Jajjemen, in spite of an even less functioning bike than last weekend (the derrailleur turned loose), I did. No feet complaining (at least not too loud), no stupid stiffness on the bike making me fall, just wonderful pain in my thighs and calves from pushing hard. Lungs imploding, sweat drippin – true happiness in a hen.
But I’m skipping ahead. So first a quick recap: Kittelfjäll was great and swell, but I didn’t get to ride my bike as much as I wanted due to my miserable ankles = I needed a retake. Said and done, after four days in the flatlands, Lloyden carried me, my two now slightly less miserable feet, and Martin to the quiet mountain village Borgafjäll.
It was the second time we drove up to Borgafjäll with the intention to ride. Last year, we managed to get our fair share of misery there. Since misery is somewhat of a signum for Martin, we of course did our best to repeat that experience by finding ways up the mountains with as many damp bogs as possible.
But it was surprisingly hard this year! Last time, Borgafjäll had received more rain in one week than it usually does in 2 months. This summer, I think the whole of Norrland received less rain in two months than Borgafjäll usually does in one week.. Even the creeks up high had dried out. And the sun keep shining.
Anywhoo, we did not let our failure to create a satisfactory level of misery get our spirits down too much :). The day we arrived, we did a shorter tour up Klöverskalet to Klöverstugan, where we usually go for skiing in the winter.
The route you SHOULD take up to Klöverstugan is fast and very efficient. However, we naturally did not take that trail (on the hunt for misery remember). Instead, we spent quite some time climbing over windfalls and, yes, pedaling through the few bogs that hadn’t dried up.
Higher up, the dry weather made the trail really easy to get up. Hell, we could even pedal some parts (clearly a misery fail)!
The trail ends at Klöverstugan. Not a bad end (such a sweet little cabin), but it would be nice with some marked routes up the mountain tops.
Since exploring untracked terrain would take us quite some time, and since it was well over dinner time, we decided to head back down. We made the very wise decision to take the other route down.
The first part of the trail does not offer much downhill, and quite a bit of uphill.
But a good hobbit always finds a way to entertain himself.
Further down, the trail gets slightly steeper and more technical. Never really steep, and never gnarly, but definitely sufficiently steep and technical to give you tears in your eyes and a huge smile on your face.
The second day offered even less misery than the first. The sun was shining, a hawk was circling in the air making funny noises, and there were reindeer everywhere. Disturbingly picturesque! That day, we took the same trail towards Saxnäs as we did last year. But this year, we tried to push a bit further to explore for future adventures.
Since the way back meant that we would have to climb quite a bit, and since I still don’t really know my limits, we decided to turn back about half way to Saxnäs.
Once over the crest, the real fun begins. The trail is suuper fast, very undefined at places, and with surprising cruxes here and there that keep you on your toes. It is completely impossible not go giggle as you go down it.
Last year, I remember trying as hard as I could to keep Martin’s pace and jump everything he jumped. I didn’t completely succeed, but I wasn’t too far off either. This year, I wasn’t even close. Although I have become pretty strong on the uphill, I still lack the last piece of the puzzle on the downhill. Still too scared to fall I guess. Strangely enough though, I actually feel like I ride better than before. Slower, yes, but also more composed. Don’t know how that happened, but it gives a nice promise for the future. Just got to get that head straight.
5 1/2 hours, 1000 vertical meters and 20 km after we started climbing that morning, we got down to Borga again. By that time, I was tired, dead tired, but only in a kind of pleasant way, and after a proper Norrlandish dinner (and of course some beer), I felt like a queen. No weird pains, just sweet fatigue, yay!
On day 3, we woke up to a heavy rain hammering on the roof and clouds hanging way below the mountain tops. Finally some normality! Contrary to our habit, we did not decide to do an epic tour in the rain, but rather just to head up to Klöverskalet again, and to even take the short route there (where is the world heading?).
I have not ridden in wet conditions since the accident, so I was a bit scared of how I would handle the slippery rocks, but weirdly enough, the rain had just made the trail better.
There is no way not to love Borgafjäll, and riding there last weekend made me happier than I’ve been in a long time. But, since I’m greedy, all I can think about now is getting up on the tops. Perhaps next weekend? Any takers?