[ blog » 2022 » 07_Tour_Norway ]d22: Rutledal to Fusa (by Philipp Gesang, location: A Campsite Kitchen)


Neither the farmer nor the stag caused any problems that night. Crossing the Gulen region first thing after breakfast proved challenging. And by "challenging" I mean: What the hell! By the time I arrived at the Sløvåg ferry, around 40 km into the ride, I had already accumulated over 700 m of elevation gain. To think that a thousand years ago people from over a hundred kilometers away would regularly travel there, on foot, to participate in the legislative assembly, it boggles the mind. I mean today this terrain is exceptionally hard to deal with, but back in the days without proper roads let alone any other kind of infrastructure we take for granted.

All the evidence points to it: the weather gods must be conspiring against me. Literally. I had checked the wind patterns yesteray and the wind was blowing south from Alesund which made me get excited for a tailwind today. Unfortunately that wind situation wrapped around during night so some sort of spiral wind current intersecting with the coast brought a ton of headwind over the land which I ate for pretty much the whole day day. Again no rain today, I guess that counts.


The road got less taxing on the far side of the ferry, mostly thanks to the E39 which I rejoined and which again made for comfortable travel. That is, where you can actually use it and aren't banished from the tunnels. I guess the Norwegian road authorities really wanted to rub in the fact that cyclists go without a motor so they sprinkled a bunch of tunnel-detours all over the road that can involve hundreds of meters of climbing on steep gradient. I guess the "punish the cyclist for not rolling around in a four-wheeled tin can" school of road construction has ardent followers in Statens Vegvesen as well.

The climbs got ever steeper and more frequent the closer I approached Bergen. By the time I reached the center I was already wiped out good, the legs dangerously close to turning into pudding. To my chagrin it was already past 17:00 h by that time so all the bike shops were already closed. In that respect my timing has been truly awful so far, having reached both Trondheim and Bergen on late saturday afternoon so I couldn't take advantage of the shopping opportunities. At least regarding ferries the timing has been impeccable today, as both times I arrived precisely for boarding and didn't have to wait even a minute.

Ironically my visit to Bergen took place on one of the few days without rain the town enjoys every year. It was cloudy, sure, but had remained completely dry all day. Loads of tourists out in the streets. As well as on the water, as boat trips seem to be part of the standard tourist program there. The center was a lot less bleak than that of Trondheim, plus it boasts some truly amazing cycling infrastructure like for instance induction coil actuated traffic lights with a second coil placed around fifty meters ahead of the lights so the cyclist doesn't have to stop and waste precious momentum waiting for the green. Nifty. I wonder why this hasn't caught on elsewhere as from a cyclist's perspective it is obviously the right thing to do.


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