Sunday, November 18, 2012

Vajosuo Beer Ride 2012

The fourth traditional November beer ride took place this weekend. It was pretty much a reprise from last year, both in weather, wetness and this blog post. The weather was also traditional November greyness, though the temperature was a little higher than usual and did not even go close to freezing.  Seven of us started from Rantapiha around 19:30 a Saturday evening.

The first section went on the new duckboards north of Savojärvi and was very easy to ride, though there were plenty of opportunities to get wet.

This time we tried some nice trails east of Kuhankuono as well and rode back on forest roads.

The section Kuhankuono-Töykkälä was more difficult, since the duckboards were in worse shape and also more slippery.

The final section along Vajosuo was technically very difficult, since the duckboards were extremely slippery and also in poor shape. I managed to stay dry, but a few other experienced closer contact with the bog water. At eleven in the evening, after a little over three hours of riding, we arrived at the Vajosuo shelter, where Toni had just arrived, riding straight from Paimio. JJ started the fire, as usually, and soon we had a nice fire going.

There are many ways to transport beer, and taping beer bottles to the frame is perfectly acceptable.This time a small tragedy occurred, though, and one bottle started to leak.

Matti H:s legendary rigid singlespeed (Surly 1x1) was almost radiating.

Toni had gotten the new 45NRTH Wölvhammer winter boots. They looked extremely nice and those with a shoe size similar to Toni's tried them on. This probably resulted in some orders being made...

Ordinary Finnish sausage no longer suffices.
The rest of the evening went grilling stuff, chatting and drinking beer and some stronger antifreezing agent. All very civilized, though. We took the walk to the bird watching tower and afterwards it was time to sleep.

My sleeping spot. I rigged the rain coat to cover the head, in case it would start to rain (it didn't), since it is somewhat difficult to sleep when it rains straight on your face.

Toni and Matti H also slept in Alpkit Hunka bivy bags. Pihvi had a hammock and the rest slept in the shelter.
We went to sleep a little before three in the morning.
After a little more than one hour of sleep, I heard a strange sound. When I peeked out from the sleeping bag, I saw Matti K putting more firewood on the fire. He had started his morning ride early and had ridden from Turku and stopped at Vajosuo for breakfast at 4:20 in the morning. I just continued to sleep.

I slept well until 7:30 when I got up. After morning coffee and sandwhiches we started to pack our gear to get going.

Another take at the optimal beer ride bike? A fixed gear Surly 1x1 ridden by Pihvi.
Toni packing his 9:Zero:7 fatbike.

We got started a little over nine o'clock, a little later than expected. The duckboards of Vajosuo were very difficult to ride.

Matti H refuelling.
Just a short bit to the Takaniitunvuori break.

I still think my Salsa Mukluk is very close to the optimal bike for this type of riding. A short overnigher, including some extra beer and food, goes without resorting to a backpack. There was no space for a better camera, though, and I only took a small pocket camera.

Maik's bike.
Yet another bog.
Greenman and Maik.
At noon, after a little less than three hours of riding, we were back at the parking place. Toni still had two hours of riding home on small roads.

A nice beer ride again. Thanks to everybody for the company.

Toni's report.
A short video by JJ.

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