There is a lot of new snow on old hard packed and slippery snow. The route is very hilly and I must drive in first gear for hours. But I need to push hard today because the cold could return as soon as it stops snowing. For now, the clouds are keeping the warmer temperature close to the ground. I rest for a couple of hours while I charge the battery and ride a total of 164.2 km in this rough terrain.
14 November 2019
I was tired, it was snowing heavily and the forecast was promising relatively high temperatures following days. Therefore I decided to rest this day.
15 November 2019
-3°C when starting
-6°C at the end of the day
I had made the right decision. It was not snowing anymore and the roads where cleaned. Temperature was good but I still had to have the telephone inside my clothes to keep it warm. Otherwise it’s screen would turn black and useless. Reindeers where all over in the forest, the roads and the villages. But as soon as I pointed my camera onto the reindeers they were gone.
16 November 2016
The same routine followed the whole trip when going in to the velomobile: knocking away the snow and ice on the clips under the sandals. If I forgot to do that, it was almost impossible to attach the sandals to the pedals.
The more south I came, the more traffic on the road. I was very glad to have strong light on the back of the velomobile. There were situations when snow dust was covering the velomobile, especially when big trucks were passing. Cars coming behind these trucks would not have seen me if it wasn’t for the strong light.
17 November 2019
When I was going north and arrived at the Arctic Circle, I had a feeling of being very far north. This time, when coming from the north to the Arctic Circle, I had a feeling of being very far south.
There is a big difference between the activity by the Arctic Circle at the small village Jokkmokk in Sweden and the activities in Rovaniemi. In Finland there are large buildings with shops selling souvenirs and a queue of turists wanting to be photographed together with Santa Clause.
18 November 2019
The closer I come to the coast, the warmer it gets.
19 November 2019
In Uleåborg I was invited to stay at the house of velonaut Mika Rintala and his wife Miriam. It was a very pleasent stay. I was able to have the velomobile in a warm garage and get rid of the remaining ice from the condensation. I was also able to send 15 kilograms of safety and camping equipment home by mail. Thank you Mika and Miriam!
21 November 2019
Today I met Sauli Nurila, a very well known YouTuber. He met me on the road and made a very good video where he interwiued me about the trip. Don’t miss it! Watch it here:
22 November 2019
23 November 2019
24 November 2019
Total amount of km from Nordkapp to Åbo is aproximatelly 1640 km and total climb is about 8400 meter. Now there is only about 550 km left to home.
Thank you for visiting and best regards!
Do not forget to watch the interview with Saukki here above!