This is the worst time of the year. This year the fall has been quite dry, but the lack of daylight imposes some restrictions. Currently sunrise is at 8:08 and sunset at 16:21. When we get snow this changes and the darkness no longer bothers.
I went on a short overnighter with Toni Lund to Piikkiö. The goal was not to cover a lot o miles, but rather to enjoy a night at a lean-to. "En skikkelig kosetur", to quote the Norwegian writer/adventurer Lars Monsen. There is not much point in doing longer rides in the darkness, besides training, since you don't see anything else than the few meters in front of you illuminated by the bike lights.
I left at 19.00 and had two hours to get to Piikkiö to meet Toni Lund. The direct route would probably take around 45 minutes, but I found a fairly nice route using mostly forest roads and singletrack, starting in my home forest.
This is what you see when riding in the darkness. Good bike lights make it possible, but you still don't see much, unless the ground is covered in snow.
Lake Littoinen, with some lights from the the village Littoinen in the background.
Toni Lund. After we met in Piikkiö we rode for a short while to the lean-to.
We arrived at the lean-to maybe around 22.00. I rode about 22 km this evening.
After some initial troubles getting the fire started (wet wood and just a multitool knife for the firewood), we grilled sandwiches and sausages. Nice.
View from the lean-to. The light pollution comes from a nearby greenhouse. We went to sleep around midnight.
We got up at 7:00 in the morning. At some point during the night it rained a little, but in the morning the weather cleared up. Toni looks forward to his coffee.
Shortly after we woke, Matti K came by on the way home from his morning ride. I had mentioned the lean-to location on Facebook, and actually guessed that he might come by.
... and his new cyclocross bike. He had some troubles on the roots and rocks with it.
The lean-to and Toni's bike.
Parked and ready. We got started around 8:10.
The last part of the climb up to Linnavuori is not doable on a bike.
A nice view from the top of Linnavuori.
On the move again.
Around 9:20 we went in separate directions. I had about 1,5 hours of riding left to get home.
Some easy singletrack was included.
Lake Littoinen again. Almost home.
This morning saw around 22 km of riding.
I don't consider this a real shakedown ride for the Pugsley. For that I need real winter conditions, though it works well also outside the winter. It provides an alternative to the full suspension bike for trips on singletrack. The big tires provides the same comfort as suspension in sustainable touring speeds and the large frame bag and racks enables riding without a backpack, which is really nice.
A few more picture are here.
Check out Toni's write-up as well.