Summer trip 2016 – Stockholm to Bergen Day Four, Five and Six – Border crossing day, road to my granny, rest day.

A long day of small roads and the boarder on the horizon.

We started the morning fairly well rested after sleeping in a cabin, clothes were dry and the weather was looking promising, even with the clouds on display.
We mapped out a road to Likenäs and then up Sysselbäck to Medskogen and over to Norway, with the aim to get a decent camp spot for a shortish trip to my grandmother for a rest day.

Day 4. Going to Norway!

All right, lets get started, we got going around seven, early but we did all the packing last night so it was lock and load.
Started nice and slow on the small country roads out of Malung, some light rains on and off but nothing bad, one puncture for Hannu to fix.
The plan was to follow a road over a “hilly” area to Likenäs, we got told by a old gentleman on the way that we were in luck, there would be more asphalt than we feared, so we started the uphill and enjoyed the slow pace to start.

The road to LIkenäs gave some nice views, including the river/stream under this wooden bridge.
On the way down on the gravel part I lost two 1.5 water bottles that was under my net, didn’t notice it before we stopped for this picture, fun times.

The gravel road ended fairly quick and we got our first insane downhill of the trip, from the top here down to Likenäs was a unfortunately un-smooth asphalt road with some nice corners to ride down, like madmen, until the bikes started bouncing a wee bit to much..

The Iron cross resting close to the food store and some random older house in Likenäs.

After food we started biking up towards Sysselbäck, fairly nice roads and all, a little rain on the way, but nothing major.

Some nice and dramatic clouds biking from Likenäs to Sysselbäck and some strange Swedes on a raft with a tent, waving at us.

We actually made a quick stop in Sysselbäck, even if it was not a far ride, there was a chocolate maker there, with home made gelato to, so I mean, come on!
The place was called Naturpalinen and was worth a stop in it self!

Not going to write a whole lot for the rest of the road to the border, it was nice, we had a really big hill, we enjoyed that, just check out Hannu bellow…

 Hannu with his “I just did a really big hill face” posing for a selfie, this was after Sysselbäck towards Medskogen.

We didnt have much problems getting to Medskogen, stopped for food again at the ICA there and rested before starting a rather nice downhill sections to the border

Getting close to the border, and the nice downhill towards it!

Border Selfie, kinda obvious I guess.

From the border we went on the roads towards Norway, getting more and more hills, I also developed some kind of pain in my achilles, both of them to be exact, not sure what happend but they felt sore and painfull.

First uphill after the border maybe? and google maps suggestion for a Norwegian bike road (sand to gravel to pavement again)

Chilling on the balcony at the cabin outside Flisa, by the river Glomma

Day 5, The day we go to my granny!

Day five got split up due to my achilles acting up, generaly tiredness and other random excuses.

We got up a little late again, I think we were packed and ready to leave about nine, managed to deliver the key and get the deposit back for the cabin, so thats a bonus I guess, it was raining in the morning, and the weather was slightly chilly.
Already in the morning we decided to bike to Hamar and take the train to Moelv, to skip a boring part and try to give my achilles some more rest.

 Leaving from the camp and crossing the Glomma river, heading towards Hamar.

The road to Hamar was ok, nothing really exciting, but cant always be exciting can it?
There was a short stop for snacks and a leg rest in Löten, but that was it I think.
We navigated ourselves to XXL, a sports good store in Scandinavia, to get some warmer clothes for the mountains, I got some legwarmers and shoe covers, and a couple of energy gels just in case.
Afterwards we stopped by the Viking ship sports arena, where they had some of the olympic events during the Lillehammer games in 1994, a quick photo later we biked to the train station.

The Viking ship in all it’s glory or something and the Hamar trainstation.

Choo choo, we are on a train to Moelv, thanks NSB for doing what the w¤%& at SL cant do, accept bikes on the trains….

The train ride was like 17 minutes (35km of biking saved), and we got of really close to the bridge over Mjösa, so we got to bike the 1,5km of bridge over to the other side, and have a slightly boring road with lots of trafik in to Gjövik where the goal was to eat at Peppes Pizza, my favorit Norwegian pizza place, we also got to say hi to my mom’s cousin!

The Mjösa bridge from a far, picture taking from the docks where Skibladner goes from, and up close, with my backside for scale.

Peppes pizza, I always have the Heavy heaven, with garlic sauce on the side, Hannu had some green thing.

