The goal pass in 2008 is a highlight for Alf Christian
When Alf Christian Losvar rode Offroad Finnmark in 2008, he was one of the few who took part in the test ride with full dampers. He will never forget the goal pass together with Jørund Greibrok.
Alf Christian Losvar has taken part in all races since the test race in 2008. He has no less than 17 “finisher jerseys” in his closet at home in Alta. We had a chat with the Offroad Finnmark veteran about his experiences and to get his description of the three different distances.
He was there when Offroad Finnmark was tried out for the first time in 2008 – an experience he describes as his greatest in connection with the ride. At the time, he rode in a team with Jørund Greibrok, who is one of the founders of the race and the Offroad Finnmark concept.
This is what the first test drive looked like in 2008:
Track 1: Gakori – Sørstraumen (73.2 km)
Track 2: Sørstraumen – Reisavann (97.8 km)
Track 3: Reisavann – Kautokeino (43 km)
Track 4: Kautokeino – Masi (73 km)
Track 5: Masi – Suosjavre (41 km)
Track 6: Suosjavre – Mollisjok (32 km)
Track 7: Mollisjok – Ravnastua (24.5km)
Track 8: Ravnastua – Karasjok (28 km)
Track 9: Karasjok – Valjok (32 km)
Track 10: Valjok – Skoganvarre (42 km)
Track 11: Skoganvarre – Bojobæski (38 km)
Track 12: Bojobæski – Alta (60km)
Total distance: 584.5 km
Alf Christian and Jørund reached the finish line on Thursday at 08:03, by which time they had been out on the plain for 4 days, 16 hours and 50 minutes. During this time they had 20 hours, 5 minutes and 30 seconds of pit stops.
– I rode in a team with Jørund in the test ride in 2008. Daniel Leirbakken rode with us from Mollisjok, because Sven-Tore Nilsen, with whom he started, had to break in Mollisjok. Daniel broke in Karasjok after inflammation in both Achilles, says Alf Christian. He then rode a 2007 model Scott Spark LTD, full shock with 26 inch wheels.
You must have felt like a king then, as one of the few who rode with full shock absorbers, while the others had hardtails?
– Yes, compared to the super light hardtail, which Jørund rode, it was a dream. We changed a bit for a short period. He had dampers in the seat and rim brakes, he recalls.
Tell us about when your interest in off-road cycling was created?
– I started training by bike in 2002 on mainly dirt roads and participated in the Birkebeinerrittet in 2004. Eventually there was more off-road cycling and I discovered all the opportunities we had in the area for this.
Do you remember your first proper long trip on the fjord with a bicycle?
– It was in 2008 in connection with the start of Offroad Finnmark and the marking of routes. I cycled from Skoganvarre to Alta in a team with a friend. The trip took much longer than expected and I was very skeptical after this in relation to the route we had chosen.
What’s so great about off-road cycling?
– It gives the opportunity to get out into beautiful nature in a quick and gentle way. In addition, many parties offer very fun cycling with good speed and technical aspects.
Why do you think off-road cycling has become so popular in Alta and large parts of Finnmark?
– I think it is due to the unique conditions we have to get out easily on the slopes. The threshold for technical mastery is low on most slopes. In addition, there has been a focus on physical activity, and cycling is something that the vast majority of people can do. Especially among former active members who, for various reasons, have some physical limitations.
What is it that has made Offroad Finnmark have such a big place in your life?
– It is probably the feeling of mastery of achieving something that I thought was not possible. After that, the nature experience itself has meant a lot. The competition element has also inspired me a lot, I think the concept itself is fantastic.
Tell us about your best OF experience?
– Definitely 2008 when Jørund and I were at Sandfallet after completing the first OF700 as the first. It was an indescribable feeling and very strong.
No one has managed the “triple” (150+300+700 km) – what is the key?
– Keep a good speed and be tough enough!
How long will you continue with OF participation?
– As long as I think it’s fun and find it challenging.
This is how the Offroad Finmark veteran assesses the three distances:
Alf Christian about Offroad Finnmark 700 km:
– When you start the OF 700, it can be reminiscent of a normal bicycle race. And if you think it’s a normal ride, then it’s going to be very, very heavy, because then you usually open too hard. When approximately 10 hours have passed, then, you experience a real “dip” and have problems with nutrient intake. The body does not accept food. If you manage to moderate yourself enough at the start that you find a speed that you can actually tolerate for a day, and get the food to sit and the body to work, then you feel that this is something I can continue with indefinitely. This is going to last forever – I can go on for however long. You don’t get tired.
Alf Christian about Offroad Finnmark 300 km:
– Personally, I think OF 300 is the toughest. First of all, you ride in a team, you have a partner you are responsible for and must look after. And you must perform. It is far, it is very far. And it is tough terrain. Those who underestimate the terrain will struggle. I would also like to claim that it is in this class that we have the toughest level and the toughest competition.
Alf Christian about Offroad Finnmark 150 km:
– Offroad Finnmark 150 km is for me the tough mountain bike race that is cut above the Ultrabirken, cut above the other tough rides. It’s man against man and full speed from start to finish, as long as it lasts. It’s really tough. There are many people who fall into the trap and say it is the shortest ride in Offroad Finnmark. But it has nothing to do with cards. It’s a long way. And it’s horrible. But it’s great fun at the same time.