The route from Kirkenes to Bergen along the Norwegian coast, has proved popular with superyachts seeking to emulate the famous Hurtigruten ferry route. Local residents have become used to seeing the yachts discharge and use a wide variety of water toys but they were astounded when Dave Cornthwaite on his Schiller Water Bike.
Ever the endurance adventurer, Dave Cornthwaite pedalled the entire route clocking up an astounding 1243 miles/2090 kilometres on a journey lasting nine weeks and is a record-breaking distance travelled by water bike.
One of many reasons why Norway is becoming an increasingly popular charter destination, with many luxury yacht berths available, and an abundance of outdoor activities on offer amidst the unbeatable scenery.
Describing his favourite destinations on this preferred superyacht route, Dave says, “The entire Norwegian coast is beautiful in its own right and the scenery changes every 200 miles or so as I headed south.”
“The rugged, empty northern coast of Finnmark was the most remote part of the trip but I loved the coast of Steigen, which is peppered by an archipelago of thousands of islands, most with sandy white beaches and quiet coves.”
Dave kitted out his water bike with a custom Schiller inflatable platform, easily strapped to the pontoons at four points, to accommodate the gear he needed to carry with him on his journey.
The bike can bear weight of up to 900lbs, so there was ample scope for heavier items to be loaded. A handlebar extender was also added to enable Dave to sit upright whilst pedalling the long daily distances, rather than taking the standard ‘racing’ position which is great for your everyday water bike ride.
Averaging an estimated speed of 3.8mph, Dave spent 7-9 hours on the water every day taking in the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes of Norway. He spent 376.7 hours on the water and on one occasion topped 9 knots yet was still passed by 13 Hurtigruten ships on passage.
He pedalled with dolphins swimming alongside him, spotted 13 whales and estimated that at least 250 seals stopped to stare at him.
Dave enjoys counting while he pedalled and recounts that 654 people called him crazy while the number of people asking if had had bad weather topped 785. Asked if he had any other statistics he could share he said, “I swore I’d never sit on a bike seat again 987 times.”
When not pedalling in Norway, Dave lives on a boat in London and keeps his water bike moored alongside, and I take it out for a spin most days. It’s a great way to go shopping and is a regular head-turner for anyone living by the river!”