Biking Throughout Norway – From Oslo To Bergen (Bike Tour)

by jpc_touring-bicycle

My first two weeks of biking throughout Norway have been completely great. I accomplished my bike tour throughout Denmark, Norway and Sweden with Pablo and Ana and their canine Hippie… after which I spent an extra ten days touring across the Hardangerfjord and Sunnhordland areas east of Bergen with my pal Eric Kiraly.

Upon ending our self-guided bike tour in Bergen, Eric and I jumped on the evening prepare and traveled again to Oslo, Norway (the place Eric and I had first met up). We arrived in Oslo early within the morning and weren’t capable of verify into the AirBNB residence we had rented there till later that day, so we walked across the metropolis a bit of bit after which spend many of the morning at a small park situated simply north of town middle.

When the time got here for us to verify into the residence we had rented, we slowly made our method throughout city, by means of the principle pedestrian avenue within the middle of town, and towards the Oslo central prepare station. It was right here, on Karl Johans Gate, that I observed a tall, well-built man strolling at my facet… and he appeared to be following us.

It’s pretty frequent for folks to stare at me and my fully-loaded touring bicycle as I stroll previous, so I don’t suppose a lot of it. However then the person all of a sudden approached me together with his arm prolonged outward and his cellphone in his hand. He shoved the cellphone in entrance of my face and stated, “Is that this you?” Squinting into the afternoon solar, I regarded on the man’s cellphone, and sure, it was me! He was taking a look at my Bicycle Touring Professional Instagram account.

Seems the person who had been following me was named Ulrik. He’s a younger Oslo native who, simply three years in the past, had visited as a way to discover ways to conduct his personal bike tour in Norway. He took the data he discovered on the web site and performed a memorable, long-distance bicycle tour in his house nation. He was fast to inform me, the bike tour completely modified his life!

It’s not typically that I’m acknowledged on the road, however it does occur from time to time, and I like it when it does. Completely makes my day!

olso norway architecture

Only a couple hours after Eric and I checked into our AirBNB residence, Rob arrived in Oslo. He texted me from the airport saying that he had arrived and that he’d be on the residence shortly. It took him a while, nonetheless, to take the prepare from the airport to the Oslo central station after which carry his packed bicycle and all of his issues to the residence. As quickly as Rob arrived on the residence, I launched him to Eric, and he set to work on assembling his bicycle.

Norwegian architecture

Eric and I had an extended day and we each have been fairly drained, so just some hours after Rob arrived, we each went to sleep whereas Rob went out and took some images of town (see his two images above).

The subsequent morning, we wakened early, took showers, ate breakfast, cleaned the residence after which walked out onto the road. Rob and I walked our fully-loaded bicycles the few blocks to the prepare station and it was right here that we stated goodbye to Eric. After nearly two full weeks in Norway, it was lastly time for Eric to return house. So Eric took a prepare again to the Oslo airport and Rob and I continued from there to a close-by bicycle store the place we met a small group of vacationers who had signed as much as take part in a guided bicycle tour of the Oslo metropolis middle.

viking biking bicycle tour group

Main the bike tour was a charismatic Englishman named Paul. He welcomed us to Oslo, informed us that the bike tour would start in just some moments, after which requested us to attend. A couple of minutes later, we have been on the road, standing over our bicycles and following Paul (and his blond-haired assistant Ricky) throughout the streets of Oslo.

On the bike tour with us have been a few dozen different folks. And admittedly, I used to be simply as within the folks on the bike tour because the precise bike tour itself. Everybody on the tour with us appeared to have a narrative… they usually have been all such good folks.

