Pedalling the Edge Week 3: The Atlantic Route

The third update from our bikepacking trip across Norway. This week we head North from Bergen on the Atlantic Ocean Route, the start of the Eurovelo 1.

Leaving the mountains behind, we set rubber to the road and continued Northbound along Norway’s magnificent Atlantic Coast. The rain gave way to the radiant sun for the first time. And, with bikes all fixed, we looked forward to a much more manageable terrain on the road ahead.

Bike touring in Bergen, Norway
Pedalling the Edge Week 3 Cycling Update infographicPedalling the Edge Week 3 Cycling Update infographic

Cycling North from Bergen: Suburban Wild Camping

For the majority of this trip, we are opting to enjoy the privilege of Norway’s “Allemannsretten“– a uniquely Scandivanvian liberty allowing anyone to camp on any piece of uncultivated land for a night or two.

However, finding a suitable place to pitch a tent North of Bergen proved to be quite difficult since the suburban metropolis extends far up the coast. And, we weren’t too keen on pitching camp out in the open.

After a short afternoon ride out of town, we found a small nature reserve tucked away on a back street near Salhusfjorden away from any houses, pitched our tents, and made some cycling plans for the days ahead.

We found it quite hilarious how remote and wild we felt camping in a small forest, even though the modern comforts of suburban civilization were just a few hundred meters away.

Cooking in natureCooking in nature
Ryan Egglestone cooking at campRyan Egglestone cooking at camp

Rain or Shine: Rolling Through the Atlantic Route from Knarvik to Sløvåg

By this point, a bit of light rain didn’t really put a damper on our spirits, waking up again to a slightly damp tent wasn’t too much of a struggle.

This next stretch of the Atlantic Route was the real exit out of the broader Bergen metropolis. Easing into what would become very familiar undulating road pattern, we put clip to pedal and knocked out another 70 km to Leirvåg, where we took the first ferry on the Atlantic Route to the oil rig region of Sløvåg.

Perhaps getting a touch too snug in the ferry’s indoor comforts, we quickly chose to abandon the road for a small patch of grass beneath some power poles just off the main road. Here, we set up camp and took time to contemplate how to make up for the lost time on the detour to Bergen.

In the night, we opted to book a slightly longer ferry to Måløy in the coming days, which would shave off two days and cut our planned distance back to what we had originally planned.

Riding to Askvoll – Farmsteads to Ferry Terminals

Abandoning the industrial oil rigs, we pedaled through picturesque rolling farmlands dotted with sheep and charming red farmhouses.

Fjordside town in NorwayFjordside town in Norway

Again, it really dawned on me just how much the sun could lift our mood. After about an hour, we pulled into a local grocer at Dalsøyra where we sat in the sun and enjoyed a free cup of hot coffee overlooking the fjord.

The rest of the afternoon was spent cycling at a leisurely pace, making several stops along the way to bask in the sun. Ryan even managed to get a quick swim in at one of the mountain lakes while I flew the drone.

Pedalling the Edge Norway bicycle tourPedalling the Edge Norway bicycle tour
Nordgulen, NorwayNordgulen, Norway
Scenic road at Nordgulen, NorwayScenic road at Nordgulen, Norway

During one of our stops, after noticing my gears weren’t as smooth as I thought they should be, I consulted Google and quickly discovered that I should have been “trimming” my gears. If any real cyclists are reading this, then I’m sure that goes to show just how amateur we really are.

Shirts off, Norweigian summer sun on our skin, we bombed the final hill to Rutledal, where an unexpected 2.5-hour pause awaited us due to an oversight of the ferry timetable. Apparently, Norweigian ferries like to take a couple of hours’ break for lunch!

Olly Gaspar bicycle touringOlly Gaspar bicycle touring

Regardless, this worked in our favor, since we were finally able to dry out all of our wet gear, which we casually spread across the concrete floor of the ferry terminal.

bike touring solar panel chargingbike touring solar panel charging

After the ferry, we continued on towards the next terminal to Askvoll, stopping for the night when we found an amazing mirror lake called Ramsgrōvatnet. Unfortunately, Jessy’s speech snapped once again on the way, which would have really put a plug on my high mood.

Impressively, after just a few short grunts, he laughed it off and continued on.

