How I Planned the Route
I planned my route before the trip during my free time at home using Google Maps and Mapy.cz. However, Google Maps has limitations because it may not indicate suitable winter routes for bicycles due to some roads being closed in the winter.
An important resource for planning was https://www.sykkelveg.no/latest, where Norwegian tunnels and marked bicycle routes are displayed. I’m not sure about the update frequency of this map, but I didn’t encounter significant issues with it during my journey. You can also check street view to see if there are any restrictions before entering a tunnel.
During my bicycle journey to Nordkapp, my intention was to connect with nature, so I generally avoided larger cities and opted for exploring areas outside urban agglomerations. I often checked street view for picturesque spots, both before and during the trip, using my phone while on the road. Once in Scandinavia, in addition to the planned route, I would also check when the next store would be, as if you plan your route “well,” you might not encounter a store for up to 300 kilometers. Typically, the longest stretches without stores were up to two days of travel.
Packing for Nordkapp
Unfortunately, my bicycle frame, which was absolutely not designed by the manufacturer for this type of touring, began to flex under the weight of such bicycle panniers. This made the ride uncomfortable and even dangerous. Initially, I considered the Voyager trailer for standard bicycle panniers, but I ended up with the Brave model, complete with two 35-liter panniers. Thanks to their design, these panniers hold their shape very well and provide ample storage capacity. They can even accommodate bulky items with ease. Additionally, the construction is lightweight, and the trailer wheel is the same size as the one on my bicycle. In case of any issues, I can use the same spare tube as on the bike.
Nordkapp by Bicycle: Before and After the Trip – Practical Tips and Inspiration
The matter looked twofold. During the planning stage at home, I selected places for overnight stays in the wild using Google Maps and Street View. On the road, if I deviated from the plan, I searched for accommodations in the same way but using my phone rather than a computer. Another thing to note is that sometimes accommodations happened by chance, as was the case in the Lofoten Islands when some Poles approached me and offered a place to stay. There were also times when I didn’t have internet access, which was rare compared to Poland, where I feel like there are many more areas without coverage, and in those situations, I simply looked around the area while cycling.
Other tools I used included maps:
- Budy Sweden
- And maps of Finnish cabins
Access to Finnish infrastructure is not always straightforward by bike, but thanks to these tools, I could plan quite a bit. In most cases in Sweden and Finland, there’s a place for lodging, making a campfire, and having fuel.
Cycling to Nordkapp by bike: How much does it cost?