Miljøsamvittigheten fikk spille en sentral rolle da den engelske bodøværingen og norgesmesteren i frikjøring på snowboard, Melissa Brandner, satte avgårde på sykkeltur for lage ski- og snowboardfilm sammen med to venninner.
Her forteller Melissa hvordan sykkelturen i Nord-Norge startet (på engelsk):
Just another bike and snowboard movie?
One day, whilst sitting at my office desk, computer coding for my research, a message popped up. My friend Manuela Mandl had an offer for me. Would you like to make a movie? My first instinct was hell yeah! But then realistically, what was our storyline going to be?
I think for both of us, the environment is very important. We compete in a sport where we are part of nature, our actions are determined by the changes in snow and conditions. Manuela suggested cycling through Norway with our splitboards. Our goal was to show how to enjoy nature while limiting our impact on the environment by using e-bikes.
Getting the show on the road
I am not a cyclist, so the idea of cycling hundreds of km’s with heavy loads and hunting for snow was a bit troubling. I had to pause for a moment and think.
Living in Bødø, Northern Norway, and spending a lot of time in stunning scenery such as the Lofoten islands, the Lyngen alps and Sjunkfjorden national park, I am never too far from people touring on bikes. Loaded up with side bags, struggling up hills, and getting flat tyres. I remember saying » I am never doing that! “. Well I am now officially a hypocrite, and happy about it.
Alarm buzzing, 0500, kettle on, tea and yoga. Laughs over breakfast, last shower, packing the bikes, we’re ready to head on our way…. The champ, the muscle, the dreamer….
Propping my bike up, loaded with camping gear, climbing equipment and the splitboard, I knew that if it fell over I probably couldn’t pick it up again. As I pushed off, I knew I hadn’t loaded the thing properly. Wobbling along and picking up speed. I felt insanely uncomfortable. I stopped. Repacked. Deep breath, push, pedal.
I came over a hill, and Manuela whizzed past me. Then, starting slowly at first, her bike was wiggling, then faster and faster. Suddenly, her trailer snapped round. It flipped her. Once, twice. As I watched it unravelling in slow motion, stunned in my actions, she slid on her side and came to a stop. I chucked my bike down and grabbed my first aid kit, but as I turned around she was already up and walking towards me, dusting herself off. I felt my whole body relax. She was fine, but what a welcome that was to road biking eh?
Before giving it a real try, I never imagined I could appreciate long distance biking. I am a self-confessed adrenaline junkie without the word rest in my vocabulary. But the slow pace of cycling allowed me to see things I had never seen before, even on roads I had driven many times before.
While cycling downhill at 40km an hour, wind blowing in my face, a moose in the field next to me started galloping by my side. The mirror-like fjord and pink glow of the mountains behind him.
Our journey wasn’t all about the cycling though. We were all here for the freeriding. This spring didn’t deliver the dream of deep powdery lines. The snow had receded a lot earlier than usual, but that wasn’t going to stop us.
Our first day of splitboarding began with a beautiful morning’s cycle. So warm, no wind, we stopped at an abandoned cafe by a bridge to bask in the sun and have a tea break before heading up the mountain with our splitboards. After some interesting exposure to deep crevasses, steep icy lines and hikes through waist deep rivers, we were on the bikes again, exhausted. Luckily we had some e-power to save our legs a little this evening, but it was clear that we would not be rolling for long.
One of my favourite days started with us carrying bikes across old avalanche debris in strong winds (this is when we learnt e-bikes are not for lifting, and id wish I had hit the gym a bit more ;)). Not long after, the curious discovery of a gypsy cabin in the woods. Passing by, we wandered along a path, not often trodden and overgrown. We reached snow under a tall vertical wall of granite. It was playtime. We started shaping jumps and features in the little snow that we had, making a snake trail down the snow field. We took it in turns to fly off rocks, hit smooth jumps we had crafted, and gap ice features.
Flying through the air, striking yoga moves whilst grabbing our gear spinning. So much adrenaline, high fives, laughter. One by one, we dropped in linking all the features, the speed and rush, popping off bumps in the snow and letting go. What a day, hanging out with friends who push you, inspire you, making you better and stronger!
A cyclist is born?
Days on the road, moving up and down, twisting and turning. The aquamarine of the fjords to our right, and the tall, cold, grey of the steep rocky mountains shooting up to our left. We flowed over bridges and through dark damp tunnels. Came to steep valleys that I had never noticed before whilst sitting behind the glass wall of a speeding car.
As we rolled up to the house at home in Bod, we turned back to admire the mountains. What a journey. We were all full of the longing for more. I may not be a cyclist, but I fell in love with the view from my bike.
Les mer om sykling i nord her: