A Look at Velosolutions' Innovative New Bike Park in Norway

Dec 3, 2021
by Velosolutions Global  
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At Harstad Bike Park, you will have the opportunity to try it all – from exciting MTB trails to unique Freestyle and Skills Bike Parks. In 2021, the second phase of the project was completed, where the team of Velosolutions Scandinavia carried out impressive construction work for more than 3 months in the new, modern active recreation area.

The idea of the park was created in 2015 by Harstad Cycling Club (HCK) with the goal to create a safe progressive space for cycling enthusiasts. HCK members worked closely with the local municipality and began more than a two-and-a-half-year process of regulating the area to create a modern bike park of 330,000 m2.

Pump Track

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In 2019, HCK partnered with Velosolutions Scandinavia to build the first two asphalt pump tracks - to date the northernmost Velosolutions Pump Tracks in the world above the Arctic Circle. The project was funded by Sparebank 68°Nord, Gjensidigestiftelsen, and Nordenfjelske Bykredittforening together with the Norwegian Lottery system. 

The total area of the main pump track is ~2000 m2. This special track has two straight rhythmic lines that are great for improving pumping skills with some unique and hidden transfer lines. The total area of the second, smaller pump track is ~1260 m2, including a fun children’s loop (37 m long) for young riders with a main loop that is 117 m in total length. It’s fast and has quite big berms, which are perfect for improving technique. The tracks are used not only for local training but also for various competitions that are held regularly. Next year, Harstad will host the Norwegian Qualifier for the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships.

A Modern Bike Park for the Next Generation

In 2020, HCK challenged Velosolutions Scandinavia with the task of creating a unique, modern Bike Park. Thereby marking the next project phase of Harstad Bike Park – starting with the creation of new bike trails and ending with innovative Freestyle and Skills Bike Parks. The sponsors were inspired by the idea and supported the concept of the project and its purpose. During the campaign, Sparebanken Nord-Norge allocated 9 million NOK, which creatively involved the whole city. Residents of Harstad raised donations by walking to several specific check-in locations. The campaign was planned to last for 9 weeks, but in just six days the whole city raised the goal of 9 million NOK. With the donated funding, Harstad Cycling Club was able to carry out the planned construction in 2021 with a total value of 23 million NOK.

The long-awaited construction of the second phase began in July 2021 with a focus on 3 main areas - Bike Trails, a Freestyle and a Skills Bike Park. The team experienced a variety of adverse weather conditions - strong winds, classic rainy days, and even snow at the end of the project. The most time-consuming part was the construction of bike trails. From the new trail-start location at the very top of the hill, 5 downhill and 2 uphill trails were built, entailing various levels of difficulty - from Green trails for families and beginners to Black trails for experienced athletes.

Trails



Green-Family Trail – an easy 2 – 3 m wide trail with mellow berms and rollers and without steep parts with a total length of ~720 meters. The Green Trail is perfect for mountain bikers of all skill levels and suited for any type of mountain bike. It is a great trail for everyone - beginner or expert, riding with a hardtail XC or a downhill bike and is suitable for the whole family.

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Light-Blue-Flow and Dark-Blue-Flow Trails. Both Blue Trails are made for flow, they are ~2 m wide trails with berms, some easy-beginner level table jumps, and corners that offer the possibility for the riders to have a more challenging ride and to reach a higher speed, compared to the Green Trail. Both tracks include unique wooden structures (bridge, wooden wallride) designed to encourage riders to progress and develop new skills. The trails are suited for all types of riders – families, and also more advanced riders.

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Red-Fun Trail. The name says it all, a fun ~1-1,5 m wide, ~370 meters long trail with some natural pavement parts (for example, stones), including berms, banked turns, switch-backs, drops, wooden northshores, bridges, and jumps for a more dynamic ride. It is still suitable for beginners, there are special routes leading the way around these elements. The Red Fun Trail is perfect for riders who want to feel the taste of speed and are seeking more action and adrenaline. The Red Trail is a great place to gain new skills for trail riding.

