Go on a mountain bike holiday in Norway and experience that tremendous sense of freedom you get from scraggly MTB trails. Ride down a single track in the mountains, or take your bike deep into the forest, but keep to bike parks and designated trails.
The trail code
Having great trails to ride on is not a right, but a privilege. The Norwegian Mountain Biking Association (NOTS) urges everyone to be considerate on the trails and ski trails. Here are the most important guidelines:
1. Be considerate and give way to pedestrians and skiers.
2. Limit your speed, don’t be a danger or nuisance to others.
3. Don’t blaze new trails.
4. Don’t cross the ski tracks more than necessary.
5. Don’t ride on vulnerable trails right after heavy rainfalls.
6. Don’t ride on the ski trails when the snow is not solid.
7. Don’t make the trail wider.
8. Carry your bike through marshlands to prevent deep grooves.
9. Don’t lock your rear wheel when you ride down steep hills.
10. The biker riding uphill has the right of way.
11. Avoid riding on the most popular ski trails during peak hours on weekends and public holidays in winter.
Dodging rocks, roots and twigs equals … happiness? The answer is yes, at least according to the people who have raced along mountain bike trails and experienced an adrenalin rush that isn’t easily matched.
Norway’s topography lends itself fabulously well to MTB, what with mountains and vast forests and the dramatic vistas that accompany them. And it seems only logical that you must endure hours of agony climbing the Norwegian mountains before you can enjoy the fun of freeride mountain biking or racing downhill.
But more and more ski resorts in the Norwegian mountainside turn into bike arenas in the summer, so that you can take a lift to the top before you surge down prepared runs of varying difficulty. Want to test your skills on man-made obstacles? Go for it! Prefer single tracks with or without a guide? No problem!
Most of these bike parks have options for beginners and children as well as for experienced thrill seekers, so the whole family can join in.
Bring your own full-suspension or hardtail bike, or rent a dedicated downhill bike and all the equipment and safety gear you need when you get here.
And a hot tip to get the most out of your holiday: Many freeride and downhill venues are situated close to other sports facilities, like skateparks, high rope courses, via ferrata climbing areas, or kayak rentals.
Leave nature as you found it
Norway is a country of outstanding natural beauty, with dramatic waterfalls, crystal clear fjords, majestic mountains, and spectacular glaciers. Preserving this landscape, and its communities and way of life, is essential for locals and visitors alike.
Leave as light a footprint as possible. Leave nature as you would like to find it — take only pictures, keep only memories.
Single track mountain biking
Most designated mountain biking areas have a vast network of single tracks. The single track (as the name implies) is about the same width as the mountain bike itself – anything larger simply won’t fit. It’s not to be confused with a service road or fire trail. Also, note that single tracks typically double as hiking paths through forests or across mountains and plains.
Some trails are incredibly smooth and accessible no matter your age or skill – though they can still pose a challenge for experienced mountain bikers who take them on at higher speeds. Others are more inherently challenging.
If you venture out of the bike parks, bear in mind that Norwegians care a lot about nature, and spending time outdoors comes with responsibilities. Only ride on designated mountain biking trails. Avoid making new trails, watch your speed, and be nice to hikers and fellow bikers. Remember that it’s the smiles, not the miles, that count.
And remember – always wear your helmet!
Experience it for yourself!
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