You are riding along this gorgeous, winding road, captivated by the vast spaces, mountains and fjords, and it suddenly dawns on you that you have been completely disregarding cars and potholes all along. Simply because there are none – it’s just you and the dream road.
This is Norway. A country which has as much in common with cycling as Spain has with ski jumping. That is, nothing. Nevertheless, this is where one can find a true cycling paradise. One which has accidentally been created thanks to Norwegians’ breadth of vision that tells them to build perfectly even roads everywhere; to the top of a mountain, through little islands on the sea, through mountain valleys or seaside wastes.
Sometimes, these roads seem to have no point or destination, but this is why they unknowingly prove to be such fantastic places for riding.
Little do the Norwegian road builders know about these presents they’ve left for cyclists, and masses of riders have no idea about these roads either. All in all, every sane bike-lover will choose a trusted spot like the Alps, Dolomites or Pyrenees – ridden hundreds of times – for a weekend away from home.
But why not try something different? Take a group of friends, get in the car and set off in search of roads unknown to cyclists. Why not abandon the comfort of tried and crowded roads as well as stable weather, and instead head the opposite direction, to the north of Europe?
There were three of us on our trip: Karol, Wojtek and me, Szymon. Two students, one blogger from Poland. It is August and nobody is thirsty for results, gear or anything that seemed so important at the beginning of the season. We leave heart-rate monitors, power meters and other unnecessary rubbish at home.
We forgot about our training plans, rankings in local races and all that stops cycling perfectionists from doing rides like these. We just went ahead, far into Norway, in search of dream roads and adventure.
The plan was as simple as dropping Purito Rodriguez on a steep uphill. Two epic rides, from dawn till dusk. The first one at the sea, the other in the mountains, both well away from the biggest tourist attractions that can be reached by bike. No more arrangements. Less planning, more fun.
We are far from being in top shape. Wojtek is the furthest: he oversleeps, misses his first flight and joins us two days later. We don’t have too much time either. It’s not good because the weather is getting worse and we do not have time to sit out rainy days.
But we realise that in Norway rain is an inseparable part of the climate. I must say it worries us a bit as clouds cover a lot of the spectacular views but there is no point in complaining about something that cannot be changed. Let’s do what we were supposed to do.