Roll and ride!

Roll and Ride

Hva har en ninja, two snowboardere, ei fjellgeit og en dronepilot å gjøre i Bodø? Alt.

15. mai 2018


Gjestespaltist Melissa Brandner (27) er phd student, norgesmester i frikjøring på snowboard og Bodøværing fra England. I disse dager har hun tatt med seg Manuela Mandl, Stefanie Noppinger til Bodø for å gjennomføre et spektakulært prosjekt. De skal sykle på el-sykkel fra Bodø mot Glomfjord, og på veien skal de kjøre ned forskjellige fjell. Reisen blir dokumentert av et filmcrew, og til høsten slippes en film som skal vises på festivaler og i magasiner over hele verden.  Her kan du lese Melissas historie om hvordan prosjektet ble til. 


Up at 0600, put the kettle on, sip tea over the news. Slowly folding and turning on the yoga mat, pack gear, head out. Arrive at the mountain 0730, stomach churning and a sea of anticipated faces. Grab the lift, stare at the mountain face, strap in and ride, start that long hike. On top looking down, can’t see the finish line. Put on protective gear, backpack, tighten boots, strap in. Standing under the giant metal gate, heart thudding in your ear, silence all around. «Three, two, One!». You drop in, rush of adrenaline, excitement, fast turns, air time, spinning. Cross the finish line, big hugs. Now on to the next….

With our life moving at a fast pace, whether we are competing or working our full time jobs, the thought of moving into nature and slowing down is very appealing. Sitting at my office desk, computer coding for my research and a message popped up. Manuela had an offer for me. Would you like to make a movie?

Yes, I thought that would be fun, but where? When? How long?

We could cycle through Norway and splitboard. Try our best to reduce our impact whilst freeriding, in the spring when the competition season is over.

It sounded amazing, but could we fit it into our busy fast paced schedules? As freeride snowboard athletes, we travel to competitions, which occur every 3 weeks between January and April-May. In between we have training and jobs, for me, I work on my PhD, for Manuela it’s studying and coaching.

As the winter set in and Manuela was off travelling the world, we didn’t speak much more. I had time to think about the project and what I would like to do. After living in Bodø for 3 years and spending a lot of my time with my splitboard and the mountains, I had fallen in love with my surroundings. Bodø is a place that people often stop by on the way to Lofoten. It’s not a destination but more of a waiting room. When I was first moving to Bodø, my friends said, why would you live there? Tromsø is sooo much better, but really they didn’t know the magic of it. Endless freeride lines all to myself, a cosy climbing and skiing community that feels like family, sports crags that you can drive to and walk for only 5 minutes and insane alpine opportunities on granite that sticks to you like glue! It really was a paradise for adventure.

As Manuela and I caught up, I suggested Bodø. I knew the area well and we have sea to summit riding, and opportunities for fishing and foraging along the way. Manu said she would also like to bring another girl along Stefanie Noppinger…


The sun was shining brightly on my face as I waited on the top of the mountain in Austria. Blinded slightly by the light, suddenly emerged the tall gorgeous blonde Steffi. She burst at me with a huge hug and beaming white smile 🙂 From that moment I knew the adventure was going to be amazing. We spent the rest of the day riding fast and hucking drops, training for the comp we had ahead. It felt like we knew each other for years already; she was a very welcome member to the team.

The month leading up to our project was surreal. From 5am skype meetings with Manu preparing budgets to driving 34 hours in the car from comps in Røldal to sponsor meetings in Tromsø. There were days when everyone turned us down and the project seemed impossible to the days when we met smiling faces, got interviews for newspapers, and received free fish from bøfisk.  We worked as hard as we could, probably didn’t sleep enough, and changed our adventure story multiple times as snow and sun took a beating on the snow we were chasing.


Alarm buzzing, 0500, kettle on, tea and yoga. Laughs over breakfast, last shower,

packing the bikes, we’re on our way…. The champ, the muscle, the dreamer….