Tour de Fat, Sandön

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Sandön

Our archipelagos biggest island Sandön is one of my favorite places to ride. Mostly because of the amazing shore line on the south side. During low tide it has never ending dunes. Sandön (Sandy Island) sure make it´s name proud. It´s located where the river of Luleå meets the bay of Bothnia.

Here is what Lulea.nu says about the island “Sandön, by far the Luleå Archipelago´s biggest island, has an area of no less than 25,7 km2 and a large number of permanent residents. Close to the city of Luleå, the island starts on the outer edge of Tjuvholmssundet and stretches all the way to Klubbviken Havsbad, where the inner archipelago ends. As its name suggests, Sandön consists of sand, gravel and other alluvial deposits from the Lule River. There are several rubble fields of varying sizes on the island. The largest is near Lappmyrberget. This 1400-metre long, 300-metre wide field, known as Stenåkern, “the stone meadow”, is a nature reserve.

I´ve been riding here quite a few times now and i think i know the island pretty well. But i really don´t. I´ve been lurking around the shores looking for new trails, and i found a few. But the guys at Fatbike adventures grew up here and last Sunday they arranged a guided tour around the whole island. After a few drop outs seven riders set of across the trails of Sandön.  Right now the water levels are pretty high in the whole bay of Bothnia so beach riding was a bit restricted. However that made for discovering new trails. There is a gravel road that go straight across the island. This is our main route but pretty soon we leave the gravel for some trails.

Riding a fat bike around Sandön offers many different types of landscape. From fast single track among the pines to amazing shores. In the middle of the island there is a huge rock field. You can still see the trace of the ocean as you pedal across it. The old seabed still in the shape of big waves. There are some moss plains that looks like something out of a fairy tale. When crossing between the pines all of a sudden an open moss area just appears.

Going on new trails (for me) all the way out to the outside of the island was fantastic. I love the feeling of going through the woods and all of a sudden the sea opens up in front of you. In a way i can appreciate riding beaches in the foggy September. It´s something sadly beautiful with beaches and summer resorts that´s closed for the season. It´s in a way abandoned, left to rest until next years guests arrive.

Water levels are quite high but the outside of Sandön is always a good place for some sweet beaches with hundreds of meters of shallow water to play around in.

Now time for lunch. We have been riding about 20 kilometers and our stomachs reminded us that if we´re gonna make the last 13 km food needs to go in. Since the restaurant at Klubbviken is closed for the season we went to Anders summer cabin for some sweet burgers and a cold one.

Re-loaded with burgers, beer and coffee we set off on our way back. I usually just go along the gravel road when going back. But this time Anders of Fatbike Adventures took us along the best trails i´ve ever ridden back home. All new territory for me on this huge island. Along the other canal to main land, Svartösundet there is a ridge. It´s a couple of kilometers long and a lovely trail goes all the way along it and down to the sea where the shore takes us back to were we started. I need to get back here soon again so i don´t forget where to get on.

Thank you Roger and Anders from Fatbike Adventures for showing us some on the best trails Luleå has to offer. Going riding on Sandön is always an adventure and i´m feeling blessed to live in a place where we got places like this. Fatbike Adventures have a fleet of bikes for rent and do guided rides on Sandön. This ride was a little test event of things to come. I smell a Fat Bike Summit taking form. Check them out on FB or on their Web

 

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What it’s really all about

In times like these, and by that i mean Eurobike, Frostbike, Interbike-times. Everybody is showing off thier new stuff for 2017. Well, as i were saying, in times like these it’s easy to forget why we ride.

Don’t get me wrong, i love getting the news on all new gear and bikes. But sometimes it’s just to much. A gazillion wheel sizes, hub sizes, frames, inovating oval dubbel butted self gearing e-bikes plus carbon drive extravaganza is coming out of my ears. Do we get so caught up in tech and new stuff that we forget what it´s all about?

Last sunday we went riding. Just at the local spot with some nice trails, a couple of jumps and a fireplace by the slope. We packed some burgers, threw the kids bikes in the car and off we went. After we set up camp and got a fire going we just played around on the trails. No hydro backpacks, strava or garmin. Just pure fun on two wheels.

And there it is! The answer to why we do this. It´s actually really simple. Because it´s so damn fun. Because we can do it together regardless of age or skills. Having the latest bike with the most optimal geometry and the latest smart suspension optimized for exactly this kind of trail wouldn’t have made this day any more awesome. What could have made this day more awesome is more people. More friends, more kids bouncing around, eating burgers and climbing trees, more bikes, more fun.

I really like bikes. I like new stuff and i like the inovations that makes the bicycle even more awesome. But, i like riding more. Very few times, when i think back on an epic ride, it´s not the bike i sat on that makes the memory. It´s the friends i shared it with. It´s the place my bike took me to. Perhaps we need to relax and just go ride.

The trails is right out there, waiting. Go ride!

(Inter bike 2016 starts Sept 21, can’t wait!)😉

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Filed under Bikes, Family life, Inspiration, Trails

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional

A few days ago i had a scary wake up call. We were visiting my father in law (who is a total badass, ex navy officer who just turned 93 years old) at the hospital. He´s been there a few days due to an infection. As we sat along chatting when a nurse came to check his blood pressure. I have not checked mine in at least 25 years so i asked if she could take mine. Just for fun. No, problem, she´d be happy to check my blood pressure.

