Thor Hushovd is considered the greatest Norwegian cyclist of all time. Amongst his merits are winning The UCI Road World Championship and several stages of the Tour de France. Here, he takes a rare break to talk about his preferred rides all over Norway that feature what he loves the most: untouched nature.
How much do you look at nature when you're cycling?
“A lot. I like how it gives me the opportunity to reach totally new places. I am a curious guy who takes great pleasure in anticipating what type of landscape I will discover around the next bend. Luckily, I am capable of staying extremely focused on my cycling whilst enjoying sights along the road”, says Hushovd, who also stresses the importance of being well prepared.
“In Norway, there are sometimes long distances between services. But that’s part of the charm and makes the trip all the more rewarding. A combination of good planning and local expertise is the key to eating and sleeping well at the end of the day.”
How do Norwegian cycling routes measure up to Europe’s more famous courses?
“Cycling here is rewarding, thanks to the fact that Norwegian nature is raw, powerful, and untouched”, Hushovd explains. “I like to ride in my native area, the southernmost parts of Norway, which has numerous islands, peninsulas, rocks, reefs, and other natural wonders. Further west, cyclists can enjoy dramatically deep fjords surrounded by mighty mountains and the scenic Atlantic Road. In Northern Norway I recommend the various stages of the Arctic Race of Norway, the world’s northernmost bike race.”
How accommodating are Norwegians?
“In the countryside of Norway, you can ring almost any doorbell for help, and coffee will be served immediately.” Hushovd points out that most Norwegians have a welcoming attitude towards cyclists, since this type of transportation has become a rising trend in Norway.
Any ultimate advice for cycle enthusiast visiting Norway?
“First and foremost, cycling should be fun. In Norway, there are many opportunities to have a good time when planning ahead. After all, most cyclists are performing on a hobby level.”
When will you take your family with you on the road?
“Well, my eldest child just learned to handle a bicycle without support wheels, so I believe there will be many opportunities for us to cycle Norway in the near future.”
“Here, the map of Norway gets narrow and the routes are close to the sea. Beauty appears around every corner.”
“Here you are occasionally surrounded by the sea on both sides of the road.”
When cycling on the roads in Norway, the same traffic regulations and road signs apply to you as to cars and other vehicles:
• Keep to the right.
• Give way to those coming from your right.
• Don’t drink and bike.
You may cycle on the pavement, but adapt your speed.
You may not cycle on motorways and dual carriageways.
Only children under the age of 10 may be carried as passengers.
Always wear a helmet when cycling. A high visibility vest is a good idea, especially on busy roads.
• white or yellow light in the front
• red light in the back
• red reflector in the rear
• white or yellow reflectors on the pedals
• two brakes that work independently
• bicycle bell
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