In August 2019, owner Daan went to Norway to explore the Aursjøvegen. He made 4,000 meters in 4 cycling days. Here a personal travel report.
I feel my heart rate increase when I cycle into the tunnel. The feeling temperature drops to 5 degrees and the air feels damp. My pupils do their best to catch a beam of light, with no result. I come to a halt and notice that my lamp has too little visibility to distinguish the mountainside from the road. I do not see anything. I get off my bike, look for the wall with my right hand, hold the left one on the handlebars and walk into the mountain. A few minutes and a turn later I see light appear.
They love it in this country: tunnels. The revenues from the oil industry have made it possible in recent decades to build infrastructure throughout the country to make places more accessible. In addition to the ferries, there are many (modern) bridges and therefore also tunnels. A good thing of course, but you should always watch out for the bike. Is there lighting? What is the length? How steep is the road? Is there a lot of traffic? Can I even go into the tunnel at all? Later I read that there are no less than 900 tunnels in Norway and the longest is 24 km long (!).
Once out of the tunnel I get on again and a moment later find a viewpoint. I put the bike against the rails and look around me slowly. In front of me I see steep mountains passing under the clouds into forests and a meandering river beneath the valley. What an overwhelming nature. After a full day of climbing (1,000 meters with luggage!), Refraining in the rain and poor visibility through fog and (unlit) tunnels, this moment feels like a nice reward and the reason that I am here. Later I continue the route and it takes 2 hours to descend. I constantly enjoy all the beauty that I experience. Nature in Norway is beautiful, without busy car traffic, more beautiful. The sunlight warms me up and the wind strokes my face. The silence is only broken by a single Norwegian motorist or the sound of birds or sheep.
This week I cycle the famous Aursjøvegen. The mountain road in the province of Møre og Romsdal, Vestlandet region, which is still relatively undiscovered by mass tourism. The marketers of the region are committed to increasing the brand awareness of the cities of Ålesund, Molde and Kristiansund. The cities on the coast with a long trade history can be seen in 3 Viking ships in the province’s logo. You can come here from the international airport of Ålesund but I have chosen to fly to Trondheim and then take the train. The train journey gives a nice impression of the mountains and the roughness of the varied landscape.
Back to the Aursjøvegen, the 121 km long mountain road was built to build the dams and convert the hydropower into electricity. The terrain consists of a gravel road that is interspersed with an asphalted highway. Gravel, sand and narrow strips of asphalt merge into one another. Several hairpin bends take you to the reservoirs in the mountains and there is a tunnel regularly. The Aursjøvegen together with the Trollstigen are well-known cycle routes and suitable for mountain biking. There are overnight stays in a self-sufficient mountain hut of the Den Norske Turistforening (DNT), an old British estate with Scottish architecture and B & amp; B’s or cabins. The Philipshaugen residence was built by Lord Philips in the time (1860 – 1960) that the British discovered the region for recreation. The fertile valleys full of salmon, reindeer and other wild animals caught the eye.
Along the way I make a stop at the Eresfjorden to view the rock drawings of Helleristninger. The drawings are cultural heritage and date back to 6,000 years old. An information board teaches me that they relate to Norwegian mythology. The Sami believed that every person has a free soul that can leave our bodies and take the form of animals. Whales, reindeer and also boats can be seen in the rocks.
I end my route wherever I started, in Sunndalsøra. I avoid the last tunnel and take the original road over the mountains. Not only is this safer, but it also leads to beautiful views of the fjord. After a short week my exploration is over. I have gained the knowledge and now I am going to see if a nice organized cycling trip can be created. This so that my next group of customers can enjoy this region in a responsible manner and where (almost) everything is arranged for them. Of course, the advice is to take good lighting for the bike!
Start en end: Sunndalsøra, Møre og Romsdal
Amount kms: 180 km
Elevation in meters: 4.000
Days of cycling: 4
Sights: Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park, Aursjøvegen, Helleristninger Rock Carvings, Dams
Author: D. Remijnse
Date: 20th August 2019