There are many tunnels in Norway. How do we, as a cyclist, relate to the tunnels? Is it legal to cycle in the tunnels? Is there other options?
In many cases it is possible to ride a bypass road, so you do not have to cycle through the tunnel. In some places, the old road is used as a bike path, which means that you get cycled undisturbed from other traffic, and often with very good views, which other drivers can not enjoy. But in many cases the old roads are closed because of safety(rock slide/avalanche danger etc).
Where there is no possibility of cycling bypass, one must either cycle through the tunnel, follow public transport, or organize other transport through the tunnel. If you want to cycle through, you must first check if it is legal. Some tunnels are legal to cycle through. Some of the tunnels are prohibited for cyclists by the Statens vegvesen the Norwegian roads authority due to various reasons, the amount of heavy traffic on the road, the length of the tunnel or the potential to fill with carbon monoxide from vehicle fumes due to poor ventilation.
Some tunnels are allowed to ride by bike, but are not particularly suitable for cycling. While some tunnels are specially adapted for cyclists. In this case there is good lighting and a button you press before cycling into the tunnel so that it will alert motorists that there are bikes in the tunnel. There is also a box of reflective vests at each end of the tunnel, for those who do not have their own vests. This way of notifying about cycling in tunnels has been conducted as a test project at Senja in Troms in the last three years, with good results, which means that Statens Vegvesen (the State Road Administration) now wishes to expand this scheme.
No matter whether the tunnels are especially adapted for cyclists or not, you as a cyclist must prepare yourself well when you ride a tunnel. It is required with reflex on the pedals, and light front and rear of the bike. It is also a must to have a good reflective vest and we recommend having your own light mounted on the helmet, which gives light both forwards and backwards, so you are well visible even if you have to leave the bike.
On cycletourer.co.uk/maps/tunnelmap.shtml you will find a good overview of the Norwegian tunnels.