Studded tires, wet and soft gravel, Belgian waffles, this was a proper DNF GRVL ride!
The fourth edition of the Dirty No man’s land of Follo (Short: DNF) was one of a kind. We started organizing these events in 2020 to make a real challenge while highlighting many of the best gravel roads and paths in my home region, Follo.
Due to a busy calendar this year, we picked a date for March 25. It was early, and many still use skies instead of bikes for their training activities, but the hope was that most of the gravel would be melted and good to ride.
In the last weeks, we understood some ice wouldn’t go away, and the temperature would stay just above freezing. Some riders canceled their plans to join, others never had the guts to sign up, but seven riders didn’t let the weather stop them from an epic Saturday ride.
We advised riders to keep their studded tires on, dress well, and HTFU for this year’s edition.
I set up my Felt Breed 30 with Retyre studded tires, an Almsthre handlebar bag, and CCN clothing to keep me warm.
When we started the ride at 7 AM, we rolled out in sleet and ground temperatures just above freezing. Through Nøstvedtmarka, some of the gravel was covered in ice, so we rode with care.
We kept the small group together, riding through Ås before a warm coffee stop at Wesselstua outside Vestby. From there, we followed the coast southwards from Hvitsten, Son, and Moss.
In Moss, we had our second feed stop in the office of Morsa Sykkelklubb. It’s a young cycling club established last year, but it has a lot of good cycling initiatives, like helping addicts out of drugs by riding bikes and planning the new Unionsrittet – a gravel race from Moss-Karlstad July 1-2.
CHECK OUT: Unionsrittet – summer’s highlight
The loop around Larkollen is a true beauty and something to recommend highly. Some riders started to feel the day as we passed midway, and a combo of studded tires and wet, soggy gravel put a lot of traction to the pedaling.
We had a short stop again in Moss before heading into the forests toward Kråkstad.
One of the biggest legends I know is Jon Otto. The 74-year-old cycling enthusiast always offers to help and invites riders to come for a coffee and try his homemade Belgian waffles. We were wet and dirty, but he opened his kitchen and served the best waffles I ever had. I boost morale before the last leg home. Thank you, Jon Otto!
The last 15 miles were fast as we, for the most part, followed asphalt, with a few added gravel sections. However, some sections were covered in wet snow and hard to pedal, especially with heavy legs. On the last gravel path of the day, we followed a short path climb covered in snow. I ran up and got a gap on the others. I know the DNF GRVL is more of an adventure ride with the goal of finishing, but I wanted to have fun as I had a little more gas in store. The running attached worked, and I finished as the fastest rider. Potentially not too hospitality in my event, but I ensured all the following riders were celebrated with pizzas, cold drinks, and of course, the well-known DNF GRVL Finisher’s pin!
What a ride, this one was epic!
Shout out to: Tor Einar (route planning), Morsa SK (feed stop), Jon Otto (feed stop, Kent Erik (photographer and co-organizer), Kolonihagen (soda), Squeezy (nutrition).
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