Generally I hear from people who they imagine the world is a scary, horrible place. However I feel these folks have been watching an excessive amount of TV and haven’t left the consolation of their house for a really very long time. I’ve traveled all world wide and I can inform you that for essentially the most half, the world is a really pleasant place. Most individuals are good, type, caring folks. Sure, there are issues on this planet… and sure, there are individuals who do unhealthy issues. However for essentially the most half, the world is stuffed with good folks!

vigeland naked statue park

The spotlight of the bike tour was Vigeland Sculpture Park – the place there are a whole lot of statues of bare folks on show throughout the park – on the edges of the bridge, within the water fountain, on the high of the close by hill, and many others. They’re all over the place! And better of all, you’re allowed to climb on the statues. In reality, it’s virtually inspired (which can also be type of bizarre when you concentrate on it).

naked people in oslo norway

As quickly because the bike tour was over, Rob and I stated goodbye to all the brand new pals we had made after which we instantly started biking west out of town. By this time within the day it was already nicely after 4 PM and we have been hoping to get about 60 km or extra exterior town middle earlier than calling it a day.

Fortunately, getting out of Oslo was simply as straightforward because it was getting in. The town’s many bike paths make zipping out and in of town middle a complete breeze, and it was thanks to those well-signed bike paths that Rob and I have been capable of cycle about 8 km past town of Drammen (which is about 60 km southwest of Oslo).

Right here, on a fairly suburban street, I noticed what regarded like a spot to camp in a hillside forest. We pushed our bicycles up a steep, rocky path after which (completely by chance) stumbled throughout probably the greatest campsites I’ve ever occurred throughout on my travels anyplace on this planet.

best campsite ever

At this distant, unmarked campsite was a fire-pit, logs to take a seat on, a lean-to shelter, a small provide of firewood, and loads of flat locations to pitch our two tents. After establishing camp, we made a small campfire after which known as it an evening. It had been an extended day and we each knew that there was numerous biking forward of us.

We woke the subsequent morning feeling good. After packing up our issues, we hit the street and cycled west by means of town of Hokkund after which south to Kongesberg. As soon as in Kongesberg, we resupplied on meals and water and stopped for a brief lunch break on the sting of the river the place a big waterfall was crashing over the rocks and earth under.

beautiful farmland in norway

Then we cycled north-west, touring for 2 full days on freeway 40. I didn’t take many images of this leg of the tour, however I did shoot a number of video, so that you’ll have to attend till later to observe the YouTube movies I made out of this a part of the journey.

norway highway 40 bicycle route

Whereas I don’t have many images of us on Freeway 40, I can inform you that this explicit street was nearly fully automobile free, tremendous clean, and had a few of the most lovely surroundings I’ve seen in all of Europe. The street was past implausible! I completely liked it… and I’d advocate this street to anybody touring by means of Norway on a bicycle. It’s a fully excellent bicycle touring route.

steep mountain climbs in norway

Throughout our second day on the 40, Rob and I encountered a sequence of three steep uphill climbs – the primary of which was the worst.

We tackled the primary main hill in a sluggish, however regular style. As we obtained larger up, the visibility dropped and the rain elevated. By the point we reached the summit, we have been each chilly and dripping moist.

bicycle touring in the rain and cold

So we cycled down the hill a brief methods and nearly instantly went dashing into the close by bushes, looking for a spot to camp for the evening.

We settled on a comparatively flat patch of earth subsequent to somebody’s deserted summer season house. We pitched our tents as rapidly as we might and them jumped inside, spending the subsequent a number of hours attempting to dry out our issues and get heat. It was an extended, chilly evening, however we survived. We woke the subsequent morning, packed up our  moist objects as greatest we might, and the continued down the street, solely to deal with the 2 remaining hills.

free showers in norway

On the backside of the primary hill of the day was a big relaxation space… and inside this relaxation space was a spot the place we might take a bathe… for FREE. After a chilly, moist evening in our tents, Rob and I couldn’t cross up on this chance. We left our bicycles exterior the bathe door after which rapidly took probably the greatest showers of our lives. We have been so stunned to have come throughout a bathe… seemingly out in the midst of nowhere. And it was free, which made it even higher!

Norway highway 40 bike route

As a lot as Rob and I each loved biking on Norway’s freeway 40, we have been each extraordinarily glad to have reached the street’s northern-most level and town of Geilo. We stopped on the town to relaxation, top off on meals and water for the subsequent leg of our journey, and eat a fast lunch. The city was very nice and regarded like it could have been an awesome place to return and ski through the winter months.

