Words Berne Broudy
Photography Donald Shearer
Pushbiking and peak bagging:
Riding the mountains of Norway’s fjords
I’ve been slogging uphill for an hour and a half, my mountain bike on my back, and the summit cairn isn’t getting closer. The trails in Norway’s Sunnmøre Alps aren’t uphill rideable, so four of us – an American, two Scots, and one Norwegian, ‘pushbike’. Steep, jagged slopes, some a volcanic grey, others an eerie green, shear off into the narrow fjords below. We sink to our ankles on the boggy trail with each step – then clamber onto slick, uneven granite hogbacks.
Hiking these peaks in trekking footwear would be sketchy. In cleated mountain bike shoes, it’s treacherous. A squall blows through. As I am giving myself a cheesy pep talk, reminding myself how there are no rainbows without rain, I miss a step, drop my bike and chip the paint, nail my knee on a rock and curse as carbon scrapes granite and a dribble of blood spreads into a blotchy smear below my patella. The sole peels off my shoe…
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