Saturday, July 15, 2006

Finally Found It

There is a radio mast on top of one of the hills on the other side of the fjord. I noticed there was a road visible on satellite maps. I had biked to Li on several occasions trying to find the mystery service road, but I could never seem to find it. Today I made another voyage. As I was riding down a gravel road, a guy stopped his car and got out to talk to me about something. He was asking if I was biking off-road. I told him about this mystery road to the "mast" and he told me he would run up that hill- that it was great training. This stranger then drew a map in the gravel-- explaining that it was a private road and was unmarked. I thanked him and was on my way. Eventually I found the road near a farm house. As a private road, it just means that don't want cars on it. In fact, the road had a gate over it, but there was walking entrance. It appeared to be part of the recreational hiking system of Sandnes.

I started riding up-- non-stop up. There were switchbacks to break up the sight lines, and horse manure everywhere. The trouble with manure is that it means there are flies everywhere-- in fact I inhaled a few. I noticed a huge snake had molted and left his skin behind on the trail-- maybe not a "huge" snake, but not a little garter snake either. The point is, I didn't even know there were snakes in Norway. I also saw a little deer. It was one of those European deer that looks about as big as a huge dog. Anyway, after much sweat, I made it to the top and was rewarded with an amazing view in all directions. A couple of hikers were hanging out at the top as well. I snapped a few images with my phone camera. I will definitely return.

In looking at the elevation profile from my monitor, you can see a high pressure system has moved in (in other words, I was not below sea level today). I was struck by the fact that literally a stone's throw from the sea water below, I was at about the same elevation as the Minneapolis airport-- which is about as far from the ocean as you can be. Anyway, it was a very nice ride.

I might mention that I live on the peninsula to the left of the fjord (visible from the smaller area map to the left of the satellite image). It gets a little tiresome living on a "half island" because I can only really bike south if I want to get anywhere. Also, I am finding mountain biking a little more interesting these days. It places me closer to nature. Also, it was a little cooler this morning, and for some reason it just feels better riding on trails and through woods when it is colder outside. I still need to find some club rides, but I think it is quiet right now while everyone is on vacation.

Phone cam goodness (next time I should bring a real camera).

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