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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 116 > Fjord Fiesta

Fjord Fiesta

Pushbiking and peak bagging: Riding the mountains of Norway’s fiords

ADVENTURE

I’ve been slogging uphill for an hour and a half, my mountain bike on my back, and the summit cairn isn’t getting closer. The trails in Norway’s Sunnmøre Alps aren’t uphill rideable, so four of us – an American, two Scots, and one Norwegian, ‘pushbike’. Steep, jagged slopes, some a volcanic grey, others an eerie green, shear offinto the narrow fiords below. We sink to our ankles on the boggy trail with each step – then clamber onto slick, uneven granite hogbacks.

Hiking these peaks in trekking footwear would be sketchy. In cleated mountain bike shoes, it’s treacherous. A squall blows through. As I am giving myself a cheesy pep talk, reminding myself how there are no rainbows without rain, I miss a step, drop my bike and chip the paint, nail my knee on a rock and curse as carbon scrapes granite and a dribble of blood spreads into a blotchy smear below my patella. The sole peels offmy shoe…

Oil tanking

Despite US$47 billion of annual exports, Norway’s oil and gas industries are tanking. The fiords region is hoping that mountain bike tourism could help defibrillate the economy. It worked in Whistler, BC, Steamboat in Colorado, and closer to home in Wales and Scotland, where depressed economic areas have seen an upturn in tourism thanks to the free-spending, constantly hungry hordes of mountain bikers lured there to ride the trails.

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About Singletrack

Don’t Look Down! – Pete Scullion takes a precarious trip across the lesser-ridden ridges of the Alps. Trail Hunter: Tom Fenton tells you why Cross Fell and High Cup Nick need to be on your must-ride list. Just bring sandwiches. Lots of them. Bike Test: Full suspension XC bikes. – Three long-legged ride/race bikes from Giant, Specialized and Scott Group Test – David Hayward tests sub-£1500 carbon wheelsets. At this price, they’re still a major investment, so we’ve done our best to thrash them all. Editor’s Choice – We pick the products, places and events that have left an impression on us this year. From bike races to gears and gadgets. This is the stuff we really rate! Room 101 – Charlie takes a look at your complaints and throws them into Room 101 if there’s due cause. And if there isn’t, he throws you in instead. Column – Our award winning columnist Jason Miles brings us more pearls of wisdom and wit. Porage People – Bike race meets survival challenge meets Scrabble and It’s a Knockout! Welcome to the weird world of the invitational (Wo)Man of Porage bike race. Classic Ride: The Purbeck Hills – Tom Hutton shows us that south coast riding is far from flat. It’s not always sunny there either. Trickstuff: Singletrack travelled to Germany to see the surprisingly low-key, family-like atmosphere at Trickstuff, producers of some of the world’s most precisely engineered brakes and components. Column – Lifecycle of a Riding Spot: a tragedy told in 11 chapters. Antony de Heveningham charts the rise and fall, rise and fall of your local woods.