With butterflies in my stomach and a bag with everything I’ll need for five days—plus a bit more—I’m picked up by bike ambassador Thomas Klingenberg for the trip to Fjørå. With a shared passion for cycling, we hit it off immediately.
We’re ready for our first Norrøna shoot!
I come from a bike-mad family with championship medals in everything from mountain-biking and downhill to track cycling. Cycling is in my DNA. So, I’m really keen to get more girls into the sport because cycling has been such a male-dominated sport for so long, it’s amazing to see that the female community is growing. We can thank the real enthusiasts in the cycling community for that. I’ve actually found that girls like me often don’t have the courage to join in, but all of a sudden, we’re having a go and we’re breaking down barriers.
My pulse rises along with the height of the mountains as we head west.
Deep in the Sunnmøre fjords lies the small village of Fjørå. Over the centuries, local farmers have cleared trails up and down the steep mountainsides and today those trails challenge technical mountain bikers who descend to the rocky shore from 1100 metres above sea level. The unique view of fjords and saw-tooth mountains make Fjørå one of the world’s most spectacular mountain bike destinations — and it’s also the namesake of our collection.
It’s around nine o’clock when we pull into the car park in front of the cabin we’ve rented in Valldal.
This is my first time in Fjørå, and I’m excited about meeting the rest of the Norrøna gang, namely Norrøna’s photographer Chris Holter, film-maker Nikolai Schirmer and legend Frode Sandbech.
Veterans in the industry
For so long, I’ve heard so much about cycling in Fjørå and people always ask whether you’ve cycled there. I’ve finally got the opportunity.
Cycling is really different here the flow trails are steep and absolutely magical in places! But what I will remember most about Fjørå are all the views and the nature that you experience along the trail.
I have to admit that I get a bit tense and star-struck when I meet the photographers. Will I feel able to give my opinion as the only girl on the set? I stress again how important it is for us girls to have the confidence to join in, to have a go and to not try to be inconspicuous!
Fortunately, the tension quickly passes and I start to feel comfortable. It’s pizza for dinner, as we plan the shoot for the next few days.
This is going to be fun!
We wake up to rain.
– But that’s not going to stop us, says Chris at breakfast.
Everyone gets ready for the shoot.
The new Fjørå collection has hints of delicate colours and is a great fit. I feel comfortable in the clothes and I can feel the adrenaline pumping. I’m ready.
It’s such fun for me as a new Norrøna ambassador to feel, see and wear the clothes. The clothing is soft, fresh and functional, and I don’t even think about it when I’m cycling — that’s a good sign!
My personal favourites are the wool T-shirts.
As soon as we start to push the bikes up the trail from Liabygda, I realise that this is my kind of terrain! It’s a rolling terrain that’s made for speed and great flow. I’m in my element! The drone flies above us. The camera clicks away. We work for eight hours, in the rain, but the atmosphere couldn’t be better.
Working with such a professional team makes you happy to go that extra mile. I’m happy to trek up and down the trail as many times as they want to get great photos. Thomas and I work up a sweat, while the photographers easily keep up with us on e-bikes.
We cross marshes, pushing and carrying the bikes uphill — “earn your turns”.
There’s no special treatment here for girls — and I like that.
The next day, we finally get bright sunshine and a dazzlingly beautiful natural landscape opens up.
We even get to see the sunset and we end the day by cycling down the ridge from Melfjellet.
On the second to last day, we head over to Stranda. We take the ferry from Liabygda to Stranda and travel towards the mountains, about 25 minutes from Stranda.
The e-bikes help us up the first bit and after that, it’s pushing and trudging, but it doesn’t take us long to gain height. We find some superb views, and the scenery is straight from romantic nationalist paintings! But the cycling was much better in Fjørå.
It’s sun, chocolate, a great atmosphere and cycling for the rest of the day.
Frode impresses us and shows that he’s no stranger to speed! Nikolai and Thomas have climbed up a summit and have great fun bumping down the trail behind us.
We spend the last day along the trail from Liabygda up to Liahornet. Wind, weather and low clouds stop us from spending even a single evening at the top of a mountain, Liahornet. But we use the magical terrain and the view to round off our trip with some amazing photos at sunset.
After the sun has gone down, we tear down a farm trail to the car park.
I’ll never forget this trip with the guys, and beautiful Western Norway — I’m looking forward to the next time!
Get the fjørå Look
The fjørå collection consists of flexible, breathable and durable mountain bike products engineered for technical challenges in rough terrain.