NorthCape 4000 (NC4K)

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  • Hands up, anyone else riding this year?

    Provisional route links:
    Part 1 -

    Part 2 -

    Part 3 -

    Finalised route still not released with 6 weeks to go, ho hum.

  • Just me then! I'll just drop planning stuff here for anyone thinking of doing it in the future.

    The finalised route was released last week, a few 100km sections in Sweden and Norway without food/ gas stations to make things interesting. The ferry from Denmark to Oslo only runs once a day as well, so is rather tactical. I haven't gone over the bit from Turin to Denmark yet as it seems like the lower priority, there should be plenty in the way of food stops.

    My excellent plan of taking the train to the start (TGV from Paris to Turin) has been scuppered by a mudslide near Modane, taking out all France-Italy train travel for the whole of July apparently, freight trains included. A few hours of googling and sitting on hold with SNCF has got me to Lyon, then a 5 hour bus to Turin. I'll also only know if there's space for my bike on said bus 48 hours before it leaves, which is just fab. Still not as complicated as the return from Nordkapp (ferry to Tromso, train to oslo, ferry to Frederikshavn, local trains to Hook of Holland, ferry to Harwich, cycle home).

  • In the worst case you could fly to Turin but you probably know that already. You could also take the train from elsewhere eg Nice?

  • Flight is the last resort, and has also tripled in price since I looked two weeks ago...

    I did think about the train from Nice, but it still takes 5 hours from there and 2 changes on trains in Italy. I’m not thrilled about the bus to Turin, but it does at least get me in around 9pm rather than 11-12 if going via Nice.

  • Made it to Turin by train yesterday, built the bike up this morning, registered this afternoon. We’re using a different type of tracker (called Endu) which needs to be charged by usb, and has a battery life of only 30 hours, which may or may not end up being a pain. Just another item in the list of things to charge.

    The thunderstorms have rolled in tonight, it’s looking like a few days of torrential rain, including through the alps tomorrow. I’m hoping this vindicates my choice to refit my mudguards, but they won't exactly keep me any drier.

    Live tracking map is here, and I’m rider 96.

  • Good luck dude!

  • good luck, will bookmark to follow alongside TCR, looks a cool route.

  • Good luck!

  • Good luck!

  • Looks like @CowHen is happily competing in the mid field. Currently waiting for the Norway bound ferry by the looks of things. Should be on the ferry this morning and in Oslo early this evening.

    Let us know how it’s going Paul! Sure I’m not the only one keeping a tab open.

  • On the ferry! It’s been a bit of a mad dash to make it, a lot of people have been gunning it for this Friday morning (save the two who made Thursday morning...). 340km average each day, with a shorter first day due to 8am start and having to get across the alps.

    Feelings have been fluctuating hourly for the last week, it’s amazing how much a tiny setback can get amplified (with 15 hours riding each day, a 30 minute delay means 3.5 rather than 4 hours sleep...). On the other hand, a pretty sunset or a well-stocked petrol station becomes the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen.

    Really happy to have made this ferry though - I’d set out a provisional schedule for each day and amazingly stuck to it every day. The bike has been running well so far (two p*nctures and a small crash but all ok). Knees and arse are sore af but still turning over. Splashed out on a hotel last night so feeling a bit fresher, plus got 9 hours to rest on the ferry. There will definitely be people planning on riding through the night when we arrive, but I won’t be one of them. I’m looking forward to taking it a bit easier now that I’ve made the ferry, give myself a chance to take in the surroundings.

    It’s also weirdly fun knowing that people back home can track me, my aunt and uncle are absolutely loving it - it’s nice to know you’re checking in too! I’ll try and post some more updates here, otherwise instagram is my main outlet.

  • Amazing! Rest assured I've been following your graming with much interest. Good luck with the rest of it!

  • You're going great rider 96. Quite a bunch up for the ferry.

  • Amazing effort! Keep at it!

    Instagram handle please

  • paulc.ohen should get me

  • Following. Photos look ace, totally in awe of this kind of thing.

  • Paul (cap #96) still going strong – allez allez

  • Tracker not working but now in Lofoten and smashin pizza according to insta. At it!

  • Whoop whoop!

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  • Whoop whoop indeed, I’m rather bloody pleased with how this all turned out. The last week has been a very different beast to the first - lots of people stretching the elastic and leapfrogging others, only to lose their lead the next day. My luck changed around day 9 after I’d had a few punctures and fallen behind the day before. I ended up teaming up with Jason Black #124 around Ostersund, and spent the last 5 days reeling people in. The last 3 days essentially turned into a 1000km long 2-up time trial. Learnt a lot riding with him too, he’s bloody strong and would’ve been at the pointy end if not for a crash and subsequent mechanicals.

    We caught Bruno Ferraro the day before yesterday and the 3 of us rode in this morning around 2am, joint 6th place at 13d 18h 15m. About a day and a half ahead of my original plan... it’s been a bit annoying not having my tracker working for the last few days, but not too bad as I was with someone else the whole time. Would not recommend using Endu trackers, such a hassle having to charge each day and then not working reliably/ only updating every 15 minutes at best.

    Injury-wise, my right ankle is still swollen but hopefully it’ll recover soon with some rest. Knees are creaking and making stairs v slow, and my gooch has been predictably massacred. Tooth brushing fell by the wayside a bit, and 10 snickers a day has left my tongue raw.

    Now the plan is to eat constantly for the next week. Taking the ferry/ trains all the way back to london so will have ample opportunity for rest. I tried to keep a vocal record of the race and will try and do a fuller write up once I’ve listened back to the recordings.

  • nice one. sounds like a good adventure. be good to hear those recordings when you have them. enjoy the rest

  • Yeah, well done @CowHen.

  • I ended up teaming up with Jason Black #124 around Ostersund, and spent the last 5 days reeling people in. The last 3 days essentially turned into a 1000km long 2-up time trial.

    Isn't it an unsupported race?

  • It’s a bit weird, it’s unsupported externally but they allow riding together/ drafting. It makes it ride a bit more like a regular bike race (ie. alliances made on the road, riding tactically) and means the advantages of riding solo are diminished. The two first riders actually rode together all the way from Oslo and crossed the line together. They’d also got the ferry a day before everyone else though, and actually lost time over the last week - their original lead of 24 hours went down to around 18 by the finish.

  • Interesting. This is the obvious back-up event if you don't get into TCR. Last year Ian Walker solo'd it to win. But allowing drafting completely puts me off from wanting to do it. It's a bit of a shame as, for the most part, it would make no difference, but it would really undermine my motivation if I was slogging away on my own somewhere and I knew that others were drafting.

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NorthCape 4000 (NC4K)

Posted by Avatar for CowHen @CowHen