I can’t help it. There is only one thing I can write about now: sun-deficiency. Today, the sun got up at 08.18 and set again at 2.31 pm. Each day, the window of daylight gets smaller and smaller. Soon, we will only have “daylight” between 9.30 am and 1.45 pm… In other words, it is getting harder and harder to go for long bike tours unless you bring a head lamp.
A few weeks ago, the situation was a little bit better. At that time the sun was up at 8 am (summer time) and didn’t set until 5 pm, so I and a bunch of friends thought we’d take the last epic all-day-tour of the year. It was epic indeed, and it was long. Much longer than we had expected. We definitely should have brought our headlamps.
But that was Sunday. On Saturday, I, Martin, Cecilia, and Philip warmed up by biking a slightly shorter tour around the local trails and filling our tummies with carbs at the best (and cheapest. We wanted the most carbs for the buck of course) bakery in town.
So on Sunday morning, we were very well prepared for a long tour along Lögdeälvsleden, about 100 km from Umeå. Cissi was apparantly so prepared that she forgot to eat breakfast. The temperature had dropped significantly over night, but the sun was shining so we didn’t complain.
Flat is a relative term. The trail is not downhill, but there are several ridges to climb up,
It is suprisingly steep, very narrow and completely made of sand. Beautiful to watch. Very tricky to ride. The trees that has chosen to grow close together on top of the ridge, and their roots that stick up into the air, does not make it any easier.
Last year, I saw in awe when Maria nailed the ridge on her bike. I didn’t even think about trying it myself. Whimp. This year, I was determined to do it, and do it good. I failed once, I failed twice, but I won over that darn dragon on my third try.
Once past the top section of the Dragon’s back, the trail becomes steeper, but also a bit less sandy. It is a blast.
After the dragon’s back, the trail winds along the river bank. It is not technical at all, but somehow, it still eats you alive. You pedal and pedal, and pedal and pedal. It is beautiful, very beautiful…
Luckily, there was sausage. Yes, the sun was starting to set, and so no, making a fire from scratch was perhaps not the smartest thing to do, but oh my, that sausage was good. And Cissi had made chocolate balls too. To put it ugly but very true: yummie for my tummy.
After that, we just had to pedal the 10-something km that was left of the trail, and then head on the 30-something km back to the car. By then, the sun was hanging on the horizon and we were all starting to feel quite a bit tired, and cold. With about 5 km to the car, it was pitch black and both our hands and asses were numb, That was ok. What was slightly less ok was that we had no head lamps and no reflectors and had to pedal on a highway with cars coming at us at 110 km/h.
Lesson learned: If you’re going on a bike tour in the north and the monthly clock does not point to the time between May and August – always, always, bring a head lamp, your down, and some fleece undies. And of course, bring your best crew. The last thing I did, I always do.