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After Sjaak started the challenge between Christmas and New Year 2006 to reach the North Cape in winter but didn’t get there, he just had to complete it! The experiences were evaluated and the results used to adapt the Yamaha R1 which Sjaak and the XT 660 R that Marcus rode.
Live from the Motorbike Fair in Utrecht the team: Right Way Up 4 KiKa, left on Sunday 3 February 2008.
Their goal was to bring a flag of KiKa, a kids cancer free foundation, over 2,000mi/3.500 kilometres away to the Children of the World Monument on the northernmost point of the European continent. During the bike fair visitors donated for KiKa and by writing their names on the flag they travelled symbolically along.Besides the bike riders there was also Ad Groenenberg in his Land Rover Discovery, powered by cole-seed oil. He totally had his own challenge by driving his ‘green’ Co2-neutral 4x4 to the cold Cape.
So he wasn’t with them as a back up vehicle and to carry luggage, but did have on the passenger seat Cécile Vrijhof, who caught the extreme journey on photo and film.
From Germany they rode to Denmark and from there over the Öresund Bridge to Sweden. Only just before the Norwegian capital Oslo, they encountered snow and frost. Through Yamaha Norway Sjaak had made contact with spike specialist Rune Granlund. Because the rubber of original R1-tyres wasn’t thick enough to hold the desired spikes that would stick 4 or 6 mm (0.15-0.24inch) outside the thread, he placed spikes that stuck out only roughly 1mm(0.04inch). Enough on dry ice. No use at all on snow, but for lack of options…
From a sunny Oslo, they rode to the Viking ice stadium in Hamar.
From there they went on to the winter sport resort of Lillehammer, where the black tarmac turned into a white blanket. Warnings from Norwegians, that such short spikes accomplish nothing in snow, proved fully justified.By significantly reducing the tyre pressure, using a spray can of Snow-Grip and riding extremely carefully, they still came on. Even when they, passed Dombås, had to climb uphill over a road where salt had melted the snow to mire which was newly frozen at 20ºF/-7ºC.Descended to Trondheim, they got roads where the salt did its job, but after they turned away from the sea again they faced winter conditions. Sometimes wet asphalt but mostly compact icy snow trails or melting mire, took turns with a smooth white carpet on which they could ride relaxed.
Under an icy wind on the Saltfjellet plain, Marcus fell with his bike. Luckily he could move on and minutes later they crossed the Arctic Circle.
About 60mi/100km north of Narvik they reached the township of Bardufoss where they were spontaneously invited by the Dutch Battalion 1st Marines which was stationed there for exercise.
After some maintenance and a good night’s sleep they left in a snow front which lasted for several days.With both a fall on their account in that weather, they arrived in Alta.
From this city on they were accompanied by motorcyclist Jan Tore. He had arranged the special permission for the team which opened the barrier that closes off the last 8mi/13km towards the North Cape during winter season.
They were nearly blown off the road, but on their 16th travel day they arrived at the Children of the World Monument.
In total collected for KiKa:
Everyone who helped to make this happen, many, many thanks!