I’m not sure if Drammen truly deserved to be called “the ugliest city in Norway”, but for sure it’s not the nicest either. I’ve never been a big fan of Drammen, however, the truth is, I’ve only seen the very central part of the city, and that funny tunnel – Drammen Spiral – which is in the shape of helix and takes you above the town, on the Skansen Ridge. It was in early spring, greyish and drab, so no surprise here – I didn’t like the place. Now, after a visit to the Drammen Bike Park, it’s time to rethink my relationship with Drammen and give it a new status, best described as ”it’s complicated”.
It depends on how we are going to count it, but I would say that there are around 3 long trails and a few shorter lines in the Drammen Bike Park. Blue, flowy and full of jumps “Flytløypa”, red, more natural singletrack “Hennings” and black and wild “113” – are the three main trails, plus additional shortcuts (i.e. “Svennis”, “Woodstock”). That’s not too much, but good enough for a one day trip. Lift is fast and comfy, so even half a day ticket is enough to try all the trails there.
“Flytløypa” was this time my trail of the day, not because I did not want to ride on “Henning”, but because the red trail was shut down. Fast and scary as it was at the beginning, “Flytløypa” become very enjoyable after first two rides. I must admit that I don’t really understand Norwegian trail difficulty rating, where 90% of riders use DH bikes for blue trails (and this choice of bike feels to be well justified), but that’s a different story. If we were like to fully enjoy “Flytløypa”, jumping seems to be an inevitable skill, same as a little bit of courage and confidence on the rocky sections in the middle of the trail. I would not recommend this trail for newcomers to mountain biking, but it’s definitely worth trying after we gain some confidence.
I used some red shortcuts here and there, but, as I said, I did not get the chance to ride on “Henning” this time, so no pictures here. “113” for sure is not a trail for my level, so if you’re interested how it looks like, please watch the video below.
My feelings about the Drammen Bike Park are mixed. On one hand, it is a new and nicer part of Drammen that I did not see before, and biking there was something to enjoy. Close to the bike park we can find Kjøsterudjuvet, which is an 10 000 years old ravine, about 1300 m long and 250 meters high. Indeed impressive and worth visiting (my photos soon, for now enjoy this video). Obviously it’s not for mountain biking (unless you’re Danny MacAskill), but for sure it’s great place to visit after a ride.
Coming back to the Drammen Bike Park: limited number of trails as well as their condition slightly overshadow joy of riding there. Few more signs could easily reduce the problem of extensive breaking before every other gap and jump – the main reason why erosion in some spots is quite big. Still, is the closes place from Oslo where you can take a lift and try a few really challenging trails (and fast!). Worth giving a try. 🙂