Ok, so this is Norway?
Arendal, Norway – Not Kid Friendly (the trail itself)
In Norway the generally use https://trailguide.net
We have found that they ride bikes a bit different than in Denmark. Well, they ride them the same way, but because of the rough terrain, the trails are more based on the downhill part. So a lot of the trails that are on trailguide.net are downhills, where you then find your own way to the top. Or they are sections, where you ride from A to B, where we in Denmark have more “circular” trails. So you start at one point and then end at the same point again after a certain amount of kilometres.
So, here we have to get used to picking out the trail, we would like to ride and then find our own way to it. It is not necessarily something bad, it is just different and due to the landscape and terrain. The do have linked together stuff like for example “Tungvekteren”, but you still need to choose between various trails to form your “own” ride.
We have not tried it yet, but hopefully we will get a chance in Sogndal, where we know somebody, who also rides MTB, but it can definitely be a good idea to take a ride with a local guide here in Norway to get the best experience, instead of just looking at a map all the time.
An example of a trailguide.net map:
The MTB experience
So how was the first stop on our journey? Arendal var beautiful, but the track was not kid friendly – the name kind of gives it a way – it is called “Tungvekteren” (the heavy weight). It was technical, rough and steep – all combined makes it hard to sell for kids our age It was however a very fun singletrack for us – not beginners. We were definitely challenged and having a good full suspension bike is a must – we would say.
It consists of small singletrails crossing each other and all with funny names. There was a map at the beginning of the trail, not very detailed though, which can make it quite confusing. We recommend that you just explore. It is a small area and it is easy to find your way back, as the track crosses “lys løjpen” (the crosscountry skiing field) that moves around “Store Ribbervann” (the big lake). Jakob tried too hard to follow the map the first day, in and it ment that he was stopping all the time and getting confused. The area really is not that big, so it is a much nicer experience just to ride and see, where you end.
The climbs are the most technical, we have ever tried, and you really need to know how to lift that front wheel and trust in your traction. Then it becomes a really fun way to challenge yourself, and some of the downhills are rewarding your effort. Especially the trail “downhill” was good fun (the name kind of gives it away, but it was steep).
But the climbs are really the “fun” part of this trail, if you like to challenge yourself.
The van experience
We parked at the parking lot at the beginning of the trail one night. This has water for cleaning the bikes as well as water for Molly – smart 😉
The next night was spend down by the lake – we would recommend this for camper van overnights. Kiwi (grocery store) is close by. We took the girls around the lake (eastside and vestside), beautiful but too difficult for them to bike all the way – we did try it.
Instead we picked berries and used a swing – they loved it, and so did we.
Actually the “lys løjpe” is 4 km long and will do great for a small MTB trip for the kids. We did half of it, and they had a lot of fun 🙂
Don’t miss out on “Lille Ribbervann” (the little lake) you can reach it by foot or take the singletrack “Eventyrskoven” – it is quiet, beautiful and the water is very clean. We took a shower there, swimmed and ate lunch.
In Juli and August you can have a feast eating all the blueberries and raspberries you care to pick 😉
Based on “fun factor”
The Vanlife Experience