Day 27: To Bodø, The End Of The Line

So here it is, after four weeks on the road; the signboard that tells me that my final destination is a mere 60 kilometres distant. Fuelled by coffee and pork chops, I set about demolishing this finishing stretch, wrestling with trucks and cars over the right to use the asphalt.

The road to Bodo

This final stretch could hardly be more dismal a slog. The weather turns sour. Drivers seem out to kill me. The wind becomes dangerously gusty. And on the outskirts of Bodø itself, it begins to rain. Yes, rain. By the time I get to the city centre I am damp and shivering, colder than I’ve been for the entire journey – yet it’s 4 degrees above zero. Oh, the irony.

But this is all incidental to the fact that I’ve achieved what I set out to do. Or, to be more accurate, achieved what I decided I would do, having already set out and taken a measure of the task. Initially I’d thought of riding to Tromsø, another four hundred kilometres or so north from here, but I decided against it after it became apparent that covering that distance would involve more compromises than I wanted to make. The only abstract target I truly wanted to hit was the Arctic Circle, which I crossed a couple of days ago.

So why Bodø? Mainly because it’s the end of the line – the railway line that will take me and my bike back to Oslo on Thursday evening. It seems a convenient point at which to end this little trip, perched as I am now on a tiny spit of land jutting out into the Norwegian sea.

It’s been a bit of everything, the last month. It’s been an ultimately challenging, varied and unforgettable adventure. In fact, it’s surpassed all my hopes in every department.

But now is not the time for retrospection and reflection. That will be a pleasure I’ll take in the coming days as I travel home – and, of course, for many weeks, months and years to come.

And if my diaries have made your February a bit brighter, just pop your email address into the box in the sidebar and hit “Subscribe”. Then, when I hit the road for another adventure, you’ll be the first to know.

Self-portrait on the way to Bodo

Schwalbe bicycle tyres, Extrawheel single-wheel trailers

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18 Responses to “Day 27: To Bodø, The End Of The Line”

  1. Tom Greenwood

    Well done Tom!

    Your blogs of hardship and beauty have brightened the slog through my dissertation!

    Reply
  2. andy welch

    lovely job

    Reply
  3. fubek

    great stuff, thanks for letting me follow your trip
    and wow photos too!

    Reply
  4. Rolf

    Well done Tom! Hope I can “join” you for the next trip as well!

    Reply
  5. knebworthchap

    That was just brilliant tom.
    A huge thank you for sharing your trip.

    Safe home.

    Reply
  6. Liz

    Well done, Tom! 🙂
    It’s been a privilege to share your journey through your briiliant daily blogs and wonderful photos.
    Wishing you a safe journey home.
    xx

    Reply
  7. Becs

    Yay and whoop! It’s been great to read about it all along the way… Looking forward to hearing some more stories face to face…
    I’ll cook some pork chops in return (with Marmite and cheese, remember??)
    Rest up in the journey home…xx

    Reply
  8. lilalia

    Congratulations. This February greyness has been lightened with the sharing of your journey. Thank you so much for the stories and the images. I can’t quite figure out how you managed all those kilometers and blogging as well. Looking forward to reading about your journey home (hopefully after you’ve managed a good wash) and your re-entry into your day-to-day life.

    Reply
  9. James Handlon

    Congratulations indeed! It’s been a pleasure following your daily blog, (how I wish I could blog daily), I am already looking forward to your next venture with anticipation! p.s. what software did you use for the photography post production?
    Have a good journey home.

    Reply
    • Tom

      I’ve just started using Lightroom – very, very impressed with the power and control it gives you over your image.

      Reply
  10. Amaya

    Well done. Tom. Your arctic tales have more than brightened my February, they’ve inspired me to give a little cold weather cycling a try. Best of luck on the book project and thank you for sharingthe lovely photos and stories.

    Reply
    • Tom

      Wahey! I look forward to reading all about your winter cycling, when the time comes…

      (Amaya’s site http://www.worldbiking.info tells the ongoing story of a truly epic bicycle journey – 80,000km and counting – go follow now!)

      Reply
  11. Parkrunner

    Tom, I have so enjoyed your writing and feel as if I have done the trip with you. Well done and hope to hear lots more from you in the future. The photos were truly spectacular. I tried to put my email on the pop-up about your book but it doesn’t seem to work. Lykke for fremtidige turer

    Reply
    • Tom

      Thank you for letting me know, Susan – a little late-night programming and hopefully it’s now fixed 🙂

      Reply
  12. fruchtzwerg

    congratulations to reaching your goal! the blog was a fantastic read! shame you won’t come up to tromso, maybe on a future (summer) cycle?
    looking forward to reading about your next adventures 🙂

    Reply
  13. Sven

    Thank you for sharing, Tom. I’ve enjoyed everything, but especially your pictures which are outstanding. If you ever consider the last leg to Tromsø, I recommend a summer ride through Lofoten > Svolvær >the outer side of Andøya > Gryllefjord and then Senja > Kvaløy > Tromsø. I did it two years ago and it was absolutely stunning. July/August have the best weather statistics.

    One question: I am looking for boots that will keep me warm when commuting in the wintertime. What kind of boots did you use on this trip? And did they meet your needs through Østerdalen and Sweden?

    best regards, and travel safe!

    Reply
    • fruchtzwerg

      totally second the suggested route! have only been to parts and not on a bike (yet), but lofoten, senja and kvaløya are absolutely stunning!

      Reply
    • Tom

      I used a pair of Baffin Mountain boots. They were good but I still got cold feet! I might suggest something from their -60C-rated range.

      Thanks for the route suggestion, it sounds great – one for the to-do list 😀

      Reply

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