The Nordmarka Circuit

1 day
175 km
May 1990

I ended my year in the army in January 1990 and started studying at the University Of Oslo, Norway. I also got myself a part time job and moved to Oslo. I had a great time on the North Cape tour and I was ravenous hungry for more tours like that. I kept the same bike as I did on the North Cape tour, but I added a front rack and two big luggage car on the front wheel together with a handlebar bag.

I was starting to look around for a 14 days long tour in Norway. I therefore started to do some tours around Oslo as a part of the preparation. This circuit around Nordmarka was on the top of my list of tours in the Oslo area I wanted. Both because it was long and also because I had never been in most of this area before. It was therefore both a training tour and a proper tour of discovery. This tour is a very serious tour and I therefore did some shorter test tours before I did this one. I did this test tour with all the bags, but not the luggage I carried with me around the Sunnmore tour. This gave me a shock on the Sunnmore tour.

I started from my flat in Oslo at daybreak. The sun was shining. The route up to Gjelleraasen along the motorway was a gentle climb with some flat parts and a couple of short, sharp climbs breaking up the docile rhythm. I did not want to push too hard in the beginning.
The views at the top of Gjelleraasen was great. The road descended down to the valley below and the flat road up the Hakadalen valley towards Harestua. I just made sure that I kept a decent tempo along the road. The cycling was pretty boring.
The valley ended up in a couple of gentle climbs up to the Harestua lake. The road gently rolled along the lake and past the Harestua village. The road started to climb from this village. First gently and then pretty steep up to the head of the valley, the small village Grua. The descent down from Grua to another valley was both vertical and interesting along a hillside. I was now both in Oppland county and the famous Hadeland area. I could now add another county in my “trophy cabinet”.

I finally reached the small village Roa where I got some food. I now left the main road and went up a vertical climb towards Jevnaker. The climb was really steep over several kilometres. The climb ended up at a small lake. The road flattened out past Vang before the last climb up to the top of this mountain, the highest point of the tour at 300 meters above sea level. I loved this climb from Roa because of the views and it's twists and turns. It was good fun ! The road started to descend down to the Randsfjorden lake at Jevnaker. The descent was pretty vertical throughout. I took this picture halfway down the descent.

Looking down towards Randsfjorden and Jevnaker

Down at the foot of the hill, I followed the road towards the Jevnaker city. I bypassed this city by taking the first road up the hill towards Norderhov. The road was a vertical climb for a couple of hundred meters before it descended down through a forest and to the foot of some hard, 3 kilometres climb up to a forest and past a church. This was a pretty boring climb and the blazing sun did not help my cause. I was starting to feel dehydrated.
The road descended down from this forest to the very busy main road at Norderhov and the long flat plains at Steinssletta. This totally flat plain was four kilometres long and a major feature on this road. It ended at a vertical climb up a small hill. I found a kiosk on the top of this hill and got myself some water and a rest.
The very busy road now descended to a bay at Tyrifjorden and a bridge taking me over to the east side of Tyrifjorden. This lake is the fifth biggest lake in Norway and a very beautiful lake too. I followed the main road for two kilometres and then took the old and now disused road along Tyrifjorden to the foot of some major climbs. These three kilometres long climb was unrelenting and very exposed to the sun. They are for some reason my least favourite climbs in Norway and I could not stand them. I do not know why, fifteen years after I last climbed them. I guess this is an irrational phobia. The views from the top is fantastic in all directions (excluding towards the east). I took this photo from the top of the climb.

Looking south down at Tyrifjorden.

I was now at Skaret and I took the road down towards south and Sylling. I have done this road tens of times and knew it like the back of my hand. I was really tired and dehydrated now. I finally got to the end of Tyrifjorden at Sylling and took the road down the Lier valley where I spent the first twenty years of my life. The road was dead flat for ten kilometres before a short, sharp two kilometres climb took me to my final destination at my parents house.

This tour is probably the best tour in the Oslo area. It is not too hard. Most of the tour is flat or even moderate undulating. It is the best training possible for long cycle tours. It is my favourite one-day tour in Norway. I recommend it.