I looked up at the mountain before me. 140 metres up in almost one and a half kilometre. an average inclination of almost 10%. An average...: There were some bits of 20% among them. Sigh... This morning I was I went down the mountain and now chose to go back up all the way. Just for the fun of it. Well, fun... There is nothing funny about the climbing part, but the fun would start at the top...
On Friday I overslept! That happens to once in a thousand years, so I was still recuperating from the rare event. I woke up by nine thirty and wanted to be on the bicycle by that time.
I stayed at the place of Louis and Pieter Jan, a Warm Showers address where I was the year before as well and both men already left for their work.
I sped to the centre of Oslo. For as much as you can speed upwards, because I went up the Ekeberg (Eke mountain). Yes, a mountain. I cycled through a wonderful sculpture park, but I could not permit myself to enjoy the view. I had an appointment at 11:30 a lunch date with Øyvind (the same Øyvind as in the previous newsletter), but had to be at the Pilgrim centre beforehand, which is situated on a different mountain., to pick up a key. The thing is, that I received a very kind offer from Anne-Sissel, one of the volunteers, to stay in her apartment for the weekend. She herself would be gone for the weekend and would give me the key in the morning. That's the reason for the rush!
After the key exchange and the lunch, I decided to go back to the sculpture park. On top of the mountain. I had no idea when I would be here again (at least not this year) and it just so happened I had the time.
So, down one mountain and up the next one. That not as fast as this the sentence would make it look like, but I'm glad I did it. The sculptures are from various artists and are ugly, absurd and beautiful. I like that. There is a small selection of photo's of it.
At the end of the day I had to go to Nydalen. Sounds great (in Norwegian): going from a mountain to a valley. But to get there I have to go over Galgeberg and the Sofienberg. On top of that, that Nyendal is on an altitude of 100 metres. In short, I did not only go back and forth, but also up and down. And looking at the ascents and descents, it looks completely useless: 500 metres ascended and 478 metres descended over a length of 32 kilometres.
In between I visited the starting point of the St. Olav's Way, the ruins of Sankt Halvards katedral, at the foot of the Galgenberg.
How do I decide on the resulting route? Just hop on the back and I'll take you to an area east of Oslofjord. In between Ås and Oppegård to be more precise.
On Wednesday I cycled a part that I did not liked. And even though I had great views from the separated cycleway, that cycleway went only along a busy road. On the map the route segment is coloured aqua blue. There are places where you just can't get around it in Norway, and then there is I have no choice in the matter. But this time I saw there were two additional options. Those options need to by cycled over of course.
So Thursday I set out to cycle over these two options. Since I could stay for an extra night at the place of Louis and Pieter Jan, I didn't need to bring heavy panniers along for the ride.
The pink route segment on the map is cycling route no. 7, a national cycling route through Norway. This route is suitable to get from A to B as quickly as possible without the need for a pretty view. This makes this route less interesting for holiday cyclists or recreational cyclists, because it goes along busy* roads most of the time. As is the case here. North of Ås you cycle the first three kilometres over a cycleway through a forest, but after that only along a busy road and also goes up, but you don't really see that. So this part is not a option.
Photos of the rejected routes:
The red line on the map is the resulting main route. This route follows the pilgrim route Borgleden for the largest part and goes partly over a signposted route for cyclists: the Kongeveien: or Kings road. Apart from being by far the most pretty and quiet route, in my opinion, The history of this route fits very well with the Kristains route. On various places you can read that this route was the main road until 1870, between Kristiania (There you have it: the old name for Oslo) and Svinesund. The first couple of kilometres after Ås, you cycle over a quiet road and soon you can continue over a cycleway. After some seven kilometres the route goes over in a wonderful forest road which is forbidden for cars. There is a catch though: Somewhere non this route there is a little steep climb of 16% over ten meters. Oh well, since there are plenty of them in Norway, this one doesn't add much.
And then the dark blue route. Actually, this one is slightly prettier than the red one that goes alongside. Though this one has at the end (the horizontal line from west to east) an ascent of a hundred meters over one kilometre. From which the first six hundred metres 18 or 19% are. This is undoable going from south to the north. For those goin in the opposite direction, it is something I recommend (if you brakes are in good shape, that is, of course). That's why this route is added as an alternative for those who want to ride it.
The approved route:
The route along the east side of the Oslofjord (the red line) is now complete and now I start with the branch at the outer right side of the Kristiansroute. I'll try to explain it without getting you lost along the way. Maybe the map next makes it easier to follow.
The branch that goes from Horten to the east, the aqua coloured line, still needs to be developed. This segment is meant for those who want to follow the complete route of Olav the Saint (Oslo-Selånger-Trondheim-Oslo), the pink line. With this segment, they can avoid Oslo all together and cut off some distance.
Now I'm in Oslo en to develop this route, I need to cycle to it first. I do that by cycling a part of the route Oslo-Selånger, the pink line. It just so happens that there are some parts there that I don't like (that's why I didn't publish the guide yet of this route) and I think I have a good alternative for that one. Near Charlottenburg in Sweden I go back over the pink line and end up at the end point af the third branch of the Kristiansroute, de aqua coloured line. I'll cycle that from the north to the south.
Once back in Horten, I'll have to return to the car (green line, west side Oslofjord) There is an option given to me by two cyclists (a Norwegian and a Dutch one) independently from each other that avoid the city Drammen, that is the Orange line. I'll take this route to go back to the car.
Next is the yellow line (Kristiansand-Horten). That one goes a long way under the map...
* There are some small part of the route no. 7 that are very pretty. The St. Olav's Way also goes over it and the Kristians route will use some parts as well.
Pictures sculpture park Ekeberg: