A journey from Norway to the Alps

Hi folks.

Been quiet for a while and with relatively good reason. A lot has happened the last weeks and I’ve prioritized to maintain the balance. In May most of my time went to completing my Sprinter Adventure Van. Then my girlfriend arrived to Norway and we took the van out for a test run in a week exploring Norway.

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First we drove to the west coast and experienced the steep mountain sides and the colourful fjords. Quite touristy with a lot of German camper vans mixed with Japanese tourist busses and cruise ships. We passed through both Briksdalsbreen, Geiranger and Trollstigen. The last one was on my bucket list, so of course we camped by the foot of the climb and took our bikes out for a ride the next morning.

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After travelling the Alps and working / living in Gran Canaria two winters I must admit that Trollstigen is nice, but not steep. It’s medium long (around 12 km) and reminds me of a light version of the Serenity climb in Gran Canaria. Some tourist traffic here and strong wind as well, but cool to have done it. What we’ve added to our bucket list is the ride up and over Aurlandsfjellet (the old main road) before the Lærdalstunnel was made. That’s now a tourist road with beautiful nature and great climbing from both sides.

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Because of the tunnel it has to be an out-and-back ride if you don’t find someone to take your car, but it will anyway be an epic day on the bike. Next time, Norway! 🙂 After the west coast we went to Hafjell on Saturday and took part in the season opening of the Bike Park. It has courses for all levels, from beginner (green) to expert (black) and everything in between. Nice trails on the mountain of Hafjell-Øyer and the park is in great condition.
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We were there with some friends and had great fun with our Merida One.Sixty enduro bikes the whole day. I’ve lived in the area during my studies in 2010-13 so for me it was like coming back to home soil. I really love this bike park. And another great thing about this is that it’s free coming on their parking place with access to showers and toilets inside. Super service for travelling adventurers on bike!

Sunday morning we woke up to heavy rain and decided to let the bike park experience from Saturday be enough for this time. I really wanted to show my girlfriend the highest peak of Norway (Galdhøpiggen 2469 m) and the forecast looked good. The big advantage with having a rolling house like the adventure van is no need for repacking. We just made breakfast and started driving. In some hours we were at Spiterstulen ready for the hike.

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It’s been around 10 years since I was on the roof of Norway the last time, but I knew what it would be like. Jotunheimen national park is full of rocks and this trail is a quite steep one. No climbing skills needed, but good form is crucial and always bring some spare food, drinks and clothes. Good to have a background from the military in these cases. Gives extra safety. The route Spiterstulen-Galdhøpiggen is not for everyone. The T-marked route is not always so easy to follow and the trail is not really visible in the big rock garden.

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We brought a map and compass just in case, but my memory combined with the T-marks was sufficient. On the way up we had great weather as promised by the forecast. Unusual to be standing at the top with not even a draft of wind and in good temperature. There are some snow sections to cross, so good, high hiking shoes are recommended. We used around 3:45 to reach the top, but this is where cycling and hiking is very different. The job was by far not over!

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The way down had just as many rocks and for every steep step you have to keep focused. It was hard work both for the legs and the head and in the end the cyclist legs were ready for some rest. We spent the night camping at Spiterstulen and drove back to Hallingdal the next day.

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We had also brought with us a “Della” swing made of wood from Berchtesgadener Land. You can check out the product here. On the way home we found a great location to have some fun in the trees with a spectacular view over Vågåvatnet.

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When we came back to Gol we made some small upgrades to the van based on our experience living in it for a week. Then we packed all the stuff in and set course south. First sleepover in mid Sweden, second sleepover mid Germany. Not much to say, really. Shit weather is good for driving, so we didn’t care to stop and unpack our bikes before we came to Albstadt. Then we tested out the Alb Gold Trophy course and camped by the Bodensee for the weekend.

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This area is by the way a pearl for road cycling. A lot of rolling hills, fruit plantations and not much cars in the inland. Of course quite touristy around the lake itself, so better stay away from that road if you’re not particularly keen on playing in traffic. We had our Merida Scultura 9000-E disc road bikes with us and this was a perfect opportunity to give them some fresh air!

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On Sunday we drove the final leg of our journey to finally come home to Berchtesgadener Land. We are based by the foot of the alps with steep high mountains surrounding us. This is a place I can call home. Great for both mountain biking, enduro cycling, road cycling, running, hiking, swimming and climbing. In general – all outdoor sports! What a lovely place 🙂 So just let me know when you want to visit the area. I’ll be happy to show you around.

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It’s now only one week left until the start of Bike TransAlp. I’ll be cycling for Team Thaugland and we will of course keep you updated day by day from the race. Now I’m heading out for some intervals – ciao!!

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