Geilo Norway

Biking west out of Geilo was dramatically completely different to biking on the 40. The street was narrower, there was much more site visitors, and it appeared as if we have been always going uphill.

off road cycling in norway

We did, nonetheless, ultimately attain some extent within the street the place we have been positive we should be close to the highest. Nevertheless it was right here, close to the city of Haugastol, that we ran right into a roadblock. Simply previous the big bike store on the facet of the street was a large signal within the street warning that the street was closed to cyclists as a consequence of a landslide.

Once we inquired contained in the bike store as as to whether or not we might proceed down the street on our bicycles, they stated that we might attempt, however that we’d seemingly have to attend for the bus in some unspecified time in the future to take us by means of one in every of Norway’s many lengthy underground tunnels. To make an extended story quick, we have been caught!

Rallarvegen bicycle path

However there was another choice really. As a substitute of biking all the best way to Bergen on the street (as we had initially deliberate), we might take a extra scenic path to the north on a gravel street known as the Rallarvegen. From right here, we’d cycle for about 50 kilometers to the tiny city of Flam, after which take a prepare from there again to Bergen. It wouldn’t be the complete “biking throughout Norway” bike journey we had deliberate, however it could positively be an journey!

biking across norway

It didn’t take us lengthy to resolve that we have been doing to desert our authentic plans. We didn’t wish to take care of the landslide within the street or with attempting to catch a bus by means of the tunnel we knew would encounter alongside the best way. So we determined to cycle north alongside the Rallarvegen, get so far as we probably might, after which take the prepare again to Bergen.

cycling across norway

As quickly as we obtained on the Rallarvegen, I used to be positive we had made the precise choice. The views from the street have been completely superb! Plus, the solar was popping out (from time to time) and blessing us with a few of the greatest climate we had skilled in days. There was some concern concerning the slender street tires on Rob’s bicycle with the ability to deal with the filth and gravel street we have been biking on, however we pressed on anyway.

biking in norway

The one factor I didn’t like about our bike tour on the Rallarvegen was the very fact that there have been so many locations alongside the best way that I needed to cease and {photograph}. I might have simply spent a complete week biking this 50 kilometers stretch of street as a result of there have been so many scenic viewpoints alongside the best way. However Rob and I have been in a little bit of a rush. We actually solely had two extra days to spend on the street. On the finish of these two days, we wanted to be again in Bergen as a result of Rob’s girlfriend, Carrie, was flying in that day and we wanted to be there for her arrival.

biking across norway on the Rallarvegen

So we pressed on and, someday within the night, pitched out tents in a distant mountain space between two small lakes. We needed to carry our heavy bicycles over a small stream to get to this explicit campsite and we each slipped on the rocks and obtained our ft moist whereas crossing over the water. So with soggy footwear, however optimistic attitudes, we arrange our camp for the evening, crawled inside our tents, and ate dinner.

bike tour in norway

Because the solar set over the lakes and mountains round us, Rob crawled out of his tent to take some images of the sundown, and I stayed inside my tent to keep away from being bitten by the mosquitoes. We spent the remainder of the evening calling again backwards and forwards to 1 one other from inside our tents about how lovely and superb the panorama was that we have been at the moment in.

how to cycle across norway

Rob and I have been in no rush to get up early the next morning. In any case, we thought, we solely had about 40 kilometers to journey. We might take our time and attain the city of Flam (or Myrdal) in loads of time. So we slept in late, took our time packing up our bicycles, and rolled out of camp someday round midday.

Again on the path, we met a number of different bicycle vacationers touring down the Rallarvegen like we have been. It was a bit unusual for me, nonetheless, to go from seeing nearly no different bicycle vacationers to all of a sudden seeing dozens of them in a single day. The place have been all of them coming from? And have been they merely biking this quick stretch of path?

Norway cross country bicycle paths

Someplace alongside the Rallarvegen was a small, pink, picket constructing. And inside this constructing was a younger girl serving espresso and waffles. Rob ran inside and scarfed down the much-appreciate meals, whereas I sat at a desk and listened in on the conversations of the opposite younger vacationers contained in the tiny roadside cafe.

