Author Topic: Midnight Sun 1200  (Read 6231 times)

FifeingEejit

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Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #25 on: 24 December, 2021, 09:46:53 pm »
Right got a Spanish 50 cent coin (I have Swedish Crowns somewhere)

Heads I remain it decision paralysis,
Tails I remain in decision paralysis:

1) Tails
2) Heads
3) Tails
4) Tails
5) Tails
6) Tails
7) Tails
8) Tails
9) Heads
10) Heads
11) Heads

7 Tails to 4 Heads
Decision paralysis it is

FifeingEejit

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Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #26 on: 29 December, 2021, 02:45:11 pm »
Turns out heads was go and tails was save the money for next time... Hope there is a next time.

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Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #27 on: 14 January, 2022, 11:27:06 pm »
You had another 2 options,  tell the boss you are taking unpaid leave or say that you will put your notice in. If they valued your work and most importantly how much the company made off your time its usually is OK to extend holiday time.. I was lucky as I never had any issues taking extra weeks off work with the companies I worked for. Tip always tell us about the trip after the event,.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #28 on: 15 January, 2022, 10:27:54 pm »
You had another 2 options,  tell the boss you are taking unpaid leave or say that you will put your notice in. If they valued your work and most importantly how much the company made off your time its usually is OK to extend holiday time.. I was lucky as I never had any issues taking extra weeks off work with the companies I worked for. Tip always tell us about the trip after the event,.
It's national policy, out of my bosses, his bosses, her bosses or his bosses hands (that's us at board level), his bosses, his bosses or even his bosses level (were now at the health secretary's office)

Unpaid leave isn't an option, the cost of quarantine hotels would empty what I have left of savings after buying a house as it is.


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Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #29 on: 24 January, 2022, 02:15:46 pm »
Just starting to think about booking travel and hotels for this event (daring to dream that Covid won't ruin everything, again). Has anybody been able to find out the true cost of flying to Umea with a bike box? It seems that you can only find out once you've bought a ticket, which is a little bit late if they say £500!!

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #30 on: 10 June, 2022, 10:29:57 pm »
This is what The Fear looks like in mapsource:


Midnight Sun - Mapsource by Ron Lowe, on Flickr

It's all become a bit real now; flying out in a week.



FifeingEejit

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Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #31 on: 12 June, 2022, 04:32:44 pm »
I'd have been setting off tonight...

Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #32 on: 15 June, 2022, 03:33:08 pm »
Flying out there on Friday morning (airline permitting). Can't wait to get pedaling, that's when the worrying stops for me!

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #33 on: 15 June, 2022, 03:37:52 pm »
Audax Ecosse contingent flying out Fri mid-day.
Bike is now bagged up.

Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #34 on: 15 June, 2022, 03:41:56 pm »
I'd have been setting off tonight...

You no longer are?

Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #35 on: 15 June, 2022, 03:53:57 pm »
Audax Ecosse contingent flying out Fri mid-day.
Bike is now bagged up.

Sounds like I need to get my finger out. See you guys in Umea!

FifeingEejit

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Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #36 on: 19 June, 2022, 10:18:22 pm »
If my GMT+2 calculation is correct the 3 Audax Ecosse entries go underway 10 minutes ago.
I am sitting at my computer in Fife.

Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #37 on: 20 June, 2022, 09:57:34 am »
Any online tracking?

FifeingEejit

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Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #38 on: 20 June, 2022, 07:17:16 pm »
As far as I can tell the only tracking is from them dropping photo bombs on the Audax Ecosse facebook page.

They were at the 350km control 4 hours ago eating salmon pasta.

Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #39 on: 20 June, 2022, 08:52:08 pm »

Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #40 on: 22 June, 2022, 01:50:39 pm »
Ron Lowe tracked at 835km Hornavan hotell control at 9:39am
Lee Killestein  tracked at 926km Sorsele Hembygdsgård control at 11:57am
Alan Silva tracked at 1084km Åmsele Camping control (penultimate) at 11:07am

Presume the tracking times are all local, thus an hour ahead of UK.

Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #41 on: 22 June, 2022, 08:36:11 pm »
Phil, thanks for summarising! Well done the riders.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #42 on: 23 June, 2022, 11:43:01 am »
That's me, Neil Fraser and Anne Smith just finished.
A challenging ride in tough conditions.

