Sunday, December 20, 2020

Winter solstice overnighter

Winter solstice - cold clear weather, ice, snow and a yellow or orange sun that barely rises above the horizon.

To be honest, this description has not been correct in Southwest Finland for maybe a little more than half the time during my life, but the current climate change winters changes this further. Nothing but rain and darkness, making this part of the year something you just have to get through, hoping that things will change in January. By the end of January we generally have a winter here, except now and then not, like last year, when November lasted four months.

Anyway, a few of us decided on a small overnighter. Toni and JJ wanted to ride some trails, which I didn't, since I strive to avoid riding on wet trails. I instead opted to take my gravel bike and ride the 42 or so kilometers to a suitable shelter.

Bike packed for an overnighter.

The Tubus Airy titanium rack was a tight fit with the fenders on.

The Arkel Dry-lites seem like nice set of bags. 28 liters of total space, waterproof and just a little over 500 g weight. I didn't even consider a seat pack for this bike, since I'm much too tall for that. A seat pack would bring unstable and swinging weight a lot higher that these small panniers and I think these ones should be good for terrain as well, with the low centre of gravity and being fairly narrow.

The cockpit has my old Revelate harness with a drybag containing sleeping gear with a bivy. I also have a large Alpkit Stem Cell and Fuel Pod. The front light is lifted by an old Minoura Space Bar.

It was dark when I got going (sunset at 15:20) and I was a bit underbiked in the first section. The Sonder Camino Ti is quite capable offroad, but 42 mm tires do have a very limited grip on wet roots.

The dirt roads were very soft and slow rolling, as well as full of potholes. There was a slight drizzle which for the most part made the helmet light unusable.

Ariving at the Vajosuo shelter everything seemed fine. Nobody was there and there was enough ember left from someone having been there earlier that I just could put some more firewood on and get a fire going.

A while later, though, I noticed a tent some seven meters from the shelter, which posed a little dilemma. Presumably, someone who would be in the tent at seven in the evening probably would intend to go to sleep early, which we definitely didn't plan. Hence we would disturb the tent people, but on the other hand, why put a tent so close to one of the few shelters in the area that quite likely would see people? Matti, who joined us for a few hours, went straight to the Töykkälä shelter and found it empty, so I jumped on the bike again and rode there.

Some time later JJ and Toni arrived.

JJ noticed on a picture that I had the Thudbuster elastomer mounted the wrong way and the Fillarifoorumi forum though I should buy him a beer for that. Here is the picture proof of the beer.

We stayed up well passed my usual bedtime (23:00) until I got too tired and had to retire to the sleeping bag. I got up at eight in the morning and started a fire. The sunset was at 9:30, though there was no hope of seeing that in the greyness.

The Töykkälä shelter is situated just outside a mire.

I started riding home at ten. The boardwalks in the first section were quite new and easy to ride.

Then there was the gravel that didn't want the tires to roll.

The final bit was on bike lanes, sanded with killer gravel. I managed to get home without flatting a tire, or so I thought. I got home, but a few hours later the rear tire was empty. I guess I'll have to get tubeless tires if I am to ride through the winter with this bike.

That's it. Quite nice actually, despite the rainy weather.

No comments:

Post a Comment