During the last 15 years I have been on a few long and many short cycling trips. But what's really good about going for a bike ride? And why exactly in Norway?
In the summer of 2016 I rode a 76-day trip around Norway. It was a trip full of ups and downs and new surprises around every turn. To discover and experience Norway from the bike is something I highly recommend. Here are a number of good reasons. And there are certainly more.
1. Northern Norway
Lofoten can be compared to anywhere in the world. Along the coast across Northern Norway, the surroundings can be about this.
2. Central Norway
I could say a lot about Central Norway. I agree with one word: Trollstigen.
3. Western Norway
Those fjords, wonder why people from all over the planet come to see them?
4. Southern Norway
What about a break on a peaceful beach? Or a bath?
5. Eastern Norway
A ride along Mjøsa, the biggest lake in Norway, is not that bad either.
6. Many roads with sparse traffic
Norway has thousands of kilometers of secondary roads where you barely meet a car. With few cars around it's less to take care of, little noise and easier to indulge in the surroundings, to be a bit pompous. It is also easy to avoid the main roads and easy to navigate.
7. Safe to ride a bike
In addition to the fact that there are few cars, the drivers in the tin boxes are largely of the considerate and friendly kind. It's not scary to ride on Norwegian roads. But as a cyclist, I'm certainly a danger to others.
8. Short distance between grocery stores
Usually there is a relatively short distance between the grocery stores. It means less planning and that you do not have to draw large amounts of food. Not to forget the possibility of spontaneously filling in fresh calories depending on what the eye desires.
9. The fish bites
Apropos food. On a bike ride you must have food. Lots of food. And what's more satisfying than catching it yourself? Unless you are a vegetarian of course.
10. The right to roam
The right to roam is amazing. Nothing less. You can camp (almost) wherever you want. In the Norwegian countryside it is usually easy to find a place to sleep, and often it is also nice.
11. Epic sunsets
And once you have found a nice spot for your tent you can enjoy world class sunsets. If the sun is going down at all. During the summer you can experience the midnight sun north of the polar circle.
12. Nice campsites
If you need a shower, electricity, laundry or social contact, there are a large number of nice campsites evenly spread across the country. Here at Åndalsnes.
13. Mosquito attack (aka: potential cool stories)
When we are talking about camping, mosquito attacks at the tent are neither nice nor funny when they occur. But they often end up in a good story which you can share with others and laugh of afterwards.
14. Special surprises along the way
Here and there you will find interesting surprises along the way, such as LE-SE-SKURET (a mini library) at highway 13 in Ryfylke. When I discover such places, I acknowledge myself: this is why I ride a bicycle.
15. People who invite you
"When you come to Stavanger, you have to give a sound, and we will arrange a bed and hot shower if you need :-)". This message I received from Jone and Anne-Brit, which I did not know before I stood on their doorstep. I received a few similar invitations on the trip around Norway.
16. People you meet randomly along the way
Albin from Switzerland suddenly stood at the roadside. We immediately got along and spent three days together.
17. Animals you meet randomly along the way
It would be an exaggeration to say that the fox on the mountain of Ifjord (Ifjordfjellet) and I got very well along. But it came up to me and greeted. It was a really nice moment. I have never greeted a fox before.
18. Monstrous climbs
Only masochists like the steep heavy climbs, even if I have to admit that I can become really pleased with myself after overcoming some height meters. Rewards at the top are formidable views, like here on Slådalsvegen between Vågåmo and Lesja.
19. Wake up outdoors
What I really like with cycle touring is to wake up outdoor and have a nice morning, like here by the lake Nisser. Life can be worse than this.
20. Detour to paradise
The country is full of alluring detours. It may be far and tiresome. But sometimes you come to paradise. Hoddevik is such a place.
21. A life full of contrasts
Norway has varied topography and varied weather. When you're on a trip, this makes up for a life full of contrasts, like dry vs. wet, hot vs. cold, ready vs. exhausted and happy vs. devitalized.
Autumn 2018: Currently I am working on a ebook guide on bicycle touring in Norway. It will cover most aspects of what it is like to do a bicycle trip in Norway. Read more.