Kystriksveien (The Coastal Route) from Namsos to Bodø, also known as Helgelandskysten, contains some of the loveliest scenery on the Norwegian coastline. It is surprisingly few tourists here because most of the cars stick to E6 heading directly to Lofoten and/or Finnmark. They don't know what they are missing out, but for cyclists I hope this stretch of coast will continue to be a hidden gem with few cars.
Day 27 - Namsos to Kjelleidet
Distance/accumulated: 123.0 / 2568.1
Avg/max speed: 18.6 / 54.7
Elevation gain: 1435 m
Instead of taking RV17, I continued on the less trafficked RV769 to Kolvereid, which was supposed to be along the ocean. But I had no feeling of coast at all, and I mostly saw forest, farms and a lot of insects. It was extremely hilly and the chain and rear chain-wheel started to fail in the steepest uphills. I had a much needed rest and eat stop in Kolvereid, also dubbed "The smallest town in Norway". From Kolvereid I continued on RV771, and this contained more steep uphills and downhills. I finally arrived Kjelleidet, with the impressive mountain Heilhornet dominating the northern skyline. Here I also met two adventurers from Germany, driving two old and heavy loaded scooters. They were moving in approx the same speed as me, about 100-150 km a day.
This had been a very upsetting day, and I was fearing that the extremely strenuous roads would continue all the way to Bodø. More importantly I had no trust in my bicycle anymore, which had caused so many dangerous situations when the chain slipped from the rear chain-wheel. Thus I could not stand up when cycling anymore, being forced to a tiresome sitting positions, also causing a painful butt.
Day 28 - Kjelleidet to Sandnessjøen
Distance/accumulated: 141.7 / 2709.8
Avg/max speed: 21.4 / 51.5
Elevation gain: 750 m
From Kjelleidet I continued on RV17. The first few kilometres was as strenuous as the day before, but after the ferry to Vennesund the roads changed dramatically. From now on it was very easy cycling first in tailwind, then in headwind. I skipped Brønnøysund and the famous mountain with a hole inside (Torghatten) and continued straight to the ferry from Horn to Anddalsvåg. Then more easy cycling, except for the headwind. The next ferry from Forvik to Tjøtta I timed badly, and had to wait more than one hour. But that hour went furiously fast when chatting with two Danish cyclists and one female Canadian who previously had cycled from Alaska to Mexico along the coastline.
The sunny conditions was replaced by wind and fog when we arrived Tjøtta, but fortunately it was extremely strong tailwind as I continued cycling the remaining 35-40 km to Sandnessjøen. I found no campgrounds near the city, so I decided to cycle a couple of kilometers northeast of the city, where I found a nice spot for camping close to the massive Helgeland bridge. Amazingly after one hour or so, the two scooter guys from Germany showed up too, camping next to me. Check out their website Sturmschwalbe
Day 29 - Sandnessjøen to Jektvik
Distance/accumulated: 30.2 / 2740.0
Avg/max speed: 19.6 / 52.6
Elevation gain: 335 m
Late in the morning I said goodbye to the two Germans and headed into the city of Sandnessjøen. Most of this day was spent at MX Sport (Sykkelboden) repairing my bike. I changed the chain, both chain-wheels and the rear tire. This demanded special tools and some assistance from the guy at MX Sport. Thank to him my bike was as good as new after the repair. After some more adjustments I was ready to leave at 15:30. I was told there was a fast ferry to Stokkvågen leaving Sandnessjøen at 16:30. I could not withstand the temptation of catching up for all the lost time, so I chose to take the fast ferry instead of cycling all around the rather boring Sjona fjord. It was a beautiful evening, so after arriving Stokkvågen, I continued to cycle to Kilboghamn to catch the ferry to Jektvika. By now it was rather late in the evening, so I just cycled a few kilometres before I found a perfect spot to camp next to the sea.
Day 30 - Jektvik to Kjellingstraumen
Distance/accumulated: 115.3 / 2855.3
Avg/max speed: 20.0 / 55.7
Elevation gain: 1060 m
A cold and cloudy morning, but that meant perfect conditions for cycling. The multiple tunnels between Jektvik and Ågskardet were straightforward with so few cars on the road. In between ferry arrivals there are hardly any vehicles at all on the road. The ferry from Ågskardet to Forøy was a very short one (10 minutes). I had lunch in Halsa, before I left RV17 and continued to Vassdalsvik to avoid the forbidden Svartisen tunnel. In Vassdalsvik I ended up waiting 2 hours for the ferry to Ørnes. On the ferry I met two young Germans who had cycled all the way from Frankfurt but in a rather pleasant pace (averaging to about 70 km a day). We agreed to aim for the same campground at Kjellingeidet. I arrived one hour before them, giving me plenty of time chatting with the nice owner of the camp, taking a shower and start to cook my dinner. They arrived just before the heavy raining started, good luck for them.
Day 31 - Kjellingstraumen to Bodø/Moskenes
Distance/accumulated: 65.4 / 2920.7
Avg/max speed: 18.6 / 54.7
Elevation gain: 700 m
A rainy morning, but I had company of the two Germans at Kjellingstraumen Camping, who also waited for the rain to stop. We listened to music and surfed the internet, in the living room of the campground. I did not leave before 12:30, which also was my estimated deadline for reaching Bodø well in time before the 6pm departure of the ferry to Moskenes. A pretty event less day, first in rain then in windy conditions, resulting in strong headwind the last 30 km to Bodø.
The ferry arrived Moskenes at 9pm in rainy conditions, so I pitched my tent at a campground there.
Previous leg: Stryn to Namsos
Next leg: Moskenes to Tromsø