Monday, December 1, 2014

Sixth Annual Vajosuo Beer Ride

November means mostly depressing weather and darkness in Southern Finland, in addition to the annual beer ride to Vajosuo. This mountain biking event was now to take place for the sixthtime. The concept is still simple: Ride the bikes for a few hours on very demanding trails, stay at the Vajosuo shelter for the night drinking beer and eating and then ride for another few hours in the morning after a few hours of sleep.

My bike packed with everything needed, including a full liter of beer. The Salsa Mukluk in 29+ mode with a suspension fork is a very nice ride and I'll probably do a review of it before I switch to the fully fat winter wheels and tires when the snow arrives, which I hope to be soon.

I rode to the meeting place at Rantapiha from home on roads. The 45 km took exactly two hours, which I think was quite ok. A third of the distance was on somewhat soft dirt roads.

There were seven of us starting from the Rantapiha parking place, with an additional two going straight to the Vajosuo shelter. Everyone had a fatbike, except me with my half fat 29x3" tires.

The first leg was the duckboards north of the Savojärvi lake. The duckboards are quite new and in good shape, but the rain had made them slippery.

It wasn't all duckboards, but it was still rather demanding riding. The trails are mostly fairly technical and very slippery when this wet.

The duckboards south of Savojärvi were in poor shape and even more slippery.

Despite now having a fatbike, JJ still rides with a big backpack.

The fire was already burning when we arrived.
I heated a smoked trout, which tasted rather deliciously. Jani has a game stew going on. After three hours or so it tasted really good.

Yes, this looks almost ridiculous. A few years ago everyone only had grilled sausage, but that would now feel a bit primitive.

And so the evening went on in good company, with great food and a little beer.

About half past one it was time for the traditional walk to the bird tower to look at the dark mire. This time the mire itself could not be seen, since it was too dark with all the fog. When we returned from the tower I went to sleep in my bivy bag. The time was now around three in the night. I slept very well and got up a little over eight in the morning after a rather warm night.

Breakfast in the making.

My bivy spot. The wine bag pillow was again in use, since I had replaced the wine bag with a new one. The first one developed a leak after a little less than four years.

Jani's sleeping spot. You can probably not see him because of the camouflage, but he is there. The Red Cross ground sheet seems a bit out of place, though.

The morning was rather slow. I would have been prepared to leave a little after nine o'clock, but we didn't get started until well after ten.

A few different bikes.

Toni now has good sponsors, which can be seen from the bike and everything attached to it.

There is a certain grim beauty to a mire in November.

The old duckboards have now been replaced. The old ones are piled up for removal during the winter.




Some forest roads.

The Kangenmiekka trails.

After Kangenmiekka I took the roads home, while the others continued on trails for several hours. I wanted to go to the pool exercises in the evening to try my new Greenland paddle and hence was a little short of time. The remaining 30 km ride home went in 1 h 20 m, without anything to eat. I was rather cold and hungry when I got home and would probably have bonked in less than an hour without anything to eat, had I continued.

That's it. Another great Vajosuo Beer Ride done in great company! Thanks to the participants.

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