Pedalling the Edge bicycle tourPedalling the Edge bicycle tour
Lihesten mountain in Vestland, NorwayLihesten mountain in Vestland, Norway
Reflection lake at RamsgrøvatnetReflection lake at Ramsgrøvatnet
Scenic mirror reflection of a hut in NorwayScenic mirror reflection of a hut in Norway

Ferry to Måløy: Regular Pants & Cabin Meatballs

The next day was a bit of a rest day for us. While we still rode 44 kilometers, it was the first time we ditched the bike pants to start the day in regular clothes.

Mountains of NorwayMountains of Norway

Ferry hopping from Hellevik to Askvoll to Måløy, we effectively covered a lot of distance, which got us back on track and more aligned with our initial distance goal. In the afternoon, we banged out a few struggling kilometers before stopping in Maurstad.

Maloy NorwayMaloy Norway

At this point of the journey, we’d been in the saddle for eleven days and spent ten nights in a damp tent. We decided it was finally time to embrace a bit of comfort and chose to book a small cabin overlooking the beautiful Nordfjord, where we got dry and enjoyed a traditional Scandinavian homecooked meal of meatballs and mash.

Cabin in NorwayCabin in Norway

Maurstad to Hareid: Pancake Mornings & Late Night Card Games

There’s nothing quite like beginning the day with pancakes in a Norwegian fjord-side cabin. After a lazy morning, we finally hit the road again, which was admittedly a little harder after enjoying a proper night’s sleep indoors.

The next stretch involved several big hill climbs passing some idyllic lakeside huts along the way.

Small cabin in the forest of NorwaySmall cabin in the forest of Norway
Small cabin in the forest of NorwaySmall cabin in the forest of Norway

Soon we made our way back up the coast before dropping down to the dramatic Syvsfjorden, where we enjoyed a flat section with epic views dominated by towering mountains to our right and quaint farmlands to our left.

Syvsfjorden, NorwaySyvsfjorden, Norway

After the ferry to Årvik, we embraced a couple more big hills before finally finishing up in a nature reserve beside Grimshavatnet. We felt satisfied after another big day of distance and elevation gain in the sun, and spent time playing cards on a park bench until 10:30 in the evening, with the sun still overhead.

Hareid to Midøya: Port Towns & Midnight Sunsets

The next morning we took the early ferry to Sulesund and rode into the beautiful seaside city of Ålesund. We hadn’t heard much about this place but were taken aback by its charm and chose to spend a few hours hanging out in the town square after Jessy replaced his wheel at the local XXL sports store.

Ålesund NorwayÅlesund Norway
Ålesund NorwayÅlesund Norway
Ålesund NorwayÅlesund Norway

Later in the afternoon, we hopped on the speedboat ferry to Hamnsund and continued up the coast, hopping on another ferry to Midøya. This is where we found one of the most amazing coastal campsites of the trip so far by a naturally sheltered cove called “Sandan”.

Ålesund NorwayÅlesund Norway

We pitched a tent by the sea and went for a short walk, sitting down on an old wooden bench and watching the sun slowly set over the islands.

Wildflowers in NorwayWildflowers in Norway

Midøya to Tornes: Sandwich Stops & Questionable Campsites

Leaving the beautiful islands behind, we rode onto the ferry back to the mainland near Molde. Instead of riding along the main highway, the Eurovelo 1 cycling route took us along the coast, wrapping around the beautiful Malmefjorden and Frænfjorden.

Midoya, NorwayMidoya, Norway

Ryan had a funny name for our group: the Sandwich Boys.

This was because like clockwork, between 1 to 2 pm each day, we’d pull into the nearby grocery store to craft our sandwiches. It was a well-timed daily ritual that provided us with a good rest and allowed us to catch up on the route we had just tackled.

A couple of hours after our sandwiches, we slowed down and started peaking into the forests and nature strips looking for a place to put our tent. This time, we chose convenience over quality and decided to pitch our tents behind a small council storage area.

It wasn’t pretty, and neither was our dinner, but we did have a small table to enjoy a meal together and celebrate crossing over the 1000 km mark!

Cooking in natureCooking in nature

Why We’re Riding

Pedalling the Edge is the name we’ve given to our adventure of riding our bicycles across Norway. We’re doing this in hopes of raising as much money as possible for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

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.

Jessy SicardJessy Sicard

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