Archive for August 22nd, 2008

Birkebeinerrittet 2008

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

I signed up for a crazy mountainbike race called ‘Birkebeinerrittet’ which is held next weekend, August 30. It’s one of three related Birkebeiner events; the Birkebeinerrennet (a 54km ski race), the Birkebeinerløpet (a 21km cross country running race) and the Birkebeinerrittet, a 91km mountainbike race through the forest…uhmm, that means rough, off road terrain, with some steep climbs along the way, brrr! 😉

The course (click for the pdf):

Besides the fact that this is one hell of a trip, there is a great story behind the Birkebeiner event:

Way back in the 13th century there was a civil war in Norway.  Two groups were fighting for the throne, one of them was called the birkebeiners. Their leader died and the birkebeiners wanted to find safe haven for his son, then still a baby. Because of the difficult winter conditions, two of the birkebeiners had to go ahead with the little boy and were able to save him by taking a heroic shortcut via a mountain trail. The boy later became King Haakon and ended the civil war.

Read the full history on the Birkebeiner side or WikiPedia.

Wow, this certainly gives an extra touch to the race, I feel it’s a great way to integrate more into the Norwegian culture…I am honoured to take part in a race based on this historic expedition.