The Black Jumpline! The first half of the first downhill trail has been built and it will be completed next year, together with new Black Enduro lines. The Black offers an awesome blast of jumps and massive berms with steep descents. Be ready to try out the show-off jump at the end of the Black Jumpline in season 2022!

The construction of two uphill trails has been completed, so that riders can easily reach the trail-start of all downhill tracks. Green-Blue Uphill is ~680 m long and surrounded by a forest oasis on the backside of the park. It is a great adventure for everyone. There are also various technical segments on the trail. It is possible to choose an easier or more challenging route, for example, with unique natural rock formations or narrow parts. The second – E-bike Uphill trail, is ~300 m long and winds through the centre of the downhill tracks. During the uphill trip, it is possible to see almost all the downhill trails, which allows you to see the details of the tracks, learn from others, as well as cheer up friends from the side.

Freestyle and Skills

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Freestyle Bike Park

The Freestyle Bike Park consists of 20+ unique elements from beginner to expert level – drops, kickers, wallrides, lips, whale-tail, cannon, some dirt features, and pumps on one side of the park, and twists and turns on the other. All features are designed to offer progressively complex challenges and opportunities for everyone. The variety and difficulty of elements are divided into 3 levels – kids, intermediate, and professional, providing everyone with the opportunity to become a skilled rider.

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Skills Bike Park

Located right next to the kids pump track the Skills Park is an environment for children, teens, or adults who want to learn essential bicycle riding skills in safe and fun conditions. It is divided into two difficulty zones, providing a place for young children and beginners to learn cycling skills, as well as a place for slightly more advanced riders who want to develop their skills at a higher level and prepare for the Freestyle Park.

In total, there are ~30 different purposely designed, unique, technical, and challenging wooden / metal and gravel elements in the area with drops, wallrides, lips, berms, turns, swings, rollers, stones, logs – you name it, the Harstad Bike Park has it all! It also includes a modern and exciting addition – a 40-meter-long wooden North Shore adventure. The final woodwork is still in process and being continued by carpenters who arrived at the end of September to create various wooden elements in several areas around the Freestyle Bike Park, Skills Bike Park, and others. Although it has been snowing already, the carpenters have managed to complete the construction of an impressive 300 m2 terrace. It has a wonderful view of the Bergselva River and is a perfect place to relax.


Next year, the final touches will be added to the existing areas, complemented by various infrastructure elements from Velo Features. On top of that, some new entertainment areas will be created, woodworks will be actively continued at the trail-start and trail-end points, where innovative gates and surrounding infrastructure objects will be built and installed. The construction will not stop on the mountain trails either - they will continue to only get bigger. Get ready for endless adventures in 2022, once the snow has melted! 

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More about Harstad:
Located on Hinnøya, Norway’s largest island, you’ll find Harstad - a region with an unforgettable nature, local food restaurants with great chefs, original shops, music festivals, an untouched archipelago, and much more. Harstad is home to Norway's most romantic place to watch the midnight sun and the Northern Lights belt. The city and its region are ready to surprise you at any time! With 24/7 hours of sunshine in summer and mysterious green and purple northern lights in winter, natural phenomena in the Harstad area can be experienced all year round. In addition to the Harstad Bike Park in the Harstad city area, there are also other options for mountain biking enthusiasts. With trails in Folkeparken, bike paths at Storhornet, and off-road and off-track opportunities, full-suspension mountain bikers will have plenty of fun! Check out the Trailforks map to find out more about our Harstad trails.


