Winter Wonderland by bike

Back in the days – when I lived in Denmark – I wasn’t a big fan of winter. To go out cycling on a grey and rainy day wasn’t exactly attractive. But since then I moved to Norway and about 3 years ago I discovered that when riding in proper snow is so much more rewarding than the grey and winter days that are so common elsewhere. Outside Oslo we have a huge natural park called Nordmarka. It’s closed for traffic but have a large network of gravel roads. These are fantastic for gravel riding and during winter quite a big part of them are actually cleared for snow, so the local residents (yes – there are a few of them) and the tree logging machinery can get access. That makes it possible to ride on hard packed snow. And with studded tires (spikes) it is just plain awesome. Much better than riding on roads that have been salted. And on a very good day it can actually be better than summer…

In about a weeks time I’m organizing my Mid Winter Patrol. I did a similar long ride at Midsummer in June. Back then 45 people joined me for a 7 hour ride ending at around midnight at a local bar for beers and snacks. Now we are approaching solstice and why not celebrate the return of the sun with a ride? That’s is Mid Winter Patrol.

So December 14th I’m taking those who haven’t parked the bike for the winter out for a 3-4 hour ride. We’ll do 50/50 road and gravel roads. The latter hopefully being covered in snow. On Sunday I was out with a friend to check out the conditions. And I think it’s safe to say: it looks promising 🙂

Atlantic Ocean Road

The name alone of this piece of road on the Norwegian west coast sounds promising. The core Atlantic Ocean Road is actually just an 8 km section crossing the gap of the fjord right where the open ocean begins and Iceland is next stop! When visiting a friend in the region last year, I brought the bike and we got the chance to ride this beautiful road. It basically goes from rock to rock for 8 kilometers. With the Atlantic on one side and the mountains and the fjord on the other side the scenery is stunning. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions of the area for reason!

When we rode it we extended the route to a 35 km stretch along the coastline and back again. No doubt, there are other options for longer or shorter loops which includes the Atlantic Ocean Road, but that will have to wait for next time. We ended up in a small village called Bud, where we found a much needed cafe and had some waffles with traditional Norwegian brown goat cheese. It sounds weird, I know, but it is good 🙂