Innovation of the Year – runner up

A local print cycling magazine her in Norway – Landevei – recently did a small survey of what their readers considered to be the “best of” in 2019. I was so lucky that they nominated Oslo Dawn Patrol in the category ‘Årets Nyskapning’. That translates into the Innovation of the Year.

The nominees were:

  1. Førstevifta – a podcast by two young hopeful cyclists fighting for the pro dream.
  2. Oslo-Mysen – a local early season gran fondo with a lot of tough gravel sections.
  3. Uno X Development Team – the very first team in Norway to apply for a pro conti license and thus becoming the Norwegian team competing at the highest level so far.
  4. Oslo Dawn Patrol – the one and only weekly open social ride for the early birds in Oslo.

Just being on the list of nominees felt pretty good. But of course you always hope to snatch the actual award as well.

But nevertheless, Uno X took the prize. But honestly, that is OK. First of all Landevei has readers in all of Norway. Not just Oslo where we have the Dawn Patrol. Secondly, Uno X is a big budget thing that gets a lot of attention in the media – mainstream media as well. So I’m actually pretty pleased to come in second with 27 % of the votes. Guess I’ll just have to come up with something else next year, so I can take the prize then. Suggestions are welcome!

Oh by the way – Uno X owns DARE Bikes Norge (my personal sponsor).

The Service Course Oslo

Back in 2016 (I think) a guy called Christian Meier and his wife, Amber, started The Service Course in Girona. According to the website they give you a “world class cycling experience”. I’ve never been there, but from what I hear it’s a pretty cool place. And it probably doesn’t hurt that it’s in Girona, which is a pretty good destination for a cyclist. This weekend they opened up a branch her in Oslo as well.

I’ll admit that it’s not totally clear to me what exactly their business model her in Oslo is. It’s not a normal bike shop. Not a training studio. Not a travel agency. But a bit everything I guess. They have been pretty clear that gravel is the unique selling point here in Oslo. Attracting cyclists to Oslo to get the chance to ride some of the fantastic gravel routes we have just outside of town is certainly a good idea. But the season is short; the weather is not what Girona can offer; and Norway is an expensive destination for tourists. So it’s going to be interesting to see if they can actually get customers to pay the price for this.

In addition to the gravel tour guiding and selling insanely expensive custom built bikes they do actually have a Zwift training studio as well. For a place like Oslo with a winter lasting for six month and quite a bit of snow, I have no doubt that this is a good addition to the concept. I don’t just say that because the studio is fitted with bikes from my personal sponsor – DARE Bikes Norge. I honestly think its’ a good offer to the local cycling community for them to stay fit – as well as stay in touch – through the winter. Most have their own Zwift setup at home in a small pain cave in the garage or a shed in the garden. But being able to ride Zwift in more fresh surroundings is definitely attractive. It all depends on how much it’ll cost. Not everyone ride outdoor all year like myself. Even I could be tempted to sign up for that studio.

It’s not spinning. It’s Zwift training on Dare Bikes 🙂

The Sunday Salida

On Sunday they hosted the first – of hopefully many – open social group rides, Sunday Salidas. It’s something they do down in Girona as well. I had been looking forward to this. After I started Oslo Dawn Patrol I’ve been hosting a lot of group rides with large groups of people. That’s hard work so I was looking forward to join as one the riders and just have a good time. But obviously, I couldn’t stop myself from taking a few mental notes on how they did things and what I would have done different myself.

Let me be clear: It was a great ride! Around 35 people on a cold and snowy Sunday. That’s good. We did a 2-hour loop on what is normally gravel, but was snow covered roads on the day. It was a good route that wasn’t too long or too difficult – apart from the fact that it was soft snow. But that’s just fun.

That being said, there’s room for improvement. The pace was high from the start. We dropped people already on the way out of town and after about 8 km, we turned into the woods. Unfortunately, a small group had been caught by a red light (and we didn’t wait), so they missed the turn and continued straight ahead. Out of pure luck they found us half an hour later when our paths suddenly crossed. It was a coincidence that basically shouldn’t be possible. It was not a social ride. It was a tough ride. I myself got dropped a couple of times and only managed to catch up when there was a short stop in the front group. The sequence below from Strava Flyby is a good example of how a left turn was missed by quite a few people. Where were the road captain and the lantern rouge? As I said: room for improvement. But it’s actually just minor adjustments that will make all the difference.

The group was stretched out after a long climb. The front group turning left, without re-grouping.

But still, it was a good day out for me. I met a lot of people, which is always nice. And I’m always impressed when someone takes a chance and starts something up. No doubt The Service Course is going to be good for the entire cycling community in Oslo. And I hope they will make it. Kudos to the team at The Service Course Oslo.

Photo credit: All the photos in this post are from the Facebook page of The Service Course Oslo. Give them a follow.

You may now leave your comfort zone

Bjerkekross 2019. Photo: Ola Morken.

I’m a road cyclist by heart and passion, but on a regular basis I try to push myself outside my comfort zone. I’ve heard that’s where the magic happens!

Every year I try to add a few cyclo cross races – or CX as the inner circle calls it – to my agenda. It’s dirty. It’s hard. And it’s technical! Especially since it so incredibly hard, I’m not really that good at it. But it’s so much fun. And I’ve heard that someone has to finish last 🙂

I’ve done two races recently. The first one I did a beautiful face plant (literally), making me so confused that I had to abandon the race. But on Saturday I was back at Superpokal here in Oslo. No face plants this time and I didn’t even finish last. There were five riders (out 69) behind me. And I had the true honor of being called out on by the speaker as a ‘not so impressive 64th place’. Well – they say bad PR is better than no PR and he did add a good description of Oslo Dawn Patrol and all the work I’m doing there.

I might not be a good CX rider, but I’m quite confident that I’m becoming a better cyclist overall by adding things like this to my repertoire. I don’t care if finish last, as long as I get the training and the fun out of it. And generally, I believe that whatever you do, you should go out of you comfort zone from time to time. At least to get the feel of it. You may discover something great. And if not – it makes it so much better when you are back at your routine.

Yup. That’s me. Alone and tired. But still fun 🙂