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Cycling enthusiasm at home in Norway

Last Saturday the local off-road bike race, Nordsjørittet, was held, and the interest and enthusiasm for the race has probably never been greater in this district. A good 7,000 cyclists started and completed the 91-kilometre race from Egersund to Sandnes. It was wonderful for us to be at home and experience this race after so many years out travelling.

This time Bjørnar and I were good supporters for the rest of the family, a somewhat unusual sitaution for me, but very much acceptable at present. I considered taking part myself, but am still lacking some foundation in order to race that kind of distance. It was a long race for mother and Kenneth's big sister, and father, but they managed amazingly well considering their low level of on-the-bike training.

It's almost a month since you last heard from us, and a lot has happened since then. The most exciting changes have naturally been brought about by little Bjørnar. He makes new sounds and movements every day and is growing rapidly. It's probably because of the "cream" in the milk, and I have plenty of it! The faucets in the "milk bar" are more or less open all day long. I'm grateful that Bjørnar will drink from a bottle too, so I can rather pump when necessary. It makes it much easier to exercise without interruption for a few hours, knowing that the prince has had enough food.

We've also been hiking and living in cabins far into the fiords of Ryfylke, both with my mother and father in the Jøsen fiord, and at Forsand where Kenneth's parents have a cabin. We were able to fish a lot and managed to catch everything from crabs to mud sharks, pollack, flounder and cod. We naturally had our bikes along and were able to ride a few kilometres in the beautiful Norwegian nature by the fiords and up into the mountains. The climbs in that kind of terrain are usually very steep, unbearably steep considering the shape I'm in, but it's exactly that kind of training I'm in need of now.

Last weekend, we had the christening ceremony for Bjørnar, together with our whole family, and it was a fantastic experience. Bjørnar slept through the ceremony, barely opening one eye when the water was placed on his head by the vicar. After the ceremony we invited the whole family to our house for a dinner and coffee and cakes, and were able to document the christening for eternity with lovely pictures and good memories, plus a pile of wonderful gifts for our little boy.

The days here at home fly by, even though I don't really get to do much apart from spending time with Bjørnar, but it really doesn't matter. We've ordered sun and good weather for this weekend, and have invested in a new gas driven barbecue for outside use, and it needs to have its first test run. We're going fishing again on Sunday afternoon - training in the morning and then try our luck at fishing afterwards.

I feel the milk is ready again, so it's time to open the faucets once more. My tiny "customer" seldom if ever says no to the nutritious drops.

I wish you all many fantastic cycling experiences in the time to come, plus many exciting challenges for all of you who are taking part in bike races this summer. With intervals once a week and one or two slow-paced trips in addition, you should be in very good shape for racing.

Cyclist's greetings from Gunn-Rita, Kenneth and Bjørnar
Multivan Meida Biking Team
www.gunnrita.com

[Translation: Crispen T.P. de Lange]

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Norwegian cross country mountain bike racer Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå is a favorite on the international mountain bike circuit.  For years, she has delighted loyal fans as she raced her heart out in cross country and marathon events.

She made an impressive comeback in 2008 after a season of illness. In 2008, she won the Madrid, Spain, round of the UCI World Cup and the UCI Marathon World Championships and finished 12th in the World Cup final standings.

Dahle Flesjå then took on the challenge of motherhood in 2009 when she gave birth to her first child in the spring. With the support of her husband Kenneth Flesjå and her family, she returned to competition within a few months after becoming a mother.

Dahle Flesjå was World Champion in 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006, plus Olympic champion in 2004. In 2003 to 2006, she dominated the sport, winning the World Cup overall.

Follow her faithfully recounted exploits on Cyclingnews as she balances the roles of mother and elite racer. Or, for more Gunn-Rita, see her personal website:

www.gunnrita.com (opens in new tab)