The first update from our bikepacking trip across Norway– three friends riding 2,500 km from Stavanger to Tromsø to raise money for the Fred Hollows Foundation.
It’s July 15, 2023, which marks the first day of our bikepacking trip across Norway. Jessy, Ryan, and I are now on the road– tents, food, camera gear, and all the clothes we need to survive the ride strapped to our bikes.
We’re calling this project Pedalling the Edge.
Just a few days and in and this is already proving to be one of the most epic, yet challenging adventures to date. Ready to follow along? I’ll be posting these updates weekly, with photos, stats, and updates for how our fundraiser is progressing.
I’m Olly, a full-time traveler for the past 5 years. I visit every destination I write about & handpick all recommendations. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission. Read my disclosures.
Pedalling the Edge is the name we’ve given to our adventure riding our bicycles across Norway. We’re doing this in hopes of raising as much money as possible for the Fred Hollows Foundation.This massive cycle will test us; both physically and mentally, and we need your help to make it worthwhile!
Fred Hollows had a dream of a world where nobody needs to be needlessly blind. Today 9 out of 10 blind people don’t need to be and a small operation costing as little as $25 can help restore their sight.
We’ve chosen this charity because it is one of the most impactful, offering the highest tangible benefit for each dollar spent. 100% of donations will go directly to the Fred Hollows Foundation to restore sight and end avoidable blindness.
The Route: Stavanger to Tromsø
- Total Distance: 2,500 km
- Total Elevation: 30,000+ m
- Total Time: 45 days
Beginning our ride in the southern city of Stavanger, we have stitched together several sections of Norway’s epic National Cycling Routes through the Fjords and Mountains and up the Atlantic Coast to Tromsø.
This 2,500 km journey will bring us through some of the most scenic sections of Norway and deep into the Arctic Circle.
Updates From the First Week in the Saddle
We’re Arctic Circle Bound! On the 12th of July, Ryan, Jessy, and I landed in the capital city of Oslo, bicycles packed in cardboard boxes and duffel bags full of camping gear.
Landing in Oslo
I had just about two ours after landing in Oslo International Airport to wait for Ryan, which meant I could find a quite corner of the airport to unbox and rebuild my bike. Luckily, everything but the soggy cardboard box was still in one piece with no damage.
Just before midnight, Ryan walked out of the arrivals gate and together we took the Express train into Olso S, where Jessy was waiting to help us with all the heavy gear that Ryan had brought.
As is typical with our expeditions, we’re quite willing to accept a bit of spontaneity when it comes to logistics planning. Unfortunately, this time it came back to bite us a bit since we hadn’t yet organized our transport to our starting point– Stavanger.
So, on the morning of, after coming to the realization that the train wasn’t an option due to track work and a busy holiday period, we scrambled to find a different option.
Luckily we were able to book a last-minute bus and the friendly driver helped us to pack our loaded bikes into the hold. 11 pm that night, we were in Stavanger, where we found a cheap room above a pub to finish building our bikes and loading our panniers and bike bags until 2:30 am.
Side Trip: Kjeragbolten Hike
While we were admittedly a little tired from the hectic expedition hike, when our friend Teodor from Lysefjorden Adventure reached out to us and offered us a trip to Kjeragbolten, we couldn’t refuse. Crusty-eyed and a little jetlagged, we stashed our bikes at Teodor’s place and shot off for an epic hike to the famous Kjerag boulder.
When we got back, we picked up our bikes and finally got into the saddle, if only for a short ride to the nearest campground at Mosvangen in Stavanger.
Stavanger to Preikestolen
Our first real day on the road! Today we cycled 66 kilometers to “Preikestolen Camping” near Jørpeland. This was a campground nearby the famous Preikestolen viewpoint hike and was a slight detour from our route.
It was a great feeling finally pedaling our way toward a goal we’d been dreaming up for the past 10 months. Despite the rain and coming to terms with just how much elevation we were going to have to climb, we were stoked to be on the road!
Carrying a Bike Up to Preikestolen at Midnight
That next day we had a crazy idea– to hike our bikes up the fjord to the Preikestolen viewpoint. The goal was to try to get some cool shots to help get some attention for our charity ride, here’s a sneak peak.
We were very fortunate to have received three major sponsors of gear and equipment for this ride. This helped us a lot to cut down our expedition costs so we could focus on the other ride and fundraiser logistics.
Wild Earth Australia
Wild Earth is one of Australia’s leading outdoor retailers. They stock everything fom high quality outdoor clothing to tents and are known for being one of the best suppliers in Australia, providing Aussies with access to the best international outdoor brands.
Wild Earth provided our tents, some rain clothing, and bags for our bicycles–which is super helpful for our expedition.
We’re far from professional cyclists. So, when Gobik agreed to sponsor our ride with professional cycling attire, we were honestly a little surprised, albeit very stoked!
Based in Spain, Gobik is one of the world’s best cycling clothing companies. These guys hooked us up with some epic cycling jerseys, bibs, and pretty much everything we needed to get decked out for our ride. We definitely look pretty professional in our getups, even though we definitely don’t feel it.
Lumos is a famous kickstarter project turned international cycling phenomenon. They created the world’s smartest helmet and hooked us up with a few of them.
The Lumos Helmets are awesome because they feature inbuilt lights and wireless connectivity which means that we have more visibility on the road and are able to indicate our turns with the touch of a handlebar button.
These things look sick, and they’ll be crucial in making sure we’re visible on the roads in heavy rain and fog.