Making the Local Global

Every now and then you need to re-discover you own back yard. Every day life just keeps on pedaling and you miss out on the great stuff that´s just around the corner. A lovely Sunday in mid July i got to see my home town with the eyes of a bunch on lovely people from all over the world.

In cooperation with Visit Luleå and  TBEX16, a huge conference and network convent for professional travel bloggers and journalist, Susanne and Eric from Ourorobors were hired to guide a group around Luleå city. Since they were doing it on fat bikes i joined them as the local fat bike geek.

I met up with the gang back at the bike shop and we got to meet a bunch of amazing people. Professional travel bloggers and photographers from  Delhi to Los Angles via Germany, Denmark and Romania were getting ready to ride fattys around my home town.

Time to gear up! Eight fat bikes getting ready to bounce.

Since we only had a few hours there were no time to go trail riding. With riders of different experience a spin around the harbors and off to our steel works was coming up. Luleå is surrounded by water and the route took us along the little bays to the infamous Steel park where i played around in the bowl. Fat bike was probably not the right rig for that kind of riding but still pretty fun.

Photo of me trying to jump the Muk by Ajay Travelure.in

 

After goofing around in the park for a while we went by the steel works an through the old working blocks before heading down to the shoreline. On our way back to central Luleå we stopped by the ice breakers. They are the constant reminder of winter. For now they´re resting preparing for winter duty. We were supposed to spend two hours in the saddle but when you´re riding with professional travelers there is always an awesome photo opportunity around the next corner.

A bike blogger taking a photo of a pro-blogger taking a photo of a pro-blogger riding a fat bike. I that meta enough?  Joanna from Losethemap.com working her magic. Joannas final result from her Instagram here!


Back in town again and we  went to the South Harbor for a group shot. This is my favorite spot in town. I stop by almost every day here to snap a photo for my Instagram project #seasonsbythebay one shot every now and then to show the turning of the seasons in Swedish Lapland. Check out the hashtag for pictuers from the bay all year around.

Group pic!

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From the left: Winnie, Talesfromabroad.dk – avrdan – Joanna, Losethemap.com –       Ajyan, Travelure.in – Gunther, Myvideomedia.com – Jim, Reflectionsenroute.com –              Ursula, Myvideomedia.com and Susanne and Eric from Ourorbors Luleå

Thank you all for helping me see my home town with your eyes. I hope you´ll visit us during winter as well. It is a different world here that time of year. All of you are truly inspiring people and i´m so glad i got to meet you.

Until next time, Bon Voyage! 

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Filed under cycling, Fat Bike, Random fun

Monstercross evening 

I finally found the time to take the Peregrine for a spin. It´s been ages since i got to ride my favorite route along the shores of the river of Luleå. This is a classic route about 20 kilometers on different conditions. Tarmac, gravel, singletrack and sand if you got fat tires. It´s called “around the bridges” because you need to cross the river twice. The trail starts along the north side where a beautiful hiking route runs along the riverside.

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Lovely gravel roads along the shores.

 

It´s all gravel road until you get to Karlsvik and the old train yard. This is a beautiful place with a dark history. During WWII the Nazis used this place as a depot for supply and prisoners. A chapter in our history not to be proud of. Still they been standing here as a monument of evil. A few weeks however it all burned down. Probably arson, investigations still going on. In a way very sad since it remind us not to repeat history but kind of symbolic on how to deal with hate and fascism. The burned out trains were sadly beautiful.

A couple of kilometers along is my favorite place i Luleå. The sandslopes Niporna steep down to the river is just the most lovely place. Tight singeltrack among the pines on top of the high shore. This is a place i love to visit winter and summer. During winter i just go straight across the water. Luleå city lays in the background.

 

Time to cross the river and head back home. The Singular Peregrine performs excellent on gravel and singletrack but is also quite fast on tarmac. I honestly thinking of getting rid of the roadbike. Love the view of the old bridge when crossing.

On the way home i get to pass my old neighborhood. This is where i grew up. Just on the oposite of Niporna.  I remember the first night i spent sleeping outside with a friend. It was just here and i was around 13 years old. The midnightsun is still here and this turned out to be quite a nice evening for a ride. Also visited my sister who now live in our old house. It´s now been i our family for three generations, built in 1903.

Second bride crossing coming up and i´m back at the north side of the river. Just a spin around Gultza park and along the north harbor and then back home. I need to get out riding more often and i need to get Jessica a proper bike so she can join me. A bottle of wine and a blanket with her would have made a great evening ride perfect.

