Sunday, May 8, 2011

Yet another bikepacking outing

I have a special affection for the first part of the summer, and especially the time when spring turns to summer. After midsummer the summer is not the same anymore. Using one of my leftover winter vacation days, I went for a two night bikepacking trip to enjoy the transition between spring and summer.

On Thursday evening I packed my Salsa Fargo and rode it to the train station and got on the train to Karis/Karjaa. It was a tight fit, but I managed to get the bike onto the bike holder system.

The train arrived after one hour and I started riding. The first part was a disappointment. The trail along the Svedjaträsket lake had fallen victim to logging devastation and it took a while and some bushwacking to circumvent it and find a good route to the ridge running between Karis/Karjaa and Ekenäs/Tammisaari. The ridge provides trails and small forest roads all the way to Ekenäs/Tammisaari.

It was already getting colder and the wood anemones went to sleep.

Training grounds for the local army garrison (as can be seen from the marking on the pine). I spent a lot of time here when I did my army time.

After a while I arrived at the Västerby area. This place is just one kilometer from where I grew up.


Sunset at Västerby Storträsket. One of the nicest things about the summer is the light: The sun sets at 21:40.

I continued for a while to the lake Vitsjön, just in time before it got too dark to ride. Todays numbers were 4 h and 42 km.

I went to sleep around 23:00. The night was full of bird sounds. Especially the loon (Gavia arctica) sounds like wilderness to me. The night temperature was forecasted to go slightly below freezing, but I don't think it was that cold. I had some trouble with the sleeping pad gliding towards one corner of the tent, since the tent spot was not entirely flat. Maybe I should paint some silicon stripes on the tent floor as recommended by Henry Shires to make it less skiddy.

After sleeping fairly well I got up a little over seven in the morning. The tent spot was chosen for the morning sun and I took my time enjoying the morning. It was still fairly cold in the air and a piece of gear that would come in handy in these situations is a light summer down jacket. Something on my list of gear to get.

Airing out the down sleeping bag, a North Face Beeline 900. A good piece of equipment. It weighs just under 600 g i XL size and keeps me warm until just below freezing.

Vitsjön in the morning.

Filtering drinking water. This particular lake is crystal clear and oligotroph, so the risk of getting sick drinking this water is very low, but since I had the water purifier with me I used it anyway.

On the move again, riding the trails of the Västerby area.

Grabbskog Storträsk, another beautiful lake.

Bypassing a trail section destroyed by logging work.


Elvish script?

I spent three hours on the Västerby trails. Most of them were familiar to me, but I also found some new ones that were not there twenty years ago. After this I had a section on roads ahead of me to get to the Teijo area. About 45 km of mostly smaller forest roads, but also some asphalt.It took me almost 2.5 h, including a short break.

Arriving at Matildedal in the Teijo area.

In the middle of the day the wood anemones are awake.

A late lunch at Puolakkajärvi.

Creme de Paris. And the Kupilka kuksa is nice, too.

After lunch, coffee and a little nap I continued through the Teijo area towards Salo.

There are still shaded places were the spring has just begun. Coldsfoot and snow.

I even came upon an official bike route.


Trail along Lehmijärvi.

Leaving the Teijo area to get to the Marttila area to meet Toni Lund. Ahead of me was a few hours of mostly different kinds of roads.

The ride turned out to be a race against darkness. I was getting a little tired and also took a wrong turn that cost me half an hour.

I arrived at the Karhumäki shelter around 22:00 and started a fire. A short while later Toni arrived as well. The shelter itself was more a firewood storage, but had enough place for Toni. I put up my tent.

Today I rode 138 km and spent 10-11 h actually riding or pushing the bike. At this point I was very tired and low on energy. I was having a hard time getting any food down. The following Twitter message, complete with errors, show the state I was in: Met with @Toni.Lind om Marttila. Very tired, going to sleep now. I went to sleep at midnight. If not for meeting with Toni, I would probably have stayed in the Teijo area for the night, since this way the day was a bit too long.

A good nights sleep made me feel a lot better and I started to wake up at 7:20. This time the night temperature went below freezing.

My Tarptent Double Rainbow, a really nice shelter. Lots of space for one person and bought to be big enough for me and one child. It weighs 1.2 kg, which I find acceptable, though a pure ultralight solo shelter would weigh less than half of it.

Frozen bottle.

The Karhumäki shelter.

Toni's new fatbike is extremely nice.

Pennywort (Anemone hepatica).

On the move again.

We only had time to ride some short trails sections before turning back home. Ahead of me was around 60 km of road riding.

I got home just in time for lunch with the family, after around 60 km and 3.5 h of riding.

More pictures are here.

Toni's report is here.

And finally, a video.

A nice little trip again, and thanks to Toni for joining me.


  1. Jealous, as always....hehehe

  2. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nice trip! Some fantastic photos here and there!

  4. Great trip Peter - thanks for sharing.

  5. brilliant post!, you have took a lot of time documenting the trip, well done,
    I like the wooden bowl with handle!, the girl i dated from Holland had a Swedish small cup very similar, enjoy your summer,looking forward to seeing more of this!

  6. Great to see that Fargo in the wild! Beautiful.

  7. Thanks for the comments. I hope to find time for some more overnighters during the (too) short summer.

  8. Sweet!! Nice scenery too. I notice Toni is smiling now...typical fatbike face lol!!

  9. Great report and blog.

    Dave (a Finnish- American in California)