Will write up a short report when I get home.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #43 on: 23 June, 2022, 12:15:02 pm »
Nice one, looking forward to the audax ecoss update, and Craig's shitting himself as Anne reacts to his comments

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Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #44 on: 23 June, 2022, 01:31:10 pm »

Will write up a short report when I get home.

And a longer one for Arrivee?
Why should anybody steal a watch when they can steal a bicycle?

Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #45 on: 23 June, 2022, 02:51:08 pm »
That's me, Neil Fraser and Anne Smith just finished.
A challenging ride in tough conditions.

Will write up a short report when I get home.
Well done all!

Good to meet you and Neil (and catch up with Anne) on this crazy event. Standing in the hotel lobby dripping wet through this morning while other guests turned their noses up at the smell of my Audax perfume was a particular highlight for me!

Lee

Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #46 on: 24 June, 2022, 09:35:02 pm »
Yeah Lee; an awsome and delicate experience. Nice to share your company through the rain. Then we feel alive ;-)

Christian

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #47 on: 25 June, 2022, 12:08:09 pm »

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #48 on: 26 June, 2022, 10:38:28 pm »
First draft of my write-up, I will edit and add photos later; heading off to bed now.
Rushed the later bits, will improve them.

Midnight Sun Randonnée 1200

It is midnight, and I am lying awake in a hotel room in Umeå. There is a great noise from a nightclub outside, and cars passing with music turned up as loud as it will go.  This is unfortunate, as it is the last full night’s sleep I will have for some time.  In the corner is my room mate; my bicycle which has just been re-assembled out of it’s travelling bag.

I am here with two companions, Anne and Neil, for the inaugural running of the Midnight Sun Randonnée, a 1200km cycle event which will take us coast to coast across Scandinavia; North across Sweden and into Norway, crossing the Arctic circle before turning South and taking us back to Umeå.

The event is scheduled to start at sunset on the Sunday, 23:07 local time, at the Brännland Wärdshus some 11km outside of Umeå.  The organisers have arranged for a temporary daytime resting-place a short distance from the start, the Scooby Doo set of Baggböle Manor overlooking great rapids on the Ume River.  Here, we spend a few hours resting and fretting over what kit to take and what to leave. A couple of hours before the start, we make our way to Brännland.  There is food provided, a Last Supper, if you will.


MSR1200 by Ron Lowe, on Flickr

There are many overseas riders at the start: a strong contingent from Randonneurs Finland, and a large American contingent were highly visible.  We meet many riders here including Lee, another UK rider, and Elaine of the Humboldt Randonneurs   USA, both of whom we would come across on the ride.  The time approaches, and we are assembled on the road.  The event was limited to 100 places, and some 80 are present here at the start line.  The 23:07 start is signalled by the chef serenading us out on his saxophone. And so it begins.

The 1200k event has control points at approximately every 100k.  The landscape can be seen changing as we head north. The first checkpoints come easily, we ride through flat terrain; through dense forest interspersed with occasional lakes.  The terrain is forest, interspersed with Alpine upland meadows. The lakes are dotted with islands and peninsulas, and each of those dotted with lakeside huts so characteristic of Scandinavia. Each of the huts is painted in the dark red which seems almost mandatory.  This is called ‘Falu Red’, and is a by-product of historical mining activity.  Sludge from copper mining provided a wood treatment that was both protective and breathable.

We follow the Ume River to Hotell Lappland in Lycksele which is the brevet’s first checkpoint. From here, we continue to Storuman which is the brevet’s second checkpoint. The third stage contains some off-road issues: road works where there is 10k of road surface removed, leaving rough hardcore; then around 20k of unpaved road. This was the downfall of several riders. I pass one forlorn punctured rider on the road works, and ask if he is OK. ‘Do you have a tube?’ he asks. Somewhat reluctantly, I donate one of my three spare tubes, hoping this will not be a problem for me later. It was not. I later learned that this rider had to DNF.


MSR1200 by Ron Lowe, on Flickr


MSR1200 by Ron Lowe, on Flickr


As we head North, we pass the control point of Kittelfjäll at 352k, where they were doing a roaring trade in replacement inner tubes.  Continuing North, the terrain is beginning to change. We are riding along a valley, there is a great succession of grey-mare-tail waterfalls tumbling down the far side of the valley. We reach the Norwegian border. This is a border on an unclassified single track road. There is no border post, just a sign saying ‘Welcome to Norway’.  The road surface becomes rather more corrugated beyond the border, and I lose my primary waterproof here as it bounces out of my rack pack. This comes as a bit of a disappointment to me, to say the least.  We reach the first Norwegian control point at Hattfjelldal, 451 km, where we stop for a sleep stop.  We aim to set off at around 3AM.


