Tag Archives: travel

Roll’X 3 x 100 Tour

21 Mar

Just got back from a ski weekend at Lygnasætre, 80km north of Oslo. The hotel was pleasant, and right next to the ski trails. Conditions Saturday were surprisingly good for skating. Today we went earlier before the snow softened up enough for the grooming machine to pass, so the trail was very hard and a bit challenging. Still, the 10 km loop trail was again fun.

But the season is coming to an end and my thoughts are naturally drifting back towards rollerskiing. The first big rollerski thing I’ve done already is sign up for the Roll’X 3x110km tour the 17-19 may. The event that attracts both inline skaters and rollerskiers will go from Mulhouse on the Swiss border in France to Mâcon in the French region of Burgundy.

There are a ton of rollerski events the same weekend in France, but the program of three nights with meals, acommodations and a full support team proved too much to resist.

Nevertheless it’s definitely worth mentioning the other choices. First the 106km rollerski challenge in Brittany and then the 100km Rollathlon race aling the banks of the Rhône River, in France but not far from Geneva.

But the idea of 330km in the company of friends and what looks like a great group of participants finally won me over.

The pace should be relatively fast because most, including myself, will be using fast wheels made in France by Roll’X, the organiser of the event in conjunction with Alliance Glisse Franche Comté rollerskating club.

Moreover, I’ve never been to that part of France and think that rollerskiing through it will be a great way to get to know it.

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How I suffered last Sunday

16 Feb
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2By8mO1lFA%5D

Transjurassienne. Minus 15 and strong headwind. Mercifully shortened from 76km to 70.

Winters first ski on snow

5 Dec

Went on this season’s first ski trip this past weekend. Two days on man-made snow in the Natrudstilen area of Sjusjøen, above Lillehammer. Happily a fresh dusting of snow in the trees made place look properly winter-like.

Since I got some video footage of myself, I’m now wondering (or worrying) who I look the most like from Sindre Wiig Nordby’s great parodies here:

And here:

I vote Emil Jönssson from the second one.

Sancerre is for Rollerski!

22 Aug

When they hear Sancerre, most people think of this:

But wine is only part of the picture. They should also think of this:

Far away from the mountain massifs of the Alps or the Pyrénées,  the most atypical rollerski race in the world takes place the 16th of October in the Sancerre area.  The Cosnes-Sancerre Rollerski Race  winds 25 km through the jaw-droppingly gorgeous scenery of the Loire Valley, culminating in a hill race up the steep flanks of the Sancerre butte itself.

While mixing wine with rollerski may sound like a Norwegian wet dream, it’s actually true. Norwegians already have a special relation with Sancerre. In this nation of large consumers of shrimp, Sancerre has found its way into nearly every restaurant’s wine-list as a happy alternative to Chablis. And since all Norwegians know rollerskiing (if only as irritated drivers), it would be easy to imagine that the race is just a brilliant ploy staged this year by the tourist office to lure Scandinavians to the region.

But nothing can be further from the truth.  The fact is that this year is the 20th edition. And not only is there history here, but stiff competition also. Woe to the smug Viking who thinks he’ll just breeze through to the finish line to plunder the winner’s copious haul of bottles and local specialities for himself.  Last year’s participants included members of the senior relay team that won bronze and the junior relay team that won silver in the Rollerski World Championship this year in Norway.

Velkommen til alle nordmenn til å bli med!

Rollerski Bretagne

20 Jul

Spent a long weekend rollersking in Brittany. The 53km greenway from Questembert to Mauron runs along a disaffected rail right of way. The asphalt is silk and the climbs and drops are perfectly gradual. The whole thing makes for very smooth running. Makes you feel like a locomotive.

We covered the whole thing in a couple days. First the 44km return trip from Ploërmel to Mauron and then roughly 70km from Ploërmel to Questembert and back.

The latter segment crosses “la haute montagne brétonne” : a series of ridges formed by the very old Armorican Massif. Before the formation of the Mid-Atlantic rift those hills were part of the Eastern U.S. Appalachian mountains.

The only less than perfect part of the path lies just north of Ploërmel. There the greenway is lined with all different types hydrangeas. The asphalt is narrow there to make way for the flowers and little herds of walkers were milling about to admire them. Other than that, the only other issues were leaves and other detritus fallen from the trees as well as the occasional patch of moss.

Skies stayed blue for the first two days despite Brittany’s nasty reputation for weather. On day three the rain brought welcome rest while on the fourth day we slipped through the drops for one more tour from Questembert to Mauron. My roadmate broke the tip of his pole crossing a wood bridge just after the turn around point, but a replacement spike miraculously held the whole way back without any glue.

Since I’ve started doing a lot of rollerski greenway touring, it’s high time I start rating the paths. The strong points for the Brittany greenway are excellent asphalt, well-protected and not too frequent road crossings, the beauty of the countryside, the nearby attractions and the overall length of the greeenway. The negatives were the tree droppings, moss and the narrow spot in Questembert.

Overall this greenway is a reference in its genre. Rating: 16/20.

Oléron, rollerski paradise

12 Jul

After the business trip to Spain I stopped at the Island of Oléron. Sharp contrast with Granada. In Andalusia I had a pancake flat bike path. The only thing that slowed me down were temperatures hitting 40+ degrees Celsius.  In spite of the terrible heat I kept my speed up over 20 km/h with slow wheels. A new record.

The next day, at Oléron, I found the sea breeze and a completely different kind of path. As swooped through the Oléron pine forest I could imagine myself on a Norwegian ski trail. There were quick climbs and drops, sharp turns and the occasional rough bit of asphalt better to avoid. Beautiful forest routes with just enough nervous tension to make them interesting. A totally unexpected rollerski paradise. Highly recommended!

Île d’Oléron, paradis de ski roues

6 Jul

Après le voyage d’affaires en Espagne j’ai fait escale à l’Île d’Oléron. Ça changeait de Grenade. En Andalousie j’avais une piste cyclable plate comme une limande. La seule chose qui me freinait alors étaient les températures de plus de 40 dégrées. Malgré la chaleur j’ai maintenu une vitesse supérieure à 20 à l’heure avec des roues lentes. Un nouveau record.

Ensuite, à Oléron, j’ai trouvé la brise maritime et une toute autre sorte de piste. Lorsque je sillonnais entre les pins Oléronnais, il était possible de m’imaginer sur une piste de ski de fond norvégienne. Il y avait des montées et descentes abruptes ainsi que des virages et petites aspérités qu’il fallait éviter. Des jolies routes dans la forêt avec un peu de piment pour les rendre intéressantes. Un vrai paradis insoupçonné de ski roues!

Note for my English readers: Sorry, I’ll translate this to English when I get a moment.