brodyleven If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
High on my list was Lofoten, Norway. The arctic archipelago of small islands connected by bridges and underwater tunnels is popular among people who travel to ski (or ski to travel?). And--for the same reason I don’t go to Alaska, France, or British Columbia frequently--I knew I’d struggle to return with a unique story. It was reputed to have some of the most scenic ski lines on earth, a rumor I couldn’t ignore.
How does a person who makes a living by, and genuinely prefers, skiing in unpopular places visit a country like Norway? He takes a normal thing--skiing in Lofoten--and makes it abnormal, by proposing to carry hundreds of pounds of ski, bike, and camp gear on bicycles, stopping to climb and ski lines that are likely inferior to those further removed from the road, out of a cyclist’s sight.
Here, on our first day of skiing during #PedalToPeaks, on the highest peak in the region, Kt, Joey, and I decided to head further from the road than we did for the rest of the trip. Everything seems a bit bigger, further, and more consequential when the only safety and escape you’re returning to is a tent and bike.
And cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.

@goalzero
3h
  •   rise.and.shine.eyewear Damn!!! 2h
  •   live_andrea Nice 🏼 2h
  •   juliannal906 I'm excited to check this place out sans snow this summer!! 1h
  •   montytanana I'm amazed you're taking on the Lofotens by bike! I just attempted riding around northern Oslo, it wasn't successful! Please tell me you've tried Kvick Lunsj, it's a Norwegian chocolate life saver! 1h

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brodyleven I knew a few people who’d been to Lofoten before Joey, Kt, and I visited for #PedalToPeaks. They all said arriving April 3 was WAY too early. There’d be 10-foot-tall snowbanks lining the ice-covered roads. The avalanche danger would be sky-high. “Bring studded tires,” one friend told me. “If we need studded tires,” I replied, “there’s snow on the road. And if that’s the case, we absolutely can’t bike our monstrous rigs. Studded tires won’t help that.” Well, we got lucky. It was the driest, warmest end to winter they’d seen in a while. We barely camped on snow the whole trip. Easing minor difficulties--another example being the abundance of free-flowing water everywhere--makes an otherwise daunting mission slightly less overwhelming and, to be frank, annoying. ...Until, that is, you wake up and actually have to do something. 10h

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brodyleven My friend @ktmillerphoto rallied through a tough portion of #PedalToPeaks with @joeyschusler and I. There was snow, rain, and traffic on the narrow roads, and tricky mountains beside it.
Oh, and carrying a million pounds of gear on a rental bicycle doesn’t help.
She cruised back to the USA in the night while we recharged batteries and downloaded footage in a hotel room.
For the next 10 days, our tent smelled much worse.
2d

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brodyleven “Slowing down to enjoy the scenery,” AKA “Biking in rainstorms, soaked to the bone.”
#PedalToPeaks
3d
  •   larslarsbrenna @brodyleven Hey sorry about the rain but I just want to let you know how much I enjoy seeing your pics and words from your trip around where I grew up. And knowing very well what the weather and conditions can be like, I really admire your tenacity! Hope you guys are sleeping somewhere warm and dry tonight! 3d
  •   matt_ruta Sounds awesome @brodyleven. Well actually it sounds miserable. I'm completely jealous, and I really hope to do a similar trip someday soon. Thanks for not just posting the successes but also the shitty, cold, wet parts. Somehow they're the most inspiring. 2d
  •   brodyleven Haha @matt_ruta oh yeah. 2d
  •   brodyleven @larslarsbrenna that means so much...the only reason I'm on Instagram...thanks. 18h

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brodyleven The general idea? Bike the length of Norway's Lofoten peninsula, climbing and skiing the most tubular lines along the way.
The reality? Look, from behind handlebars, into couloirs that *would* be cool to ski, *if* they had any snow.
Oh, that one has snow in it and looks awesome? Okay, now it’s raining.

