"Pilgrims" cycling tours 2003

The Barents region Children's and Youth cycling tour 2003, 12.07-13.08

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The route-2003

The ceremonial start of The Barents Children's and Youth cycling tour in Severomorsk. 12.07.2003
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On Saturday's fine sunny morning the leaders of the Severomorsk town administration came to see off the travellers.
Farewell words and wishes are of great importance before start.
Photo M. Fedorov
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After the ceremonial start in Severomorsk the cyclists arrived at St.Nikolsky Cathedral in Murmansk. There father Alexander, a dean of the St.Nikolas Cathedral blessed everyone and wished us to overcome all the hardships awaiting us.
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At last we are cycling! Everything is ahead.

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The salad is going to be perfect.
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Timely departure and correspondingly timely arrival depend on well-coordinated loading of the track.
We have to hurry. Today we are going to Norway.
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Hospitable Kirkenes met the representatives of Severomorsk as good friends.
Twin towns relations between our towns get stronger and develop from year to year.
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Hopefully, the photo exhibition will attract the teenagers from Kirkenes to take part in the tour.
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Bathing in the Barents sea.
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The King Oskar's II Chapel is one of the main attractions of the Sør-Varanger commune.

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Jostein Eliassen, a guide on Bjørnvattn mine remembers the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation.
He worked as a shot firer for 40 years and he has a lot to tell the boys.
We had to say "Good bye" to the hospitable Kirkenes.
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But the road to Vadsø turned to very fascinating.
In Vadsø we visited the airships museum.
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This is a model of the "Norway" airship car. In year 1926 Ruald Amundsen and Umberto Nobile flied over the North Pole by this airship.

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The most curious ones peeped on the board of the "Midnattsol" ship and even rode in the lift.
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Frank Mattisen organized our overnight and visit to the Finnmark County administration.
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After end of the working day Frank and his son Martin (15) cycled with us 62 km from Vadsø to Skiippagurra.
Average speed was 38 km/h.

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It is true delight to warm yourself in sauna and then relax in the jacuzzi after long cycling day. We are restoring our strength in Tanafamiliecamping.
180 km to Karasjok are ahead tomorrow.
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On the Sami boat along the Tana river.
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We have to wait.

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There are 5 tunnels between Olderfjord and Honningsvåg.
The longest of them is the Nordkapptunnelen. It connects the mainland and Magerøya island. 3 km it goes steeply down, then about 1 km flat and after that up, up, and up... The temperature is +3 C. This is unforgettable.
Before exit from the tunnel.
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Unique nature, great varieties in altitude, countries differences seen everywhere make the cycling tour a bright and fascinating journey for its participants.
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The road to the North Cape is unbelievably picturesque.

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Look picture from the brochure
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The flag of the town of Severomorsk is hoisted on The North Cape, the northernmost point of Europe. 7110'21" of Northern latitude.
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We are approaching Hammerfest. Representative of the town administration Per Arnesen is on the leading position. Mr. Arnesen has cycled 12 km from the town, met us on the road and then covered the same distance with us. Solfrid Solvang is next to Per Arnesen. She read about our cycling tour from the newspaper. The friend of her brought Solfrid by car to Repvåg and 140 km to Hammerfest we cycled together.
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The mayor of Hammerfest Alf E. Jakobsen is a member of the Norwegian National Olimpic Committee. He greeted us and gave a start to the "Hammerfest - Alta" cycling race.
Before 140 km long cycling race from Hammerfest to Alta.
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Photo P. Arnesen
Very strong cyclists Ole Martin Olsen, Trond Finjord, Alf Christian Losvar and Øystein Kristiansen are confident. They came by ferry from Alta in order to win. The fight about the first place in the competition was very hard, but Oleg Vasin from Moscow (right on the front ground) won this race.

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In Alta we made an acquaintance with Peer Andersen, a chairman of the Alta cycling club. He is very experienced in organizing of cycling races and is ready to co-operate.
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Since 2002 we have been arranging overnighting in tents on camp sites. We put the bicycles into one tent. Two others were occupied by us. The tent is 4.30m to 4.30m. The truck of Severomorsk bus public service managed to carry all the equipment including army sleeping bags, food and private things. This kind of accommodation not only saved us a lot of money, but let the children feel being a friendly united team.
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The day from Alta to Storslett was long, but sunny and hot.

Sykkelreparator'n is the most active trade mark in the Northern Norway.
John Olsson and Kathrine O. Reinhardt gave us some advises and a lot of useful spare parts for the bicycles.
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We appreciate very much their willingness to help and words of encouragement. Boys liked very much the test ride on the latest models of the mountain bikes.
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Oddbjørn Svendsen (63) from Tromsdalen showed us a good example of the sport longevity.
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Goodbye, fjords!
Goodbye, mountains!
Goodbye, Norway!
Thank You for everything!

Kilpisjärvi - Tornio cycling marathon 500 km for 2 days
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7.30 a.m. On the start of the second day in Akaslompolo.
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"Kilpisjärvi - Tornio" cycling marathon is near the finish. Rain is over. Sun shines. We are tired and get soaking, but happy.
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The members of the "Finland-Russia" society at the head of Leena Sokero give us a hearty welcome at the youth centre in Rovaniemi.
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Santa Claus approved the idea of the Barents Children's and Youth cycling tour and wished a safe journey to all participants.
Rovaniemi, August 6, 2003
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This is a historical picture from year 2002.
Now Teija Alaviiri and Mariel Kunnari are the members of the professi-onal team LET'S GO FINLAND. They take part in international cycling races and plan to participate in Olympic Games in Athena.

At last we are in Russia!
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The first stop in Alakurtti.
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A representative of the sport and physical culture committee from the town of Polyarnye Zory Yury Tselischev meets us on the bicycle. He has a loudspeaker at his left hand. Under his leading we make a round along the streets and Yury informs inhabitants about arrival of the Barents Children's and Youth cycling tour to the town and invites everybody to join the column. Local boys follow us on the way to the overnighting place.
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In Kirovsk we make a one day hiking tour from Kukisvumchorr settlement to the Akademicheskoje lake and back. The route is 35 km long. The thick fog was waiting for us on the top, but here we admire the Khibiny's beauty.

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After 35 km long hiking tour climbing up to the Rasvumchorr plateau seemed to be a usual thing.
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Our journey is coming to its end. The circle of the route will close soon. We return to the place, where from the cycling tour was started 33 days ago. Our home Severomorsk is ahead. The town flag streams above the column.
The ceremonial finish of the tour in Severomorsk.
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Everybody likes official greetings and handing of the diplomas, but wishes to hug the mother and father immediately.

The text: A. & O. Lipins. Rhotos: O. Vasin

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Created by Vlad Vasiliev on 27 Apr 2004
Last modified on 27 Apr 2004