I don’t think I titled my previous announcement post very well, as lots of people are wondering why I keep tweeting about Norway. Well, in a few days’ time I’ll be in Oslo, preparing to leave the city for a month of ice-biking in rural Scandinavia.
Unfortunately I’m still relatively poor, having not found much income from post-Ride Earth media yet. Book-writing and filmmaking are financial catch-22’s — you rarely know if you’ll be able to sell the product until you’ve finished making it (unless you’re lucky enough to have got an advance from a publisher). So, as I can’t afford to buy into the world of high-performance, high-price-tag winter clothing, I’ll see how I get on with my old skiing kit. It’s worked for numerous short trips and a season of ski-guiding in the Alps, and I don’t see why it shouldn’t work well for cycling in the snow and ice — both being relatively low-exertion but long-duration activities. Everything else I’ll hunt down on eBay and in TK Maxx — a surprisingly good source of cheap outdoor clothing.
I can expect the inland temperature to remain well below zero throughout February, getting down to ‑10°C or lower on particularly nippy days, lower still at altitude, and down to ‑20°C or ‑25°C during the nights. It’s going to take some getting used to, and that of course is part of the appeal of this trip. But I’m pretty confident in my Exped Downmat 7 Pump sleeping pad for the nights. A few fleeces, hats and Buffs for the riding, plus an extra set of dry thermals for the night-time, and I expect I’ll be toasty.sleeping bag and
Extrawheel have sent a prototype trailer to test out, and Schwalbe are supplying a set of their Ice Spiker Pro tyres. I have a feeling I may well be glad of them. So, with my kit still splayed all over the floor in my parents’ conservatory, it’s time I started packing…