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As the University of Copenhagen biking experiment continues, medical student Katja Kjær sends this update from Trondheim, Norway
In many ways, the six friends from Ventoux are riding just like the Tour de France. The distance of the stages is the same, and the daily programme consists of sleeping, biking and a giant intake of everything eatable or drinkable, and heavily loaded with carbohydrates.
Just like the Tour de France, this trip has a rest day. Or almost, a rest day, as the group rode ‘only’ 99.8 km.
The carbo loading was not stopped, as we stopped in Trondheim to visit Erik N.s sister, who had chocolate cake, homemade icecream, freshly baked buns and chocolate chip cookies ready. This is a perfect picture of how this trip is a bit more social than in the Tour.
Trondheim is the last semi-metropolitan city that we will see. The riders here don’t have the luxury of roads cordoned off just for them, and this makes the urban riding demanding. But as we continue up through the more and more desolated Norway, the nature is getting wilder, the mountains higher, the weather colder, and we are reminded everyday that we are travelling to a less visited part of Europe. The cold has set in, and the riders have put on warmer clothes. The terrain is becoming hillier and the riders passed a 10 per cent gradient today.
Tomorrow a long stage is ahead of us, and with that, the data collecting continues, with diet registration, recording of physiological parameters, urine sampling, heavy water intake and hunger-scoring. The results of these measurements will slowly become more interesting now, as the riders are becoming physically tired and the influence and impact of the hard work are beginning to show mentally and physically.
No rest days left. Eight strenuous stages left and the fatigue is starting to show its ugly face. Stay tuned for more news from the north.
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