68° North - Golden Hour in Lofoten
A story about riding bikes North of the Arctic Circle.
The mountains were packed in a thick layer of dark clouds. The rain splattered on our campervan. We parked up for the night in a small, foggy valley. I grabbed my phone and checked the weather forecast; 90% chance of rain for the next day. Only a small time-frame for the evening showed a 50% chance of rain. Would this be the only chance to get out and discover the ridge-line on the other side of the valley?
The next day was just about being patient. The afternoon seemed to take forever and it kept raining. Every now and then I looked out of the window and in my mind, I was already riding that trail. It took a while, but then, the clouds started to move. The weather was changing.
I was wide awake; how long would it be dry for? What will the trail be like? Full of excitement I started to pack my gear and get dressed. I quickly filled my bottle and made sure not to forget anything. It was time to go!
My bike is dangling on my shoulders, I’m climbing up the mountain. Riding down this way would be impossible, Trailforks shows 400 meters of vertical on only 1.3 kilometres, it’s steep! While I’m making my way up in this rough terrain there are only a few sheep that notice me, it’s so quiet and peaceful. The sheep quickly disappear and I’m onto the last few meters. I’m getting all excited about the upcoming descent, I’m nearly there.
I’m on the summit with a big grin on my face, staring into the wide-open. The view is something I have never seen before. Clouds disappear and the sky is nearly free. A golden light is shining over the amazing landscape of Lofoten. This is stunning!
Looking at the other side of the mountain I spotted a trail that finds its way down the hill via a little plateau. “That’s where I’m going!” I took one last sip, put on my glasses and was off. Tight corners and natural little jumps defined the shape of the trail, giving it a nice flow. It didn’t feel much like a man-made hiking trail, instead it felt like the trail was walked-in by thousands of sheep over the years.
During the descent I couldn’t stop looking around and down into the valley. Even though it was only 14˚C the warmth of the sun was very noticeable. With views like these it’s hard to concentrate on the riding. I stopped, took a deep breath and enjoyed that moment.
The wait of the last few days had paid out. What an experience.
Words and photos: Felix Weber