From Monday 19th till Wednesday 21st of April we did our self-organized cycling trip. We were a group of 4 (Elena, Toni, Mira and me) and decided to do the trip with another group. In the end we cycled with 7 people.
Planning & preparing
The destination we wanted to reach was Lindesnes fyr (the most southern point of Norway). Most of the group members were beginners – so we decided to cycle 70-80km per day.
Day 1: Kristiansand to Underoy – about 80km (overnight at the beach)
Day 2: Underroy to Lindesnes fyr – about 30km; Lindesnes fyr to Mandal – about 50km (overnight at the beach)
Day 3: Mandal to Kristiansand – about 60km
What we carried with us: breakfast, lunch, dinner (for day 1), snacks
What we bought in the supermarkets: dinner for day 2, lunch for day 3
I carried in two big and one smaller cycling bags for two overnights and three days:
sleeping bag, sleeping mat, rain trouser and jacket, down jacket, woolen underwear, fleece pullover, second cycling clothes, soft-shell trouser, socks and underwear, hat and gloves, washing things, food, water bootle, stove, plate and cutlery, head torch, personal things like wallet etc., sunglasses, sunscreen.
We started at 10am on Monday at Hokus Pokus. The weather was perfect: sunny, no wind, less clouds. The first day worked pretty good. The cycling path was mostly asphalt except of one very hilly gravel path (around 1km) and the road was nice to cycle. We had lots of uphills and downhills but still good feasible. Furthermore we took the path along the coastline and not along the road. Therefore we cycled 10km more than planned – but that was worth it. The landscapes along the sea and the small villages we passed were beautiful! After a short stop at the supermarket in Vigeland we reached our overnight
spot in Underoy at around 19pm. We prepared dinner, sat on the beach and I had my first overnight outside. That was a magical moment for me – watching the stars with a little wind in my face in the cozy sleepingbag. Despite a windy night I slept pretty good and was well regenerated for the next day.
On Tuesday we left our beautiful overnight spot in Underoy at around 10.30am and cycled to Lindesnes fyr. I felt my upper legs during this 30km trip but I made it. After a proper lunch break at the lighthouse we all were full of energy again and started the trip to Mandal. Again we stopped at the supermarket before we cycled to our second overnight spot at the beach in Mandal. The place was beautiful and we made campfire at the beach after dinner. That was a magical moment again. This night all of our group slept outside. At around 5am it started to rain and within 10min both tents were set up and we spent the rest of the „night“ in the tent. I was impressed how fast we all reacted and set up the tents.
On Wednesday we started the last cycle day around 10am back to Kristiansand. The wind increased this day and I was impressed how much more energy you need if the wind blows straight in your face. I was impressed of myself that I had a lot of energy left during the last kilometers despite tired and sour legs. We reached Kristiansand around 4pm and ended an unforgettable, amazing and exhausting cycle trip.
In the beginning I was a bit skeptical due to the group size of 7 people but in the end I was impressed how good it worked. We took breaks after each 10-15km, made sure that everyone was fine and changed the „roles“. Each of us were a few times in the front and in the back. I noticed as a front-women to adapt the speed to the others and to be careful that the distances between each other didn’t become to big. As a back-women I noticed to adapt the speed to the ones in the front and to be the responsible person if someone needs a break or a car wants to pass. In a group with 7 people you need patience. I recognized this fact especially while getting ready in the morning. It took us much longer than in groups with less people. But we weren’t in a hurry so it was fine to leave only around 10-11am.
– take care of all group members
– adapt the speed and need of breaks to the weakest person in the group
– be patient
– advantage from cycling trips: you don’t need to carry all the food because you pass supermarkets (also good to refill the water and toilets), you can cover a long distance quite fast
– good practice for reading maps
– good planning and preparing is important!