Regions in Article
Harstad

Posted In:
Industry News



101 Comments

  • 217 4
 Every community should have something like that! The best way to help newcomer to get into the sport
  • 14 2
 How do you get a down vote for saying we should all have an awesome bike park located near us?
  • 12 8
 @bdub5696: pinkbike only allows giving props once, could have been a finger slip
  • 9 4
 @sb666: sorry finger slipped
  • 8 2
 @scblurlt: How dare you take my internet points!
  • 2 0
 Best way to get a guy in his 50's who has ridden MTB for 35 years giggling like a school girl too. Wow that looks awesome!
  • 85 4
 This looks nice... but shouldn't a trail have roots, rocks and stuff?
  • 33 1
 Right? I wouldn't have any excuse there to ride as slowly as I usually do
  • 77 4
 No because it would be too uncomfortable to ride with your 29 170mm enduro
  • 36 12
 Not at all. This is a modern bike park for the next generation. Your generation is not welcome
  • 32 3
 It seems perfect for a gravel bike
  • 4 1
 Yes indeed, these trails are so slick!!! Highly enjoyable with an aggro hardtail though Smile
  • 45 4
 This is Norway...rocks and roots are endless and unlimited so makes sense to build what you DONT have in exess already, no?
  • 17 6
 I was thinking the same thing. They just built a giant, multi level, pump track. We are rapidly losing the "mountain" part of mountain biking.
  • 44 1
 @feeblesmith: Exactly this.

The land access laws in Norway mean you're allowed to ride your bike more-or-less anywhere, but modifying trails is a big no-no. Consequently, we have more gnarly, narrow, awkward trails than you could ever ride in a lifetime, but none of of the flowy, jump/berm filled trails I see youtubers shredding in other parts of the world.

A project like this exists in Norway in part because it's the only way we can get flow trails.
  • 1 1
 @curendero: yeah with a BMX too, I didn"t dare to say it Wink
  • 8 1
 @FloriLori: Maybe don't ride your 170mm enduro bike there. Problem solved.
  • 6 1
 @JCO: You are so lucky though. Our land- and woodland access laws explicitly EXCLUDE mountainbikes. So it's basically more or less illegal to ride your bike anywhere that is not an officially sanctioned trail where mountainbiking is specifically permitted. On top of the federal regulation, the regional legal situation in most German states makes it excessively difficult to get permission to build legal mountainbike trails.
  • 22 3
 Everyone always has something negative to say about projects they put nothing into
  • 2 2
 @BenTheSwabian: This is only the case in some parts of Germany (I'm assuming your german), though. Bavaria for instance treats hikers and cyclists similar when it comes to land access.
  • 4 2
 @TannerValhouli: well said, the only reason to hate on this project is if you actively want to keep people out of mountain biking, save for that a project like this is resoundingly positive to that community and the sport overall.
  • 1 2
 @hardtailpunter: I feel personally attacked by this comment
  • 5 1
 @Greyfur: You correctly assumed that I'm German. I'm also a law student and I really don't want to bore you to death with the intricacies of German public law, but trust me, it's a lot more complicated than that. The legal situation is formed by many different statutes of law, both regional and federal, overlaying each other.

My previous statement was definitley a generalization and the legal situation can vary quite a bit from state to state. But in general it's very restrictive and it's fair to say that you can basically only ride your bike where you have explicit permission to do so.

The fact that you can't effectively summarize the situation in one or two sentences is also honestly a big part of the issue. For example for the state of Baden-Württemberg (where for example the Albstadt XC Worldcup is hosted) you literally have to go through about a dozen articles from 5 different statutes of law to work out the legal situation. For most other states it's not that different honestly. You kinda have to be a lawyer just to be able to work out wheter you are permitted to ride a specific trail.
  • 4 1
 @Greyfur: And for Bavaria specifically: The Bavarian law for the conservation of nature states that everybody is permitted to access land for sport and leisure activity such as hiking, skiing, riding horses and similar sporting activities. The law doesn't explicitley mention cycling or mountainbiking and thereby practically excludes it. The bavarian forest law states for woodland areas that it's permitted to ride a bike on roads and paths that are suitable and appropriate for doing so. By no means does this include classical singletrack trails though. So no, hikers and bikers are definitley not treated similarly.

