Chilled Vibes & Epic Scenery in Norway - Video

Apr 24, 2018
by Big Mountain  
Views: 7,154    Faves: 67    Comments: 6

Photos by Leslie Kehmeier

It was clear when we disembarked the plane and stepped into Oslo’s impressive Lufthavn Airport that things were different in Norway. The soaring building, made of wood, metal and glass felt more like an art gallery than an airport with its expansive marble floors, stainless steel sculptures, glass walls, electronic art boards and even six sound refreshment stations, or “showers” that make refreshing sounds when a person is immediately under them. Tall blond-haired blue-eyed families walked by wearing colourful Bergans jackets and oozing with rugged educated outdoorsy culture. So far so good, Norway. Before boarding the next flight north to Narvik we grabbed a slice of pizza for a cool 120 NOK, close to $20 CAD. Welcome to Norway.


By the time we were rolling out of our fjord-side accommodation, it was mid-afternoon, no rush. It was early August and we were on the 68th parallel, a cool 200 km north of the Arctic Circle where the sun just dips below the horizon for a few hours each night. Our first ride was Reinesfjellet, an enduro-descent on polished granite slabs with bowls, hits and incredible features like we’d never seen anywhere in the world. When we weren’t on Velcro-traction granite we were grinding through bog wetland and up short hike-a-bikes which drained the tank. The last granite descent down to the shore of the Ofotfjorden Fjord was long and as steep as you wanted it, akin to skiing a steep line on skis. Our minds were hazy and blown while the sky donned a grey hue with a slight pink tinge. Incredibly we arrived back to the van at 2:30 AM. “Riding through the night on the largest granite slab playground I’d ever seen without the need of lights was an amazing experience,” said rider Jaime Hill. Back at our cabin we tucked in for a late dinner and hit the sack just after 5:00 AM.


After a hearty breakfast of smoked salmon, eggs, muesli, bread and cheese we loaded the bikes on the van and hit the road for the island of Austvågøy and the sparsely populated Lofoten archipelago. Straight out of a Volvo ad, the pristine E10 road consists of long tunnels and bridges linking the main islands and ending in the town of Å. As we drove south the dramatic landscape of mountains and sea unveiled itself. It was like nothing we’d ever seen with mountain spires jutting from deep fjords, grassy meadows, groves of craggy birch trees and white sandy beaches to the open sea and small fishing villages dotted with red cabins. Though it lies within the Arctic Circle, the Lofoten islands experience one of the world’s largest elevated temperature anomalies relative to its high latitude. The air was fresh and salty with a hint of dried fish. We pulled into the town of Svolvær, unloaded the bikes and moved into our rorbu, a traditional fishing house built on stilts over the water.



It was obvious that very few people ride mountain bikes in the Lofoten islands and few people have, ever. We saw no bikes on car racks, no tracks in the dirt and the few sports stores were more set on hiking, climbing and sea kayaking. One morning while we were filling up with fuel at the local gas station (staffed with the most athletic good-looking humans we’d ever seen at a gas station) a bright red mid-90’s Volkswagen transporter rolls up with an EVOC pad, a brand-new Trek Fuel swung over the back and an evil looking dried cod head on the trailer hitch. Sture Pettersen steps out, a gangly man with shaggy strawberry blonde hair, a mischievous child-like gaze and a smile as wide as the Vestfjorden. One of the few riders in the area, we set out with the infectiously enthusiastic Sture for a day of adventure riding and wild cloudberry picking. A typical ride in the Lofoten starts with a pedalling climb that eventually gets too steep and technical and turns into a hike-a-bike. Usually, about 20 minutes into the hike-a-bike you look over your shoulder to gaze out over one of the most spectacular views of ocean, lakes and big mountains; a view so nice that the pain vapourizes. Unlike the riding that we were used to, even at lower elevations, you had the feeling of being in the alpine.

The descents proved to be technical and fun, natural singletrack on hiking trails with rock features and dirt. As a rider, you get the feeling that you’re truly one of the first people to lay knobby tracks on its trails. A feeling of giddy gratitude sets in that you’ve had the opportunity to ride the Lofoten.

Whistler-based global mountain bike travel company Big Mountain Bike Adventures is offering two fully guided departures to Norway this year. Click here for the details.

MENTIONS: @BigMountain

Author Info:
BigMountain avatar

Member since Feb 26, 2008
23 articles

  • 11 0
 Norway is epic, i'm from the UK but moved there this year to set up an MTB BnB this summer with my girlfriend because the scenery is so mind blowing!

If you want to ride there then give me a shout, I would be happy to show you some trails next summer!! We're down on the west coast near Bergen.

Plenty of pics from around us on my Instagram and website
  • 12 0
 It doesn't get any better than this!
  • 7 1
 That was a great feature. I strongly recommend though that if you make it out to Lofoten, schedule a day or two (or night) to leave the bikes in your cabin and simply do some hikes. Many of the best hikes and viewpoints out there are simply not worth bringing your bike since the terrain is way too steep and technical, but you won't regret it for a second for the views will be worth it.
Even if you never ever normally "just go hiking" - Lofoten, good weather and a backpack with some drinks, sandwiches and Kvikklunsj chocolate has given me some of the most beautiful moments of my life.

Reinesfjellet is super easy to access with bikes though, and you also have the gondola at Narvikfjellet if you want to do some extra runs without the hiking.

Insider tip: Frozen pizza called Grandiosa is basically the unofficial national dish of Norway and available at every supermarket for a decent price, so your travel budget will be fine as long as your cabin has an oven haha...
  • 1 0
 +1. I did a Sweden+Norway roadtrip with my buddies over 3 weeks. Lofoten is probably the best hiking location l've ever been too. Basically amazing views in all directions all the time. Very easy to camp as well. Would love to go back there with my bike and do a week or more just in Lofoten.

We managed fine as 3 english uni students in Norway - we just ate out of supermarkets and lived in our tent. Paying for accommodation and restaurant food was super expensive so we avoided it. Had a blast and would do it the same way again.
  • 4 0
 Awesome video and very well written article! I cant wait til I can afford to Norway!
  • 4 0
 I know it's basically an ad, but holy shit, I really want to go riding in Norway now. Well done.
  • 4 0
 Hei fra Cleveland. Jeg vil gjerne å bo i Norge men det pizzaen er så dyrt.
  • 2 0
 Pizzaen er dyr, men fisken er billig.
  • 1 0
 Lofoten is amazing. I've made a handful of trips there. My heart/soul/spirit yearns to return there again while looking at these pictures and video. It's a must visit if you have the opportunity.
  • 1 0
 To say this does not tug on the heart strings and adventure seeking is quite an understatement! The land of my forefathers that I've never once visited. I long to go.
  • 1 0
 Gotta get myself to Norway! It looks like where I grew up, Newfoundland, and where I live, Jasper, AB, collided and created the most amazing landscape for adventure.
  • 3 0
 Great scenery, enjoy!
  • 2 0
 There are some hidden DH lines in atleast one of those pics! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I have about a million things I have to get done , but soon as I am done I am going to go there and ride
  • 1 0
 It´s a shame they found oil, otherwise Norway would have been a super cheap country to go to.
  • 2 0
 i'm coming !
  • 1 0
 about $15.00 USD for a slice of pizza.. I can buy a whole pie for $16.00
  • 1 0
 Some restaurant and delicacy food in Norway is unbelievably expensive - but the supermarkets are fine/normal price. If you eat mostly from supermarkets its fine. Their wages are crazy out there and the cost of luxury items reflect that.
  • 1 0
 Excellent song pick and beautiful scenery!

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