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west-norway by bike

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Strasbourg, France
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west-norway by bike

Hello!

I would like to visit west Norway by bike during 2 weeks beginning of August.

I have some questions:

- do you know a place in bergen where I could rent a bike ?

- do you know a good hostel (not too expensive) in Bergen to spend a night ?

- I would like to go through the folgefonna national park and the Hardangervidda park but I don't know if it will be possible (maybe snow) and I don't know which passes should I take. Do you have an idea?

- are tunnels dangerous?

- how could I avoid the E16 ?

Our trip should bring us to:

- rallarvegen

- rv n°55 (sogndal to lom)

- amdalsnes

- geirangerfjord (rv 63)

- sognefjord/bjordal

Here is the link for our trip project : www.calculitineraires.fr/index.php…

thanks a lot,

Olivia, french

Oslo
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1. Re: west-norway by bike

Cycling is a nice way to see the landscapes of Norway. But note: there is a lot of long climbs and descents, many long tunnels (some not allowed for bicycles, some not recommended), be prepared for rain, mountain passes occasionally get chilly in summer (down to 0 C and snow in air).

It is not possible to go into Folgefonna nationalpark by bike. Your plan only includes a long tunnel under the glacier/national park (cycling forbidden). Road 7 runs on the edge of Hardangervidda national park. In general there are no roads in national parks. Landscapes are equally impressive outside national parks, so maybe you should not focus too much on going into parks.

I would avoid long tunnels on main roads, in any case you should wear a west or something to signal your presence, for instance:

connex.no/html/…PN_Refleksvest_Trafikk.jpg

Be prepared to go by public transport (bring your bike onto express boats for instance, perhaps even on bus) to avoid tunnels or to cut time.

Also note that many tunnels replaced older roads, the "old road" may still be open to bikes.

Your plan only includes a short section of the E16 Flåm to Aurland where cycling is no problem.

Harstad, Norway
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2. Re: west-norway by bike

I took a quick look at your map - cycling on the E39 out of Bergen would not be possible. The first part is a motorway and not allowed for cyclists. Further along it is a main road - it would be like cycling on the routes nationales in France. Tunnels are not only dangerous, they are forbidden for cyclists and pedestrians. I suggest you take the train from Bergen to the starting point for Rallarvegen (this is the western part of Hardangervidda) and start your adventure there, then concentrate on the Sognefjord area and Sognefjellet to Lom. In these areas there are roads with less traffic. All mountain passes will be open in August.

For accomodation in Bergen see the official web site

http://www.visitbergen.com/en/WHERE-TO-STAY/

Oslo, Norway
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3. Re: west-norway by bike

Your map is impressive, but some legs are mysteriously crossing mountains where there are no roads :-)

I'm sorry, but I would really advise against bicycle trips on ordinary roads in Norway, in particular western Norway. Because of the topography the road network is quite different from France and other countries of continental Europe. To get from A to B you have most places no other choice than using main roads like E16, E39, E136, 7, 5 and 55 with heavy traffic and lots of tunnels, your map shows it well. The main roads are at best uncomfortable, at worst dangerous for a cyclist. There are quieter side roads with less traffic, but most of them are dead-ends, and you can't get to them without riding on main roads first. The Norwegian Association of Cyclist has two important pieces of advice for bicycling trips:

1) bike on roads closed to car traffic, like Rallarvegen and a few other mountain roads, or,

2) bring your bike in your car until you get to a peaceful side road where you may ride comfortably. Opedal-Ortnevik along the Sognefjord is a good example.

To sum it up, Rallarvegen and a few other roads are great bicycle trips, but bicycling on ordinary roads is not recommended. I would never dare to cycle a route like the one you have planned.

Oslo
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4. Re: west-norway by bike

Note that the mountain pass Aurland-Lærdal is a really hard climb from sea level to 1200 meters, and hard work for breaks going down. A nice alternative is to take the car ferry Gudvangen-Kaupanger, then continue to Sogndal-Sognefjell from Kaupanger, this way you will avoid the long tunnels connected to Fodnes-Mannheller ferry.

You can see tunnels by zooming in on Google Maps.

From Lom to Åndalsnes you have to go down to E6 near Otta. On E6 you should look for local roads as alternative to main road.

From Geiranger to Stryn you need to cycle the old road to avoid the tunnels on road 15.

nasjonaleturistveger.no/en/gamle-strynefjell…

Oslo
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5. Re: west-norway by bike

Sorry to confuse you with diverging opinions. I basically agree with Iverh that cycling in western fjords area is challenging and perhaps unpleasant because there is often no alternative to the main road, and the main road usually has no real shoulder:

westcoastpeaks.com/pics05/gilja_02jordalsnut…

The solution is perhaps to read map carefully and choose routes with local roads as alternative, or go by bus/boat/train/car on some stretches.

Road 7 you should certainly avoid, E16 is also tricky. Road 55 Sogndal to Lom only has a couple of short tunnels with pedestrian path around. E136 from Dombås to Bjorli is now OK as there is mostly a pedestrian path along, but the nicest part from Bjorli to Trollveggen there is only the main road.

Strasbourg, France
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6. Re: west-norway by bike

to all of you : thanks a lot for your quick answers, it's amazing ! I agree with all your comments, it was just a first draft (really quickly made) and I will have to make a new one entirely different :-)

to Osloviking :where can I show that the old roads exist?

Harstad, Norway
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7. Re: west-norway by bike

Normally you will find the old roads and those to buypass tunnels if you zoom in on google maps.

Charmouth, United...
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8. Re: west-norway by bike

Not sure that zooming in with Google Maps will help much to see where there are old roads around tunnels. The definition is not very good in rural parts of Norway and the old roads often have trees growing over them. Better to use Street View and look for signs for alternative cycle routes at the ends of the tunnels.

I'd also suggest you consider a coastal route rather than trying to do all the popular mountain and fjord areas with all the problems mentioned above. Lots of small quiet roads, mainly with very little traffic and you will discover lots of idyllic places that most tourists never see. If you started your trip in Alesund rather than Bergen you could do part of the trip in the coastal area around there, and part of it in relatively quiet fjord and mountain scenery in Sunnmore and Romsdal counties nearby.

Harstad, Norway
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9. Re: west-norway by bike

What about going further north and do Kystriksveien

http://www.kystriksveien.no/?page=sykkel

Oslo
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10. Re: west-norway by bike

You can see tunnels on Google Maps by zooming in, and most but not all "old roads" around.