And it gets worse: Pretty much exactly a year ago, the Bavarian government actually restricted the land access regulations for mountainbiking even further and worst of all, drastically increased the fees for illegally riding your bike in places where you're not allowed to. The authorities can now, and I shit you not, confiscate your bike. Bavaria is quite a bad place to live as a mountainbiker.
  • 4 2
 @BenTheSwabian:

I have also studied law in Germany so that makes two of us boring people xD - I'm mostly going by what the DIMB (www.dimb.de/fachberatung/die-rechtslage) has dumped on their website, which differentiates in far more detail, and comes to a different conclusion than you do, same goes witht the threat of confiscation, which would on a first offense be grossly unproportional.

But your right tho, it is ridiculously complicated. I live in the Rhineland at the moment and I don't think I've ever spent any time at analysing the law, I just went biking, cause, let's face it, chances are next to zero that you actually will get fined.
  • 3 1
 @Greyfur: You're completely right. I was going off the same legal statutes they list and I full well knew my original statement wasn't specific enough. Actually thank you for calling me out. Should have really gone into greater detail but I was kinda in a bad mood earlier. Got it out my system now. I half-assed this becasue firstly this is PB and not Uni and second I kinda really didn't feel like having this entire conversation in English. This is the point where I should have shut up instead of talking bs, but like I said, bad day. About the situation in Bavaria though: www.verkuendung-bayern.de/baymbl/2020-755/?fbclid=IwAR3y85BDQY71RZzeyoPe2CTGQCXgJkuyf0RKJwg7q_tLD6q2eDJYLsWPK30 (Have a look at section 1.7)

Besides that, can I assume by your flag that you're British and moved to Germany to study law? Don't get me wrong, that's super cool, but how come? (If you don't mind me asking)
  • 2 0
 @BenTheSwabian: I'm gonna send you a PM, cause we're really deariling this badly at the moment!
  • 1 0
 @danstonQ: Scooters and dirt boards next....
  • 1 0
 @JCO: sounds like a right good time, you should definitely invite me for a ride some time.
  • 1 0
 Woah careful now, that might actually require you to progress.
  • 1 0
 We need more trails and more variety. There's plenty of varied hand-built already.
  • 1 0
 Comment redacted.
  • 47 1
 This is what happens when great minds & diligent people comes together.
Definitely must visit place in Norway! Cheers!
  • 39 0
 and a sh*tload of cash!
  • 3 0
 Dat oil money.
  • 39 1
 Norway is like end game in Civilisation or Heroes of Might and Magic 3 when you are so overpowered and have so much resources that each city is pimped and upgraded to max, all armys bought and still can't run out off resources. XD
  • 1 0
 ahahah top description Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Hahaha
  • 4 1
 Even greater than making Velosolutions a hyper expensive dirtpark is, they hire sherpas from Nepal for years to build Nepal-style hiking trails (slab by slab flown in by Helikopter) in every frjord an over every hill.

Did you see the hiking shelters they build some where far out in the wilderness?
Or what level accomodation one can get out there??

Oil and gas and very few inhabitants, and no EU obligations.
  • 5 0
 @cxfahrer:
If ypu look here you can se the norwegian oil fund and its current vaule:
www.nbim.no/no
  • 2 0
 @j0lsrud: Ach du liebes bisschen.
  • 3 0
 @j0lsrud: there were once a romour that in early 60's a danish minister of foreign affairs got so drunk while have having a meeting with a Norwegian minister that he accidentally gave the best oilfields in the North Sea to Norway Unfortunately its untrue and just really poor work from the danish minister at the time.
  • 1 0
 Socialist utopia funded by petrochemicals, kinda like Venezuela, but different.
  • 19 0
 So sick. They couldnt build a decent playground around here without spending 10x that.
  • 5 0
 It's what we spend in Marin County to argue about maybe building 300 ft of trail... sometime. Later. Maybe.
  • 16 0
 Just under £745,000 (or $988,000). I wish the UK would invest that kind of money into the sport rather than wasting billions on (maybe) a better train service to the North (except Leeds).

