Why do we fall? So we can get up again.

I have no idea how i would react if i got injured ending up being paralyzed. I just can´t imagine not to be able to walk or having a life with no sight or anything that makes me not do what i do. Maybe i would be depressed and live my life in bitterness and pain. Maybe i would fight it and to the best of the only life i got.

In september 2013 trials legend and superstar Martyn Ashton broke his spine leaving him paralyzed. Ashton was one of the riders in Road Bike Party 2 and honestly i did not now he had an accident until this popped up on youtube.

P1030962A few years ago i was privileged to voluntary work with people with disabilities as a ski instructor. I went on a one week course i Åre at a amazing place called Totalskidskolan. Here i learned that everything is possible. Everybody can ride.
I once taghut a guy paralyzed in a snow mobile accident riding sit ski. He was an ex snowboarder. And to see him back in the slopes was just an amazing moment. Un fortunately i don’t have the time to do this anymore but it is something i really want to do again.

To have the will and courage to get back on two wheels after getting hurt is truly astonishing. The smile on his face and the support from friends is just unbeatable.

I lift my hat for everyone who is struggling out there and thanking them for reminding me how lucky i am to have life and my health. I only wish i could be like you if something would ever happen to me.

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Tennis ride by the river

  

My oldest is going to tennis camp this week. Two hours a day, great stuff and she loves it. I´m not very interested in the white sport but so happens to be the tennis court is located just along one of the best local trail spots.  

 

To day i went for a spin in the damp weather during hers practice. I´ve been writing about these trails before but i never get tired of this beautiful place by the Luleå river.

  
 

Awesome trails in the forest and by the shore the river cuts through the sandy soil. There are just trails everywhere. 

   

Beautifully located by the river there is a summer café. Amazing view and awesome shrimp sandwiches. Weather has been quite damp the last few days so i was the only customer today.

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Just by the café there is a train museum. Wheels, got to be mankind’s best invention. And coffee of course. Combined it’s hard to beat.  
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I’ve had quite a few rides on The Instigator by now and will soon write a little something about it.  But it feels great but i still prefer the fat bike when it gets more technical trials.

 
 

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Midsummer solstice ride

Every year Sven has his own little tradition to go ride in the midnight sun on the brightest day of the year. This time he invited some friends. We met up around 10 pm for a 10 km ride to a small forest lake. I had to force myself since i almost fell asleep while putting my 4-yearold to bed before leaving. But when arriving at the randevou point in full sun light it was totally worth it.

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We took off in to the forest on quite technical trails. Lots of roots and rocks. To stop and have a chat was not an option. Mosquitos are quite eager for man-blood. Especially at night. It´s just a 8.2 kilometer ride to the lake and riding thorough the woods at almost midnight is really something else.

It has been pretty wet this spring, trails are muddy in some parts and there are loads of wood bridges over the mud holes. I brought the Instigator but should have ridden the Mukluk. This is fat bike country!
After a while the forest opens up an we arrive to the lake.

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This is really something. On Midsummer solstice the sun stays down for about one hour, well “down” it´s more like it starts to set and then have second thoughts and start to rise again.

We were not alone by the lake a few midnight sport fishing enthusiasts were already there.

We made a little fire to keep the mosquitos away and cracked a brew. It really doesn’t get any better than this.
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About 30 minutes past midnight we headed back. We took a different route with some faster trail. Good stuff.
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 These bright summer nights makes an amazing contrast to the dark winter. In december we only get two hours of day light. 

 
Around 01:30 i parked up the Instigator in the garage. This will defenetly be a tradition i’ll be taking part of in years to come. Gonna try to make it in December on the darkest day of the year.

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Raw Instigatin´

Went for a little spin with the Instigator. Took some shots with my iphone and edited in imovie app. Great fun.


Love the bike btw.
Did one on Vimeo to. So fun and easy to edit in the phone.

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Surly Instigator 2

Ever since i had my On-one 456 I’ve had a soft spot for steel all mountain hard tails. When sold it to buy a full suspension Specialized I’ve kind of missed it. I dont know why i have this weakness for these kind of mountain bikes. Perhaps it is the feeling of old school Going back to basic kind of thing. Or perhaps it’s just that they are badass. 

When Surly announced that they were bringing back their Instigator but this time with 26+ tires and 140 mm fork i put up my full susser for sale. This was the bike I’ve been waiting for. I got the frame last summer but the project had been on ice for the whole winter. Yesterday it was finally finished.

  
I got the last parts and stolen some stuff from my poor Mukluk to get it ready.

  
Drivetrain. Shimano Zee cranks with Superstar w/n 32 chain ring. XT cassette Slx derailer. Both upgraded with OneUp 42 cog and rad cage.  

 

Chris King headset, Thomson stem and Easton Havoc bars. XT breaks. One thing on the Shimano breaks. They are awesome! Super easy to fit. Did not even had to bleed after cutting the cabels. Me like!  


When buying the Instigstor ready built it comes with a Fox fork.  I like Rock Shox so i went for the 140 mm Revelation 27.5. The Dirt Wizards got plety of room. They’re sitting on 40 mm Alex rims, bomb proof! 


Regarding dropper post i wanted the best. I’ve had problems with droppers before so i went for Thomson Elit dropper. However i’m having some problems with that. Digging it to that and will follow up in future blog posts. 

I love the neat little remote.

 
I can’t wait to hit the trails with this beast. I love my fat bike but when going more agressive it’s a bit bumpy.  

 

The Superstar saddle is not only super cool it is also quite comfy. 

I’ve just rolled it for about an hour. I will be back with full review in a few week when I’ve got some dirt on it. 