After food we started our last twenty something kilometers of biking to our rest day stop, my lovely grandmothers place. since we are now in a city the road to our stop is mostly suburbs, villas and industry so nothing realy to write home about, but we did stop by some rapids/waterfall by something I can only asume was a old powerplant at some point.

The waterfalls in Gjövik, and a special place in my childhood, my grandparents old home, were I spent countless summers when I was young, the new owners has done some interesting additions that I dont care about, but it’s still Bergholm and I remeber it like it used to be.

Bestemor! (Grandmom in Norwegian) this lovely woman took care of us for the day and the next, food and drink and laundry secured, and comfortable beds.

We spent the evening making food and catching up, told my granny about the trip so far, and the plans for the rest, made food (I got my favorit food, Norwegian meatballs) and everything that is needed with it.

Day 6 rest day sumary.

Well, not much to say about a rest day on a bike trip, we did not bike one centimeter this day, but we walked a little and my uncle came and picked us up so we could go to a bath and swim around, have a little sauna and generally just chill, also got some guiding on our route to the mountains, had some other family members come and visit and do laundry.


Summer trip 2016 – Stockholm to Bergen Day Two and Three

Lets continue from where we left, in Brattheden.

Things I didnt write about was the people we met at the bathing spot, several of them recommended we go to see the aftermath of a big forest fire a couple of years ago, so we decided on a detour to see that. before heading up towards Malung.

Day two, Brattheden to Fänforsen

Morning started around seven, with some breakfast (apples I think it was) and packing of the camp, after checking the map one last time we headed north and up towards the forest fire site (we decided to head to Stabäck.
On the way we did stop shortly to fill some water bottles and check out the view of some old industry building on a island, turns out it was a oil refinery, and the Island was called “Oil Island

The lake and the oil refinery, nice scenary and still prety good weather..

While Hannu took these pictures I stopped at a small family run Antiquity store, called Ängelsbergs brukshandel, to fill waterbottles, I also ended up buying a dala horse and a table cloth to bring to my grandmother!

The forest fire area, it’s hard to show how big the area was, but the link in the start of this post show’s the wikipedia article about it.

After a brief uphill to see the forest, we turned back and headed towards Fagersta.
We didnt get that far before we stopped for some more sightseeing, this time we found some old steel mill (I think)

The main building of the steel mill, Ängelbergs Bruk

There where tons of frogs around there, probably from the small stream and high grass and all, and the must have picture of bikes leaning against one of the buildings!

Onwards again, towards Fagersta, Ludvika and our end destination for the day, Fänforsen.
The good weather we had was comming to an end it seems, we started on some fairly, I hate to say dull, but it was kind of dull roads up towards Ludvika, and to top it off we got some nasty rain showers, completly drenching us and even forcing us to have a stop in a bus shed.

Said bus stop where we stopped to get out of the rain, I had another Apple, also the clothes I had to try on the top of my tent under the bungeecord net got kinda wetter instead of dry 🙁

After a 20 minut wait the rain seemed to stop, so we started the journey again, only to get more rain after 10 minutes, this time we stopped by a school, put on something more suited for the rain, and went all the way to Ludvika for lunch (Pizza of course), thankfully the rain stopped again and we had decent weather for some time.

The bike road from Ludvika started with some amazing bike roads, there is aparently a paved road going (atleast it seemed so to us) around the lake, according to Wikipedia it’s some old railroad converted to bike path, but we also saw some people with the handcarts on rails in the area (atleast I think we saw them there, might have been that we saw them elsewhere, but I never took notes as we were on the bikes).

The bike road we followed was fairly smooth, and went through a nice forest area with plenty of lake views, thankfully the rain we saw seemed to be somewhere else than where we were going!

We followed this bike path for about 15km or so before we got on to the car road again, all the way up to Fänforsen, there was nothing really exciting to see or talk about on this road, but it went fairly smooth and without trouble so that was pretty nice.

Camp time, in Fänforsen!
The day might have started early but it got fairly “late” before we reached the stop we set out for during the day, I think it was around eight in the evening, thankfullt the Fänforsen resturant was still open so we could fill waterbottles, have a couple of beers and relax somwehere dry before setting up camp.
While setting up camp the weather took a turn for the worse and we got a thunderstorm, complete with rain and some nice wind, thankfully the spot we set up camp had some nice trees to set up our tarps, tents and hammock, there was also a scene in the park with a roof over, with some nice benches and a table so we could cook and eat with some shelter from the weather.
Worth mentioning that while cooking we got company from some motorcyclist going to Falun, so they joined us for an hour or so while they waited for the lightning to stop.

