Tuesday 24 June 2014

Sweden: MTB around Säfsen

The reason why I chose Säfsen as the next destination is simple: MTB. In winter, it is a ski resort; when the snow melts away, MTB tracks are prepared.

Most tracks run over gravel and grassy (off)roads, often also used for tree logging. On Sunday I cycled the Strömsdal Runt, a blue grade 48 km tour but over relatively easy tracks. After a few km's I discovered that I was cycling it in the wrong way, and had to travel in the direction that the signposts were facing to (instead of the pointed direction), because I was too lazy to turn 180 degrees and follow it the right way round. Well, a few times I got in the wrong direction and in the last 10 km's I climbed a high hill in pouring rain which I wasn't supposed to go to at all. At least, when I figured out the right direction, I had a nice downhill ride and my outdoor clothes dried quickly. After a hot shower I was very satisfied with the ride!

Next day, I attempted the red grade Kullern Runt. After a few km's, the track winded through the forest, up and down, with many, many tree roots and rocks scattered across the path. This was difficult. A couple of times I had to walk because it was getting too dangerous to go on on my own, but eventually I got out of the forest. I hadn't come far at all when it started pouring rain again, and I decided to take the quick way home instead of completing the full tour. It simply didn't feel comfortable to go ahead on my own in the Swedish wilderness in poor weather, with very limited communication possibilities.

Tuesday. Started with green-grade Stackberget Runt, which was easy and nice, but too short. I decided to add a few km's of black-grade Säfsen MTB Korta to it, which was a very rocky and difficult path through thick forest, just like the forest part of Kullern Runt. But it was a quite nice ride anyway, pushing my technical skills a little higher.

In the afternoon I had to return my bike, because my bus is leaving at 18:00.

More pictures can be found here!

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