And what do you know! I totally off the charts. Way to high. She said i had to contact my Doctor first thing on Monday.

Things like this scare the shit out of me, and the most scary thing is i had no idea? I don´t know for how long i´ve had it. High blood pressure is not good, especially on long term.

I´ve been checking my pressure the last two days since Saturday, still very high.  But to day i finally got a doctors appointment. Hopefully it´s not such a big deal and it will go down. I´m doing loads of tests next week, quitting my dear “Snus” (tobacco) and cutting the salty stuff.

We do not have this in our family and i´m in pretty good shape, just a bit off since summer vacation. I´m sure i´ll be okey but it makes you think. I want to live as long as possible and die laughing. I wanna make love to my wife and watch my kids grow up. I wanna ride my bike every day. I wanna grow old but not grow up. Thing is i´m 45 years old i´m growing old, fast. Things like this is a part of life now. I´m not gonna let it tear me down. I´m gonna keep on going doing stuff i like.

Check this. It really made my day and inspired me to write this post. It´s a year old but i missed it somehow. I also kind of stole the title to this post from the end.

 

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Filed under Family life, Inspiration

Monstercross, gravel bike, cyclocross, whatever – evening

Well, not sure what it’s called. Gravel or cx or what ever. Eric from Ourorboros gathered a bunch of riders for a evening event on the local trails. Weapon of choice, drop-bar bikes for fast trails and tarmac. It’s been a while since i got to take the old Singular Peregrine for a proper spin. This bike is just pure fun in the woods.

We met up at the shop and i got to borrow a pair of CB eggbeaters instead of my crappy clip pedals. We threw some beers in the fridge for after bike and headed out. Six happy campers four cx-bikes one full susser and me on my monstercross.


We went across the river to ride the trails around the airport. A huge pine area with loads of trails. I actually never rode this bike here before. This place got a lot of sand pits and are great with the fat bike.

But i must say it’s super fun to go monstercrossin’ here too.

What ever we choose to call it. Riding bikes with friends is pretty awesome. Call it cx or gravel it doesn´t matter as long as you´re having fun.

We managed to do 23 kilometers but who is counting anyway. It is a funny thing about late summer and autumn. I just wanna ride. During summer it´s all about family, vacation and chillin. Or maybe it is just me longing for the proper cycling season, Winter.

After a couple of hours playing around on the trails we headed back to town and the beer was cold back at the workshop. Cycling is fun. I´m going riding tonight again.

Cheers!

 

 

 

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Filed under Bikes, cycling

Island explorers 

Kevin is back in town for a few days before he’s heading up to Norway. Seems like every time he’s here we’re breaking new trails. A few years ago we were first on fat bikes on Skvalpen, last winter we were the first to ride over the ice to Brändöskär.

I’m still on summer leave from work and we decided to take the ferry to Sandön for some beach riding with Anders from Fatbikeadventures.se

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Pretty cool fat bike log parking

We´ve been riding Sandön a few times and it is always a nice spot for some sweet fat biking especially with Anders as our local guide. We met up with Anders at Fatbike Adventures  based on Klubbviken, the resort at Sandön. He suggested we should take his boat to the island across the canal and see if we could hit the trails all across the island.

Since we like a challenge it was game on. It is just a five minute boat ride across and we hit the shores of Likskär and Altappen. On this side LSS, our local yacht club have their club house and guest harbor. I´ve spent almost all my childhood here since sailing is what I’ve been doning since i was kid. But now it must have been at least 20 years since I’ve been here. I know the backside have some pretty neat shores, but i must say i did not remember them as this good. Could be that i never rode a fat bike here before.

The ride offered some sweet shores and rough trails. Eventually we found a trail that led us to the other side and Altappen.  100 years ago there were several hundred people living on this island. All working at the steelworks and the sawmill. It all burned down and now there is just ruins left.

I love getting to new places, well I’ve been here lots before but not by bike, and break new trails. These fat bikes just were made for exploring. Salsa could not be more spot on with their motto “Adventure by Bike” thats what it´s all about. Ad some friends to ride with and I’m pretty satisfied.Here is a little edit from our ride. Thanks guys, always a pleasure to ride with you.

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The Luleå Way is Fat 

Stoked to be a part of the second “The Luleå Way” short film promoting our beautiful city in the north. When they called me up and wanted some fatbikers to take part i realized  that we could make Luleå the fat bike capitol of Sweden or maybe Europe. There is now two companies renting and guiding. A couple of local bikeshops selling fat tire love machines. I’m turning B.L.I.S.L in to a bike business. Lots of tourism entrepreneurs have their eyes on fat bikes. 

With all these awesome guys like Ourorbouros, Fatbike Adventures, Cykelstället, Äventyrsbutiken Hägglunds, Brändögruppen and the Support of The City of Luleå and Swedish Lapland the unique fat bike conditions summer and winter I’m pretty sure we’re gonna make it.

Check out part one of The Luleå Way here

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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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Filed under Bikes, Trails

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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