Travel

Norwegian Cycling Trip

There are different kinds of good days on the bike. Some good days are just that, effortless excursions filled with vistas, friends and food. They blend together and while you can't pinpoint exactly what was so good about a certain one, you look back fondly and with a smile.

Parker Dusseau Norwegian Biking Trip

My third day in Norway was the other kind of good day; the kind that throws so much at you that your jaw hurts from dropping all day. The kind where new never ceases and limits seem infinite. The kind you can picture from beginning to end without hesitation or doubt.

After leaving Oslo two days before, we were ready to dive fully into the mountains. Even though it was August, the long climbs to high elevation meant cold temperatures  and some snow on the ground. We quickly got above the glacial lakes, passing tree level, to an immense arctic-like tundra.

The high point of the day climbed over a pass through the Skaupsjøen/ Hardangerjøkulen national park. Layers and layers of rocky plateau with meandering creeks led us higher and higher until snow sat on the side of the roads and a light rain fell from the sky. The summit of course meant a coffee and food stop. Warmed by soup and coffee, the descent was daunting.

Parker Dusseau Biking Trip to Norway

The temperature hovered around 40 Celsius and the light rain threatened to get worse. I had minimal jackets and saw only one solution. Without proper gear, I relied on my own body to create heat. I hit the descent in my biggest gear and turned it as hard as I can. The effort warmed me quickly and made the high speeds even more fun. Norway's perfectly graded and paved roads are made for high speed descents in the rain apparently.

Parker Dusseau Biking Trip to Norway in Europe

Halfway down the hill, the main road goes through a series of long tunnels that twist and turn through the mountains. Luckily, there is a bike route that takes the old road, now closed to cars. The rest of the day we descended through canyons, along waterfalls and vast fog banks, not a car in sight. 

Parker Dusseau Norwegian Cycling Trip

The bike path led us straight to the Hardanger Fjord, our first of many fjords of the trip. Along the fjord was of course, another bike path. Wildflowers and raspberries graced the side of this path, with towering stone walls on either side. How fortunate we were to be the only ones on this path? That's the joy of traveling by bicycle, the best things are just off the beaten path.