The fourth update from our bikepacking trip across Norway. This week we continued on the Atlantic Cycling Route (Eurovelo 1) from Tornes to Nastbuka.
Bike touring is one of my absolute favorite ways to travel. It’s by far one of the greatest ways to see a country since you are forced to stop in small towns, interact with locals, and really immerse yourself in nature.
Week four held a few highlights for us, including crossing the epic Atlantic Ocean Road, camping beside a beautiful river in Orkanger, and crossing the halfway point of our ride in the coastal city of Trondheim.
Tornes to Kristiansund: The Atlantic Ocean Road
The next goal was the city of Kristiansund, a scenic coastal city nicknamed the “Atlantic City” for being close to the beautiful Atlantic Road.
Heading up the coast, we passed rolling farmlands for a pleasant ride past Hastudbukta and finally arrived at the famous Atlantic Ocean Road. This is a famous stretch of road in Norway with several bridges spanning 8.3 kilometers across an archipelago.
Dodging the armies of RV’s and day trippers, we made a few stops to take photos and fly the drone before riding on for Kristiansund. However, just before the city, we needed to take a bus underneath the Atlantic Sea via the “Atlanterhavstunnelen”. We were a little stressed about the logistics of this with loaded bikes, but our fears were quickly put to rest when we saw other south-headed bike tourers loading their bikes off the same bus.
There was plenty of space on the bus, and before we knew it, we had crossed the ocean stretched and arrived in Kristiansund, where we headed straight for the “Byskogen” campground for a well-needed shower and hot meal.
Kristiansund to Hellandsjøen: Protein Pancakes to Tarp Picnics
After scoffing protein pancakes from the local “Sports Outlet”, we continued on, taking the morning ferry to Tømmervåg and putting in a solid 1,100 meters of elevation across 85 kilometers of rolling countryside surrounded by mountains.
As the day drew to a close, we retired into the coastal forest just shy of Hellandsjøen. Finding a wild camp in this remote area proved more difficult than expected. However, we eventually found a bumpy area, laid out a tarp, and shared jokes over more of Ryan’s rations late into the night.
Hellandsjøen to Orkanger: Hills & River Camps
By this stage of the ride, we were really starting to get “bike fit”. While our asses and legs were sore, long sessions in the saddle and big hills started feeling more manageable. The next stretch to Orkanger involved quite a bit of incline.
The major hill was, while not huge, a steady 450-meter climb which we smashed out in record time. At the top, we sprawled out our smelly towels and took a rest in the sun, listening to tunes and enjoying the warm summer rays.
Arriving in Orkanger, we explored the town briefly before cycling about 8 kilometers off course down the Orkanger River to a campsite we discovered on the iOverlander App. Collectively, we agreed that this beautiful riverside camp was the best of the trip so far. It really blew our minds just how remote this river spot felt when in reality it was just a short hop from town.
Salmon were jumping in the river, a few fishermen dotted the coast, and there was forest on either bank. We enjoyed a late afternoon swim in the river and sprawled out our picnic tarp for a late dinner in the sun.
Orkanger to Trondheim: We’re Half Way!
Next stop; Trondheim. In terms of distance, Trondheim is the approximate halfway point on our bicycle journey from Stavanger to Tromsø. So, as we rolled out of our riverside camp, we knew that this day would be special.
Luckily for us, the weather had turned and we enjoyed a sunny and scenic ride around Orkdalsfjorden and into the suburbs of Trondheim.
If felt quite strange to arrive in a large city like Trondheim after spending so much time on the road and camping in the wild. This was exaggerated by the fact that we rolled up on a huge food festival. Skipping the lines, we instead opted to ride to get a celebration burger at “Super Hero Burger”.
Next, I replaced my air mattress which had formed a hole and kept deflating on me. We then spent the rest of the afternoon eating snacks and sitting in a coffee house before taking the long ferry to Vanvikan, where we again spent the night camping by the road next to a trailhead.
Vanvikan to Straumen: We Begin the 3rd Leg
We were now onto the third leg, which was an 820-kilometer ride from Trondheim to Bodø. We anticipated that this would take us roughly 10 days at our current pace, which admittedly wasn’t too fast.
Starting off day 19, we already had a solid 30 kilometers banked up thanks to the Trondheim ferry and a late-night burst the day prior.
However, unfortunately for us the rain was back, although nothing like we’d seen in the first week. Nonetheless, it did dampen our spirits slightly as we rode on, silent and rain jackets on.
80 kilometers later, the rain had died off and we called it a day when we saw a flat section in a forest by the freeway and devoured an entire barbecued chicken. That night, I pierced my brand new sleeping pad that I’d just picked up two days before. A bummer.
Straumen to Namsos: Farms & Cabins
After riding through mountains, islands, and fjords, I have to say that the next stretch from Straumen to Namsos was quite vanilla. Riding through rolling farmlands, we set ourselves a lofty goal of covering 100 kilometers en route to the logging town of Namsos.
Being a Saturday, I left the boys behind and rushed into town in hopes of picking up a new sleeping mat before the closing time of the local Sports Outlet, since we wouldn’t pass one for days. After, I met the boys at the nearby Namsos Camping beside the airport, where we treated ourselves to a beautiful cabin for just 660 NOK– a steal!
Namsos to Naustbukta
The next day, feeling refreshed and reinvigorated by the improved weather, we pushed out another 100-kilometer day, which did include a few short ferries. Thankfully, Ryan’s knee had improved this week, and we were really enjoying the longer days.
We were also happy to start seeing more mountains again and were stoked to hear that the views in the coming days would be some of the best Norway had to offer.
Wrapping up the day, we pulled up beside a beautiful mountain lake and turned in for the night.
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.