Downhill Biking in Norway and Sweden

“With its many mountains, Norway has got to be a great place for Downhill biking”

I am not sure if the guy I met in Brazil was telling me this or asking me this, but it was true. During this and last summer I have gotten to try out some of the many tracks you will find in Scandinavia, but with a littlebit of creativity you can also find tracks pretty much anywhere. The many long stairways in Bergen city center is one that I found pretty cool, and I have also seen people cycling down from the summit of Dalsnibben to the sea of the Geirangerfjord.

The summer ski resorts with dedicated tracks for downhill biking that I have tried are the following:

Oppdal Bike Park
Open: From May to October it is open on weekends, thursdays to sundays 11.00-17.00
Number of lifts: One gondola, Hovden, serving 7 slopes. There used to be a chairlift as well, Vangslia, but this was closed last year as new owners took over the resort
Getting there: From Trondheim by bus with “Nettbuss Nordfjord” takes two hours and  costs 188kr for a student and 125kr for a bike. From Trondheim by train with “NSB” takes two hours and costs 152kr for a student and 101kr for a bike.
Lift pass costs: 100kr for one ride with the gondola, 210kr for one day pass, 360 for a two day pass
Comment: Oppdal is a quiet little town where it is easy to pitch a tent where you want in the woods. The lifts are within biking distance of the city center, and are pretty quiet with just a few bikers, some sheeps and some tourists walking the trails. There is also a nice viewpoint on top with a restaurant and luggage storage. The slopes are varied, but some are a bit hard to reach now when the chairlift is not open, then you need to push your bike across to the other side of the mountain. The slope called “Superflytløypa” was definitely my favorite, going through the woods, with a few good jumps.

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Mount Ulriken, Bergen
Open: Open every day, but hours are depending on season: May-Oct 09.00-21.00 and Oct-Apr 09.00-21.00
Number of lifts: One gondola, “Perle&Bruse“.
Getting there: Just ride your bike fifteen minutes from Bergen City Center!
Lift pass costs: 90kr for one ride with the gondola, 150kr for round trip or two separate tripsDownhill Oppdal

Comment:  There is one dedicated downhill bike track, with quite unexpected jumps that can be hard to spot. I quite liked riding down the walking trail to Landås/Nattland, but there were no other cyclists in the tracks and places where carrying the bike was necessary.



Hanguren, Voss: 

Open: From June 7st to August 24th, it is open every day from 12.00-16.00
Number of lifts: One gondola, “Dinglo & Danglo/Hangursbanen“, and the chairlift in Bavallen for selected weekends.
Getting there: From Bergen by train with NSB takes 1h 10 mins and costs 138kr for a student
Lift pass costs: 100kr for one ride with the gondola, 210kr for one day pass
Comment: Voss is a town known for its extreme sports, and the slopes are well used by people who know their stuff! You can easily bike from the city center to the gondola or even pitch your tent on top of the lift.

 

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Åre Bike Park
Open: From June 6th until some time in the late summer
Number of lifts: Up to seven lifts can be open for the summer season. Most of them are open from 10.00-17.00

Getting there: From Trondheim by train with NSB/SJ takes 2h 40 mins and costs 166kr for a student
Lift pass costs: 275kr for one day pass (45,- for the card itself)
Comment: It is Scandinavias biggest and best. The red slopes have lots of jumps, especially “Uffes” and “Shimano” That go from the top. The red trail of “Finbanan” followed by “Kanonrøret” fun park can be run from the lower lifts and have some great jumps, drops and wall rides.

My next downhill adventure will go to..
Oslo Sommerpark Tryvann

Open: August 19th to October 13th, Wednesdays-Thursdays (15-20) / Saturdays and Sundays(10-18)
Number of lifts: 1 chairlift serving 6 slopes
Getting there: Take the number 1 tram from Oslo City Center, get off at Voksenkollen Station (second to last) and walk for ten minutes from there to Tryvann Tower. Ticket price is 20kr if you by it on beforehand or 30kr on board the tram.
Lift pass costs: 65kr for one ride and the day passes costs 235kr on weekdays and 260kr on weekends
Comment: I’ll definately bring my bike to Oslo next time I go, as the tracks here look fun!

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Couchsurfing Stockholm

Sometimes the things you want to do is not that unreachable. I managed to do two of the things I wanted to this weekend: visit the capitol of Sweden and couchsurf. A couple of days before I went, I had been on couchsurfing.com and gotten in contact with people living in Stockholm who had a couch to offer me.
The first night I spent on a horsefarm about an hour outside of the city center. The people hosting me were two friendly girls who were living in a small cabin with just one small room for kitchen, beds and table and another one for shower, sink and toilet. I felt really bad taking up the last of their floor space with my foldable bed, but they ensured me that they were glad to host me and that they were okay with me stepping over their beds to leave in the morning.

The mediaeval bar: “Sjätte Tunnan”

I spent the second night downtown Stockholm in a punk-ish girls apartment. As soon as I got  there I was asked if I wanted to go out with her and her friends to see a movie and have some beers in the old city. It ended up with a nice cultural experience, where we sat in a castle-like bar, where they served mead, fresh bread and roasted meat, discussing politics for the election that was going to take place all over the country the next day. Now I just wish that we had that kind of bar in Norway, and hope that Norwegian couchsurfers show the same kind of hospitality towards people who are coming to visit our country and to get a Norwegian cultural experience.


For only one thousand Norwegian krones, I will get three travels with train in Sweden. The first one being this weekends trip to Stockholm, the week after that a trip to Lund in the south of Sweden, and on Wednesday me and my friend took a daytrip to Gothenbourg for a daytime pubcrawl. My ticket gives me free pass on all trains travelling in Sweden, and can be used for for five days in one month. Sweet deal.

Travelling on impulse

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“Want to go on a road trip to Poland?” was the question that met me when I came late to a birthdayparty a couple of weeks ago. After five seconds of thinking, I managed to shout out an “of course!”, full of eagerness from the impulsive suggestion. Half an hour later me and my friend were sitting in my RV on our way to Poland, without knowing how long it would take us to get there, or how much it would cost.

As my car did not go faster than 80km/h, we did not get further than to Gothenburg the first night, where we got ourself a late night snack, and some sleep for the long journey we had ahead of us.

The second day was more or less spent in the car, with just a few stops for food, gas and a longer stop at the university in Helsingborg. The final destination point for the day was set to the student city Lund, just a few minutes outside of Malmoe, where the plan was to visit some of my friends and experience the student life in Lund. After a night well spent in the student city, we were ready to take the boat from Karlskrona to the Polish city Gdynia, but as the ferry was a bit too expensive for our budget, we ended up driving to Copenhagen. After spending the night out in the biggest city in Scandinavia, we agreed that we had seen and spent enough on our road trip and decided to hit the long road home to Halden.

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