MSR1200 by Ron Lowe, on Flickr

As we head further North, we are offered a red coloured juice at the controls, and also a red jam to accompany the food.  This is Lingonberry, a native plant of the Arctic tundra.  It is unusual in that it retains it’s leaves even in the harshest of conditions.

We set off as planned, and the rain starts as planned. We ride several hours into increasingly heavy rain. No matter how good your kit is, several hours of unrelenting rain will have you wet and cold. Then, as we round a bend, we have a long straight stretch of road. In the far distance, we can see snow-capped mountains. A true Sense of North; for this is our destination.


MSR1200 by Ron Lowe, on Flickr


MSR1200 by Ron Lowe, on Flickr

The next checkpoint is the rather wonderfully named ‘Mo I Rana’ control. The checkpoint is a few k short of the actual town of Mo, which despite it’s attractive name is actually a busy industrial port town.  The route continues from Mo along the busy E6 main road, continually gaining height up the Saltfjellet through the Dunderland valley above the tree line, passing the Saltfjell highway’s highest point of 692m.   This is not unlike riding up the A9 in Scotland.

The terrain is changing again, and we are now in proper mountain moorland, not unlike the west coast of Scotland, but perhaps on a slightly larger scale.  Those distant snow-capped mountains are coming ever closer, as we head North and up.  We reach the Arctic Circle visitor’s centre checkpoint, and stop for a few moments for food and photographs. The rain has been off now for a few hours; but we are still a bit damp.


MSR1200 by Ron Lowe, on Flickr

Leaving the Arctic Circle Centre, the rain comes on again. Cold hard rain. We pass lakes which are still frozen over.  The next checkpoint is back across the border in Sweden, 722k in, at Tjaktjaure - Sandvikens Fjällgård. This was where we had planned a proper sleep stop. We had booked cabins at the campsite.  There had been bold gallus talk of ditching these booked cabins and continuing to the next checkpoint. After several hours of descent in cold hard rain in one-degree temperatures, we arrived at Sandvikens as cold, wet, drookit, sorry-for-ourselves creatures; and all gallus talk went out the window.  We take the cabins, and are glad for them.


MSR1200 by Ron Lowe, on Flickr

We arrive as shivering creatures, borderline hypothermic. The cabins are spacious and warm. We spread our wet kit around to dry out, and joy of joy: there is a boot-heater! With four hoses, enough to dry out all of our shoes! After a few hours of sleep, we are ready to leave. Fully re-set: we are warm, dry, and with warm dry kit. There is a saying about control points: you should never leave them without all your basic needs met. All niggles dealt with: you, your kit, and the bike. And yourself; filled and emptied in equal measure.  And so it was, we leave the control totally refreshed.


MSR1200 by Ron Lowe, on Flickr

On the return, the last two legs are long and have no facilities. There is a 160k leg with nothing along it, from Sorsele to Åmsele (1084k).  We reach Åmsele and intend to have a couple of hours sleep, heading off around 3AM. Here, the food provided is a local dish called Palt, a meat and potato dumpling which was being cooked over an open fire braai-style. At 3AM, the rain is bouncing off the walls and roof of the cabin. A full-on storm was passing through. We decide to sit it out, and plan to leave at 6AM. And indeed, at 6AM, the storm has passed, and we make to leave.  We blag a second portion of Palt for breakfast.  But in the meantime, the American team have arrived; they had been caught in the full force of the storm for hours, with no possible shelter. They are very cold and wet. We meet Elaine again; she is in poor shape. Anne offers spare dry clothes, but she is reluctant to accept it. There is little more we have to offer, so we leave them; but they are left in a warm cabin with several hours in hand, and they do eventually finish in time.


MSR1200 by Ron Lowe, on Flickr

The final 110k back to Umeå passes uneventfully enough save for one clipless moment. We approach the town along back roads, past the Volvo factory. We seem to be in the countryside, and then all of a sudden right in the centre of town. And it is done.


MSR 2022 Brevet Card by Ron Lowe, on Flickr

An epic ride, through changing landscapes and uncertain weather.





FifeingEejit

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Re: Midnight Sun 1200
« Reply #49 on: 26 June, 2022, 10:57:56 pm »
Fantastic write up as always sir

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