Author Topic: Northcape 4000  (Read 3762 times)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Northcape 4000
« on: July 28, 2017, 02:10:43 pm »
Yet another long distance race across a continent. This one is from Florence to the North Cape of Norway and starts tomorrow (29th July). At 8:30 in the morning, so just a few hours after TCR. Bizarrely, I heard about it this morning from an Indian cycling forum! (a Bangalorean has entered)
http://www.bikepacking.com/event/northcape-4000-2017/
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 02:49:07 pm »
Bizarre event. Conflicts with TCR, nearly 200 euro fee and it is just a start-finish with 4 checkpoints.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2017, 03:05:57 pm »
I agree, actually. The start date seems especially odd. I don't know if it's a clash through ignorance of TCR, or because the two events appeal to different people, or an attempt to scupper the TCR. Or just lack of dates available. I don't think the second makes sense as they're both self-supported races crossing the same continent, it seems incredibly unlikely they haven't heard of TCR and very odd to make a deliberate clash, so I guess there just is enough interest in this type of event now to support two at the same time in the same place. Having found their website, they list about 80 riders. http://www.northcape4000.com/en/riders
There are also 4 control points, which they refer to as gates.
Quote
Gates

For the first edition of the NorthCape400 there are 4 Gates (checkpoints) along the route. These are strategically placed in areas of geographical significance, and are the only obligatory points along the route. At each checkpoint, participants will be asked to validate their travel. If, for whatever reason, any or all of the gates are missed the participant will be automatically disqualified.

The four gates (checkpoints) are listed below:

• G1 - Innsbruck - Nickname “The Peak” - Bike Point RadSport
Gumppstraße 20, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria - N 47° 15' 51.2" - E 11° 24' 39.155"
• G2 - Nuremberg - Nickname “The Judgement” - KNAUS CampingPark
Hans-Kalb-Straße 56, 90471 Nürnberg, Germany - N 49° 25' 23.551" - E 11° 7' 17.364"
• G3 - Stockholm - Nickname “Fiftyseven” - Specialized Concept Store
Skeppsmäklargatan 33, 120 69 Stockholm, Sweden N 59° 18' 20.534" - E 18° 6' 43.688"
• G4 - Rovaniemi - Nickname “Arctic Circle” - Santa Claus Office / Arctic Circle
Joulumaantie 1, 96930 Napapiiri - Rovaniemi Finland - N 66° 32' 36.393" -E 25° 50' 52.849"
http://www.northcape4000.com/en/nc4000/bike-challenge-2017

So in fact marginally more route control than on TCR. The more I read about it, the more it seems like perpendicular TCR!
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2017, 03:17:22 pm »
So in fact marginally more route control than on TCR. The more I read about it, the more it seems like perpendicular TCR!
The TCR has 4 mandatory controls and live route tracking (all riders carry trackers). I don't think Northcape uses trackers.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 03:33:40 pm »
I thought TCR's 4 controls included the finish? Northcape has 4 intermediate controls plus the finish. It's not clear how you "validate your travel" at the CPs but they do use SPOT trackers and/or a phone app:
Quote
Live tracking of all the participants during the event is via the SPOT tracking device or alternatively for those participants without a SPOT device via the Smartphone APP that will be provided, free of charge, by the organisers. The use of a tracking device, be it the SPOT device or via the smartphone app is obligatory and allows all participants to update their position during the length of the event. About the smartphone App, please note that from June 2017, all over Europe, international roaming will be abolished, so this means that you are free to use the internet from your smartphone as if you were at home and without additional costs, regardless of whether you are in Italy, Germany or Finland.
That's Rule 4. http://www.northcape4000.com/en/rules-regulations-northcape4000
There are only 7 rules and some of those are very general and vague:
Quote
The freedom of interpretation is a fundamental principle of NorthCape4000. You are free to tackle the course on their own or in teams, with people known on the day of departure or with a group of friends.
The organization does not recommend participants to cycle during nighttime and, in any case, where there is low visibility or poor safety conditions. If you decide to do this, it is mandatory to use an appropriate front and rear lighting system as well as a high visibility reflective clothing. Cycling consecutively for many days, with few or no rest, can cause hallucinations and drastically lower the threshold of attention on the road and the perception of danger.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2017, 03:34:49 pm »
I guess one attraction of this over TCR might be the greater climatic range, starting in northern Italy and finishing on the Arctic Circle. Could be especially challenging for the entrant from South India!
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2017, 03:38:30 pm »
As for the cost:
Quote
Subscription includes:

• Riders entering the page with personal data/photos of the participant

• Live tracking during the event with smartphone app or personal SPOT.

• Insurance MSP

• Race-pack

• Gadgets NorthCape4000

• NorthCape4000 Finisher’s certificate

• Inclusion in the Finishers page 2017.
So your 200 euros gets you insurance, tracking so your friends and sponsors can follow you, and a commemorative mug (or something). And your name on a list! I've no idea how much TCR costs though.

