Day 4: The Darkness

The days are short, barely enough to tire me out after riding from sunrise to sunset. I could continue into the night if I needed to, with the energy I have. But – let’s face it – that would be pointless.

Norway moon

15 hours of darkness sounds like a lot, but the reality is more subtle. At this latitude, the sun seems to be permanently rising and setting together, low in the sky, casting long shadows even at midday. It’s a photographer’s paradise.

It follows that the twilight hours are wonderfully protracted. Light still lingering in the sky more than two hours after sunset means that actual riding time is extended by a fair amount.

Norway winter skyline

I’ve yet to drag myself out of the sleeping bag early enough to make use of the pre-dawn light, however. The temperature has fallen and that together with the sudden onslaught of all-day exercise has left my body beaten. I lie now in my tent, insulated by a down jacket and 2 sleeping bags, trying to ignore the ache in my right elbow as I lean on it to type this article.

I can keep going for a couple more days, but soon I’ll need a day off, and that will mean finding a local host, as I can’t afford the accommodation rates here. It’s a tough enough place to do this in winter without the knowledge that hotels and hostels are out of reach.

Bridge by night

The night is long, but I’ve plenty to keep myself occupied. Running a daily blog is a new project for me; I’ve never travelled with a laptop and 3G modem before, and needless to say the conditions make it tempting to forget the updates and head directly for the warmth of the sleeping bag. My rusty routine actually helps to fill the waking hours of the night – if I were as efficient as I once was, I’d have a lot more time to waste!

Campsite

It’s -12°C and falling. This is far more prefereable to anywhere close to zero, which would result in a lot of damp equipment. But I hope it doesn’t fall much further…

Outdoor candle

Schwalbe bicycle tyres, Extrawheel single-wheel trailers

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4 Responses to “Day 4: The Darkness”

  1. James dean

    The weather sounds pretty hardcore tom, good luck with the -12!!! I’m doing my first solo bike ride 12th this month for a week in the lakes, not sure what to expect, I’ve all the gear and no idea! So it’ll be good to get out there and test myself.
    The blogs very inspirational so keep it up mate.

    Reply
  2. James Newton

    How are the gloves and boots holding out?
    Here’s hoping you find a great host soon!
    I’d like to see a photo of you wrapped up, typing blog in said tent!

    Reply
    • Tom

      Ooh, ok – lets see if I can muster the will to set up a shot like that! It’s enough of a struggle to bash out these blogs after a day on the road…

      Reply

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