19 Days North Cycling Adventure | Day 6
There is one and only ONE GOAL today: the peak of Scandinavian, Galdhøpiggen. The distance is just 18 KM, usually takes less than 40 minutes for me, but this time with a rise in elevation of 1900 M at meanwhile is something I definitely NEVER tried before. I learned that the end of the road is not really the peak, but a tourist station. People can group up there and a guide will lead all hiking to the peak through glaciers. I began to hesitate if I shall take the bus there and join hiking tour, anyway it also sounds interesting. Not before next second I slapped myself: Having taken the bike and all gears from thousand miles away, just for show up? As the return route will also pass by the hotel, I leave part of the luggage in hotel and set off.
The zigzag road winded up hills. When it really came to the climbing part, it is so steep that I just ride with speed of around 7 KM/H, even though I can’t insist it for long. The gradient measures out to be floating around 10%, it’s indeed hard for me with the 20 KG old bike to proceed. I got off the bike and start to slowly push it up with speed around 3-4 KM/H.
Silently I push it with face bowed at ground, whole body wet by sweat. Sometimes cars driving by in a flash, comparably my speed is like an IDIOT. I don’t envy them, we are just with different goal.
A car passed by me from behind and stopped around hundred meters before me, then it suddenly slipped back slowly towards me. While I was launching the camera to shot this weirdo, it stopped aside me. Two friendly faces show up behind the window: Are you OK? Do you need any help?
I was deeply touched and said I’m fine. They double confirmed that and drove up away. Is here really high? I asked myself and raised my eyesight to surroundings. I’m still surrounded in greens, yet meanwhile it’s able to see some villages and rivers down there in birds view.
No idea how long it went, I arrived a rest station. A few tents spitted in highland camping site, some kids are playing simulate climbing games around the gate. There’s a lake nearby, I went fetched some water, suddenly realized the surroundings had apparently changed. The greens become much less, snow white is in dominance when I look up to the mountain. The sky is wrapped by clouds in grey, my goal is right there inside the clouds.
Despite I’m walking such slowly, the sense of calling and epic fulfilled my heart. Just this 18 KM, I know I will certainly get there sooner or later. I judge the gradient by my speed shown in bike computer, whenever it’s realized it’s less steep, I jumped on the bike joyfully – 7 KM/H comparing to 3.5 KM/H, double speed time!
Countless cars run beside me all way long, 5-6 times I saw people thumb up at me. I was encouraged, so not everybody thinks I’m doing stupid thing.
Pilgrim alike, I realized I’ve walked around 5 hours. I never get so close to the goal behind the clouds, I saw the peak of other hills in eye level. The snow which I must raise my head and look up there is now lying beneath my feet. It was somehow covered by a little red substance.
All way long there were stone monument placed by previous tourists, and sheep herds in high land. Peaks of other hills reflecting themselves in snows. Inside the dark clouds there appears some flashes. When I look down to the hills, it is magnificent view of valleys and rivers.
Not sure if it’s because I was highly driven by mental power, I never felt a little tired from the beginning, even though the clothes are completely – repeatedly wet by sweat. Nothing can stop me now. The goal is there, the road is here under my feet, I will arrive there without any doubt, there’s no any other possibility.
After around 6 hours, finally came the road to the end. It was already 4:00 PM, tourist started to leave. I bought some postcards, reward myself with two hot drinks, roughly explored the surroundings and was about to leave. Anyway I had to make my way to the camping site 40 KM away today. Surely this 40 KM are mostly down hills cycling. I recorded the videos of rushing down from the peak of Galdhøpiggen. Without doubt it’s a serious test for my brakes. As it was too steep, and all turning points are cliffs, I controlled the speed around 30-60 KM/H, and it last more than 30 minutes surf like that.
Despite it’s just the first day of my cycling, I fulfilled the most important goal to me. All coming difficulties in the following of the trip, will be nothing comparing to it.
This is a road I don’t want to leave. This is a memorial I don’t want to finish.