 

 

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Fatbike Adventures

Something is going on. There is a movement and it is FAT. The fat bike scene is exploding up here. Besides the new bike shop who got fatties for rent (ice cream trucks) my fat bike buddy Anders and some of his friends started a fat bike company located at Sandön.

Sandön (Sandy island) is one of my favorite spots for fat biking. It´s the biggest island in our archipelago and also the one closest to main land. You just need a dingy to cross the canal. But there are ferris going regularly to Klubbviken, the restaurant and cabins for rent further out on the island. Anders & Co have private summer cabins on Sandön and they all spent their childhood summers there. Since they started riding fat they been having an idea of offering guided tours and bikes for rent.

Now they’re finally in business. Fatbike Adventures is now real.

They put tighter a little fleet of rental fatties including kids bikes. They will cooperate with Klubbviken and are planning some pretty cool events. Yours truly might jump in as fat bike guide.

A couple of weeks ago i had the opportunity to go ride with them for some filming for Visit Luleå and their next promotion video for Luleå under the hashtag #theluleaway Pretty cool. Silverview know their stuff. You´ll know when the film is out, trust me.

How ever we got a pretty awesome day on the dunes and shores around beautiful Sandön. Anders hooked up some friends for riding and i tagged along. We took his boat to his cabin and made it our base camp for the day.

They got an old Honda ATC, how cool it that, for carrying the fatties around and i just looove the carriage they put together. Besides all the beaches and sand dunes there is tons of great trails through the pine forest. Did´t get any pics of them tough, to busy riding.

It´s always a blast to take people fat biking who hasn’t done it before. That silly grin on their face, i love it. We had a bit of luck as the sea level was a bit below. That makes the shallow beaches even more accessible. Blue skies didn’t make it worse either.

To thing that it has come to this. In just a few years fat bikes has gone from weird to quite common. Well they are still weird, in a good way. But people actually know what it is and you don’t need to explain. At least not as much. Maybe this is the beginning of Luleå becoming the fat bike capitol of Sweden. I can’t se why not. With places likt this and people like these making fat biking available for everyone. And i haven’t even mentioned winter cycling. Winter is the real bike season now. Summer is just a bonus, a pretty awesome bonus!

You can find Fatbike Adventures on Facebook. They´re pretty cool guys. I´m pretty stoked for the future of fat bike capitol LULEÅ.

Here a little clip from a solo autumn ride, October 2015

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This is my Home Town

Just had to share this video made by Local producer Silverview  and my buddy Viktor at Mera Media together with Visit Luleå.

A couple of astonishing minutes well worth a watch. If you come and ride with me, this is what you get. #theluleaway

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New bike shop, Ourorboros Luleå

ouroroboros luleåThis is pretty awesome news. A new bike shop as opened in town. Ourorboros is the combined yoga studio and bike shop. Eric moved here from Alaska about three years ago for love. Susanne brought him over here and now they are combining their passions in this cool shop.  Eric is a cyclist at heart and ride all disciplines. They will be selling Canondale and Orbea but are connected to lots of distributors.

They want to make their place not just to a shop but a sweet hang out place, where you can pop by for coffee and some bike talk. Susanne has her studio in the basement and are taking smaller classes,  when i visited them they were not quite ready with the yoga studio yet, but they´ll get there.

The thing i´m most exited about is their fleet of rental bikes. Besides regular mountain, cross and road bikes they got five Ice Cream Trucks sizes from small to large.

I get loads of requests from people around the word who wants to come and ride up here. Mainly during winter on the ice. Bringing a bike, especially a fat bike  on a plane is both expensive and risky. The ice Cream Truck is one lovely ride. 5″ tires and loads of bikepacking mounts.

When i started riding fat three years ago i could only dream of this. 2016 is the year when the fat bike bug got to Swedish Lapland. Lots of businesses is popping up and next winter is gonna be a blast. If you wanna come ride just contact me and i´ll hook you up with some sweet riding. You don´t even need to bring a bike.

Check out their website here. (will be coming in English soon)

 

 

 

 

 

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New friends, same old trails

It´s funny how cycling makes people come together. I´ve made so many new friends during the years. Some just over the internet and some in real life and some both. I few weeks ago i met Eric. An Alaskan who moved here a few years ago for love.