Rallarvegen waffle house

After an extended waffle break, Rob and I hit the street as soon as once more, however we didn’t get far. Only a few kilometers after stopping for waffles, Rob obtained a flat tire. In reality, he blew out each of his bike tires in a single go. So we stopped on the facet of the street and went to work. I repaired Rob’s rear tire whereas he labored on the entrance one. Then, after each tires have been fastened and re-inflated, we continued down the street once more, being extra cautious this time round about operating into rocks or gravel which may trigger one other puncture.

Rallarvegen rocky road for bike tour

However as soon as once more, Rob yelled for me to cease. He had run into one other rocky patch of street and had blown out each of his tires as soon as once more. The look of defeat on Rob’s face was horrific. We each knew that we have been in bother… and that we wouldn’t be getting a lot additional on this rocky terrain.

We stopped once more and glued each of Rob’s flat tires. However as a substitute of biking on like we had deliberate, we got here up with an exit technique. As a substitute of biking all the best way to Flam, Rob and I have been merely going to stroll the 2 quick kilometers to the close by city of Finse, and from there we’d soar on the prepare and journey again to Bergen. So we walked the bikes into Finse (the tiny city you see within the picture under), purchased prepare tickets again to Bergen, after which loaded our bikes onto the passing prepare. A pair hours later, we have been in Bergen, Norway!

Finse Norway

As quickly as we obtained off the prepare, Rob was in a rush to get to the place the place we’d be staying – the house of his pals, Kjartan and Ingeborg.

Rob had been to Bergen on two earlier events and had stayed together with his pals Kjartan and Ingeborg previously, so he knew the place they lived and he was in a mad sprint to get there. I don’t know if it was the rain we have been driving in, the truth that his girlfriend can be arriving the next day, or the truth that we have been about to see his pals, however Rob was like a velocity demon as soon as we obtained on the bikes in Bergen. I hadn’t seen him pedal so quick on the whole bike tour! He dashed round corners, reduce off pedestrians, and almost left me behind on no less than a couple of events. Once I lastly did catch as much as him, I requested, “What’s the push Rob? Why are you going so quick?” To which he replied, “Oh, was I going quick? I didn’t notice. ”

typical Norwegian house

It didn’t take us lengthy to cycle the 11 kilometers or so from the Bergen prepare station to the house of Rob’s pals, Kjartan and Ingebord (who had been type sufficient to host not solely Rob and his girlfriend, however me as nicely).

As soon as at their house, we rolled our moist bicycles into the basement and went to work on drying out our issues. Rob was given a small bed room close to the bikes and I used to be given a spot to sleep on the ground of the household train room/workplace. After showering, dinner was made and I used to be launched to the remainder of the household (5 children and two visiting cousins).

The next day, Rob’s girlfriend (Carrie) flew in from Amsterdam. Rob went to fulfill her on the airport whereas I stayed behind to atone for a bit of laptop work. Rob had been speaking about Carrie virtually the whole time we have been biking throughout Norway, so I used to be excited to fulfill her, and I wasn’t dissatisfied. Carry was outgoing, humorous, and (even a bit of) crass. I preferred her from the second we first met.

carrie and rob

That evening, Rob, Carrie, Kjartan and Ingeborg cooked pizzas for the whole household. I supplied to assist, however was ushered out of the kitchen and again down into the basement. Frankly, I couldn’t have helped a lot – even when I had been requested (as I’m a really horrible cook dinner). However the pizza was scrumptious, and as all of us sat across the desk (all 11 of us), I used to be blissful to have survived yet one more unbelievable biking expertise… and to be within the firm of such nice folks.

homemade pizza in norway

pizza boy

pizza girl

carrie and rob in the kitchen

Rob and I’ve performed now performed 4 completely different week-long bicycle excursions collectively over the past 4 years. To see images and and listen to the tales from the earlier three bike excursions we did collectively, please see the next hyperlinks:


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