Yann Tiersen sets off on a new cycling and music adventure in Norway, and asks you to join him. Following a successful 1000km around Tiersen’s home county of Brittany in France, he is now beginning the first part of a slow journey around the world on bike. The first leg of the journey is through Norway, starting in the Northern town of Alta, cycling for ten days via Tromso and down the coast to the lake side town of Harstad.
Every day Tiersen will cycle with two band members, and stop in a beautiful location and play a different track in the wilderness.
Yann began his tour by cycling through Norway, crossing from island to island by ferry, bridge and tunnel, covering 1000km in just ten days.
Along the way, Yann and his peloton of musicians played a series of shows, performing at folk festivals and small cafes, as well as putting on impromptu performances for a handful of locals in the great outdoors, with Norway’s spectacular landscape as a backdrop.
The cyclists were accompanied by a film crew who are currently preparing a short film about the Norway cycle adventure. The film is currently at the editing stage and will be available to watch online soon. Sign up to the mailing list below and we will message you as soon as the film becomes available!
The Cycle Norway journey Yann and his team have just undertaken – covering 700km by bike, playing two concerts, one festival, and stopping each day en-route to record and film a different song in the beautiful Norwegian landscape – is just the start. The ultimate goal is for Yann to travel around the world by bike, slowly, and in many stages, playing music and learning about the people and local cultures of the countries he cycles through. So, rather than the end, this is the beginning – of something much larger.
Cycle Norway is being made into a documentary, which shows the journey, the place, the people and the music. The full film will come out soon. For more information about when and where you can watch it, sign up to the mailing list below.
To be the first to hear about the full Cycle Norway film, sign up for the Mailing List.
Today is the final push into Harstad. The journey will take the team through the island chain of Andørja and Rolla via the Mjøsund Bridge and the Ibestad Tunnel.
The ride will take the second ferry of the trip from Sørrollnes on Rolla later this afternoon, bringing them onto the large island of Hinnøya and the short journey into Harsted, where the team will stay tonight. Repairs en-route kept everyone working right until the last few kilometers of the stage.
Stopping along the way to take in some more views, obviously.
By early evening the Sorrolnes ferry arrived in Harstad and everyone set up for a final filmed session, this time overlooking the working harbour before packing everything up one last time.
Tomorrow, to celebrate the end of the ride, Yann and the band will put on a surprise mini concert in the chocolate shop by the Harstad harbour. Everyone is welcome, if you can get to Ecloga Norge, Rikards Kaarbøs Gate 1, Harstad, Norway by 12:00 CEST tomorrow (16 July).
The penultimate day kicks off with a relatively easy ride after yesterday’s late night video shoot. This whole ride, and each performance, has been covered by a small and fantastic crew of film-makers – Steve Bliss and Murat Gokmen from OBR Studios.
Today’s leg saw the team joined by a drone operator who will travel with everyone for the next two days to give some wider scale to the amazing landscape the ride is passing through.
The film they are making of the journey – the people we meet, the places and of course the music – will be edited together over the next few months. Keep an eye on the website for updates about its premier.
The ride ended with a damaged (beyond repair) bike after a high speed collision with a loose stone on the road. Nobody was hurt, but the spare bike will be needed for the final stage tomorrow.
Today’s stage kicked off at 07:30 CEST to enable the team to cover the 55km to the first ferry crossing of the ride. The ferry bridges the ride between Brensholmen to Botnhamn and only runs five times each day, so the goal is to try and catch the 12:00 CEST departure.
You can never have too many reindeer encounters when cycling through Norway.
The day’s ride continued covering 100km in total, through the ongoing beautiful weather. The team is at full strength now, with everyone fit and healthy, and just two more days’ riding to get them into Harstad.
Last night the Cycle Norway team stayed overnight in a traditional Sami tent at the amazing Riddu Riđđu Festival. It was big enough for everyone to sleep in one space together, with a central fire, and reindeer skins on the floor for comfort.
Nik, our cycle tour manager, demonstrates the skills required to be the Yann Tiersen Cycle Norway tour manager. Driving, booking, organising, and starting wood fires in the festival tent to make the morning coffee.
Today’s ride is a 77km trip taking the team into Tromsø, the first and only large town of the journey.
Updates throughout the day.
Today Yann is having a day off from cycling and is spending it at the Riddu Riđđu Festival, before performing there at 17:00 CEST. You can watch a live feed from the festival all day over at nrk.no/riddu/.
The team’s journey through Norway is being filmed and recorded to be made into a short travel and music documentary which will be released later in the year, but the crew is making short clips along the way. Here is a little window into Friday’s journey and performance.
Listen in to the live stream of Yann playing at the Riddu Riđđu Festival now nrk.no/riddu/.
Today’s ride is the longest of the journey at 112km, riding past the Riddu Riđđu Festival which Yann will be playing at tomorrow.
Lionel, with his pulled knee, sat out the ride but travelled with the camera crew so didn’t miss the beautiful Fjord-side ride. The constant sunlight (it’s as bright at 1am as it is as 1pm) is really starting to play with everyone’s body clocks. It’s difficult to know when to feel tired, and when to go to sleep – only the long distances on the bike really put the team to sleep at the end of the day.
People are following the Cycle Norway journey online all around the world, but those following from Norway can really get involved. It turns out one of the best ways to have a coffee with Yann Tiersen is to hang out a sign and mention you have Lefse, a traditional Norwegian pancake.
Thank you to Simon and Anita for their hospitality.
No riding tomorrow. The team will be visiting the festival site, performing at 17:00 CEST and then staying on site in a traditional Sami tent.
Today’s ride continues along the E6 road and starts out with a significant hill climb to the first session location which is planned for near Gildetun.
Today’s performance and video shoot will take place at the summit of the mountain.
At 70km we hit our first injury of the journey. Lionel’s knee is starting to give way and requires some time off with an ice pack. Everyone else takes a break for cokes and coffee.
The ride pulls into Olderdalen after 106km of hard cycling which included two large climbs. The band took a break to record a wonderful performance of ‘Ar Maen Bihan’, filmed overlooking the fjords. Cheers.
Tomorrow’s ride starts at 10:00 CEST
Cycling begins today at 09.30 CEST and the first stop for a musical session will be in the town of Talvik at approximately midday.
Yesterday, after visiting NRK Finmark Norwegian Radio to play a session and talk about the journey ahead, Yann and his band – Emily Quinquis and Lionel Laquerrière – played an intimate warm-up concert in Alta’s Studenthuset.
Throughout the day, bikes were prepared, routes were finalised and the well-located bike shop Full Rulle came in handy for last minute spares.
The ride goes through Kåfjord with the first gentle hill climbs kicking in.
Today’s session was filmed in the bay of Talvik where the band stopped and performed ‘A Midsummer Evening’ on the waterfront. They were joined by NRK Nordnytt Television and the performance will be broadcast tonight at 18:45 CEST.
An online version of the performance will be available for international viewing on Friday 10 July at nrk.no/Finnmark.
The day’s riding is coming to a close – 107km covered, reindeers dodged, two flat tires and one song performed. Everyone made it.
Tomorrow’s ride from Badderen to Olderdalen starts at 09:30 CEST.
Tonight Yann Tiersen plays a warm up show in Alta, Norway at the Studenthuset before tomorrow’s departure for the first stage of his Norwegian cycling adventure.