Day 10. Alta (car: Hammerfest). 11 km

Posted: July 17, 2012 in Cycling, Norway
Tags: , ,

My mind was turning over in my sleep. How could I fix the broken spoke? I knew all the options, but still I went through them all again. I was up early as usual (6:00) and had to wait till 10 when the bike shop opened. I started playing with the spokes but just made it all worse. I was given moral support from several different cyclists. One gave me some spokes. Also thanks to Marco Janssen who gave me tips via this blog. My wheel was beyond any sort of repair now, though.

Chris, from the group of 4 passed by on his way onward. Seeing him go was hard. I wanted to be on my way too..

The mechanic at the last remaining bike shop in Alta was on holidays. I then started ringing around, and found a bike shop in Hammerfest (140 km to the north) where the mechanic was not on holidays. A ray of hope opened out, and for the first time since my arrival in Alta I saw this spoke ordeal as an adventure to be lived ‘in the now’. I won’t have to see the north cape in a tourist bus or a car, and today will just be an obstacle to cross.

I went to the Alta airport and rented a very expensive car.

Renting a car

Renting a car


I then drove the route I will be cycling tomorrow. The road climbed and climbed to a big open plain. It reminded me of some of the landscape of the Flinders Ranges back home in Australia. Wide open spaces and little vegetation. It was beautiful.

The kilometers in a car went slower than on the bike. I hate driving, and seeing the scenery is like watching a movie. You don’t feel it, like on a bike. Tomorrow that will be different.

Hammerfest is a little town perched on the side of a bare mountain with a bike mechanic – my kind of place!! 😉

I bought a new wheel and had it fitted. Many thanks to the great help from the people at InterSport Hammerfest!!

Bike repairs in Hammerfest

Bike repairs in Hammerfest


Then it was time to return back home. Chris had just arrived in Skaidi – where the roads to the north cape and Hammerfest part when I was eating my mid afternoon lunch 20 km away. We arranged for a coffee in Skaidi via Facebook.

Me and Chris in Skaidi

Me and Chris in Skaidi


We will be meeting up again in the north cape. The group of 4 meet up (partly) once again.

I’m now back in Alta, have eaten, and am going to bed. I need sleep for my first kms after 2 days of nothing.

  1. Nenad says:

    Serbians wishing you nice weather on Nordkapp and wish to see a photo of midnight sun plus your tent plus Nordkapp.

    • Thanks Nenad and Vladimir. I will try to comply. If not, there is always photoshop.. 🙂
      Enjoy your last days here! It was nice meeting you and hearing your stories. I will not forget all about the Finnish mosquitos!


  2. Terje Pettersen says:

    When receiving HELP in that god, forsaken ugly place, you really ought to do better than mock the place. Ungrateful git.

    • Hey Terja. You are right. I really am very grateful for the help and kind service I got there in Hammerfest and feel bad about my comment.

      For what it is worth, I have changed the text. I realize this will not retract what I wrote and change what you think of me, but, I hope you will still help other cyclists in need like me. I really did appreciate it!!

      Apologies, and I wish you the very best!

  3. judith says:

    Hello matthew…. Renting a very expensive car… Wasn’t that more expensive and more frustrating than buying a new bike?
    Hope the weather is getting betterand we are looking forward to the pictures from the nordkap… I expect you will be reading ‘nooit meer slapen’ by willem frederik hermans?
    Love Judith

    • Hi Judith and family,
      Thanks for your posts! A decent bike would have cost a fortune and I would have had to mount the baggage carriers which was quite tricky on my current bike. And what to do with the old bike? All these things were running through my mind.. Anyway, all is solved now, and it was a bit of an interlude from cycling.. 🙂 I am now in Repvåg, about 80 km from the North Cape. It is a barren, wind swept place. It feels like I am near the North Cape. 🙂 I’m getting excited.

  4. […] Day 10. Alta (car: Hammerfest). 11 km A car hired, 130 km driven, and a new wheel bought in the northerly town of Hammerfest. The bike is now OK to continue. […]

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