The campsite set up with tarps over the hammoch and our gear, you can see the stage in the back where we had our supper before the night.

And that it seems, was day two done, day three starts soon and as we get closer and closer to the border!

Day three, late start, some more rain and a day of shorter biking

We woke up a little later, or maybe slower, I think it was still around seven am, but packing camp felt slow, the tarp kept most of the rain of the gear and all, but the tent needed a whipe down, and I noticed that my brooks saddle cover was not 100% water proof so the sides of my flyer was now soft and soggy, the weather was thankfully looking better again so I left it in the sun to dry as much as possible before I started to pack, ended up putting a strap around it to keep it from bending, hoping like hell I would not end up with a sagging saddle for the trip, spoiler alert, it went fine!.

The view in the morning was pretty good and Hannu got some more good photos of the river.

The view on the other side of the camp in the morning of day 3, with the calm river turning in to rapids.

Around 0930 we were ready to leave and started biking towards Vansbro for lunch, didnt take to long before the weather goods decided to show us what they could do, but at this point there was nothing todo but keep biking, most of the clothes were still a little moist from yesterday anyway.

The rain hit hard, and with my soggy saddle we thought it better to stop in another bus shed, for awhile we tought about taking a “detour” to Dala-Järna, but we decided to just man up, put on rainjackets and go to Vansbro

We got to Vansbro around lunch and once again had pizza, the weather was nice again so we had a chance to atleast feel like we dried up a little, we also spent some of the time checking where to go, or more where to stop.
In the end we decided to take a small road towards Malung and stop at the camping spot there, there seemed to be a nice small town with some options to shop, I was considering a second pair of shoes, since my mesh summer shoes was in a constant state of wetness, or even some shoe covers, but more on that later.

The road out from Malung had some nice views, we didnt stop to check them out to much, but Hannu sent me two pictures.

One of many steel bridge in Dalarna county, this is on the way out of Vansbro and then there is the marshlands going over a hill towards Malung.

We got to Malung fairly early, went to get tent spots only to find out that two tent spots where more expensive than a cabbin so we rented one of those, to our suprise there was even a electric drying closet in the cabin so no more wet shoes, we also took the opportunity to do some laundry, have a shower and relax.

The cabin by the river, real beds, no rain or wet tents, generally just nice!

After Laundry and unpacking we walked in to town where Hannu and I ate at a thai resturant that was mediocre by big city standards, but still more expensive, before heading back to rest and sleep, Tomorrow would be the last day in Sweden!

Summer trip 2016 – Stockholm to Bergen Day One

Another summer and another bike trip, after 3 years in a fairly flat Finland the trip this year was Sweden and Norway.

The plan was to head west towards Västerås, go up through Dalarna (the “Valley county) and over the border close to Hamar, have a rest day at my grandmothers place before biking over the mountains and the Rallarvegen road to Flåm, before heading to Bergen via the Hardangerfjord road. In the days and weeks to come I’ll make posts about the trip, starting with the first day in this post


Day 1: Home to somewhere north of Västerås.

The day started around 08.00 with breakfast of oatmeal porridge I think, before we went outside with the whole family for a picture and departure around 0900.

Weather during departure was awesome, we had 20 something in the morning and it went on to be close to 35 in the evening, fairly uneventfull journey from home to our first big stop in Enköping and same before Västerås.

Long stretches of country roads in fairly good condition, a nice place to eat a apple!

A small kiosk on the way to Enköping, opened by some people who got tired of working with IT in Stockholm

The roads to and over Ekolsund was random, first awesome road shoulders, then some crushed rocks where what someone said was where the old railway went.

Meeting up with mom and dad and the new RV they bought, for some food in Västerås.

After Västerås came another fairly uneventfull part of Sweden, fields and some forests on the way north towards Fagersta and our camp site just north of Ramnäs in a place called Utomhusbad Brattheden.

We found a nice public bath with a nice beach and floating dock, it even had toilets (outhouse style, no running water) and a patch of forest for us to camp in.

Sitting by the beach enjoying some pasta, sausage, halloumi and stuff!

This was our campsite for the night, nice view with the sun setting

So this was our first day, more to come later, when ever I can get my self to keep posting!