Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vajosuo beer ride 2010 edition

The time had finally come for the beer ride. It took some time to get a date that suited more than a few persons. This time there were five of us: Me, Matti H, greenman, JJ and HAK. There was in average about 15 cm of snow, but occasionally both a lot more and less. Greenman and I were on Pugsleys, the rest had ordinary 26" bikes. Matti H rode his fully rigid singlespeed Surly 1x1.

How do you fit two Pugsleys in a small car? The answer is barely. I want to have as small a car as possible, mostly since I don't care for cars, but sometimes it could be a bit bigger. The start was 45 minutes away by car.

The ride started around 19:15 with boardwalks. In practice, only the Pugsleys could ride them. It was very hard to see where the boardwalks were, because of the snow. The temperature was around -12°C (10°F), colder than forecasted.

The boardwalks consist of two parallell planks. Often there is room for a tire between the planks, making riding them an exercise requiring precision. To my surprise, even the fat tires sometimes got stuck between the planks.

An animal showed the way.

Pugsley terrain.

Even JJ, who has a very good technique, had to walk.

Some small gear problems.

Not even a Pugsley can handle everything.

Somebody had actually been here, surprisingly enough.

At the Vajosuo lean-to at 21:55 after a hard ride. JJ starts the fire...

... with success.

Time to drink beer, make grilled sausages and toast sandwiches and make glorious plans for the future.

Laitilan Kukko, the preferred beer at Vajosuo. This is one of the very few Finnish beers that actually is good.

My sleeping spot. We went to sleep around three o'clock in the night.

To our (quite small) surprise Matti K showed up in the morning around six o'clock and started the fire. He even brought coffee and donuts. That is what I call service. He came by car and then walked the final bit to the lean-to. Thanks a lot! The temperature in the morning was again colder that expected, around -18°C (-0.4F), but it caused no problems for us.

Making drinking water.

Matti H, greenman and Matti K.

Getting ready to leave.

My bike is packed again. We left at 9:00 in the morning.

Vajosuo in the morning.

Terra firma. JJ riding.

Matti H has a very bad moment.




Short break to catch the breath. It was still around -14°C (7°F)

Refilling the energy supplies. The riding was again hard and we were getting low on energy.

A picture of yours truly taken by JJ.

Just a small bit left. JJ seems happy.

We were done at 12:25. This was a fantastic outing, and I think this is the best way to do overnighters during the dark time of the year.

I will do a post with some equipment ponderings in a few days, but for now I can say that the Pugsley definitely was the right tool for the job.

A slide show with more pictures is here.


  1. Vajosuo is definitely a place where I have to do an adventure at some point in the future. Just have to wait for Christmas for proper winter sleeping gear.

    Great report and photos as always!

  2. Very nice report. So when do we go again?

  3. Very nice... You really know how to do nice trips and reports!

  4. Nice pictures, indeed, and the trip sounded great!

  5. awesome way to spend a night guys!
    I'm so pugs won't see snow in a long time :(
    thanks for sharing Peter

  6. Looks fun but there is no way I could bring all the beer thats needed to sleep outside in minus 17! ;)

    Some really nice shots there, impressed both by the riders and the photos!

  7. Well, the amount of beer was quite limited. I had 1 liter, some had a little more. In addition, we all had small bottles of stronger anti-freezing agent.

  8. Hehee... Let me rephrase what I wrote: "no way I could bring all the beer thats needed for me to sleep outside in minus 17" ;)

  9. Great report and nice pictures again, thanks a lot! All the respect for you guys!