Eric is an enthusiast, just like me, he rides fat, cross, mtb and road, just like me. Yesterday we went for our first ride together. It was fat bike time and we took a spin around the shores and trails along the Luleå river.

This was actually my first proper ride in weeks. Also first ride of the year on dirt. Feels good to be back in the saddle and i cant wait to get out again. Perhaps with a post bike brew and hot sauna.

Susie and Eric is soon opening up their own business and they have some pretty cool things going on. I’ll be back with a full report after the grand opening.

Thanks again for a nice ride Eric =)

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Filed under Fat Bike, Trails

Swedish Lapland Winter 2016 sum up

Winter 2015/16 was a good one. A few cold weeks made the ice build up properly and the archipelago was frozen far out to the outer islands. I have gotten further out this winter on the fat bike then the other years i´ve been riding.

I made the first ride across over the river on December 15. That was quite early but there were some footprints from someone who crossed so i gave it a shot. Turned out to be a great ice premiere.

December to January the days are short but the light is amazing. I got some great shots just going down on the ice during lunch hour. The south harbor is two minutes away form my shop. Like on the 21 of December, mid winter solstice. This day was just amazing. I went down to the harbor for half an hour and the light was stunning. This just a snap shot with my iphone.

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And one month later, 23 of January. The sun is a bit higer and the light is returning. I finally got my custom Razor bars from Oddiy Cycles and the Mukluk is cranked up to level 11 on the awesome-meter.

 

In February the ice roads in the outer archipelago opened up. This is before all the snowmobile trails are ready. February 1 i went to check them out.

 

Two weeks later on the 16 of February, first ride on snowmobile trails to make a recon ride for coming bikepacking adventures with Kevin who came and visited me from the UK. Brought  the Gopro and shot a little shorty from the ride.

 

Since the last two winters has been quite crappy Kevin who´s been here for two years in a row decided to come a few weeks earlier than usual. 23-24 of February We had a great weekend bikepacking to Brändöskär. One of the more remote islands in our archipelago. Unfortunately the weather was against us and we ended up riding in fog and temperatures around -16 Celsius. But it was still quite a ride. We did not make it all the way to the pack ice due to no sight at all.

And then came March. This year simply amazing. This is when we get our fifth season, the “vårvinter”, spring winter. Long days with the sun starting to warm up. But still cold nights so snow and ice does not melt away. 24 of March I made the trip again to Brändöskär and this time i made it out on open sea. The world out there is just crazy. Might as well be at the North Pole. Once again i brought my Gopros.

 

April came along and the sun made the snow and ice go away pretty fast. Not much riding besides some short rides along the local trails.

Here is an example on how fast we move from frozen sea to boat season. These two photos are from 21 of April and May 11. On the first one there are some ice fisher as small dots on the ice. Two weeks later not a sign of ice at all.

 

 

It has by far been the best winter since i started riding the ice on my fat bike. Now i´m looking forward for an epic summer. There will also be some changes with this site. And i´m stoked about the future for Bike Life in Swedish Lapland.

Stay frosty!

Cheers, Olov

 

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No bike weekend, Glamping at Getronosan

There are a few weeks during spring that´s just in between. The snow is melting, the ice is there but to risky to ride. The forest trails is covered in part ice and part mud. It snowed again yesterday but it does not stay around for fluffy trails. Every thing is gray, muddy and ugly. Riding is minimized to work commute on the mostercross.

Then it is pretty awesome to have friends like Fredrik. He runs the Aurora Safari Camp and his winter season is also coming to an end. Aurora Safari Camp is located along the beautiful Råneå river valley. A few kilometers up river there is a beautiful place called Korpforsen ,The Raven Stream (sound pretty cool in English). Up here there is a beautiful campsite that just got new owners and they´re doing wildlife a bit more classy. Fredrik got a few guys together for a manly weekend by the stream. Good food, sauna, beer and bath barrel was on the menu. I´ve been riding here a few times both winter and summer. But i haven’t really taking notice of the timber cabins by the river. This place has apparently been around for many years but Niklas and Liza have given it a proper face-lift.

Photo: Fredrik Broman Humanspectra.com

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Our welcome starter for the evening was cold beer by an open fire with chef Thomas frying bread and reindeer filet for the most amazing sandwich i´ve ever had.

Photo: Fredrik Broman, Humanspectra.com

This was a mere appetizer of things to come. After this humble starter we were invited to the main cabin for main course. The theme for the supé  was reindeer all the way. These guys made everything spot on.

