Wednesday, 23 July 2014

What's best? Trailer vs. panniers

Panniers or trailer? That's the question many potential bike tourers will ask themselves. There are many a few options and they've all got advantages and disadvantages. As part of your planning you need to make a decision on what you would like to use. I can't tell you what to choose, only what my experiences are.

Monday, 7 July 2014


“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” 
― Albert Einstein

This gapyear has been, and still is, all about trying new things and challenging myself both mentally and physically. It's about trying and doing things I haven't done before. It's about enjoying life.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Thank you!

The bike part is over, well almost. I'm still biking up to Brisbane, but that's only two days. But I made it across, Perth to Sydney. Over 5000 km on a bike. It's been hard, but a hell of an adventure. I've learned so much about myself and seen parts of Australia very few foreigners have.

There are so many people I need to thank, I don't even know where to begin, but I'll give it my best.

My friends in Perth; Dian, Ben, Dawn and Roxanne who put me up and helped me get organised when I arrived in Perth. Thanks Dian for posting on my behalf on Facebook whenever I managed to use a payphone to call or text you! A special thanks to Ben who helped me a lot on my first day when I had an accident. 14 km outside a piece of cardboard got caught underneath my back wheel. Bike went left, trailer went right and I went forward. I had cuts everywhere... (Have a nice scar to remember this trip by on my right arm). He came and picked me up and dropped me off at the bike shop to get it sorted.

To Amber and her family in Albany for having me for a week. Really nice!

To Nicole and her boyfriend for letting me stay one week in Esperance, charging my batteries for the Nullarbor crossing. I wish her the very best on her adventures in Europe and hope to see her again.

To the staff at Fraser Range Station for helping me when I had some trouble with my trailer just over 100 km into Nullarbor.

To a "fellow" Welshman Martin Bevan whom I met at one of the roadhouses. Took about five minutes before we both got a Welsh accents back, scary. He was kind enough to give me a solar panel so I could charge my phone. Also thanks to his misses, Angela plus Brian and his wife for the fun company.

To the truckie Ian who gave me a lift to Port Augusta when my trailer and bike completely broke down!

To my friend Paul in Quorn (just outside Port Augusta) for picking me up, hosting me and helping me getting my bike sorted. Great guy with an brilliant insight into biking.

To James, for his comments and messages that cheered me up.

To Louise and Kerstin in the Clare Valley for teaching me about amazing Australian wine!

To Humphrey and Michelle for taking me in to their home in Renmark and showing me where out citrus fruits come from. I immediately felt at home there! So nice. If you're ever at one of the farmers markets in South Australia or Victoria keep an eye out for Fat Goose Fruits.

To ABC Renmark for having a chat with me on air. Great fun!

To John & Monique in Wagga Wagga for letting me stay and looking after me.

I need to give a huge thanks to John, my good friend u in Bathurst. A couple of weeks before I was due to arrive, I messaged him on Couchsurfing about staying. He immediatly got in touch and helped me stay motivated when I was feeling quite down. He also organised an interview with the WIN news channel, giving the charities some PR. Then when I got to Bathurst he put me up and showed me all around the local area. Great guy, with a cracking sense of humour. So thank you so much John!

To my relatives in Dubbo, who served me Norwegian kjøttkaker og brun saus (meatballs and brown sauce) and welcomed me into their home. I hope to see them in Norway some time soon!

To Hannah and Matt for giving me a warm welcome in Sydney. They showed me where you can get the biggest schnitzel in Australia. It's huge! I wish them the very best with their house restoration.

To my friend Martine (or Marty) in Newcastle for making me apart of her life for a few days. So much fun that  girl! Hope she has a great time when she's going travelling around Africa.

To my good friend Peter and his partner for having me her in Mullumbimby. Peter was the cyclist who I met at Fraser Range Station by accident and we ended up doing the majority of the Nullarbor crossing together. It was nice to have someone to talk to after a day with constant headwind. We didn't even need to say much. You could almost see how saddle soar we were just by our facial expression. He headed home and we agreed I would come and visit them in July. Been great so far!

To my friends, family and loved ones in Norway, UK, New Zealand and other countries who shared my Facebook page, donated to the charities and sent me messages to keep me going. I kept pictures with me of people I care about and focused on their messages, that got me through the really tough days. Thank you!

To all the other people I've stayed with across Australia, who made sure I was well fed and got to see the local sights.

And of course, a thank you post wouldn't be complete without thanking ones mother. My amazing mother basically managed all publicity back home in Norway. She would talk to newspapers, radio stations and more to get them to feature this project. She even had access to my Facebook page and blog, scary... Only kidding. She did a great job and Sykehusklovnene now have 10 000 kr / $2000 to help children in Norway.

To all the others I haven't mentioned, THANK YOU ALL!

Friday, 4 July 2014


I hereby withdraw the previous post; I didn't quit, I finished. I'M DONE.

I've crossed Australia :D

Thursday, 3 July 2014


Australia you win. I quit, sort of. I've had it with poor quality roads, trucks rushing past and narrow «highways». Today I was almost run over by a truck. Luckily for me I suppose, it was roadworks there so he was probably going around 60-70 km/h. I don't know how, but he only managed to hit my right rear pannier. I managed to pull over to the side, get my legs out and find my balance. And after a few deep breaths and a nice selection of swear words, I carried on. What choice did I have? Luckily it was only about 4 km to the exit. I got to Kempsey and went straight to the tourist information. I asked «Is the road going to be like this all the way up to Byron Bay?» «Yes». She told me it's windy, hilly, hardly any shoulder and roadworks the entire way up to Byron Bay (about 350 km from where I am now). She herself apparently almost had an accident the other week.

