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Norwegian takes on slippery 10% open mountain road at 50mph, barely able to reach the brakes.

Most people find steep, winding mountain descents bum-clenching enough as it is. Not Eskil Ronningsbakken.


The daredevil Norwegian cyclist has made a film of his 50mph descent of Trollstigen, a 10% gradient serpentine mountain road in Norway.

In the extraordinary video, filmed from helmet cal, support car and helicopter, Eskil encounters cars and hairpin bends, all the while struggling to perch backwards on his saddle in wet and slippery conditions.

But of course, Eskil is a pretty extraordinary stuntman, as these photos of his other death-defying feats prove.

And at the bottom, what’s left to do? Go back up of course - backwards.

Still no record-breaker

Didn't know backwards cycling was a 'thing'? Earlier this year, we reported how Australian Andrew Hellinga cycled 337km in 24 hours, backwards - in the process breaking the Guinness World Records for the longest distance cycled backwards as well as the longest distance cycled backwards in 24 hours; he is waiting for confirmation of both records.

Hellinga’s riding style, sat atop the handlebars and facing backwards, was efficient enough to allow him to break the original 24-hour record of 180km in a short 10 hours and 15 minutes.

Following a short break to take in his supporters’ congratulations, the Aussie continued his journey to achieve his target of 333km.

Going on to beat that target by 4km, Hellinga described how his body responded to 24 hours on the handlebars: “My bottom was screaming out “Ouch”! And my legs just groaned when I moved them.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

26 comments

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Pisiform [47 posts] 2 years ago
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Is there a link to the video?

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 2 years ago
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sorry, video should be there now  3

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bendertherobot [1077 posts] 2 years ago
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It's impressive, I wouldn't do it but, it is speeded up in parts, isn't it?

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Sarah Barth [86 posts] 2 years ago
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It's a bit jerky because of the way it's filmed but doesnt look sped up to me.

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neildmoss [291 posts] 2 years ago
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Erk!

Falls plumb within the "just because you can, doesn't mean you should" category for me.

Very clever.

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djc1245 [23 posts] 2 years ago
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I've been up Trollstigen..in a coach mind...pretty frightening doing it that way let alone coming down backwards

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Edgeley [354 posts] 2 years ago
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Safe as anything. He was wearing a helmet and hi viz, and stopped at all the red lights.

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Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 2 years ago
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bendertherobot wrote:

It's impressive, I wouldn't do it but, it is speeded up in parts, isn't it?

Yeah, there is one bend where the cornering is sped up. I'm not sure he did 50mph either. I'd like to see the evidence of that on a mountain bike, without turning the cranks. When I do 50mph on my racer, I have to be cranking it and I'm no slouch either.

All said very impressive and butt clenchingly scary. Especially the amount of wobble he starts out with. I thought his buddy was going to knock him off!

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Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 2 years ago
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Edgeley wrote:

Safe as anything. He was wearing a helmet and hi viz, and stopped at all the red lights.

I was thinking about that, if he fell he would be spun backwards onto his back, which is actually a very strong protection system, so as long as he didn't fly over the edge of the barriers, or hit his head then it maybe safer than going down on your from (those are two big 'but's admittedly).

I also wonder about the change in dynamics for breaking and turning. More weight over the front wheel, less on the back - may make traction on cornering a bit better, but you'd want to practise the braking before you hit a hairpin.

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backflipbedlem [1197 posts] 2 years ago
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That's just ridiculous!

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bendertherobot [1077 posts] 2 years ago
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It also strikes me that, technically, he's cycling forward but only facing backward. He should try cycling backward, that would be impressive.

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bendertherobot [1077 posts] 2 years ago
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Sarah Barth wrote:

It's a bit jerky because of the way it's filmed but doesnt look sped up to me.

The way it's filmed? At 1 minute in 1080p it's clearly sped up.

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gareth2510 [167 posts] 2 years ago
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TAWATTTTTTTT

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Guyz2010 [304 posts] 2 years ago
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Mad as a fish....and the point.

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Mr. Rossi [36 posts] 2 years ago
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80kph, my arse.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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It doesnt look as impressive if you drop the music from Benny Hill over the top of the clip.

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kairey1964 [16 posts] 2 years ago
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"I think there's only 1 thing missing" he says, yes mate your brain!

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tomr [2 posts] 2 years ago
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50kph maybe, but 50mph in that position on a mtb?  24

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Leviathan [1988 posts] 2 years ago
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Why?
Almost as brainless as the scientists in Prometheus.

nice road

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DoctorDee [9 posts] 2 years ago
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Impressive and crazy, but not 50mph!

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Owen Rogers [24 posts] 2 years ago
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Off his box, but funny nonetheless.

My wife wouldn't watch it; said it was too scary. what have I married...

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zzk [27 posts] 2 years ago
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At last a valid reason for disc brakes

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jova54 [654 posts] 2 years ago
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Not bad until you see Danny McAskill going backwards downhill just on his front wheel. Road Bike Party 2 has landed  4

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bendertherobot [1077 posts] 2 years ago
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Aye, rendered totally pointless by Danny!

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TheCyclingRooster [29 posts] 2 years ago
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This guy has got to be off his tiny head,albeit wearing a helmet. What fat good would it do if he had gone over the edge?
His weight distribution is all on the front forks and wheel,that has surely got to make the bike more unstable than a drunk on a high wire.

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PhilRuss [388 posts] 2 years ago
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[[[[ Oh yeah? I bet he couldn't do that without a bike...
P.R.