The Luleå Way, Winter

Visit Luleå have the good taste of letting a young talented film maker make short edits from our beautiful city. Jacob Nilsson from Silverview and Viktor Johansson from Mera Media just released their fifth edit and yes, me and the Muk is making a short appearance.  As we did in the summer edit.

So happy to take part in this and taking part in spreading the Luleå Way across the interwebz… Enjoy.

Radio gaga…

About nine months ago Linnea from the Swedish Public radio show Ute med P1 contacted me about tiny escapes and fat bikes. Ute med P1 is a radio show about people who leaves the comfort of civilization for the adventures of the great out doors. Linnea wanted to ride with me and i took her to one of my favorite spots, Sandön.

It was late summer and we were in search of low tides and talked about getting away even when the time for adventures are limited. We had great weather and went trail and beach riding. Linnea was quite tough, we did almost 30 kilometers.

We had such a great time we decided to do a winter ride too, at the exactly same place. And a few weeks ago we went back to the shores of Sandön only this time on the ice.

Double selfie at the canal six months apart.

Once again we went to Ourorobors and rented a Small size Icecreamtruck for Linnea. It´s really cool to get the contrasts of riding the same place with a six month gap.

We headed out on the south side along the shores. This time we didn´t have the time to go all around the island but a good spin, coffee and sandwiches on the ice is really all you need.

It was great fun and such an honor to be a guest on the show.

The show is available online but it´s of course in Swedish.  Check HERE  for the whole show.

Original Luleå Story

I´m stoked and very proud to be featured in the Magazine Original Luleå Story. This tells the story of all the amazing people and things happening in our wonderful town.

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Luleå is located just a few kilometers south of the arctic circle and you might think this is some remote place far from the big cities and a bit behind. But it sure as hell is not. When going through all the stories i´m so proud of living in a place where nature, culture, science, sports and the people is top notch.

 

Check it out online and feel free to visit us any time.

Oh, did i mention we got awesome fat bike trails. Summer and winter.

The Emerald Connection Part Three – Recon on The Ore trail.

ore-trailAfter returning from the ice ride on Tuesday we were pretty cold due to the wet ice road and head wind. My lovely Jessica had fired up the sauna and i was giving the boys their first proper steam experience before dinner.

A couple of hours later we had reindeer on our plates and were talking trails and cycling, as you do, i mentioned the fantastic Ore Trail. A 200 km groomed snowmobile trail that runs from the mountains down to the bay of Bothnia along the Råneå River Valley. We decided to check it out. My friend Fredrik Broman lives and has his fabulous Aurora Safari Camp up the river where the Ore Trail passes by just out side. This is one of my favorite places up here and i´ve been here a lot.It´s a 50 minute drive up river to Fredriks place. We tucked the bikes in to the car and took off. I got my self a new car back in May. This baby packs three fat bikes and it´s riders like a boss! Today the sun was shining and we stopped by the local coffee shop to get some classic Swedish cinnamon  rolls for the drive.

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But they were all out, instead i got to introduce the fast bun “Semla” to Wayne and Oscar. A super Swedish specialty. Besides riding bikes this visit had become me showing the Irishmen all the typical Swedish food.

When we arrive at the Aurora Safari Camps HQ we finally got that lovely spring/winter sun that´s warm and gentle, we ride in just our shirts down river to the Aurora Safari Camp where we´re having lunch. Since i´m feeding the lads Swedish stuff we did some serious “grilla korv” roast sausage on open fire and boiled classic hot dogs “Bullens”. Having a fire going, coffee and some good friends, that´s all you need i life really.

Thank you Fredrik for letting us borrow the fireplace at the camp. Too bad we weren´t available to meet you.

After finishing up at the camp we headed north to check out the trails. Ore trail is an historic trail where the Sami transported Iron Ore to the coast. Now it´s a groomed trail, only available during winter it reaches from Gällivare in the north to Strömsund by the coast.

 

This is an amazing trail, and the plan is to do the full 200 kilometers some day. The best time of year for doing this would be late February or early March. There is huts to stay the night in and you get to cross the arctic circle, what´s not to like.  It was a good day and i´m glad we went up here. It´s a lovely place and riding here might not be as unique as riding the frozen sea, but it´s still pretty damn awesome.

On our way back we did a little stop by the Systembolaget, Swedish government controlled liqueur store. It was Oscars idea, he wanted some proper wine for dinner. Wayne got lost in the beer section and also bought a big bottle of The Kraken rum. Promised to make me a sailors drink tonight. It´s called Dark and Stormy, it actually was so good the bottle was empty in the morning… Did i mentioned it was Oscars idea to get booze.

This sums up another awesome day with new awesome friends.  We´ll come over to your green island. That´s a promise. Pirates honor!

The Emerald Fat Bike Connection Part two -Archipelago Adventures

The big thing in Luleå during winter is riding the ice with fat bikes. It´s where my trails are and what i enjoy the most myself. So off course we were heading out at sea. The best ride is the 28 kilometer snowmobile trail out to Brändöskär, the old fishing outpost at the edge of the archipelago. Here is where you can find the pack ice and have nothing but sea and Finland on the other side. I did this ride last year with Kevin and since then i´ve been out there with the bike a couple of times, it is one awesome ride straight out on the sea.

We packed our stuff and bikes, since we were staying in a cabin, mainly food and gear so pretty light bikepacking, that is good cos the weather decided to vote against us. Damp weather and fog makes the trails soft and the lighter the bike the better.