#PedalToPeaks
@salomonfreeski
4d
  •   brodyleven Who's the romantic @johngperkins 18h
  •   johngperkins Hey @brodyleven, the romantic is an idea, not an individual. It's our romantic idea of an adventure before the reality of type-2 fun (snowless lines, wet and cold hands after hours of riding, etc) sets in. The romantic idea of a trip is never the reality, which is what makes it something worthwhile. And dang hard. 16h
  •   brodyleven Dig it. @johngperkins 14h
  •   brodyleven Hah @jfellows56 I have no idea but I've been fangirling. 11h

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brodyleven Note to self
April 4, (day before departure for #PedalToPeaks):
How is this different than my last Pedal To Peaks? It’s winter, not summer. It’s Arctic Norway, not balmy Washington. We have winter camping gear, not t-shirts. We have an actual plan: make a movie with @goalzero, @salomonfreeski, and @5pointfilm. We don't have specific volcanic ski objectives, but plan to "window shop" for lines. We’re at sea level and biking on a road hugging the coast, not climbing and bombing numerous 5000 vertical foot mountain passes on overloaded bikes.
And maybe we’ll see the northern lights.
1w

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brodyleven “My favorite vegetable is pineapple and ham.” - @joeyschusler
#PedalToPeaks
1w
  •   glacieradventureguides Sounds like the snow was not that great. Is it worth bringing ski gear for the month of May. I might travel light instead and check out some mountaineering. Suggestions? Cheers. 1w
  •   ericdyer @brodyleven that's my favorite veggie pizza 1w
  •   kimspan Stunning photo. 1w
  •   fortuaoutdoors Love this 2d

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brodyleven The general #PedalToPeaks idea?
Bike from the far north of Norway, Tromsø, to the very tip of the Lofoten peninsula, Å, climbing and skiing the most tubular lines along the way.
The reality?
Lose luggage for two days, take a ferry past the first three ski zones and days of biking, and start pedaling into rain.
Nothing about this is easy. Promise.
@joeyschusler isn't just booting up this couloir. He rode his bike past it a few times while looking for suitable ski lines. He spent the previous night in a tent, getting rained on. Motivation was low in the dreary morning. We were two bike-days from the nearest town. Our gear was wet. His backpack was heavy. The line was a complete unknown.
We live for this stuff.
Thanks for support, @goalzero & @salomonfreeski.
2w

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brodyleven After four days of pedaling and rain, I think my friends @ktmillerphoto and @joeyschusler were starting to wonder if my idea to "Pedal To Peaks" here in northern Norway was more just "Pedal to Pedal." Here, on the highest mountain in the area, I think they finally cut me some slack. Which is good, because I was starting to question the concept, too.
Off the crowded roads and into our mountain element, we felt right.
A 14-mile, 6000-vertical-foot day of skiing is particularly tiring when immediately preceded by a couple hundred miles of biking with a few hundred pounds of gear and a pre-trip training regimin of, "Meh, we'll just get tired." As much as I question myself and my exertion, I'm still wondering if this is going to be a reasonable idea or not.

At least @goalzero has enough faith (in my stupidity) to support our #PedalToPeaks.
3w

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brodyleven This might be my worst idea to date.
Beside me on this adventure are my friends @ktmillerphoto and @joeyschusler. We’re in northern Norway. Above the arctic circle. Where it’s still very much winter. We just flew here with 10 checked bags. That's more than most human-powered trips require. Skis, bicycles, down jackets, trailers, gear for snow camping, mountaineering, cycling, UGH. Because…well, remember that time I rode my bike from Portland to Seattle “the hard way?” I called it Pedal to Peaks, since we stopped along the way to climb and ski volcanoes with the gear that we were carrying on our bikes.
Well, I, um, decided to take that one little step further...into the arctic. #PedalToPeaks…again.
3w
  •   jpuza You guys are awesome!!!! 3w
  •   zandmartin @brodyleven best idea ever, so psyched to follow this trip. we strapped skis on bikes a couple years ago in the Altai and had a blast 3w
  •   eforsdick So ready to see what adventures unfold for you :) @zachary_edwin ... Ya... Goals 3w
  •   glacieradventureguides I'll be there for the month of May. Cheers and safe travels. 3w