Photo: Fredrik Broman; Humanspectra.com

 

To accomplish this in the middle of nowhere at a place that doesn´t even have running water is truly amazing. We did not miss anything (well i missed my bike) and service was superb. However this was a guys weekend and as the wine went down our judgement went out.  We had dessert and rum and by the time it was time for sauna and more beer it is actually a bit blurry. Hey, i´m a family man and not use to party all night. Still having good food in good company and top that with a beautiful place and beer and stuff is pretty hard to beat.

I remember Andreas brought the banjo before suna. I also have a have a tiny memory of the trolls lurking around in the dark. I took it for a dream but when i checked my phone in the morning it turns out i got pictures to prove it.

 

The service did not stop there. Next morning we were served breakfast for champs. Not that we deserved it but it sure made the hangover a bit lighter. Toast, fried eggs and coffee makes life good again.

Photo: Fredrik Broman, Humanspectra.com

 

Getronosan is just getting started. They not yet have a website but i´ll bet this place will be something really special. On top of this the Ore Trail runs by and cycling here is really good both summer and winter. I will be back but on two wheels next time. This is a great stop when bikepacking. If road bikers can combine fine dining and cycling i´ll bet fat bikers can do it better.

Thanks guys for an amazing weekend!

 

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Guest Post: Bike- and Ice-fishing at sea!

By Andreas Broman

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Dear bike nerds

A nerd, to me, is someone that is passionate and goes 100% into something. Nerds can actually geek into anything and it is not unusual that they spend more time on it than what is actually healthy. It can be stamps, RC planes, model trains, bird watching, bicycles or fishing for example.
My 100% passion i Nature. I use my bike to get out in Nature. I watch birds to experience seasonal variations in Nature. I go flyfishing to enjoy the thrill of Nature. I travel to get to know Nature that is unfamiliar to me.


Am I a nerd?
Well, I sure hope so, because I just love nerds. Their passion and enthusiasm can be so inspiring.
I really wish that my film can inspire one or two of you to go out there. Just like I have been inspired of my dear friend (and extreme bike nerd) Olov at Bike Life in Swedish Lapland.

Short about the film
During a couple of days in late winter or early spring. When the snow starts melting but the nights are still cold. The snow cover becomes hard like concrete or turn into solid ice.
Then the whole Archipelago suddenly becomes accessible by bike. You can go almost anywhere and bring anything you like (if you have a big pulka).
At least once each winter, when the conditions are just right, I try to go ice-fishing by bike to the outermost parts of the Luleå Archipelago in Swedish Lapland. This year I recorded it on my GoPro.

Your humbled guest blogger,
Andreas Broman

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Filed under guest post, Inspiration, Trails

Pack ice play ground

Since the last trip to the outskirts of the archipelago i´ve been longing to get back. Me and Kevin never got the chance to go further out to check the pack ice due to fog.

It´s been a few weeks since we were out and the spring winter is turning out to be pretty awesome. A couple of days with very warm temperatures followed by cold weather makes the ice perfect. A rock hard crust layer makes it possible to ride just about everywhere. No need for snowmobile trails. I managed to get a day off and set off to the white plains again. Could not have chosen a better day. Bluebird, no wind and a cold night set conditions to awesomeness level 10. To save some time i took the car as far as possible. The road to Hindersön is now like a glass floor.

Leaving the car at Hindersön saved me about an hour and the ride out to is just about 15 km. I made it out in just 45 minutes. The conditions was pretty different from last time.

Instead of a narrow soft snowmobile trail the ice is now an open playground. To get this so far out on the sea is very rare. Last year there were similar conditions but out here it was open water.

The pack ice is located out side the archipelago on the sea. Due to wind, water level changes and ice movement the ice packs up and freezes. This create a beautiful moon like landscape. It reaches many kilometers out.

It turned out Classe from Bearfoot North also were going out with a reporter from the UK. I hooked up with them for coffee among the ice blocks and we got to take a spin together. I could not think of a better place to have coffee.

 

Ellie is a freelance journalist  specialized in adventure and travel. For her to come all the way from London to get a day on the ice in perfect conditions is pretty cool. We´re the first ones ever out here on fat bikes.

Days like this are rare and to find new friends on a place like this is a blessing. Thanks for the company Classe and Ellie it was great fun to meet you guys.


Here is a little short edit from one of the best days so far this winter.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Fat Bike, Trails