Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sun, No More Snow, My Good Friend RIP9

Again and again, I just can't seem to keep my blog updated. I think my problem is that everytime I think about it, there are just too many things to update that I get put off by the task and the list just grows bigger everyday.

Take the Centre Line

Trondheim has been nothing short of amazing. The mountain biking here is simply world class. Needless to say, I have logged over 1000km on my RIP9 in the past while and am continually impressed with this bike. I thought that the RIP9 might be too much of a bike for the terrain here but once the snow melted and I really saw what the trails had in store, I am smiling from ear to ear. Yesterday, I went out for a 80km ride where I explored some new terrain. I got onto a particular trail that is part of a network called the 'Pilegrimsleden' or the old Pilgrim trails that would connect Oslo to Trondheim. The trail was barely rideable. Read this as roots like cumberland over a vast open marshy area with intermittent rock faces, mud pits, and wooden logs placed over mud pits. Basically, you had to get it your all just to not fall over sideways. I think I averaged less than 7km/hour. Slow and extremely difficult... my kind of trail.

Cumberland Anyone?

Road Ride on the Mountain Bikes Around Bymarka

Of course, it hasn't all be biking. There was a national holiday here on May 1st that is the European version of the Canadian 'Labour Day' in September. This time of year is typically the first warm burst of spring and this year was no exception. With temps in the low 20s and a hot sun, it was hot enough of shorts only weather with some frisbee and some barbacue action at the 'beach'. This is actually what what Norwegian's do so our large group (consisting mainly of immigrants from Italy and France) were in midst of a sea of others enjoying their day off and having a cold brew in the sun. Yes, you can drink outside pretty much anywhere as long as you're not being a nuisance.
1st of May - The National Day

Barbacues, Rock and Ocean

One tradition that happens in Norway is something called 'RUSS'. Russ is the celebration of finishing high school but instead of just happening for a night or weekend, it lasts over at least two weeks and is filled with alcohol, booze, beer, liquor and alcohol. Oh, and while drinking they all dress up in primarily purchased 'Russ wear' that is decorated with the Norwegian flag and colours, and has the word 'Russ 2009' all over it. It is quite the sight... in a bizarre kind of way. They also make up these cards that they write slogans on or other words of wisdom and while strutting through the town, kids will run up to them to get a card and will try to collect as many as possible. The kid with the most is super cool! They literally wear this stuff everyday, puke stains and all, and... get this... after two weeks, THEN they write they're exams!

This was unfortunately the only RUSS photo I got

Kim's boss at work took us out to a local 600m mountain to climb. We drove part way up only to be faced with thick snow cover on the road. We pulled over, parked, and hiked up the road to the summit. The day was hot and with shorts and no shirt on, it sure felt good to feel spring on the skin. The top afforded great views of the entire area and we were lucky enough to have some paragliders taking off. Looks like a lot of fun!

I ended up doing a small trip up the fjord with the wife of one of Kim's previous collegues. There was a big conference going on in Trondhiem, so, we rented a car and did some exploring. We ended up going over to Tautra Island which is home to a small community and bird sauntuary. There was an old monastery constructed here with some of the remains still standing.

Monastery Remnants

Through Kim's conference, there was a field trip up to Røros which I participated in. This was our 2nd trip there and it was quite nice to get to visit the Mining museum this time and see the place with no snow. It was still freakn windy though. I don't think the wind stops blowing here!

400 Year Old Homestead in Røros

Check it out! An unpainted plastic Car!

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