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

 

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!) 😉