In this industry, we are very fortunate to find and work with some great people and brands. One such brand is Trasé. A Norwegian brand that is independent and impressive. We have had the fortune to publish three stories with Trasé. This particular story set out below was published in Issue 1 of Conquista.
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Words by Kristoffer Rødseth
Photos by Kristoffer Rødseth and Esben Nedrebø
Lofoten was originally the old name of the island Vestvågøya. It is an uncommonly beautiful island chain in northern Norway, 1,400km from Oslo. Though lying within the Arctic Circle, the archipelago experiences one of the world’s largest elevated temperature anomalies relative to its high latitude.
Winter temperatures in Lofoten are very mild considering their location north of the Arctic Circle – Lofoten has the largest positive temperature anomaly in the world relative to latitude. This is a result of the Gulf Stream and its extensions: the North Atlantic Current and the Norwegian Current. Røst and Værøy are the most northerly locations in the world where average temperatures are above freezing all year.
Lofoten has a well marked cycling route that goes from Å in the south and continues past Fiskebøl in the north. The route is part public road, part cycle-path with the option to bypass all of the tunnels by either cycle-path (tunnels through mountains) or boat. Some of the more remote sections are on gravel roads. The route hugs the coastline for most of its length where it is generally flat. As it turns inland through the mountain passes there are a couple of climbs between 300 and 400 metres in height.
“With five days in the saddle ahead of us, our first ride starts in the small industrial town of Gravdal, heading south to the town of Å before returning back to Gravdal. The profile is fairly flat so the main challenge is the steep wind that comes thundering in from the northern sea. It hits you like a wall and you never get used to its harsh biting cold.
Time stands still up here, so far north it can be daylight for months on end, the colour scheme is vibrant, tiredness isn´t even a word. The climate is rough, but if you are robust enough to ride in fairly chilly temperatures; bib shorts, baselayer and shortsleeve jersey should suffice in summer. However, never forget your rain jacket!”
“The highlight of the ride comes when we arrive in Å and hit the local bakery, which was established in 1844. We devour some amazing cinnamon buns and bread from the traditional wooden oven.
We rode Lofoten for five days. Riding 100 to 170kms and climbing 1000 metres every day. Our longest ride took us from Gravdal to Henningsvær, Kabelvåg, Svolvær and back, a good 170kms.
The wind whistles, the road narrows. On the final stretch our handlebars begin to shake but endorphines keep pushing us ahead. It’s easy to forget the 140km already behind us.
A tight pack of friends, we share the same philosophy; it´s good to hurt and suffer – physically and mentally – to get the most out of a bike ride. The tougher the ride, the better the memories, and the greater the sense of calm afterwards.”
“Out of Ymir’s flesh was fashioned the earth,
And the mountains were made of his bones;
The sky from the frost-cold giant’s skull,
And the ocean out of his blood.”