“And this is the trollstigen” I say, waiting for the page to load on my phone so I can show my cycling mates.
They all acknowledge the image, and my phone goes back on the table as I carry on selling them my pipe dream.
That was last year as I was cycling in the alps. This trip was just beginning to become a reality. The house went on the market after I returned from France, and there was a chance that I meant what I said back in bourg st Maurice.
366 days later, I take Mabel’s seat off the back of my bike, give the chain a squirt of wd40, swing my leg over the bike and set off. It’s a warm day, but with a stiff breeze blowing. I ride for a while, and though I know the climb is looming, I still cant see it.
The rocks are rising up all around me, the stream tumbling down, and soon I am surrounded, except for 10km of 8%.
I love the foot of a climb. I love the intimidation. Little me is going to go up that huge mountain under my own steam. Am I? I’m not very fit, and it does look steep!
Cars, motor homes, vans and coaches grind their way up the narrow pass, the smell of burning clutches around each hairpin. “Fuck it, its to late now mate, best get on with it!”, I say to myself.
Trollstigen is a wonderful climb. Compact, consistent, and amazing views.
As I near the visitor centre at the top, I briefly allow myself to feel proud; I feel relief, I realise I enjoyed myself, and I get to tank it back down as fast as I can as a reward.
Back at the van, I upload my stats to my garmin account, and in the evening scoff two Daim bars as a little well done to me.
We drove the van up today,
and after we got out to take some snaps at the visitor centre, we climbed back in, and onwards, upwards….eh? hang on, what’s this? It would appear the visitor centre is not at the top of the climb, non?
“Oh for fucks sake” I say to Liz, surrounded by breathtaking scenery. “It doesn’t count”. Liz is looking around thinking of photo opportunities, then we both say almost simultaneously “We could stay here tonight, and travel on tomorrow”
And so it was; I got to do the troll ladder all over again. This time reaching the top.