Then I texted the people I was supposed to stay with a bit further up (who are bikers) and they said she was right. They also had a biker staying with them yesterday who experienced a similar almost-accident as me.

So here I am, standing in my lycra tights in an tourist office, asking myself: Is that record of becoming the first Norwegian to cycle from Perth to Brisbane worth my life?» After a couple of seconds I came to the obvious conclusion; no. So the tourist office helped me book a bus ticket onboard the night bus. I've had it.

Am I disappointed? To be honest, not really. Yes it would have been cool to say I cycled all the way up, I'll admit that. But in my mind I've already made it. I made it across Nullarbor and into Sydney. I'm proud of myself for having done that. Also I've met some amazing people on the way, who shown me their life and giving me heaps of advice (and support). So thanks to them!

Now that I've calmed down, had a shower and food; do I regret booking a bus ticket? ABSOLUTELY NOT. This trip lost its fun factor a few hundred kilometers ago. Today was just that one drop to fill the bucket. And you know what? I might not be the first Norwegian to cross Australia Perth to Brisbane, but I made it to Sydney so I'm damn proud of that. Besides, I've managed to raise almost $3000 for children s charities. That's worth it.

Plan now is to take the bus from Kempsy to Byron Bay (349 km), then bike 18 km up to Mullumbimby where my mate Peter lives. So plan to stay there for a few days. Then bike up to the Gold Coast, stay there for a bit, and head up towards Brisbane. So I'll be biking from Byron Bay and up, but there I'll be able to stay off the highway the majority of the way.

I hope people understand that I'm not making this decision lightly and that I haven't let all of you down.

So now I intend to enjoy the last part of my trip, regardless of todays event. I'm getting to Brisbane, one way or another.

Australia du vinner. Jeg slutter, nesten. Jeg har fått nok av elendige veier, lastebiler susende forbi og smale "hovedveier". Idag blei jeg nesten påkjørt av en lastebil. Heldigvis for me, var det veiarbeid der so han kjørte i rundt 60-70 km/t. Jeg veit ikke hvordan, men han traff bare bakerste bagen min. Jeg klarte å styre inn til sida, få ut beina og finne balansen. Og etter et par pust og et godt utvalg av banneord, fortsatte jeg. Hva annet kunne jeg gjøre? Heldigvis var det bare 4 km til avkjøringa. Jeg kom fram til Kempsey og dro rett til turistinformasjonen. Jeg spurte «Kommer veien til å være slik hele veien opp til Byron Bay?» «Ja». Hu fortalte meg at det er svingete, bakker, nesten ikke no veskulder og veiarbeid hele veien opp til Byron Bay (ca. 350 km fra hvor jeg er nå). Hun hadde visstnok en nesten-ulykke selv på den veien for litt siden.

Så sendte jeg melding til et par jeg hadde planlagt å være hos litt lengre opp (som er sykklister) og de sa hu hadde rett. De hadde også en annen syklist som var hos dem igår og han hadde hatt en lignende nesten-ulykke som meg.

Så her står jeg, i lycra tights i et turist kontor, og spør meg selv: Er dette rekordforsøket om å bli den første nordmannen til å sykle fra Perth til Brisbane verdt livet mitt?» Etter et par sekunder kom jeg frem til den åpenbare konklusjonen: nei. Så de hjalp meg med å kjøpe en bussbillett ombord nattbussen. Jeg har fått nok.

Er jeg skuffa? For å være helt ærlig, ikke egentlig. Ja det hadde vært kult å kunne si at jeg sykla hele veien opp, det kan jeg innrømme. Men oppi mitt hodet har jeg allerede klart det. Jeg klarte å komme meg over Nullarbor og inn til Sydney. Jeg er stolt over meg selv for å ha klart det. I tillegg har jeg møtt mange utrolig mennesker på veien, som har vist meg deres liv og gitt meg haugevis med råd (og støtte). Så takk til dem!

Nå som jeg har fått roa meg ned, tatt en dusj og fått mat: angrer jeg på at jeg kjøpte en bussbillett? ABSOLUTT IKKE. Denna turen mista «artig-delen» for noen hundere kilometer sia. Idag var bare den siste dråpen i glasset. Og vit du hva? Jeg blir kanskje ikke den første nordmannen til å krysse Australia, Perth til Brisbane, men jeg kom meg til Sydney og det er jeg fanden meg stolt over. Uavhengig av det, så har jeg klart å samle inn over 14 000 kr / $3000 til barn. Det er gjør det verdt det.

Planen nå er å ta bussen fra Kempsy til Byron Bay (349 km), så sykle 18 km opp til Mullumbimby hvor kompissen min Peter bor. Planen er så å være her noen dagen. Etter det bærer det opp til Gold Coast, bli der en stund, og så opp til Brisbane. Så jeg skal sykle fra Byron Bay og opp, men kan da holde meg unna hoveveien mesteparten av tida.

Jeg håper folk forstår at jeg ikke har tatt lett på denne avgjørelsen og at dere ikke føler jeg har svikta dere.

Så nå har jeg tenkt til å nyte resten av turen min, uavhengig av dagens hendelse. Jeg skal til Brisbane på en eller annen måte.