The tools we use for mountain biking are often repurposed into our other human powered passions. This particular trip to the Pyrennes, the natural border for France and Spain, was the perfect opportunity to test the Norrøna fjørå and skibotn lines and see how they transitioned between biking and skiing as we traversed the country.

Words + Pictures by Dustin and Natalie Randall

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, fortified with amazing ski terrain, a handsome man (from afar) with  his beloved, enigmatic (aren’t they all?) wife and stalwart friend had skied their legs stupid. 

It was time for a change, the weather had cleared in the lowlands and the mountain bike trails there sent out a siren call. Thus they retired the ski gear and readied the biking kits for a departure at dawn. 

Because they do not eat dinner in this land far far away (Spain) until 10:30 at night, the three took a time-killing journey to the French border. And low and behold when they emerged from a tunnel, potential ski lines from the road shone forth in the oncoming twilight. 

The three could not, would not, resist the temptation to ski. For by fortune or fate (laziness) they  knew not but the skis, skins and (stinking wet) boots had been left in the car. 

And thus with what attire had been adorned earlier that day, they pursued the noble quest to ski lines from the road. Deep into the maw of dusk did they battle gravity and thus upon the steep slopes did conquer gravity and turn its dark power unto the light and right, turn by turn. Thus they harnessed that dark power unto themselves for good. And it was good. So good. 

Much ado has been made of the impromptu battle with the dark power (gravity) but let us draw attention to the phrase “and thus with what attire had been adorned earlier that day…” 

Why mention this? The fact that they had “retired the ski gear” and that they even mention the clothing they dressed in on that fateful day would lead one to assume that they did not have on the traditional attire to ski. What clothing allowed them to be comfortable for a “time-killing” journey and dinner in town?

New findings have brought this mystery to light. From the handsome man (from afar) and his enigmatic wife’s own hands we now know what they adorned that day and why.

The Handsome Man (from afar)

Norrøna training Pants:
These pants look unassuming, but by Jove (Jupiter) you will value them more than Jason and the Argonauts did the golden fleece. I sleep in them, run in them, bike in them, and ski in them. They are great Skimo pants where the cuff fits over race boots perfectly.

The lightweight insulation in the front and stretchy breathable layer in the back is fantastic for fall and spring mountain biking.

I found they are the ultimate travel pants. The drawstring waist design allows me to skip the belt and thus save time at airport security checks. Plenty of zipper pockets kept my phone, wallet, and any other bits in the pockets and not left on some airport bench. I guess in the beginning I could have described the Training pants in one word, panacea.

tamok wool Shirt:
This shirt is officially part of Norrøna’s skiing line up. The amply sized front zippered pockets that can hold spare gloves, can of Coke, snickers and apple – also served me well for keeping passport, cash, gum, headphones and other do da’s close at hand while traversing ocean and land. Slopes, trails, towns, this shirt owns it all. And being handsome (from afar) close up this shirt helps even the score.

The Enigmatic Wife

fjørå flex1 Pants:
Just as easily as I can slip MTB knee pads under these pants with the wide knee box and zippers – it was easy to slip these pants over my ski boots. The fabric weight and ventilation allowed for simple transition from Spring single track to grabbing some quick ski lines. While the sphelt and tapered profile allowed for a quick transition to dinner in town without a change into fitted jeans.

falketind thermo40 Shorts:
These are clutch and honestly are included in all my overnight packing jobs with the exception of when days are reaching + 80°F (26.6°C). As a female who runs cold in the early AM’s, late PM’s, and during slumber these are effortless to slip over any outfit while still allowing for performance. The top/down side zippers allow for quick donning on or off teetering on a slope or inside the tight confines of a sleeping bag. Worst case scenario where you don’t pull the shorts out at all – they make for a great neck pillow on the airplane or in the backcountry.

fjørå equaliser lightweight Long sleeve:
From uphill pedal punches to the roadside skins this moisture wicking and highly breathable shirt kept me dry throughout the day – and helped manage any body odor buildup. The comfort of the shirt honestly has improved over wear time. As I’ve continued to wear the shirt it has softened and has become a favorite layer during the spring.

About Dustin & Natalie

Dustin and Natalie Randall spend their time on the Utah frontier with their son Roman. Together they own and operate Roam Industry, a guide and outfitter out of Monticello Utah. They enjoy small town living and all things human powered adventure.

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1 thought on “Im•promp•tu”

  1. Nice to see the pieces being used in real situations and not just on a model in a studio. Entertaining to read a story with so much useful information!

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