Countdown to Our Bicycle Tour

We have now been in Finland for a week. It has been a week of fine-tuning the bikes, shopping for our bicycle tour and spending time with family and friends.

Shopping for bicycle tour beds
Better safe than sorry 😂

And SLEEP. Lots of it.

I can’t remember the last time we both slept this well or this much. The last few weeks leading up to flying over to Finland were hectic and sleep was in short supply. Especially during the last few nights before we travelled.

There was so much to do with packing and organising the cleaning of the flat, making sure we had our COVID certificates, booking the bike boxes on to our flight… The list seemed endless.

Add to that the uncertainty of what travelling was going to be like, and we were in for some sleepless nights.

We have certainly made up for the lost sleep now. It is so quiet here at my parents’ and getting plenty of fresh air is magic for good sleep.

This week has been crucial for getting the bikes in tiptop shape and getting all the bicycle touring equipment ready.

Test ride to Tauvo beach

Initially, we planned to start the bicycle tour on the first of August, but then realised it would be too much of a rush. We then changed the start date by a week and we’re so glad we did. We needed this time to make sure we have everything we need and that the bikes are touring ready.

I won’t bore you with all the details on the bike-tuning but they included replacing the break discs on Justins’s bike. Rather important to have breaks that work perfectly when you are riding down a hill on a bike loaded with gear.

My bike didn’t need any work other than minor adjustments with the seat and handlebars, but we had to get front and back racks for it for the panniers. Sounds simple enough, but it took three trips to the bike shop to get the right racks.

We also had to choose the right tent, sleeping bags and mattresses. When your tent is your home for two-and-a-half months, you want to make it as comfortable as possible. Once we have tried and tested them for a few weeks, we’ll write a review on them.

My niece in her football shirt

We also needed to get smaller items including a gas cooker, plates and cutlery, a solar panel charger and light for the tent. We hope we have now thought of everything. Of course we can pick things up along the bicycle tour if we notice we are missing something.

But it hasn’t been just sleeping and tuning the bikes.

It’s been great to spend time with family and friends. We have watched my niece play football and played frisbee golf with her and my brother. I think the proper name in English is disc golf, but frisbee golf has a nicer sound to it.

We have done a few rides to test our bikes, including one to Tauvo which is a beautiful beach about 25 kilometres out of town.

And shortly, we will begin our journey north towards Nuorgam, the northernmost point of the European Union. This is where we start our ride on Sunday 8th August.

As well as prepartions for bicycle tour, we played frisbee golf
My brother and niece playing frisbee golf

We had to abandon the plan to start from Norway, as we would have had to go into quarantine there. So the new plan is to ride from the northernmost to the southernmost point of the EU instead.

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Until next time!

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