Mountain Biking the Lofoten Islands, Norway

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What about a trail ride in dramatic scenery in the midnight sun?  The Lofoten archipelago lies within the Arctic Circle, so you could enjoy 24 hours of sunshine during the summer months in good weather conditions.  Yet, your body’s need for sleep remains the same at 68° north.

The Lofoten Islands combine dramatic mountains and peaks with open sea, sheltered bays, beaches and steep fjords to one of the most spectacular landscapes.  There are a handful of trails that are as well good for mountain biking, however, hiking your bike is sometimes inevitable.  The biggest challenge though, is to find a decent bike to rent.  It is a good idea to bring your own rig.

One of the best Lofoten rides starts just south of Leknes in Bergsdalen and winds up to Smordalskammen (437 meters elevation).  It is an out-and-back ride on a ridge with a fun way back downhill.

A real classic trail is the Keiservarden near Digermulen.   The last German emperor Wilhelm II enjoyed the view on the Raftsundet already in 1889.  The ride at the top is partially on granite rock.

Kleppstadheia in the Kabelvag/Svolvaer region offers great views, but requires to hike your bike for a while.

Trailride.no is a very helpful app to locate MTB-rides in Norway.

 

Mountain Biking The Great Outdoors in Europe – Ål, Norway

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The glacier-shaped Norwegian landscape is unique and stunningly beautiful.  It can be labelled as the Great Outdoors of Europe.  But what about mountain biking in this rugged terrain?

There are numerous great MTB-spots.  In  the Telemark in Southern Norway you can ride for miles on smooth granite rock and several skiing resorts have remodeled their slopes into bike parks in summertime.  There is a cool app for the smart phone called trailguide.no, that shows all the MTB-spots and helps you navigating the routes.

We chose Ål in Hallingdal as our MTB-hot spot.  Ål is about half way between Bergen and Oslo and it hosts the Hillbilly Huckfest, a big air event, in July.  Knut, the organizer of the Hillbilly Huckfest, helped us to hit some of Ål’s  MTB-trails.  So we gave the Hillbilly Enduro Trail literally a trial. Knut drove us up the hill to a place called Nyset where we hiked our bikes up for about 15 minutes to cross Nysetfjellet and to gradually descent back to Ål.

Due to the rain on the previous days the trail was in fact a creek in some sections.  And with the trillions of rocks the trail was quite challenging.  After a while we found our flow while the trail was still soaked.   On one of the ladders across a swampy spot I lost balance and had to step off the pedal with the consequence of wet and cold feet for the rest of the ride.

All in all we had a cool 15 km long trail adventure that encompassed most of the typical Norwegian characteristics: lots of rocks and water, natural beauty, really nice people & fun.  Skål.