Norway and Beyond

This is a lengthy post but it covers several months of important events. Sorry.

Norway is scenic. Pretty much everywhere. I spent 4 weeks there with my good friends Jorgen and Maria. Officially I was there to see the two of them get married. Unofficially I was there to verify some of Jorgen’s claims about how wonderful everything is in Norway. He has repeatedly claimed that Norway was the greatest country on earth. Best riding, best running, best political system, smartest people, hottest babes, wooliest sheep, etc. For all our years together at the University of Minnesota it was Norway this and Norway that. On and on he went. I would finally be able to check his facts.

Here is my report:

-The people, at least his family and Maria’s family, are kind and funny. It was a pleasure to spend time with Per and Karin (my official Norway parents) and Jorgen’s brothers Martin and Anders. It would seem Jorgen’s claims regarding the quality of the Norwegian people are valid. Even Sam, a Canadian turned Norwegian, was fun.

-Everywhere you look there are mountains, fjords, forests, well preserved old buildings. So Norway was nice to look at.

-Jorgen claimed you could head out the door and ride 6 hours with 1 stoplight. This was true. The riding was incredible. Great climbs, the drivers didn’t make a fuss about cyclists, and they use roundabouts so there is much less stopping and starting.

-Forests and long hills made the running stellar

-Swimming was a mess. Those socialists believe so much in sharing that they don’t put lane lines in their pools. Madness. Our first pool outside of Oslo was populated by slow moving old people doing breastroke everywhere. The pool back in Sandes was filled with both slow old people and highly energized children – all moving in whatever direction they felt like. Lane lines keep people in order. Did you know that the Norwegian word for pool is fjord?

-They have nice bread there. Also, they have good brown cheese. Also, fishburgers are amazing.

-Norwegians love Lil Wayne

-Norwegian sheep are stupid and love to hang out on the roads

-Speed limits are super low

Overall it was an amazing trip and I’m so grateful for the Gronsund family hospitality. I’m going back as soon as they have a pro race there.

Once back in the US my late summer highlights were:

-Racing the best bike course in Minnesota at the inaugural Twin Cities Triathlon

-Working the OHP Ironman Wisconsin camp for the 4th time

-Finally winning a race at Brewhouse. This was my second time up there and it’s just a fun event.

-Taking 3rd at the Maple Grove triathlon. The new 111 distance is really nice and doesn’t trash your body too badly. Hopefully we’ll have a few more of the Tri Star events in the US next season.

-I had the first streak of bad luck I’ve had in my tri career. It started with my first flat at IM Wisconsin. This was a bummer since there are so many wonderful MN tri geeks out cheering in Madison. I was able to get into Branson 70.3 the next weekend but again was stymied with a flat. Two flats in two weekends was certainly irritating but I’ve been lucky in races since 2006 so it’s really nothing to worry about.

-Ironman Florida will be the final race of my season. If you want to skip work any Wednesday or Friday this month and ride all day just let me know.


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