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brodyleven I told myself I would absolutely NEVER do another Pedal To Peaks. After my last one, I sold my bike touring gear and intended to end that era of unreasonable adventure. A year later, I found myself planning another--albeit colder, more northern, in the winter instead of summer, and generally just way more aggressive--Pedal To Peaks. I guess that's the "mountaineer's memory" that I'm plagued with. I was staring at maps, like, "Naaahh, it wasn't THAT bad, right?"
So here we are. In the cold Arctic winter. With all of this stuff. (Well, actually none of this gear has made it here yet...but it will). #PedalToPeaks
And just FYI, I actually pack this way.
3w

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brodyleven @semi_rad, standing on his pedals in order to:
1) relieve himself from the relentless onslaught of bumps, the kinetic energy of which is being transferred through a series of steel and rubber parts directly to his junk.
2) try to get closer to his own brain, the location of all-you-can-eat Detroit-style pizza.
4w

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brodyleven Jort sport.

pic of me on my @sklarbikes taken by @semi_rad, who is a photographer.
4w
  •   saisvr @brodyleven Guess there isn't any mud in the desert 🤔..... Although I've never had fluid leaks on my hydraulics and they have saved my life a couple of times on muddy trails they are a mess to repair on the field compared to mechs for sure. 4w
  •   old_survivalist Неплохо 3w
  •   radogirl77 @rcharms mmmmm jorts 🏼 2w

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brodyleven We dropped into the weekend.
#TimeToPlay
#OfficeAnywhere
4w

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brodyleven I want you to know something about my ‘gram account. It’s pretty real. It’s pretty me. No one else is posting for me, no algorithms are being run. It’s just me. Right now, I’m writing this in Messages, so I can proofread it before texting it to myself and posting it from my phone in about a minute. This isn’t some super-curated chronicle of the best experiences of my life. It’s pretty real. It’s what I think you want to see. It’s what I want to share. It's who I am.
I spend a lot of time with bad posture and a computer in front of me. Lots of sleepless, lonely evenings in bed with a blue screen blinding me. Days behind the wheel, on airplanes, and people-watching in line at the post office. I don’t take pictures of that. But that isn’t what makes me tick. This is what makes me tick.
When @semi_rad invited me on an off-pavement bikepacking tour around the desert, I said yes without hesitation. I said yes even though it was during the winter. I said yes even though I’m not a cyclist. I said yes because I know that I often lack the creativity to come up with ideas like this on my own.
I said yes because I knew that it would be difficult for me and, in turn, good for me.
I’m so glad we did it, Brendan.
4w

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brodyleven Fact: I wore jean shorts the entire 8-day cross-desert bikepacking trip I did with @semi_rad. What started as a bad joke became functional by the 2nd cold night, wearing every piece of clothing. Including jean shorts. And rain pants. And unde--oh wait, I literally brought no underwear. #slowandlight 4w

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brodyleven My good buddy @semi_rad and I had envisioned this backpacking tour consisting of dirt and gravel roads snaking throughout the southern Utah desert.
Once in a while, we actually found those roads.
We spent lots of time standing while pedaling, walking out bikes, or just sitting. All of these were mainly to offer some respite for our nether regions. Happily off his bike seat, Brendan took this picture of me mountain biking on my (@sklarbikes) not-mountain-bike.
@salomonoutdoor #ExpandYourPlayground
4w

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brodyleven The only thing Stopping here was the smooth road.
@semi_rad checks the @delormegps to confirm that Yes, that sandy thing ahead of us was indeed our designated route.
1mon

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brodyleven 10 days in southern Utah with @semi_rad.
7 of them attached to bicycles and staring at GPSs and maps.
6 of them sleeping in tents.
5 of them actually riding bikes.
4 of them on some dirt paths like those that we sought.
3 of them primarily pushing bikes through sand.
2 of them smiling without much headwind.
1 of them consuming more daily calories than I’ve consumed in a very long time.
1mon

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brodyleven What's up what's happening what's going on in the world?
Made it back from the bike trip. Boy-o-boy do I have stories for you. Where and how should I tell them, hm...
Since returning, all I've done is wash destroyed bike parts, read emails, and get mad at free spotify for playing the same horrendously obnoxious commercials every five minutes.
1mon

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