Assignment 4: Self organized Bike trip
Southernmost point of Norway – Lindesnes
The week after receiving an introduction into travelling and touring on a bike and planning a day trip on the bikes, we set out onto a 3-day bike-camping trip to the southernmost point of Norway. The trip would take us 3 days for a total of 218km.
How did you plan your trip, aids, info etc.?
The planning started by dividing our course in two groups of 12 people. After that these were then again divided into groups of 4. The planning started at that point. We figured out a plan together by talking about our options and wishes for the upcoming days. As the weather forecast was perfect, we were highly motivated to go further and longer. We soon decided, uniformly, to go to Lindesnes. By looking at maps of the area as well as reading up on that site it was easy to figure out a proper route. As there is a wide network of good bike paths in the south of Norway, it was not difficult to decide on a road, less travelled by cars and the more scenic the best. We choose the road along the coast, which adds ups to more Kilometres but safer to travel on.
Another source of information, especially for the camping spots, were group members. Some of them were previously in the area or close to it and had suggestions on potential overnight spots. Also, locals that we then asked at the spot itself could help us and provided us with more information, or access to certain areas for our camp spot.
As it turned out, one of the other groups also planned the same trip as we did. After making sure that every team member would be ok with travelling together, we set out in a group of 8.
How did your trip function?
The Trip functioned extraordinarily well. The entire group enjoyed their time together. As the plan was predetermined and there was not much room for error or any change of plans, no conflict ensued. Every member had the same expectations of the trip and knew the route, which prevented any sort of misunderstandings.
We met all the criteria of our premade plan. We did all the kilometres we wanted for each day as well as camping in our predetermined overnight spots.
What group dynamic processes did you observe?
Teamwork and communication were the most obvious processes that could be observed on our trip. We checked on each other while riding the bikes or having a small break after some big hills to make sure that everybody is feeling well, and the tempo is manageable for everybody. As we rode together as a big group there were no smaller groups built or any people left out. Interesting to see on that trip was that with one group member a sort of leader position formed, as this one was the best informed/ always had his navigation/phone/map handy to make sure we were on the right track. Most group members started to automatically turn to him if the road followed was in question or the question of the whereabouts came up. Also, the group focused on the “weak” ones of the bunch either because of injury or fitness.
What have been the learning outcome from this trip?
As this was the first time, I was on an overnight bike trip, I had a completely new experience. Although I have experience on the bike, being on long bike tours on a road bike before as well as many camping trips. This one just felt more like combination of both, but in a more comfortable sitting position and in slower. For others, the choosing of the right type of clothing were valuable lessons as well as how much their body can take with an injury coming up.
As one small rainy weather surprise showed up in the middle of the second night, we all probably learned to either always use a bivy bag around your sleeping bag or putting up an improvised shelter using a tarp.