Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon 2013

Finally a race that went well!

The weather was much better than last year and I lined up near the front at the start. At 7 am we were off. I rode hard and managed to stick with the first riders to begin with. A bunch broke away and I ended with the first chasing bunch as we careered around the tight corners on the initial descents. Once we reached the flat we rode for about 30 minutes until we caught the front bunch. Unlike last year the pot-belly riders hadn’t made the cut and we had a nice bunch of perhaps 50 riders. Instead of spilling out on both sides of the road like previous years the bunch was well behaved and riding in it was enjoyable.

I was placed well for the turn off for the little cycle way and the bunch in front of me didn’t break apart. The second cycle way on the return down the valley also went smoothly and I passed the nasty bridge that got me last year without a problem. We then cruised down the valley until we got to the last climb up into Tannheimer Tal. My quads were trying to cramp as we began the climb which left me off the back of the bunch. After a bit of climbing they seemed to come right and I rode with a few others until the top. We then sped along the flats to the finish line.

I finished in 47th place overall (25th in my class) in a time of  3:16:42.18 (avg 39.61 km/h).

The weather was nice and sunny unlike last year’s rainy start.

Cris cycling at the beginning of the race (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon)Cris near the finish line (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon)

Above left: Cris cycling at the beginning of the race. Above right: Cris near the finish line.

Strava told me this:

And I believed it.

Tannheim Rad Marathon 2013

Time: 3:16:42.18 Dst: 128.2 km Avg: 39.0 km/h Max: 76.3 km/h Ascent: 806 m Avg Heart: 168 bpm Max Heart: 195 bpm Place 47/675

Day 15 – Sogndal to Bergen

We caught the ferry in the morning from Sogndal to Bergen. To prove to us that Norway is capable of blue sky and nice sunny weather that’s exactly what we got. It’s a bit of a mean trick as this is our last full day here and the forecast for the next few days are for sunshine. Grrrr.

We collected our gear in Bergen and cycled slowly towards the airport. We’re camping near a forest and lake just off the main road leading to the airport. It’s hot. We’re lazing by the tent in the sun. The sky is completely blue. There’s not a cloud to see. This is the first day in two weeks where it hasn’t rained at least a little bit during the day. It really is a nasty trick. Still maybe we’ll be more lucky next time.

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Blue sky is possible in Norway. This is the view during our ferry ride back from Sogndal.
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Very Norwegian looking huts at the sea shore.

Day 14 – Hafslo to Sogndal

We were treated to tantalising patches of sun interspersed with rain while packing in the morning. We were unsure what to do but eventually decided to head back down the valley a little and then as the weather was being undecided we headed to Sogndal. A short ride and we set up the tent at a camp ground. We spent the rest of the day being fairly lazy which was quite nice really.

Day 13 – Skjolden to near Hafslo

We headed off from Skjolden about lunch time along a tiny road leading down one side of the fiord. There were three tunnels along the way that were pitch black. Luckily the Norwegians had stuck little post boxes at the beginning and ends of the tunnels and inside the post boxes were bike lights. The idea is that you grab a light at one side of the tunnel, ride through it and then deposit the light in the box on the other side. I had my beefy LED head lamp with me and we blazed our way through the tunnels with that.

We visited a waterfall on the way along the fiord and then the world’s oldest church. Leonie did the tour and as I’m alergic to historical/cultural things I drank a hot chocolate instead. We took a ferry across the narrow fiord afterwards and went looking for a camp site. Around 9 pm we found a spot by a hydro lake in a narrow valley not far from Hafslo. Leonie hid in the tent and I cooked a rice/salmon creation while being nibbled on by various bitey things. It had been raining off and on since the ferry ride and was very cold again. Ughhh…

Day 12 – Fast Hut to Skjolden

The day dawned with promising weather but as we set off the clouds and cold returned. We headed up in the direction of the Arentsbu hut dropping down into the valley instead of going all the way to the hut. There were a few very impressive looking waterfalls and the river next to the track looked very nice too. We collected our bikes in the rain and rode back down the valley and pitched our tent at the same camp site again.

As we were cooking dinner in the cooking room inside the friendly camp map came and gave us the key to one of the cabins and told us we could have it for the night for no extra charge as we had been in the mountains and we were probably looking a little cold. Very nice.

So the place to camp in Skjolden is definitely “Nymoen Leirplass”.