This place looks awesome. Like a UK trail centre on steroids.
  • 3 0
 To be fair, Leeds does have the closest thing to this in the country.

There does seem to be progress though, just in the Midlands we have Snibston (already open), Bedworth (work in progress), Northampton (planned) and Leamington Spa (planned) with similar, albeit slightly smaller scale projects.
  • 8 0
 that is cheap as f for this kind of thing considering its an entire hillside. There are actually plenty of grants available to communities if people are willing to do the horrid legwork
  • 10 0
 It was 23 million NOK so about 3,5 million US-dollars for the whole park. Seems like Claudio is making good money with his flow trails
  • 4 0
 Other than the £19 million going into the Tweed Valley, right?
  • 4 0
 I agree especially considering how man millions are flowing into perfectly groomed boring patches of grass for soccer, hockey etc. If only a bit went into a pumptrack a lot could be done already.
  • 4 0
 @bashhard: Acutally its a joke how much this costs.
The Stadtstraße here in Vienna (3,2km) costs over 400million- about 150k per m.

More bikeparks, less streets.
Thanks.
  • 1 0
 @bashhard: actually 2.5M USD, or 3.2M CDN
This seems pretty cost-effective when you look at the size and potential audience. The inclusion of green flow trails is both unique and opens it up for pretty much anyone on any type of bike
  • 1 0
 @bashhard: Man, a $3.5M bike park in a town of 25,000 is crazy. I'm pretty envious of the Norwegians if their government is willing to throw that kind of money at bike infrastructure in such a small town.
  • 1 0
 @mattwragg: 23 million NOK is only for project 2.0 in the year 21-22.
Add another 8,5 million for two pumptracks with 1,5 million lumen light system on both tracks and another 8 million for the traffic park + approx 2 million for the arena with roads and parking and a 14 million NOK service house.
The contract with Velosolutions is only a little part og this total, with mostly local services and products buyed..
Total more than 50 million NOK Bike Park. The project is owned by Harstad Bike Club and is raised with volountary work of funding and marketing towards sponsors.
  • 17 1
 Flow-Autobahn everywhere
  • 5 0
 Not true, I don't see any construction. Well the missing construction workers are the same..
  • 3 3
 In the third image from the bottom there is a massive hill with a forest in the background. I bet that is full of rough natural trails if that's what you want. This centre has clearly been designed to be long lasting and beginner friendly, neither of which you can say about natural single track.
  • 3 0
 @Patrick9-32: meh, Finale Ligure told me different stories
  • 14 2
 That looks good until you realise it's in the middle of fucking nowhere
  • 12 2
 As a Norwegian I have to say that this is completely true!
  • 2 1
 @timoped: Takes less time than travelling from Oslo to Hemsedal. Widen you horizon Wink
  • 1 0
 More than 120 000 people live less than two hour drive from Harstad. 25 k in Harstad Municipality.
  • 1 0
 @Stiantwenty9: More than 600 000 people live in the Gothenburg Area, we don't have fancy shit like that, the place with most resemblance to that is a shitty gravel pumptrack (though there are dirt jumps but they are useless 70% of the time. If you were to go by the "2 hour" stuff you do then it would be more than a f*cking million.
  • 7 0
 This is truly awesome. What a rad place. We could use a lot more places like this. Bakers Creek Preserve outside of Knoxville is another example of what can be done when the right people willing to put the time, money, and work in to something come together. One of my favorte places to visit and ride. Every city should have places like these. I can't even begin to pronounce those names of people invovled, but well done people of the artic wonderland.
  • 2 0
 We love Knoxville, too! Volunteer commitment is an essential component of a grassroots and sustainable MTB community. Unlike many other places (B*****ville) where the culture is hollow and forced