And very usefully:
Quote
Subscription does not include:

Everything that is not indicated in the list of subscription
!
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2017, 06:13:37 pm »

Isn't the TCR about 300 euro?

It is my understanding that at least for men, the TCR is massively over subscribed every year, hence the lottery to see who gets to ride.

Sounds to me like this event is for those who want a mad long distance race in .eu, but weren't able to get selected for the TCR.

J
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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2017, 07:45:10 pm »

Isn't the TCR about 300 euro?

It is my understanding that at least for men, the TCR is massively over subscribed every year, hence the lottery to see who gets to ride.

Sounds to me like this event is for those who want a mad long distance race in .eu, but weren't able to get selected for the TCR.

J
I'm not sure. In 2016 the TCR was £200.
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quixoticgeek

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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2017, 08:03:13 pm »

Isn't the TCR about 300 euro?
I'm not sure. In 2016 the TCR was £200.

In 2016 £200 was about €300 :p

J
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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2017, 08:10:57 pm »
the
Isn't the TCR about 300 euro?

It is my understanding that at least for men, the TCR is massively over subscribed every year, hence the lottery to see who gets to ride.

Sounds to me like this event is for those who want a mad long distance race in .eu, but weren't able to get selected for the TCR.

J

Yes, that's right - the timing is designed to give people who couldn't get into the TCR another summer ride option.
Alex Bourgonnier, who came second in the TCR a couple of years ago, is riding

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2017, 08:11:47 pm »
In which case the "clash" of dates is, obviously, not a clash.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2021, 06:01:50 pm »
I've entered this. This year is Lake Garda to North Cape via Lake Balaton, Krakow, Riga and the length of Finland.

Lots of countries I've not cycled in before and some I've never visited at all. Cycling in the Arctic is a big unknown for me, and a little bit scary.

it's mandatory route so should be more scenic than main roads and more chance of bumping into people. It's not a proper race and drafting is allowed, which undermines it a bit, but should be fun.

Maybe it will happen, maybe not. It's all schengen which may or may not help.

Anyone else doing it?

Karla

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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2021, 06:55:29 pm »
Lake Balaton?  Make sure you don't get bummed!  :o ;D

(Yes this is the local confectionery, sold in the Balaton region)


Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2021, 07:14:48 pm »
Nice.
You still haven't escaped taking the ferry though Frank!
I got super curious about Balaton while routing for TCRno5 to CP3. Cycle path all around the lake etc. It was abandoned in the end on the grounds that it was too circuitous and I went up through Wolfsburg with the rest of em. I'll look forward to hearing about it.

There was a bit of negative feedback about riding through Hungary on TCRno6. Mainly due to banned roads for cyclists.
I don't remember it being particularly awkward though. It was tricky to use euros and CC I seem to recall.
The route cut just West of Balaton N to S.
https://www.strava.com/activities/1763037364
often lost.

Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2021, 06:03:44 am »
I went to Lake Balaton when backpacking about 30 years ago.  Don't remember much, mainly trying to buy a train ticket from Budapest.  I wanted a return but that translated as buying two tickets.  It didn't amount to much money for me so I didn't realise, until the conductor on the train saw my ticket and insisted on giving me half my money back!  I don't think I sampled the local confectionery - but they do look like good cycling food!

When I did my route for the TCR in 2018 (TCR 6), Lake Balaton was a big landmark.  The obvious / shortest route was to go west of it but, when I looked at alternatives, I had a wow! moment when I realised that you could cut out loads of climbing (>3000m for an extra 12km distance) if you went to the east, so that was where I routed.  I wasn't able to start but watched it closely and was interested in which routes people took.  James, in the lead, followed almost exactly my route, and went to the east.  Then, when I saw Bjorn, in chase, going to the west of it, I thought there was no way he could win from there and he couldn't have taken much care of his route.  So it wasn't entirely surprising that he then came unstuck in the mountains, routing down a goat track.  Interesting to see which side of the lake you routed, Jonah!

No escape from ferries! This one is smaller and more frequent so a bit lower risk - more like the Danube ferries on the original TCR route - but still an issue in picking the right one, though: you don't want to either miss yours or have half a day sitting in the terminal.

I dotwatched the 2017 race and legality of routes in Hungary was a big issue that time, too!  The good thing about mandatory route is that the organisers will do all the research into banned roads.  There may be a call to make if they have missed something, though.

Salvatore

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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2021, 11:00:17 am »
Lots of countries I've not cycled in before and some I've never visited at all. Cycling in the Arctic is a big unknown for me, and a little bit scary.

it's mandatory route so should be more scenic than main roads and more chance of bumping into people. It's not a proper race and drafting is allowed, which undermines it a bit, but should be fun.


