This tour was planned by our group of four on saturday, two days before the trip. The planning started at eleven am which was rather timely. This was necessary because for the grocery shopping for the trip saturday is more suited than sunday. Even though some small shops are also open on sunday the main shopping is certainly easier on a saturday. Therefore we tried to plan as fast as possible. We were all sitting around a table drinking coffe and everyone searched for a possible route on their phone or laptop starting somewhere around Kristiansand The directions and goals varying a bit in the beginning. I also found a website called „trailguide.net“ which showed trails around Kristiansand.
We decided to go to the lighthouse of Lindesness and join together with another group.
For the specific route we planned the more pretty way for biking towards the lighthouse since it was longer. For the way back we chose more direct tracks partly following bigger roads in order to reach home faster and easier. For the „drawing“ of the route the app „komoot“ was used. This app does not seem to be as common in Norway as at home but it was still useful.
We also checked on google maps and google earth how the routes that we wanted to go looked like and included some of the tracks of „trailguide“. We got in touch with the other group that would join us to find out wether they were okay with this route. We all agreed rather fast on the route.
Thereafter a plan (looking like a timetabe) was made to decide on when to eat what. This was used to make a shopping list and devide who would buy which food. As the others from my group all lived together in a flat they bought most of the food together and I would just buy one dinner and some small stuff for everyone.
All in all I had the feeling that for once the planning was timely and rather uncomplicated. Also during the trip I felt like our group was really well prepared. Going by bike also meant that we could go to a supermarket whenever we needed.
Especially when the groups are rather big it seems as if one person sometimes has to decide what to do. Even though we did not really have a leader at different points some people did just take the lead. For example when it was raining in the night it was actually one person who decided to set up the tent. She just got up and started doing it which was a good way of motivating us to do the same and help her.
In most situations that did not need a fast decision someone would also just make a suggestion and wait wether there was objections against that or not. If not we would just go with the suggestion. But if there were objections a discussion would start. Then it depended on the arguments but also on the people who would make them and the way they were made wether they were accepted or not. Personally it is not too easy for me to make suggestions and also get them through. Luckily it is rather easy for me to accept different kinds of decisions. The ways we took were alwys nice so I was very happy.
What I learned
First of all: planning a bikingroute is nice (and important) but it should never be taken too serious. On our way to the lighthouse our group decided to go a route longer than planned but closer to the coastline. The streets were rather small and we had a nice view in very sunny and warm weather. Another reason for planning routes never on the limit of what one is able to achieve is that it is quite possible to loose ones way. When we were biking we lost our way quite some times. Especially annoying was one rather long hill that we biked up on the first day just to realize at the top that we had to go it down and back again. Overall we went about 90 kilometers the first day, which was about 20 kilometers more than originally planned. The other days went a bit more according to plan and covered a bit shorter distances.
Second: Sleeping under the stars or putting up sheters or tents? This question really decides on how nice ones night is going to be but also on how much to pack. We decided to carry the tents along for feeling safer all the time but since the weather was pretty good we would just sleep without putting them up. We just layed down on the tarp in places with a nice view, especially close to the sea. The learning outcome: sleeping unsheltered close to the sea can mean a lot of wind in the face. Especially since the wind got stronger during the night I felt cold and warm at the same time and tried to turn the hood of my sleepingback against the wind. For this reason we searched for a more sheltered place from the wind for the next night. But we did not think that even though the weatherforecast predicted a beautiful and dry night it would start to rain at abaout five am. At first we just tried to ignore it and hope it would stop soon. But as the rain got heavier the tents were put up. This was managed in a rather short time. So at least we learned how to set up a tent fast. We also learned something about not sleeping too much since (even though it stopped raining as soon as we set up the tents) it took us some time to go back to sleep. Additionally we had to pack the tents rather soon and fast in the morning since asomeone passing by was displeased with them. So about camping we also learned that in areas where many people pass through shelters/ sleeping in the open can be better suited than tents. Or just hiding oneself a bit better 😉