And a fun link for more Knoxville info:
www.pinkbike.com/u/knoxoutdoortours/blog/a-regional-favorite-knoxville-has-trails-for-everyone.html
  • 9 0
 Friend of mine rides there regularly and he has nothing but great things to say about it!
  • 6 0
 Wants to go, *check Google maps* damn it, it is further than to the alps from here. On the other hand, damn! That looks like an awesome place! Congrats
  • 8 1
 Pronouncing Norwegian words in my head G-J-akfj;lfhjbvjiebghaiulbvfja
  • 1 7
flag BenTheSwabian (Dec 3, 2021 at 8:45) (Below Threshold)
 Wow. Rude.
  • 4 0
 Anyone shitting on this is a bonehead. No one wants roots in their jump line. I would KILL to have something like this out my back door. We got tons of natural trials but proper built jump lines are a blast too.
  • 6 0
 Very nice place! And glad to see downhill BMX is back..
  • 3 0
 Still a 12+ hour drive south for me Frown
Well, at least it's something I don't have to plan for months, in Norway, so that's pretty nice.

Edit: Only 8 hours actually, that's very nice, could actually do that in a weekend.
  • 2 0
 South?! Do you live at the north pole or something? also, Norway is loooooooong.
  • 5 0
 @bikeskibikeski: Almost on the North Pole, 70 degrees north here.
  • 1 0
 @Losvar: that's awesome.
  • 1 0
 @j0lsrud: with your Viper you will be here in four
  • 3 0
 Amazing!!
Trying to push my city hall here in Spain to build one...
Anyone want to help?!
Sign this!

www.change.org/PumptrackFuengirola
  • 1 0
 @bluemountain: Looking right at you! If you had the foresight like these guys maybe you wouldn’t have closed lift access biking as more people would show up if this was built. I guess you’re only interested in easiest way to make a buck with hikers. Sad.
  • 1 0
 pump tracks and jump areas look rad, but what the hell is up with those trails? Are they meant to be ridden on cross bikes? why even bother building a trail and not putting a berm on it? I like to think they forgot to put in pictures of the mtb trails
  • 1 0
 Looks like a really well done project that we be a benefit for local riders and the community for years to come! Nice job Velosolutions and the community, impressive to see a vision like this actually come to fruition.
  • 1 0
 Reminds me of the first snowboard parks that opened in the late 80's early 90's brought lots of people outside to enjoy the outdoors good on them! Dirty Oil money can buy a lot of fun
  • 1 0
 There is no Oil companies involved in this project! Only Banks and the Norwegian Lottery system. But the national oil company are very much welcome in the future to invest more in a sustain community.
  • 1 0
 In Brazil it is very difficult to have a bike park funded by the government, some are made by initiatives (private), in Brazil it does not have good eyes for cyclists but it has good eyes for football.
  • 3 0
 Definitely on the BikeIt list for 2022 ... Big Grin
  • 3 0
 Finally a bikepark for people with BMX background. Smile
  • 2 0
 One of the many benefits of producing 2 million barrels of oil per day but with a population of 5.5 million.
  • 1 0
 Aren't there only about two days each year when it will not be in complete darkness or covered in snow?
  • 3 0
 Sun doesn't set at all in the summer, that's pretty nice.
About 2 months of no sun now though :/
  • 1 0
 Oh man. Kudos to Velosolutions and Norway for making this happen. Amazing news for anyone who lives close by.
  • 1 0
 That lumber would cost me 250k in so cal. #lumberprices
But all that aside, wow-what a masterpiece build!
  • 1 0
 Between the trails and that surrounding area, I think I just saw a picture of Heaven on Earth. Stunningly beautiful!
  • 2 0
 Heaven on earth!
  • 1 0
 looks fun but lacks rocks and roots imo
  • 2 0
 Wer hat's erfunden?
  • 1 0
 That's not a trail, that's a road!
  • 1 0
 by ek....dear Santa
  • 1 3
 My local municipality will build a stupid skatepark that noone will use but wont build a pumptrack that actually would get used.
  • 1 0
 soooo dreamy





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