Sunday, November 13, 2011

Vajosuo Beer Ride 2011

Time for the third annual MTB-Turku beer ride in the Vajosuo area. Last year we had full winter, two years ago again both ice and rain. This time the weather was warm and wet, but the rain ended a few hours before we started riding. We took the car to Rantapiha and started riding at 19:00, aiming for the Vajosuo shelter. Five of us started from Rantapiha and Ulla rode directly to the shelter from her home just north of Turku.

The first 500 m boardwalk section was very difficult. It took some time before I managed to get into the relaxed flow that is necessary for boardwalk riding. Still, the conditions were technically very challenging: The boardwalks are mainly in fairly poor shape and they were very slippery. So slippery that it actually was more difficult to walk than ride on them.

Good lights were necessary because of the darkness. The grass looks white on the picture, from light reflecting back from the wet grass.

JJ and his Mickey Mouse lights.

Matti H crashed for an unknown reason.

Fillaristi crashed and injured his leg so much that he had to take an easier route back the next day. The mud was soft enough, but a root was hard.

After 2 hours of technically quite demanding riding we arrived at the shelter and JJ started the fire, as tradition dictates.

After some time, the cloud cover thinned and the moon came out. We grilled sausage and sandwhiches and drank our few beers.

Some time around midnight we walked to the birdwatching tower a few hundred meters away to experience the bog in the darkness. After that we returned to the shelter and stayed up for some time more, finally retreating to sleep a little before three in the night.

We got up a little over seven in the morning. It had been a warm night, probably partly because with six of us sleeping in the shelter there was certainly no extra space. The morning was nice, with the almost full moon lighting up the landscape well before the sunrise.

We started riding again at 8:30 and soon came to the Vajosuo boardwalks, which were in very bad shape and hence hard to ride.

There was some risk of getting wet in case of failure.

A short forest road section.

JJ forces his way through a softer section.

Traditional short break at Takaniitunvuori.

Matti H:s fully rigid singlespeed Surly 1x1.

Greenman's Surly Troll. Fully rigid with gears.

JJ has a Nicolai. German quality engineering.

My Surly Pugsley. As expected, a fatbike was pretty much optimal for this ride as well. I rode without a backpack.

More boardwalk. A single plank is easy to ride on, compared to two narrow planks with a gap in between.

Soon there.

Around eleven we arrived at the parking place again. Thanks to all participants for a great outing.

PS. Due to a somewhat depressing weather forecast I only took my small compact camera. The darkness is very challenging even for a good compact camera like the Canon S90, but I still got some usable pictures.


  1. You managed to continue your Matti-on-his-back picture series, congrats! ;D

  2. That Nicolai is lovely, but there is no doubt the Pugsley looks like the correct tool for the job. Those boardwalks do look treacherous.