I travel a lot, and during my trips I meet different people: some are travellers like me, some are sedentary. People move by cars, by bicycles and by foot, and by interacting with all of them, I generate different thoughts and ideas. Some of those ideas turned into Biking Norway for Rugute.
I bought my bicycle, the first one after more than ten years, just this past year. When I was selecting a bike and was offered to test-ride it, I confessed to the salesman I had lost my bike riding skills. But he assured me: No skills are necessary, just get on it and ride it! So I did: I rode 2303 kilometers from Nordkapp to Oslo.
This trip was different from my previous trips. It was not just my trip. It was a trip made by all of us, connected by one goal – to support Rugute. I really hope that this ride will encourage my supporters to take their rusty bikes out of the basements and to take a look around. Right next to us, there are people who are facing much steeper hills than they are able to climb, and who are dealing with storms in their lives much earlier than expected. It is good to know that Rugute is always near these people, and that it always holds an umbrella for them, and removes a few rocks from their gravelly roads.
Norway is a mountainous country. The mountains I got to bike through were not very high (the highest spot I reached was 1060 m), but were quite frequent and steep. Ironically, the highest and steepest hills were the easiest to ride to. However, there were some small hills that I would have gladly flattened out...
Tunnels always come with the mountains. I am often asked: How do you ride in tunnels...? The tunnels were my favorite part of the trip. The longest tunnel I biked at was 8530 m long, but the one I hated the most was only 800 meters long. I zipped through it in one minute, at 50km/h speed, because it went right down, and then rose right up. Cars and trucks were flying past me, and I was speeding in the dark. It was like a roller coaster, except I had no seat belt and I soon realized I was holding the steering wheel of my whole life in my own hands.
I don’t know why people assume that I must have gotten tired and cold, and that I have experienced lots of adventures during my ride. The trip was really simple: I got up, I pedalled and ate and pedalled and ate and pedalled and went to sleep, and in the next morning I repeated the whole thing over. The only thing that was changing was the environment around me: a mountain behind the corner, tundra or woods at the next turn, sometimes a fjord, a lake or a river. Sometimes it rained, sometimes the sun was shining and sometimes the sky threatened me with rain...
Travelling in the North is simple: I followed a single road for 1700 km. When the road went up, I pedalled up too, and when it went down, I rode down too. I followed it in straight lines and snakey curves, wondering what the next turn would bring. I learned two things: every mountain can grow bigger behind the turn, and every steep hill, sooner or later, grants you a fun descent. Once I reached Trondheim, there were more roads to choose from. Sometimes there were so many roads I had trouble finding the right one, but, instead, the right road always found me.
I think that everyone of us could bike from Nordkapp to Oslo. Anyway, all of us are already travelling on our own path of life. Sometimes we fly on it as if it was a highway, and sometimes we climb a steep, gravelly hill, carrying a heavy load. I had both kinds of experiences in my trip, just like in everyday life. So, if you feel like you are on a highway of your life today, remember, that there are people nearby, whose roads lead to steep mountains. If we took their backpacks off their shoulders, we could make it easier for them to climb those mountains.
Step by step, every person can travel around the world. This thought kept twirling in my head, especially when I was slowly climbing towards a top of some steep hill. It is fun to know that somebody supports you. One night I had to stay in the middle of tundra. The storm clouds were gathering in the sky and there were no living houses in a 30 km radius. Then I received a text message on my cell phone that said Regards from a lot of people!, and the clouds seemed clearer immediately. I want to thank all the people who read my posts, who supported me and who donated money for this cause. I believe that we will meet again in my future trips.
During the campain Biking Norway for Rugute 2012, the kind people donated 6728,03 Lt (~1948.57 EUR) (updated on Nov. 8, 2012).
You may see the photos of the trip in the photo gallery
Although the ride is over, you can still contribute to the cause in the following ways:
I kindly ask you to share this information with your friends. I sincerely thank you for your support and encouragement, and wish you a beautiful day.
Vilgaile Kira Purlyte