The ride goes via Hindersön, a big island with some year around citizens and a great restaurant and hostel. This time of year they´re just open for the public during weekends. So we had lunch at their outdoor benches. The Irishmen always do peak shots when they  conquered a summit. But since the sea is pretty flat we did island shots instead. Works just as fine.

After a quick stop and some food in our bellys we head out to the outer rims of the archipelago. The fog is getting thicker and the sight is very limited. But since were following a trail there is no way we´re getting lost. As we pedal along the trails are getting softer by the minute but we´re still making good speed. It is so lovely out here and it´s really a shame the fog is messing the views up. But it is also pretty cool to be surrounded by nothing, every thing is all white and you feel pretty small.

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Soon we´re arriving at Brändöskär, it is always a strange feeling to come here by bike. The last time i visited i came by ferry with Jess and the kids. The cabin we stay in is the same as me and Kevin had last year. They are simple but very clean and comes fully equipped with gas stove and all the kitchen accessories.

 

We ditched our gear and went down to the outside to check for pack ice, but it was kind of thin ice so we just went out a few hundred  meters. Still pretty cool surroundings out here…

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We headed back to the cabin and got some wood from the wood shed and an hour later the cabin was all warm and cozy.  I decided to  fry the very northern specialty fried Palt with bacon and lingonberrys for dinner. It´s always a gamble to get local stuff to foreigners, but it was very appreciated.

After eating and emptying our hip flasks getting to sleep was the least of our problems. When we got up the next morning weather looked pretty okay. But there was a heavy wind from the southwest and after a while the fog started to roll in again. But even worse, the thermometer showed +6 and that makes for wet trails and rough pedaling. Fortunately the wind direction was to our favor and we had tailwind all the way back to Jopikgården at Hindersön. Gotta love riding with the lucky Irish, tailwinds and when we got to the restaurant they were open. Not to the public but for a private conference, and because they´re awesome the made us burgers and coffee for lunch.   Thanks a lot for that guys. ❤

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Once again we headed out, the last 12 kilometers was hard head wind and a super wet ice road. It was pretty hard work but going on a plowed road made it lot easier.

A few days earlier i was contacted by Randi Gitz. Randi is a Television journalist and she overheard i was going out with a couple of Irish lads on the sea. She wanted to meet up with us on the ice to make an interview. Check out this LINK for the interview.

Pretty tired and pretty wet we got back to the car. Once again very lucky to get the hard wind and super wet conditions at the very end of the ride. Would have been very hard and cold if we got this wet at the beginning of the trip.

 

Next up… The ore trail recon ride.

The Emerald Fat bike connection – Part one

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November 26:th 2014 i got an email from an Irish bike mechanic who wanted to come over to ride with me on the ice in our archipelago. But due to different circumstances he were not able to make it. We emailed back and forth a bit but we lost contact after a while.

 

img_8315About one year later i made a comment on a beautiful titanium Mukluk against a cliff covered in green Algiers on the super geeky Facebook page “look at my bike leaning at stuff”. This page has about 27 000 members and bikes are posted there by the minute so the chance of seeing all is impossible. Anyway this turned out to be Wayne´s bike pic, and at the moment i did not make the connection at all.

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This made us Facebook friends and since then we been texting every now and then. I know Wayne has been longing to get here, and back in December he texted to let me know he booked a flight to Luleå and he was bringing his friend Oscar. How awesome is that! All of a sudden these guys is sitting in the snow on my back yard having coffee with Jessica.

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This is the thing i love about the global cycling community. Getting new friends from all over the world, friends that you never could have met if it weren’t for cycling.

The guys came early on Sunday morning so there was time to take a little spin on the local trails before heading out at the bikepacking adventure in the archipelago the next day.Wayne, who works as a bike mechanic brought his stunning Titanium REEB fat bike equipped with Lauf fork and Rohloff rear hub with beltdrive. It’s just a beast! Oscar went for renting an ICT from Ourorboros.

Wayne had some experience from snow riding but Oscar had never ridden snow and ice before. I picked up the ICT on Saturday and as soon as Wayne got the TiDonk together again we went for a spin.

Of course they were here for riding the ice and we went down to the city ice road just to get a preview on what was coming up. The plan was to get out to Brändöskar and do an overnighter like i did with Kevin last year.

More on that in next post.

Arctic life style

Got up this morning and the thermometer says -16 Celsius. Few things gets me going like cold weather and blue skies. It must be something in the blood with us Northlings. We were just made for this. Frost biting your cheeks and gets stuck the beard, i just want to stay outside. But it´s just another Tuesday and i take my regular ride to work and stop by the south harbor. I stop by here almost every day before work, to suck in the great outdoors to last a day indoors.  My shop i just a couple of hundred meters away. I love the sea, summer and winter. Its´s  the contrasts between seasons that never stop to amaze me.

December is a dark month. The days are still getting shorter until winter solstice 21 of December. The few hours of daylight is very special. Sun rise around 10 a´clock and sets a few hours later. If the skies are clear the light this time of year is really special. Like a sunset that goes on for a few hours.

Very soon the ice will be thick enough to ride. They already started the ice-road  plowing and i cant wait to get to Sandön and hit the shores on the outside.

This might be my last post before the big update. Stay tuned for Bike Life in Swedish Lapland 2.0