The big thing in Luleå during winter is riding the ice with fat bikes. It´s where my trails are and what i enjoy the most myself. So off course we were heading out at sea. The best ride is the 28 kilometer snowmobile trail out to Brändöskär, the old fishing outpost at the edge of the archipelago. Here is where you can find the pack ice and have nothing but sea and Finland on the other side. I did this ride last year with Kevin and since then i´ve been out there with the bike a couple of times, it is one awesome ride straight out on the sea.
We packed our stuff and bikes, since we were staying in a cabin, mainly food and gear so pretty light bikepacking, that is good cos the weather decided to vote against us. Damp weather and fog makes the trails soft and the lighter the bike the better.
The ride goes via Hindersön, a big island with some year around citizens and a great restaurant and hostel. This time of year they´re just open for the public during weekends. So we had lunch at their outdoor benches. The Irishmen always do peak shots when they conquered a summit. But since the sea is pretty flat we did island shots instead. Works just as fine.
After a quick stop and some food in our bellys we head out to the outer rims of the archipelago. The fog is getting thicker and the sight is very limited. But since were following a trail there is no way we´re getting lost. As we pedal along the trails are getting softer by the minute but we´re still making good speed. It is so lovely out here and it´s really a shame the fog is messing the views up. But it is also pretty cool to be surrounded by nothing, every thing is all white and you feel pretty small.
Soon we´re arriving at Brändöskär, it is always a strange feeling to come here by bike. The last time i visited i came by ferry with Jess and the kids. The cabin we stay in is the same as me and Kevin had last year. They are simple but very clean and comes fully equipped with gas stove and all the kitchen accessories. We ditched our gear and went down to the outside to check for pack ice, but it was kind of thin ice so we just went out a few hundred meters. Still pretty cool surroundings out here…
We headed back to the cabin and got some wood from the wood shed and an hour later the cabin was all warm and cozy. I decided to fry the very northern specialty fried Palt with bacon and lingonberrys for dinner. It´s always a gamble to get local stuff to foreigners, but it was very appreciated.
After eating and emptying our hip flasks getting to sleep was the least of our problems. When we got up the next morning weather looked pretty okay. But there was a heavy wind from the southwest and after a while the fog started to roll in again. But even worse, the thermometer showed +6 and that makes for wet trails and rough pedaling. Fortunately the wind direction was to our favor and we had tailwind all the way back to Jopikgården at Hindersön. Gotta love riding with the lucky Irish, tailwinds and when we got to the restaurant they were open. Not to the public but for a private conference, and because they´re awesome the made us burgers and coffee for lunch. Thanks a lot for that guys. <3
Once again we headed out, the last 12 kilometers was hard head wind and a super wet ice road. It was pretty hard work but going on a plowed road made it lot easier.
A few days earlier i was contacted by Randi Gitz. Randi is a Television journalist and she overheard i was going out with a couple of Irish lads on the sea. She wanted to meet up with us on the ice to make an interview. Check out this LINK for the interview.
Wayne also did a Strava/Relive recording. It´s pretty cool looking at it like this. Makes you realize how far out we actually go on the ice.
Pretty tired and pretty wet we got back to the car. Once again very lucky to get the hard wind and super wet conditions at the very end of the ride. Would have been very hard and cold if we got this wet at the beginning of the trip.
Even if we were a bit unlucky withe the weather it was an awesome ride and i cant wait to get out there again. Thanks boys, i know you enjoyed it as much as i did.
More from The Emerald Connection tomorrow, when we check out the Ore trail.