Thursday, August 2, 2012

On yer bikes

The weather this summer has not been the greatest. I guess Joe, Beni and Marco can vouch for that..
The first couple of weeks of our family holiday consisted mainly of rain, wind and fog. If we did not have a 4 month old baby, we would probably jump on a plane and fly south, to warmer climates. Ah well, we stuck with it and when we arrived back in Bergen for our second half of holiday, temperatures were higher and that yellow thing in the sky could be seen more often.
Being back in Bergen also meant that I had all my toys at my disposal again, and with a little negotiation I could land a bikepacking deal. It had been far to long since I had my Fargo out on an overnighter.

As this would be a short overnighter I chose to explore the island of Askøy, just north of where we live. I had read on some forums about mountainbikepotential/routes in a forest on this island, and set course for this forest. I packed and got ready and left about 8 pm, so not excactly an alpine start to this trip.

Salsa Fargo and Hurtigruten in the background

The first part of the route I had biked a few times before, but it was nice to be rolling along with a complete bikepackingkit. The Salsa Fargo works superbly for this.

Complete bikepacking setup

My route would be on the east coast of the island, as the roads here have less traffic, and offer nice views of the sea. Weatherwise this was one fine evening, and I took great pleasure riding along in my new Rab Meco 120 short sleeve shirt. This shirt impressed my with its fit, long tail for bikeriding, how quickly it dried and, last but not least, according to my wife, the gray colour suits me :)

I was in no rush so I stopped by a few places that looked interesting, as this communal recreation spot

It was here I decided to take the obligatory "bike in forground and something else in the background" pictures and my dear Fargo was almost swallowed by King Neptune. I propped it up nicely along the concrete wall , stepped back to take a picture and to my dismay could see my bike slowly tipping and waving goodbye to its owner. My swift recovery was worthy of an olympic medal...

After a successful rescue, and the obligatory look around to see if anyone had seen this daft biker, the damage report was thankfully only a few minor scratches and some ripped handlebar tape. And a bruised ego.

I guess there is a reason on most bikepackingpictures the bike is laying on the ground...

Anyways, I continued along the scenic route I had chosen and soon left the tarmac in favor of the last stretch on gravel to where I would look around for a spot to camp. Using google maps (what an amazing time we live in with such technology at our disposal..) I had noticed a small lake called Fjellvannet which looked promising. Btw Fjellvannet (Mountain Lake) is an odd name for a lake 53 meters above sealevel, if you ask me...

My originally planned site looked a bit boring so I kept on riding, and, literally, just around the corner, I found a really nice spot to pitch my tarp. Offering flat ground, access to running water and the lake itself, it fit the bill as a perfect campsite. Seemed to be plenty of fish here as well, so next time I will bring my Tenkara rod.

The rest of the evening was spent tinkering around setting up my good old Integral Designs Siltarp 2 in bikepacking mode, eating, reading and generally enjoying myself. Tips and tricks on how to do this courtesy of The Traveling Vagabond

Next time I will bring my Tenkara rod

I woke up during the night to the familiar sound of rain, but come morning, the sun was shining again, and I readyfied myself for some technical riding. I had no idea what it would look like, and truth be told, the tracks here were above my skillevel. Steep, rocky and rather muddy. Perhaps not terrain for a mountainbike novice. Ah well, if I ever attend the Iditarod Trail in some distant future, I guess some experience pushing bikes in bad conditions is handy :)

Morning mist

An easy section

After a short de-tour to another recreation area, Kollevågen to check out the spot where I camped last summer on a kayaktrip, I headed back to our home and started a new day with my family.

Pardon the soggy pitch..

Summer holiday, ain`t it grand!