  

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Filed under Bikes, MTB, Workshop

Mech Sunday

The day after snowy Saturday was maintenance Sunday. Due to the crappy weather the day before we were about to cancel. But all of a sudden May showed her best side. 

We finally got to re-place The Lars fork. Salsa reclaimed the Bearpaws on all 2014 Mukluks a few months ago. The Lars got a replacement but we just haven’t found the time to fit it.  


We also changed tires on some of the girls commuters and i change cabels on my Muk. In other words traditional spring maintenance. 

  

Since we were in fork fitting mood i cut the stear tube on the RS Revelation and the Instigstor now got its fork fitted properly. It looks very bling bling with Chris King and Thomson parts.  

  

To have a few friends over, open the tool box and have a few beers is sure is one my favorite things i this bike-geek business. 

  
Finally, throw a few sausages on the barbecue and having dinner on the porch made a good Sunday perfect. 

   
 

Premiere ride on the Instigator is getting closer. Just waiting for the last parts. 

Oh, we promised to destroy the old fork. So here we go…

  
Stay tuned folks. 

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Spring fail

May is a weird month. Last year we had about 25 degrees Celsius this time of year. Today snow and about 4 degrees. This is the weather outside work right now… 


Good thing i have the Instigator to work on.

Wheels soon ready.  But it has not been with out trouble. I had to re-lace both a couple of times before i got them right. Also the wheel tuning stand that I borrowed from a friend did not take over sizes axles. So Fredrik at my lbs is tuning them for me. 

I finally see an end to the long build process and my goal is to have the bike ready to 7:e of June to go ride at Bygdsiljum bike park. 

Here is Fredrik from lbs riding one of the lines last summer.

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Filed under Bikes, MTB, Trails

Alive and kicking

Sometimes life just runs past you and there is nothing you can do about it. I´ve been so busy the last few months. Renovating the house, some family trouble and writing content for other websites. Still i have been keeping it up on social media.

Spring has arrived since last post and i´m longing to get the Instigator ready for some proper trail shredding. I´ve ordered rims and hubs from our lbs today and i´m going to build my own wheels for the first time. Might get interesting.
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The winter has been awesome. Great fat bike conditions on the ice. I´ve been testing a bike for fat-bike.com and the article is out now check it HERE . Also lot of great stuff in the making for times to come. Among those out bike summit in Björkliden. I´ll be sharing that when our web-site is finished.

Meanwhile, check out this amazing short form Montanus The Wilde Side. These guys sure capture the essence of fat biking and bike packing in winter conditions. I think this is one of the best shorts ever made about fat biking.

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Old friends, New friends, Fat bikes.

For the third time Kevin from England came to visit us here in Luleå. Kevin came here for the first time last March to do some ice riding and participate in Bothinaloppet, the 60 km ice race between Luleå and Piteå. Unfortunately the weather last year was a disaster, no snow and heavy rain made organizers cancel the race. I felt really sorry for him coming here and not being able to do winter riding. Usually march is guaranteed with super conditions for fat biking. This year things looked awesome. We got a new snow record 140 cm of white gold. This year Kevin was coming again and i had a feeling we were in for an awesome week. Super conditions and loads of snow. Then, it started to melt. A super warm end of February made me expecting the worst. Like last year all over again.

A few weeks before arrival me and Kevin were discussing whether he should bring studded tires or not, yet another gentlemen contacted me and wanted to come ride with us up here. Carlos from Spain is a adventure cyclist that have been riding all over the world. He participated in the Rovaniemi 150 last winter and been riding through Kirigztan and Mongolia. He was eager to bike pack on the ice. Carlos texed me to let me know he was on his way. Cycling from Umeå a mere 300 km ride(!)

The crappy weather continued as Kevin arrived on Monday night. While i was minding my own business at work on Tuesday Kevin dropped by my shop, with Carlos! These guys had no idea the other one was here. And they did not know each other. Turns out they met by accident. While Kevin was taking a trip along the ice road around town Carlos just passed the bridge above him. Carlos saw a fat biker on the ice and Kevin a fat biker on the bridge. They met up by shore and got to say hello and Carlos asked if he by any chance knew a cyclist named Olov. What are the odds.

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Weather was still a mess but the forecast said cold and sunny on Thursday. Even if it felt pretty far fetched considering the last few weeks. The plan from the beginning was to try to ride to one of the islands about 10 kilometers out in the archipelago. The feeling to wake up Thursday morning. Dead calm, bluebird and just a few degrees below freezing. Fat biking on the ice was a go!

Since the ice is in pretty bad shape this year the car road is not open. But the snowmobile trails was just perfect to ride. We unpacked our bikes and headed out. The feeling of riding on the sea is really something else.

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Hindersön has a café and hostel. Unfortunately they were closed today. But we brought coffee and sandwiches for a nice “fika” in the spring sun. IMG_8726
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After filling up we went down on the outside of the island. Down here the ice was gone. Warm weather and heavy winds cracks the ice up and the shore line was filled with ice floe. I could not resist riding them.

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We had an amazing day and i could not even imagine that it was possible for the weather to take a full turn to this. This sure is Swedish Lapland at it´s best. Thanks guys for a great day on the ice.

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Filed under cycling, Fat Bike

The Johanna Episode, Podcast #8

Me and Lars invited Johanna Myrland to the show. We talk about her downhill adventures in Boliva and how she came up with the idea of starting a Bike Club in Luleå. Listen to it HERE

Lets make a @mtnbikeradio #podcast #girlsthatride #likeagirl with @larshuring @johannamyrland @swedishlapland

A photo posted by Olov Stenlund (@bikelifeinswedishlapland) on

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