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Old 09-21-08, 06:29 AM   #1
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Cycling Norway in October - Advice

Hey all, so i need to some help.

I am currently on exchange in Denmark and i've been slowly upgrading an abandoned bike into a touring rig. Holidays are coming up soon so i figured i'd cycle up to and around Norway for approx 20 days.

However, whilst i am reasonably experienced in long-distance cycling, i am unfortunately (coming from the tropics and flatness of Australia's north), inexperienced in mountain riding and more importantly cold weather conditions. I've been a long time lurker, and this forum really keeps me motivated to keep getting out there and member's information has been invaluable but i have some more questions i haven't been able to find the answers to.

a) are there any things i should be particularly aware of whilst cycling in Norway i.e apparently the 'cycling season' for the route from Voss to Gelio closes in early September. Is it still passable in early Oct.?
b) Any tips for mountain cycling?
c) Any tips and advice for cold weather cycling and camping?
d) Anything else i am forgetting?

Cheers in advance
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Old 09-21-08, 06:59 AM   #2
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To put it bluntly; october may not be the ideal month for bicycle touring in Norway. I would consider it higly dangerous to go into the mountains because you will have frost at least at night and any water on the road may remain frozen well into the day. You may get snow as well, which would cover up patches of ice. I would consider the southwesterly part of Norway around Stavanger as an alternative.It is nice and quite bikefriendly, and if the weather is good you could ride to Lysefjorden for som spectacular scenery. By the end of october the days are quite short as well so extra light may be a good idea.
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Old 09-22-08, 08:17 AM   #3
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I cycled thru southern Norway on June '06. As someone mentioned here, October can face you with harsh weather and short days.

Travelling in harsh weather is done with good gear, and good gear is usually expensive gear. I guess you're not into spending 1500$ on cold weather equipment.

I think it'll be best if you stick to the coastal routes, like these:

I cycled the "Coastal Route", which was very scenic, and never boring. The weather in the coastal areas is supposed to be milder, especially if you compare it to inland mountain areas.

Camping: camping in Norways is very popular and free, but again, beware of the climate.

Equipment: Norway is extremely expensive, so try to get whatever you need in Denmark.

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Old 09-22-08, 11:27 AM   #4
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I imagine that Oct in Norway is like December in the UK (only prettier).
In cold damp conditions it is vital to stay as dry as you can, from rain, sweat or condensation especially if you face a big descent. I may change a wet inner layer at the top of a big hill to a nice dry one on very cold, damp days. I use a windproof rather than a waterproof unless rain is falling. A lot of this is standard winter cycling lore so have a good read of icebike.
Feet can be particularly exposed so avoid tight footwear, use layers of woolen socks. If you dont have waterproof shoes or boots, try some "Sealskin" wproof socks or in extremis use plastic bags between socks.
Falling on ice is a skill which takes practice. In my experience you cant fight black ice, you cant brake or steer or accelerate. If you do find your bike slipping away, tuck in and roll to spread the impact.
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