Sunday, March 2, 2014

Non-winter overnighter in March

It was time for an overnighter again. The purpose of this one was to celebrate Toni's almost-win of the Rovaniemi 150, though you don't really need a reason to do an overnighter. This time we decided to go to the Töykkälä shelter, where I've only slept twice before. Since I had been a little sick a few days earlier, I decided to take the car to the Vajosuo parking place and ride from there, about one hour of riding from the shelter of the night.

The winter can only be described as a complete catastrophy, at least from an outdoor person's point of view. The weather was cold enough for a winter for less than four weeks and we only have had around two days of snow good enough for skiing in the nature. The previous winter offered skiing in the nature for about four and a half months, so the contrast is enormous. Still, complaining about it doesn't do any good, and you just have to accept the weather that is being offered.

I packed my bike and loaded it onto the car.

At seven in the evening I arrived at the Vajosuo parking place, where Jarkko waited for me. I unloaded the bike and a quick phone call confirmed that Toni was late, so we started riding a loop of trails. To our surprise, the trails were mostly in quite hard and dry condition, with a few rather wet exceptions.

In one section the duckboards were somewhere under the ice, which for the most part held our weight.

I had now switched out my winter wheels with 100 mm Clownshoe rims and 4.5" Big Fat Larry tires to something more suitable for the non-snow conditions: Rolling Darryl rims with 4" tires.

After almost an hour, Toni joined us and we could continue towards the shelter. The mild winter and long wet fall had again led to considerable storm damage in the forest and on the trails.

After less than one hour more, we arrived at the Töykkälä shelter, where Tommi was starting the camp fire. He had arrived by car and walked the last stretch due to time constraints.

Tommi had brought his dog Pekko with him.

Now was the time to prepare something to eat and start with the beer and just generally have a good time.

I had some tasty meat.

Tommi had sausage.

I even had a second bottle of beer this time.

Toni and Jarkko involved in a seemingly very deep philosophical discussion.

We went to sleep an hour after midnight. The temperature was a little below freezing and I had brought a 600 g quilt to make my 600 g summer sleeping bag a little warmer, which was totally unnecessary. In fact, I was too warm during the night.

A little over seven in the morning I got up, immediately followed by Jarkko, and started a fire.

A few more pictures of the shelter and surroundings.

Tommi and Pekko.


It started snowing a little and a small amount even stayed on the ground as snow.

Pekko is quite photogenic.

After a slow morning we started riding some time before ten.

A short road section between the trails.

The Vajosuo trails offered difficult duckboard riding again.The difference between my front tire Nate and back tire Knard can clearly be seen here.

Jarkko rides a purple Pugsley and he was one of the earlier fatbike adopters in Finland.

You don't see this tire track very often anymore. The Endomorph was the first real fatbike tire and still has one of the best knob patterns for snow, but it is a little narrow for snow use by today's standards.

The original fat tire setup with a 65 mm rim and 3.8" Endomorph tire next to Toni's setup, which has the widest combination of today, a 4.8" Lou tire on a 100 mm rim.

My Salsa Mukluk.


Another lagg zone.

Easy riding.

We took a short detour to the Vajosuo bird watching tower. This is the mire that should provide excellent skiing at this time of the year.

Self portrait.


The MTB-Turku bog section.

Our three fatbikes posing. Ton'is 907, Jarkko's Pugsley and my Mukluk.

A short road section back to the parking place, where I loaded the bike onto the car. Toni and Jarkko continued home by bike.

That's it. A nice overnighter, thanks to the participants.

Toni's report.
Jarkko's blog entry about the outing (in Finnish).

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