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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pirkanmaa Tour: III

The view in the morning of day three:





The night was good. The mosquitoes didn't find their way in to my shelter, meaning that the Sea To Summit Mosquito Net works really well.

This was not only the third day of our trip, it happened to be my birthday too.

The rear fender of my bike rattled the whole evening, so I decided to fix it in the morning:





The mosquitoes were there in less numbers and not so furious, as we drank our coffees:



Peter did more water from the lake for us again with his filter:



Packed and ready to go:



We decided to try our luck with the trail to Makkarajärvi (funny name, Sausage Lake in English):



The trail was again super technical, with lots of roots and rocks:



The lake is yet another beautiful place along our route...



...meaning another little photography session:













And back to riding again:



Soon we were finally out of the trail, and we looked map to plan our next route. Lupins were blossoming:



A dandelion in the final phase:



We rode some smaller roads to find the 'Kaarina's Trail', and a nice spot for lunch:



After the lunch we continued riding. This really is a fantastic place:







The next section was more like a small gravel road, and really hilly:



The markings and maps were good this time:





Peter cruising:



Soon the small road changed to a trail, and a very nice one:



Looking at the map again:



Paradise. There are many nice small lakes and ponds:






The boardwalks were fairly easy to ride with the 9:Zero:7.













It didn't take long as the trail changed to lot more technical and difficult to ride. We were back to hellbiking again. It was pretty hot too, and the mosquitoes weren't on us. But we were running out of water.



We came across a spot where the trail divided, and we figured out with our map that with that trail we should come across with a proper road soon. And that was the case. We stopped at the nearest gas station for water and a coke:



The last section was easy riding:



And the weather was gorgeous:



Finally in Tampere, we rewarded ourselves with pizzas:



And in the hot rain with a cold beer:



Great views through the train's window:



In Turku we were welcomed with a rain. I had still about 35 kms to home, and rode via Peter to put more air into the tires, making my riding on asphalt roads easier.

Paimio:





Conclusion:

This was a fantastic trip, and the longest one for me so far. About 294 kilometers covered, 3 days, 2 nights. The mosquitoes made the trip pretty extreme, but I think it's better to get outside regardless of the timing. We were prepared for rain too. If you wait for the 'perfect time', the whole thing can easily slip away. 

These kind of trips are pretty rare for me, about two for a year, and I really appreciated this. The Pirkanmaa area is really great for outdoor people, much better than South-Western Finland. There are great trails, roads and lakes, meaning lots of places for mountain biking, road cycling, hiking and packrafting.

The gear worked well, but the trip was hard on it:







I hit my thigh to a dry branch during a hellbiking section and the cycling shorts didn't like that. During the first day I also took a small fall and Alpkit Airlok drybag got a couple of holes because of that. And besides the rear fender problems, the bearings of the Surly New Hub front hub are now completely worn out, but that has more to do with the durability over a year of use.

I had a new 'ultra capacity battery' for my smartphone but the battery was just the opposite. But the battery of Nikon D5100 was so good that I was able to shoot about 500 photos with it (and I had a spare battery with me too).

Huge thanks to Peter and Hendrik, you were great company, and I hope I can join for more bikepacking adventures with you in the future. Check out their great reports, here and here.

Picasa Web Albums slideshows: part I, part II and part III, with some extra photos.

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