Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Riding on snowmobile trails

Pure fatbike content this time. While we do have a lot of winter trails in and around the city of Turku, there are very few snowmobile trails in this part of the country, so when Toni found a longer one close to where he lives in Paimio there was immediately interest in a group ride.

I was the only one besides Toni who turned up, though. We started riding a little over eight in the morning last Sunday, starting with maybe fifteen minutes on road. The road took us to the Paimio river valley. (Some photos by Toni Lund).

The river valley even provided some ups and downs.

After a while the trail left the river valley and continued through forests and open fields.

The sky was still a little cloudy, but there was hope that the sun would show itself. This winter has been the most cloudy one in 25 years. The statistic from Helsinki shows only 50 hours of sun since the beginning of December.

After a few hours we took a coffee break. I even had a few sandwhiches.

Toni makes sure that the world knows how good we feel.

A bag from a sleeping bag and some foam pad makes an excellent drinking water carrier in the Salsa Anything cages.

Toni is very satisfied with the 45NRTH Dillinger studded tires...

... while I prefer to have a little for float from the wider Big Fat Larry tires.

After the break the familiar feel of ice cold fingers, before regaining the warmth, was mitigated by the fact that the clouds were disappearing. The sun shine made it feel warmer than the actual temperature of -4C. 

After a while we had to turn back, but the snowmobile trail continued. Toni will probably check out where it goes at some point. On the way back there was some uncertainty regarding the route...

... but a fatbike ride is not complete without some bike pushing.

Some riding on roads was still left. We pumped more pressure into the tires, since riding on road with snow pressure is rather hard.

And then there was less than one hour on road left.

A very nice ride, made even nicer by the sun. Thanks for the company and the route, Toni.

Toni's ride report is here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Winter overnighter with the kids

The kids wanted to go on a short overnighter and Thursday evening this week turned out to be a good time. I didn't want it to be too cold, since the boys haven't slept outdoors that much in the winter before, but this time the weather forecast was promising. A night temperature of around -8C isn't very cold, but it still has a wintery feel to it.

I left work a little earlier, but we still got started later than I would have wanted. Fortunately, the day is now noticeably longer than two months ago during the winter solstice. The sun is now up for 9 h 43 min, compared to 5 h 43 min two months ago. We started walking around sunset.

I used a pulk to get the bulky sleeping bags, a tent and a little firewood with me. Check out Mark's instructions for modifying the Paris Expedition pulk. Note the Ikea bags.

When we arrived at the Piikkiƶ Linnavuori shelter, there was a couple there grilling sausage, but they soon went home and left the fire to us.

The kids didn't want to sleep in the shelter, so I had to put up the tent, which I had brought for the unlikely case that the shelter would be occupied. The temperature was now a clear and crisp -9C.

The following thing to do was to grill our sandwhiches.

The weather was still clear, but there were clouds coming in, which would mean that it wouldn't get any colder.

The boys soon thought it to be a little cold and the suggestion to go to the sleeping bags got support. The sleeping bags soon returned the warmth and we went to sleep fairly early.

I got up a little before seven in the morning and started a fire. This time I even brought a small axe, which made it very simple to start the fire. With a only knife there is usually a lot more work.

After a while it was time for breakfast. It was now warmer with -4C and cloudy.

Some time after eight in the morning we got going again.

Yours truly, photographed by the seven-year-old boy.

Continuing on the winter trail.

Soon back at the car.

A nice little excursion again and some quality time with the kids.