I may be biased as  a confirmed Articophile (Norway end to end, Sweden end to end, 2x Finland end-to-end), but there's not much scary in the Arctic, except:
1) Insects. But I've never been there as late as when the NC4000 will be there, so they might not be a problem.
2) Running out of food (of anything else) - opportunities to stock up can be few and far between [edit: I see from the faq that the route follows main roads  E75 , 92, E6, E69 so possibly not such a problem]
3) The tunnel from the mainland on to Magerøya.

This is what it's like at 5 am on a Sunday. From talking to other cyclists who went through at other times, there's a constant deafening stream of trucks, cars, camper vans, motor bikes in both directions. There's a 9% gradient.


I don't know whether the rules of the event allow it, but there's this option between Tallinn and Helsinki. Not much more expensive than the car ferries, and much faster.


(the big red boaty thing, not the helicopter)
Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2021, 03:40:23 pm »
Thanks John, good to get your perspective.

I've heard a bit about the tunnel, the pull up at the other end is likely to be tough. One thing that might help in the tunnel is that I'll use a bar end mirror, so I can see how far away the roaring dinosaurs are behind me!

The bit that's scary for me is going from warm to cold when I've got limited gear with me.  I much prefer going north to South. I'll be racing so will travel light. One option is to buy a layer out two in Finland, but that takes time and is unpredictable. In his book Ian walker describes the temperature going down to -1 and wearing his sleeping bag with newspaper down his leg warmers! I don't think it's meant to get that cold in August, but it can.

Salvatore

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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2021, 05:09:34 pm »
The bar end mirror is a good idea. The one car which passed me got louder and louder and louder until I though it was right behind me, but continued to get louder for a considerable time until finally I could see my shadow in the beam of its lights and it came past.

As to temperature, I was pitching my tent one cold evening in northern Sweden in midsummer  2014  when I noticed snow landing on my sleeve. I was warm as toast that night, but unlike you I was a fully laden tourist with the luxury of a big bulky sleeping bag and a fleecy liner. I had to buy thick XC skiing gloves the next day. And on the other hand in 2016 I spent 43 days in the Arctic Circle and it never got anywhere near that cold. At Kirkenes it was a sweltering 24°. Unpredictable, but I guess its unlikely to be that warm at the end of August.

Likewise on the day I rode from  Honningsvåg to  North Cape and back it was a lovely sunny day, but the previous day I heard there had been thick cold fog, and a few days before that a caravan had been blown off the road.

I've spent rather too much time today following the route on google maps with a bit of streetview, which has awoken some memories - reindeer pizza at the Neste at Inari,  the super 140km road between Lachselv and the tunnel,  the way that the pine forests become thinner the further north you go, giving way to stunted birches, and then there are no trees at all. And now I'm pining for the fjords.

Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2021, 06:05:42 pm »
What I'd love to do is, rather than flying back, get the coastal ferry from Alta to Trondheim, then train to Oslo, but probably would take too long. I'll look into it though.

I really look forward to watching the landscape gradually change going north. Nothing beats bike travel for that perspective

Mr Larrington

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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2021, 06:07:52 pm »
Had sub-zero overnight temps in Alaska in August a few years ago, well south of the Arctic Circle.
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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2021, 10:31:25 pm »
What I'd love to do is, rather than flying back, get the coastal ferry from Alta to Trondheim, then train to Oslo, but probably would take too long. I'll look into it though.

I really look forward to watching the landscape gradually change going north. Nothing beats bike travel for that perspective

I spent a couple of Winters up in the Narvik region back in the 80's  Really impressive scenery. Memories of spectacular Northern lights shows while night skiing. (night= 23 hours a day or something in Jan/Feb)  Bitterly cold.
Ive always fancied going back there in the Summer. A ferry/cycling combo would be interesting.
Interestingly your journey south would take you past hammerfest.
often lost.

Karla

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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2021, 10:36:40 pm »
What I'd love to do is, rather than flying back, get the coastal ferry from Alta to Trondheim, then train to Oslo, but probably would take too long. I'll look into it though.

I really look forward to watching the landscape gradually change going north. Nothing beats bike travel for that perspective

Fact of the day: Trondheim is at an equivalent latitude to the northernmost point of Antarctica. 

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2021, 10:58:46 pm »
What I'd love to do is, rather than flying back, get the coastal ferry from Alta to Trondheim, then train to Oslo, but probably would take too long. I'll look into it though.

I really look forward to watching the landscape gradually change going north. Nothing beats bike travel for that perspective

When I went to Hell a couple of years back that is something I really noticed as I went north. The way I was catching up on Autumn as it happened.

I did have one night of -4°C, which I wasn't equipped for as I hadn't expected sub 0°C temps.

I wanna go back, it was such an amazing trip. Maybe one day I'll get the train to Hell, and head north...
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Re: Northcape 4000
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2021, 11:53:09 am »
Alas the ferry looks an unlikely dream as it appears it might take a week or more to get home that way, which my wife and daughter might not be happy with.

The easy option is to get a bus to Alta and fly from there - changing in Oslo.

Also, it may never happen as making plans for summer is an act of optimism!