The OF environment Valdres

“You will again experience the hospitality of great people, the nature and the atmosphere”

The trail cycling environment in Valdres has become permanent “inventory” in Offroad Finnmark. Ildsjel Stian Ulberg talks here about his best cycling experiences in Finnmark and the background to the collaboration between Valdres and Offroad Finnmark.

Stian Ulberg is one of many who return year after year to participate in Offroad Finnmark. 2022 will be Stian’s fourth participation. He has completed OF300 in 2017 and 2021. In 2019, he tried his hand at OF700, but had to give up due to sore knee. This year he will ride the OF300 again.

What is the real deal with Valdres and Offroad Finnmark? You have participated for many years with many people in Finnmark, and you organize your own race in Valdres, with an OF recipe?
– What we all have in common is a genuine interest in off-road cycling over longer distances in beautiful areas that provide magnificent natural experiences, mastery and are fun to do.

Stian Ulberg from Valdres
Stian Ulberg from Valdres has eight participants with him this year. He himself is participating for the fourth time. – Once you have participated, there is a longing to come back up to participate, he says. (Photo: Jon Vidar Bull)

You have your own twist on Offroad Valdres, with regard to navigation?
– Much is the same with Offroad Finnmark, but in Offroad Valdres nothing is noticeable from the track. In addition, there are slightly more crossroads here than in Finnmark. At the same time, the GPS has gotten better and better, so for most people this works just fine.

Why do you participate year after year in OF with a whole gang?
– Once you have participated there is a longing to come back up to participate. You will once again experience the hospitality of great people, the nature and the atmosphere, and at the same time have a training goal throughout the year. It is also very fun and memorable to do something together as a whole group.

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How many of you are taking part in OF this year?
– This year there will be eight of us from the club. Two in the youth classes and the rest divided between 150 and 300 km. We have five debutants who are probably extra excited about the trip.

Tell us about your best memory from OF?
– A bit difficult to single out just one memory. Remember well the eternal The 3rd stage into Masi from the debut in OF 300 in 2017, which took five and a half hours, where new ridges that appeared never ended and pathless cycling into the plain. I remember night cycling until the low midnight sun on the OF700 in 2019 on nice single track towards Kautokeino after many hours on the bike. Remember the camaraderie and collaboration on the team “Sykkelridderne” at OF300 in 2021 and the fabulous reception and service at all checkpoints. On 2. checkpoint at Tutteberget, we were the first team to enter without private support, and we felt we had five servants who helped us with everything.

Stian Ulberg from Valdres
Stian Ulberg in his element. He always has an “infectious” smile to offer. (Photo: Jon Vidar Bull)

Do you have participants in Offroad Valdres from Finnmark?
– Every year we have someone from Finnmark, but we would like to think of more participants from that region who can experience what we have to offer in terms of cycling as well.

What is the difference between cycling in Finnmark and in Valdres?
– The biggest difference is probably the share of single track, as we have quite a large share of this. In addition, our longest distance is roughly the same length as Finnmark’s shortest distance (for adults).

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