Saturday, August 30, 2008

How to feel out of shape

For a team building event - we were going to have a bike ride to a cabin. Knowing a bit about Norway.. most of these cabins are up in the hills and wilderness, so this isn't a ride around town!

Turns out we were going to Kikustua which is a popular spot to ski to in the winter, and bike to in the summer. The cabin in is the area just north of Oslo called the Nordmarka forest. Quite a beautiful area, one even you are not even allowed to drive into without special permission.

We started our adventure at Bogstad Camp - A recreation area just on the edge of the city. Distance to Kikustua? About 20 kilometers! Or almost 12.5 miles!

I don't have any information showing the elevation change, but from the terrain view of Google maps, it looks like probably a total elevation change of about 200meters from the start point and finish points. But more significantly - there are some serious hills between them! Check out this view from Google Maps. The path followed is not exactly what we did, but pretty close.

Lets just say some of the hills - absolutely brutal. There are stretches for 3+km that are nothing but uphill.. and very steep for such a long distance. I tried to take pictures, but it was almost impossible. Why? Because these hills are evil! They go up and around the hill. So while you may be able to see a few hundred yards in front of you, and you think.. I'm almost there! Just as you get to the top, you see its not the top, just a curve in the road, and the hill just keeps on going! There was never a spot you could see anywhere near how far you had gone or were going.

Some said 'just keep your speed up'. Keep it up? The hill is 3kilometers in a single stretch of nothing but UP!

But when we finished all the climbing and were really on the home stretch. We stopped for a beer break. Check out the view

And the beer break..
Check out the view from the lodge overlooking the lake
Needless to say - I don't know how I finished the ride. On the way back, you really felt like 'how in the world did anyone get up this hill??' they were that long and tall. But I did survive both the ride out and back the next day. Some heavy walking was required to get up several of the hills - but I managed to start and finish on a bike without killing myself :)

But to put it in perspective.. on the way back. We had probably 4-5 serious hills in the first section, that was considered 'almost all downhill'. That's because you went 11 kilometers before you reached the flat valley area!! That's right, almost 25 minutes and 11 kilometers of almost all downhill riding. Riding at the top speed of the bike on a gravel road no less. Luckily the road was worn, so there are tracks that were not loose gravel.

There are some more photos from the trip including views along the way and once we got to the lodge on my flickr photostream

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