The circuit around Enebakk is well-known and a popular loop for road cycling. This weekend I tried the Enebakk Rundt on gravel and forest roads. What a ride it was!
Races are postponed or cancelled, and we all need to find new challenges. An alternative year needs alternative racing, and I decided to check out the traditional circuit on less-known gravel and forest roads. I hope to see many riders taking on the ride the upcoming weekend. It was really a nice twist and small adventure.
Video from the route in the end of the recap.
My Test Ride April 24th
Where: Oslo/Enebakk, Norway Start/finish: Skullerud, Oslo Distance: 87 km Elevation gain: 1765 meters Date: April 24th 2021 Starting time: 10.45 CEST Weather: 5°C, partly sunny Time: 4h 08 min Racing speed: aprox. 23 kph. Support team: Bjorn Bergenheim / Kent Erik Harridsleff (photographer)
Bike: Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty 1 Tires: Maxxis Rambler Gravel 40mm (rear), WTB Venture 47mm (front) Nutrition: Squeezy Sport Nutrition (Discount: 20% off (if buying more than kr 500) – Orset20 ) Pre race meal: Økoland (Discount: 20% off and free delivery – JOrset2021 ) Race kit: CCN Sports Helmet: Met Manta Shoes: Fizik Terra Powerstrap X4 Chain lube: Muc Off
Going fast from the start
It was not a race, but I wanted to get the race intensity and went hard from the go. The first part along Nøklevann is a really wide and quality gravel road, an invitation for speed.
Without taking any risks, and respecting pedestrians and others on the road, I pushed pretty hard and got a flying start.
The road was dry before Mariholtet, then passing a few places where the snow was still on the ground. It wasn't slippy, but it was vice to be a bit careful here.
The next part from Skårer was open and windy, before getting on a forest road towards Rælingen, and then having a more friendly condition with tailwind southwards.
Detour visiting Øyeren
I added a few detours before Flateby, mostly to see some new places and getting off the main road.
I really loved going down to Årnes, with the view of the famous river deltas, the largest in Northern Europe.
The loop down to Fiskarbygda was a really nice one. I have passed close to the the village many times, but I never went down to the lake.
These two detours were a nice addition to the route, but also made it a bit harder and longer.
Into the woods
I met Bjorn in Flateby, but I did say say many words, before hitting the road into the woods. I have never ridden on this part of Østmarka, but the route led me on to forest roads, party covered with snow.
It was rideable, but I had to slow down and focus on staying upright. The speed went down, but I made progress.
Annoyingly, I took a in a turn, and followed a really rough path along a stream. After about 5 minutes of fighting to get through I realised I lost the gps tracks and had to go back. I lost about 10 minutes, my feet had been wet and cold.
On the other side the grass is greener
Back on track. I came to a walking segment I knew was coming to connect two gravel roads. When I got passed, I reached a super nice gravel road.
Not long after I came to an epic farm area called Børter farm. Out of nowhere, inthe middle of the forest an old fashion farm housing area appeared, with open fields and traditional house style. It looked like I was back to the 18th century.
I realized when exiting the area the landowner is not a big fan of hikers, nor cyclists. An amazing area, too bad it's not open for visitors.
I have later heard stories about an angry landowner who has been yelling and chasing people out of the land, so I advice riders to pass the river before the area and follow Ekebergveien instead.
Last 25k of Enebakk Rundt
I met Bjørn again in Ytre Enebakk. We swapped bottles and I kept pushing. The next part I have been riding before. The forest road has a super steep kicker with loose stone ground, and I had to walk up.
From there it was all good, pretty fast and nice roads back to Grønmo and down to Skullerudstua. It was more hikers to ride around the last part, but after doing the whole loop alone it was nice to meet the two people, Bjørn and Kent Erik, at the finish in Skullerudstua.
87 km, 1766 meter elevation, 3h 53 min riding time. A great and challenging alternative race.
Do the challenge the May 1st
My ride this weekend was a test of the route and I give you advices for your own alternative ride around Enebakk.
May 1st I encourage you to check out the loop for yourself. Invite a friend or go alone, get the gps-route, follow traffic rules, be safe and respectful to others, and enjoy!
Here are some tips to the route:
This is not an organized event, and you must follow covid guidelines and traffic rules. No gathering, ride alone, or with just a couple of friends. Be safe. Have fun!
Bring clothing, and spare parts Temperatures may vary. I had a cold northern breeze and a short period of snow. Make sure you have spare parts and be self-supported. It is hard to get to you in the middle of the forest, there are few people around, and a few areas with no mobile connection.
Sufficient food and water It is sometimes far between places to refuel and get water. Please check the route carefully and plan accordingly. You may get fuel and water f.ex: - Fjæringby (21 km) - Flateby (36 km) - Ytre Enebakk (60 km) - Sandbakken (76 km) - Skullerudstua (85 km)
Use a bike that can survive mud and technical segments There are parts that may be a bit challenging. You should use a gravel bike of minimum 33mm tire width or a MTB. I was using 47mm in the front, which was great, but ideally I would had wider than 40 mm in the back. I recommend tubeless tires, so you won't get snake bites and can go with less air.
Be safe and pay attention Pay attention to rocks, holes, roots, ice etc. There's no time to relax while riding. Be focused and have a break is you need. No injury please.
Enjoy the adventure Riding gravel is more about the experience and adventure than elapsed time. Enjoy the ride, ride fast if you want, but do not take risks to shave off a few minutes. And be patient, it will be a long ride.
Get ready for the 1st of May
We encourage riders to get on the challenge the 1st of May. An alternative year needs alternative riding.