Cycled Mjølfjell Vandrerhjem to Voss
Voss is only about 40 km from the hostel and 68 metres above sea level, so this was always going to be a short day with a lot of downhill. There is no offroad bike path this side of the train tunnel, and the route follows a sealed road all the way to Voss. There wasn’t much traffic until near Voss, and what traffic there was treated us with respect.The road mostly follows the train line and the path of a small river all the way into Voss. The scenery is beautiful green forest and farmland, with small villages along the way. There are some climbs, but as it is a drop in altitude of over 1000 metres it is mostly downhill. Some of it is steep and windy and very fun. At one point we stopped to pick wild blueberries and pretty much gorged ourselves.
We arrived in Voss early enough to check in to the hostel and explore before we had to hand in the bikes. Voss tries to sell itself as an adventure tourism destination, but didn’t give us the impression of being as busy as some other such places. Although it was a nice enough place Norway has so many “must see” destinations that it could easily be overlooked. Its only advantage is that it is accessible by train. We were staying at the Voss Youth Hostel which had an interesting photography exhibition with a bunch of views on freedom.
Initially I’d intended to go further, but Voss was the last place that you could drop the hire bikes off. There is no bike hire office like at the other stations between Haugastøl and Flåm, so you have to be at the train station for a particular train late in the afternoon, and give it to a guard to return for you.
One problem with hiring bikes is that they don’t supply helmets. We were lucky to find a couple of helmets in the hostel in Flåm which had been left by previous cyclists who had no further need for them. We kept the note that had accompanied them, and left them in the same fashion with the same note in the hostel in Voss. After a night in Voss we took the train to Bergen to meet some friends, then flew out of there.
Overall, this was a fantastic bike ride. Riding through the arctic tundra is a trip that large numbers of people repeat year after year, just because it’s awesome. Either route is very worthwhile, one ending at the beautiful Flåm and one giving a bit more variety in scenery. The Rallarvegen bike route is only open from mid July to late October. You may have to deal with partial closures due to snow if you are riding very early in the season.