Hillbilly hökfest in Ål. What can I say?
I know I can say one thing: Norweigans definitely knows how to throw a helluva party, and Norweigan (and Swedish) girls kick some serious butt riding their bikes.
But I have to start by saying something about the event in itself: Ål is a (very) small town in the mid south of Norway (not far from Hardangervidda and Hafjell). As everywhere else in Norway, almost noone lives in Ål, but the people who do certainly makes the most out of it. A couple of years ago, some friends got the idea to throw a small bike festival in the village. So they arranged a permit to run the lift and started building trails around the small ski area and, in Knut’s case, behind his homestead. During the festival, the participants can ride the lift for free and play around in the park, and/or go with shuttles for AM-biking in the area. This year, the festival crew had also managed to get riders such as Andreu Lacondeguy, Nico Vink, Graham Agassiz, Sam Reynolds and Kurt Sorge to come show off during the event. And so they did.
Darn, I’m having such a hard time describing this event and what took place there (not at all due to the quite substantial amount of beer consumed during the event, I think, hrm). I’ll just do a list of what we saw, did and, since Im a reseracher, the conclusions drawn from my very scientific analysis of the data gathered.
1. People flying through the air
2. Multiple people flying through the air at the same time
3. Bare asses
4. People riding fake cows
5. People drinking more beer at higher prices, than I’ve ever seen before.
6. People throwing themselves around the mosh pit like there is no tomorrow (for some, I wonder if there was a tomorrow, they must have beaten themselves half to death.
7. People dancing to the worst music on earth (embarrassingly enough, Swedish… music that is, few Swedes actually dance to poo like Dr Alban and Ace of Base).
5. Elite bikers putting things on fire (well Maria did, since she always ends up hanging with the elite, I of course went to bed).
6. Speakers and others thinking that girls are all about showing their breasts and biking slower than guys
7. Girls kicking butt riding their bikes, going fastest up, and down the mountain.
1. Hillbilly is hillbilly, great party, lousy music
2. Norweigan girls kick ass
3. Swedish girls kick ass as well
4. The elite (both Norweigan and the international crew) are bad ass bikers
5. Some elite bikers are just asses
3. The mountains of Ål are not as breathtaking as those in Valldal or Stranda, but since the problem is seldom finding a steep enough trail in Norway, more mellow mountains is not necessarily bad news. Ål offers seriously good biking.
I guess that is it. After 1.5 weeks of great riding, sleeping in Steve and an incountable number of beers consumed, we were ready to head home to Svea. A short little drive of two days.
Note to self. Do NOT stop in Dombås. Before Dombås. I love Norway. After Dombås. I hate it. Oh, but that is good. So let me rephrase myself: On the way into Norway, never stop in Dombås. On the way out: stop in Dombås, it makes the transition to Sweden so much easier.
So that is it, the only thing remaining is an epic heroe theme song for Maria. But no, I’ll spare the world from that, and just say: Girl, you kick some serious butt riding your bike, and you are worthy of a much better epic theme song than I could ever produce for enduring me dragging you up all those mountains in spite of your broken feet, elbows and vrists. I had a blast every second of our trip. When do we go again?