A rough adventure for men and bikes

Text : Fred Horny & Richard Bord / Photos : Richard Bord

They said it was beautiful…But beware of the nice blonds because over there, in Norway, everything is rough and every step is worth. The thousand fjords and 50 000 islands country knows how to preserve her so splendid Mother Nature. We went for an adventure far from the well known bike parks and singletracks to discover the dirt and the rocks of the real Vikings Kingdom.

Norge*

We were about to take a flight to Island, but we thought it was a bit too « déjà vu » so one day, Rich’ called me and said : « What about Norway? » And without hesitation I said « Bingo! » I’ve always dreamt about the trolls legends and I love the snow, so it can only goes well, right?! We managed to prepare Richard’s van a couple days before the departure and here we are, ready to hit the road from Annecy, France, to the very North of Europe. We have 15 days with no specific schedule, except to discover this country with no rush and by ourselves. We want to dig some nice spots far from the crowd, even if we might come back with nothing but hard times. Here is what my mentor from New Zealand said : « This is f#ck#ng adventure! »


"...one the best Fiskesuppe we ever had"



France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden… Norway. After 2 long days on the road, we arrive in Oslo right on time to eat one the best Fiskesuppe (fish soup) we ever had in the Fiskeriet restaurant and fishmonger. Thanks to apps like Iphigenie and Maps.Me on smartphone, we can easily navigate and find some new spots depending on where we are and the weather reports. One hour drive from Oslo, Kongsberg is our 1st stop for a MTB ride. A single track in the forest guides us above a beautiful lake lost in the mountains surrounded by some colorful trees, rocks and roots. A perfect moment of pleasure during the sunset giving us a good taste for what is next! We’ll come back the morning after, just to be sure it was real, and then we’d jump into the van and drive towards the Telemark county. We find a 1356m summit, one of the highest points in the area, and pedal up to the top to enjoy an amazing 360° postcard view. We decide to ride down via another single track, on the other side of the mountain, and it’s maybe our 1st mistake of the trip! We finally reach the car after a very long ride just before the night is coming. But yeah, it was worth it!

* Norge : Norway name in bokmål (classic norwegian)

"Pedaling on a technical and challenging single track through some big rocks"


After a nice diner and night in the forest where we met an impressive moose, it’s time for us to move towards the west coast, leaving there the good hot weather for the cold and rainy one… We play the tourists in Lysebotn and walk to the top of the fjord to see the magic view. Because of the rain, we decide to skip the very touristic but beautiful Preikestolen and Kjeragbolten to go to the very less known Blomstølen, up north, after an unforgettable night by the Stordalsvetnet lake. The climb has to be with the bike on the back, before we arrive on the plateau where the Blomstølen cabin is. From there, we continue to go up, pedaling on a technical and challenging single track through some big rocks. The way down is as challenging as the climb, but this is why we came here!

Adventure is adventure

Time to get some rest after this long day on and off the saddle. Already some great memories from this place where hikers we crossed told us they’ve never seen mountain bikers there before. It’s our kind of reward! The day after, we drive to the north and make a stop in Voss, a well known ski resort during winter. After a quick ride at the end of the day, we decide to stay a bit more and plan a mini adventure for the next 2 days. We pack our bag packs with food, water, bike stuff and warm clothes as we want to reach and sleep in the small Tvinnefossen cabin, few hours from Voss, in the middle of the mountains. After a 1st 800m + climb on 4x4 tracks, it’s time for the technical part on a rocky single track and then at the top of a wild, windy and huge mineral plateau where it use to be a glacier centuries before us. The green/yellow lichens on the rocks are almost fluo and some small lakes are scattered as far as we can see. A last pedal up and we can reach our small, typical and beautiful red cabin lost between 2 lakes and guarded by a bunch of sheep. We meet Sara and Magnus, a German couple of hikers who just arrive on their last stage of a 15 days tour. The rain and cold weather are coming while we have a chat by the fireplace sharing tea and stories. A timeless simple moment without electricity nor network.


"We pack our bag packs with food, water, bike stuff and warm clothes"



The next day is rainy and we have to ride down the mountain on some slippery rocks, but it’s funny! We continue our road to the north, where fjords are everywhere. A quick tourist photo to Geirangerfjord, one of the most touristic place in Norway, before to drive up to Eidsdal, right above Norddalsfjorden where we will stay two nights. Unusual breakfast time the morning after with a direct view on the fjord with a fantastic light and atmosphere. After a disappointing ride to Storvatnet under the rain on a very bad single track, we start to understand why and how the Vikings were what they were. Rough and strong. I let you imagine the odor of our wet clothes in the small van trying to dry during the night… The next day, we reach Blåhornet and… here it is! Some great single tracks and a MTB ride to the summit with an unbelievable view on the fjords. A great moment.

Tvinnestølen Hut / Voss, Norway

Ålesund, last stop


We’d like to reach Ålesund before the sunset, but we find a small summit in our way : Nihusen (438m above the sea level). A bit technical, a bit physical, a the kind of ride we like with a great view on the Ålesund bay on the west side with plenty of fjords all around. We finally catch the sunset in town right on time before eating what they call themselves « probably the best fish N’ chips in the world ». We won’t know if it’s true, but it was almost as good as a British one! Time flies and we already have to think about our way back to France and the 2400 km drive to go there… But we can’t resist to a very last MTB stop to Littlefjellet. A summit opening a unique view on Trollveggen and it’s 1100m vertical rock face, the highest in Europe. A well known spot for base jumpers and climbers. We have to hike the bike to reach the top, but then, it’s a perfect spot for our last lunch in the mountains.


A last postcard in our memories bringing us a big smile and a great feeling before to head down to the south for a very long drive and a last stop to Oslo where the only negative thing is the high price of the beer!

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