Sunday, October 30, 2011

Late fall bike overnighter

Toni expressed interest in going out for a short bikepacking overnighter. I had nothing against the idea, and since the weather forecast for Saturday was not entire depressing we decided to give it a try.

Due to a somewhat pressed schedule we could not get going until after sunset. I had time to pack the bike during the day, though.

In order to save one and a half hour of time I took the car to Paimio, where I met with Toni. I unloaded the bike from the car and we got going about one hour after sunset. The first hour would be spent on small roads.

When we arrived at the Marttila area, the singetrack began. The nice trails were mostly new for us and I suspect the surroundings are excellent, though they remained unrevealed in the darkness.

The world is reduced to a small tunnel of light when riding in the darkness.

The first thing to do after arriving at the Lotikonkellari shelter was to start a fire. I took care of that...

... while Toni chopped firewood.

A single quality beer...

... and toasted sandwhiches.

A fire is essential now that the days are getting shorter (sunrise at 8:42 and sunset at 17:39).

Clear sky. Nice.

We went to sleep around 23:30. The temperature had dropped from about 8°C when we started riding to 4°C, which is quite warm for the season. We got up again about one hour before sunrise.

The shelter.

Sunrise. The weather proved far better than forecasted. Clear sky in the evening and very few clouds in the morning.

On the move again.

The beauty and the beast. The ugly one is mine.

It would take skill to get lost with trail markers like this.

The fall with many colors is gone. What is left consists mostly of shades of brown.

Ok, I confess. I have a new lens with a large aperture for the camera.

After a little more than an hour of trail riding, and some photography, we turned back home on small roads. Around 80 minutes of hard riding was left. The nice weather soon changed to the normal fall greyness and we even got some rain.

A great outing again. Thanks to Toni for the company. Check out Toni's report here.


  1. I am very impressed by the level of documentation of your trips and the number of overnighters you do! How many nights per year do you sleep outside? Some write alot about outdoor equipment and show them new and shiny, you acctually sleep outside alot.

  2. Thanks. I think I've managed quite good this year, considering my work and family limitations. I counted this to be my 27th night out this year.

  3. Wonderful pictures. I just got a Lumix LX5 for my bike excursions and was wondering what tripod you carry on the bike? Thanks.

  4. The tripod is a Slik Sprint Mini Pro G weighing 690 g. It is a fairly cheap alternative, but anything similar with lower weight in carbon fibre would cost a lot. It works quite nicely, but I've lost the tripod head once, when vibrations caused it to come loose somewhere in Norway.

    The LX5 should be fine camera. Have fun with it!

  5. Looks like a nice trip! Lovly picture of the sky aswell!

  6. A wonderful night in the woods you had. As always I enjoyed the photos and the report.

  7. Nice report, and excellent pictures!

  8. Fatbikes in the glowing morning sun – super nice – still dreaming about a fatty for myself :)

    How did the fatbikes cope with the rocky singletrack?

  9. Thanks for the kind comments.

    Mikkel, fatbikes are actually surprisingly capable in technical terrain, probably because of the large tire diameter (about 29") and the exceptional traction. The only drawback is that they are heavier and harder to get moving from zero speed, but by keeping up the momentum they go over most obstacles with ease. And they also have a high fun factor. Toni hasn't ridden his ordinary mtb since he got the fatbike last spring, which is kind of typical when you get a fatbike.

  10. Yet again very nice stuff, photos looked really good! Are you happy with the new camera (Pen)?
    I would imagine that wet terrain, wet roots etc, made all too slippery to ride, but obviously that's not the case with fatbike?

  11. I'm very happy with the Olympus PEN system. It is significantly lighter and smaller than my previous EOS system and still yields good image quality.

    A fatbike does help in wet and slippery terrain, but you still need to be aware of your own limitations.

  12. Dark times are upon us so: What lights are you (and Toni?) using on your bike and helmet?
    / Karl

  13. Toni has some really fancy and expensive LED lights from Lumicycle, giving over 1000 lumen of light output each.

    Before the LED age I had a 20 W Silva halogen light for orienteering, which was just enough with a maybe 350 lumen of light. I now have two LED lights of maybe some 600-700 lumen each, which give enough light to ride with confidence on dark and wet trails. I bought the lights from Geoman Gear in the US, but it is basically the same model sold by DealExtreme for a rather low price. The batterypack is poor, but the lighthead itself is solid and gives a good light pattern after some modifications (new lenses).

    I think two lights, one on the handle bar and the other on the helmet, is the way to go. With a total light output of 1000 lumen one should have enough light for even difficult conditions.

  14. Hi Peter,

    Nice pics!

    I see that you have a single speed fat bike. Maybe you are interested in Rovaniemi 150 winter race. Check this out: and in Facebook.