With much of the northern hemisphere shrouded under winters somewhat dreary cloak of rain and snow, it can be a challenging time of year for many mountain bikers. Although winter leaves a lot to be desired, it does however serve as the best time of year to procrastinate and plan for the adventures of 2016 and beyond. Conveniently, Finnish photographer, Jaakko Posti, has one good option to offer you and that is the Lofoten Islands of Northern Norway...
On the Summer of 2015 I visited Lofoten with my fellow mountain biker, Juho Pusa and while I had visited Lofoten before, it was during the winter, so we didn't have any expectations about the level of mountain bike riding on offer, other than that the area would be quite beautiful. Thankfully a friend of mine advised us to contact Bjørn-Ståle Larsen - an avid mountain biker living on the small city of Leknes in Lofoten. Bjørn was more than happy to show us around the islands where we had the opportunity to ride some of his favourite trails, which really didn't disappoint.
But honestly, how bad can a place be if one of mountain bikings greatest heroes, Mr Steve Peat, decided to film his retirement anousment video in Lofoten? - Jaakko Posti
There is plenty of options for places to stay in Lofoten, but we decided to stay in Unstad Camping - not the least because of the freeride line from 'The Lines Of Lofoten', which was filmed just above the Unstad village.
The Lofoten Islands are located at the 68th and 69th parallels north of the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway. The main islands, Austvågøy, Vestvågøy, Flakstadøy and Moskenesøy, are separated from the mainland by Vestfjorden, but all are connected by road bridges and tunnels, making getting around easy. Although Cod stocks have dwindled dramatically in recent years, fishing still vies with tourism as Lofoten's largest industry with wooden drying racks for fish that lattice nearly every village on the islands. If you want to get the most out of your stay here, I think you should have a car at your disposal. You can check some more information about the Islands from here: visitnorway.com
If you're not biking or surfing, there is another activity to do in Ustand and that is to stroll on the beach and watch the surfers out on the ocean. With luck you can spot some otters or even some drunk Finnish dudes.
Too bad that the freeride line from 'The Lines of Lofoten' wasn't rideable anymore, but this is where it once stood - check the video below!
Lofoten is one of Norway's best sites for surfing, and one of the world's northernmost spots for the sport. Unstad Arctic Surf is great location to visit if you have surfing on your mind...
You really don´t need any paintings on your wall when you have a house here, just make sure you have enough windows in your home and you're set!
The midnight sun means that the sun, when at its lowest point in the course of a single day, does not disappear below the horizon and is visible for a full 24-hours a day.
In addition to the local riders, this particular ride saw riders from Finland, South Norway and Switzerland out on the trails.
This was a great ride to finish our trip on, ending up just below the beach of Kvalvika where the guys from North of the sun surf documentary lived and filmed their movie.
If the photos weren't enough to convince you to visit Lofoten:
I would like to say a huge thanks to Bjørn-Ståle Larsen, Tommy Amundsen and everybody else who helped us on this trip. Thanks to Sony Nordic for the support with the cameras and Hi5bikes.fi with the bikes.