Mountain biking. Adrenaline rushing descents, steep climbs, tortuous rock gardens, blood taste in your mouth, knobby tires and mud? Yes, it certainly can be. But on a three day bikepacking trip through Nordmarka forest north of Oslo with Stian, Christian and Sverre in May, it was obvious that mountain biking could be so much more:
– Has anyone seen the rubber spatula? Stian makes ready to bake bannock, a round, flat bread with roots back to the North of England, Scotland and Ireland.
– I guess that question hasn’t been asked many times here in the Nordmarka forest! Christian exclaims.
He is probably absolutely right. A rubber spatula is hardly the standard equipment for most outdoor people. But then again, neither Christian, Stian and Sverre are your average outdoor person. Out of tiny backpacks and frame bags, they pull out sausages of several kinds, homemade meatballs in gravy, cured meats, flour, a couple of cans of beer for dinner, olive oil, olives, prunes, Norwegian Røros butter and cheese. Lots of cheese. I lose track somewhere after cheese number five. The whole scene reminds me of when magicians drag one white dove out of their sleeve after another. Not long after, we sit around the fire in the night and eat tapas. The last remnants of sunlight filters through the spruce branches and lichens in the woods behind us. The light from a few campfires flashes vaguely on the other side of the quiet forest lake.
These guys aren’t only more into food than your average mountain biker. They can bike, too. Next day, they throw their fully laden bikes around bends, bombs down rock gardens and climbs stuff that would be tough for most people even without the gear strapped to the bikes. And how do they celebrate bagging the crux at the top? With a piece of exclusive Pascal chocolate confectionery.