It was time for the third MTB-Turku spring camp, arranged by JJ. A cabin was rented at Elijärvi, and it was to serve as our base camp for two nights.
We were supposed to meet at the cabin at 17:00, but only a few people actually managed to find the cabin. The rest of us met at the parking place a few kilometers from the cabin where the ride of the evening would start. We started to ride a little before six in the evening, the trails being mostly the Vaskijärvi tour extended to Soikeroinen.
Matti H had to take the "Orange", instead of his almost legendary rigid singlespeed Surly 1x1.
The group of eleven riders about to enter the Vaskijärvi Nature Reserve.
The Iso-Valanen lake. Just four weeks earlier I skied there with JJ.
Peippo with his Moonlander. He was one of the four riders that rode all trails during the three days. It takes a rather strong rider to be one of fastest with such a bike. My summerized Mukluk takes a little more energy to ride than an ordinary mountain bike, but a Surly Moonlander with the wide rims and tires is still a bit heavier to ride.
My summerized Mukluk. I had the full frame bag on and rode without a backpack.
.. until the first flat tire after less than an hour.
On the move again.
The Kajavajärvi lake.
Nature reserve forest.
A short break.
A steepish climb with Kapu...
... followed by Matti H and Pave.
JJ on top of Pirunkirkko (the Devil's Church), a steep cliff.
Matti H avoids dehydration.
After this we rode on forest roads back to the cars, a little after the sunset at 21:40. Back at the cabin it was time for sauna and some food.
The following morning started with breakfast, after which we gathered at the cars and observed a quick field service of a rear suspension mechanism.
We then drove for maybe twenty minutes to Rantapiha, where we started riding the new duckboards north of the Savojärvi lake.
A short section of terra firma...
... before entering the duckboards of the Kurjenrahka mire.
The Kurjenrahka mire wasn't especially colorful.
... until an involuntary bath in the wet mire. The rest of us waited until dryish clothes were put on.
The duckboards of the Vajosuo mire.
At the Vajosuo shelter, where JJ starts the fire for grilling sausages.
Matti H is a happy man. Grilled sausage and beer.
Vajosuo doesn't look much different than Kurjenrahka.
The new duckboards are welcome, though. The old ones are difficult to ride on in anything else than dry weather.
After a short while a tired exploded with a loud bang. The outer tire had a large slit in it, but it was fixed and got the rider the closest route to the car.
A somewhat soft trail.
The final hour of riding for the day was rather speedy.
Back at the cabin a little before six in the evening. It was time for dinner and sauna.
The cooks were quite scary, but the food was great.
The rest of the evening passed quickly with sauna, swimming in the no longer frozen lake, watching Mtb videos and talking.
The next morning was grey with the occasional rain shower. After cleaning the cabin we packed our stuff and rode for 30 minutes to Mynämäki to ride the Kalliobaana trails. Only six of us now remained.
It was rather cold and took some time to get the warmth back. The rides of the previous days were also felt in the legs and in took a half hour for me to really get muscles going.
The weather was still gray, but it didn't really rain. The speed was quite good this third day. I managed to break a chain link during a climb, but it was quickly fixed.
After some more riding the following technical problem occurred. A broken rear derailleur hanger was also quickly fixed.
A long climb to really stress the last muscle fibers in the legs.
Only four of us rode the entire route. A long way home necessitated leaving earlier for the others. With one hour of riding left my rear derailleur broke down. A zip tie kept it together until the ride was over.
The sauna was not warm, so we had to make do with a hot shower before finishing the day with a delicious pizza.
Thanks to all the participants for the company and an especially big thanks to JJ for pulling this together. An excellent way to spend a weekend.