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Video: Huckfest Bike Festival in Ål

Sep 14, 2023 at 6:57
by hallingdalrides  

Words: Magnus Grönberg
Photo: Magnus Grönberg, Gisle Johnsen

Earlier this year, I ended up in a chairlift with a group of friendly Swedish mountain bikers at Järvsö Bike Park. By the end of our second lap together, I had successfully convinced Simon, Victor and Oscar to come visit me in Norway and ride at the Huckfest Bike Festival in Ål, Hallingdal.

As the festival approached, a severe rainstorm inundated the whole Hallingdal region, causing extensive damage to infrastructure and trails. Consequently, the festival was postponed by one week. Festival participants, organizers, and the local mountain bike community came together and helped rebuild the bike park. Luckily “The Swedes” could rearrange their schedules and still make it to the festival.

The “Fest line” in Hillbilly Bike Park has pretty much been the same for 10 years. It's not the size of the jumps that is intimidating, but rather the timing and finesse that is required to get enough speed to clear the largest jumps. The Swedes' were extremely excited about the course, and it didn't take them long to start incorporating style and tricks on the large moto ramps.

Photo Magnus Gr nberg
Simon Johansson catching some well deserved fresh air after a long car ride.

 Culture Photo Magnus Gr nberg
"Enthusiastic audience" scrolling through Craigslist for a Stihl or Husqvarna.

Huckfest Bike Festival
Since 2009, Huckfest Bike Festival has firmly established itself as Norway's premier mountain bike festival. An incredible spirit of volunteerism and an iconic jump line has transformed the festival into the highlight of the year for both mountain bikers and the enthusiastic audience.
Activities going on during the festival:
• Guided tours and shuttles to the best trails in the area
• Fest Series Session
• Whip-Off Challenge
• Huck to not so flat (long jump competition)
• Death Grip competition
• Dual Slalom
• Clunker Race
• Beer pong
• Live music
• FMX Show

First woman over the moto ramp Photo Gisle Johnsen
Ingrid Lonar putting down the hammer on the moto ramp. (First female through the "Fest-line").

bigquotesWitnessing 12-year-old Tess ride the first three obstacles on the "Fest-line" had many guys wishing they could "ride like a girl"

Photo Gisle Johnsen
12 year old shredder Tess Van Weerdhuizen

The freeride scene in Norway is flourishing due to various factors. Norway has great “freeride ambassadors”, more riding facilities, and skate parks and jump spots are emerging. This summer, the Huckfest course opened to the public. Mads "Makken" Haugen runs "Ramp Camps" in Huckfest Bike Park, and Brage Vestavik "Brage Sesh" in Trysil is a valuable place for up-and-coming freeriders.
Key Takeaways from this Year's Huckfest Bike Festival:
• The freeride scene in Norway is thriving
• Witnessing 12-year-old Tess ride the first three obstacles on the "Fest-line" had many guys wishing they could "ride like a girl»
• You can get a free tattoo at Huckfest Bike Festival
• Even a 500-year flood couldn't stop «the Fest»*

*The storm Hans resulted in significant costs and considerably lower revenues for this year's festival. The fate of next year's festival and future operations is currently uncertain.

Huckfest Bike Festival host Makken Photo Magnus Gr nberg
Makken doing Makken things!

One of many volunteers digging drainage ditches and shaping the course. Photo Magnus Gr nberg
Last minute preparation
(Left)Christian Schriebl from Austria, one of the rad volunteers digging drainage ditches and shaping the course. (Right) Last minute preparations.

 No Ragrets
Huckfest = "No Ragrets"

Author Info:
hallingdalrides avatar

Member since Aug 5, 2017
5 articles

  • 2 0
 Awesome! Best of luck to the area in rebuilding.
  • 2 0
 Good vibes!

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