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.



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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pirkanmaa Tour: II I woke to the second day of our trip. The Sea To Summit Mosquito Net worked really well. I slept fairly well. The wooden surface of the lean-to was hard even with my sleeping pad, so it would have been better and softer on the ground.

Good morning coffee in the making:

We decided to not eat breakfast so that we could start riding. On the move:

Nice trails continued. At this point I had problem with the rear fender. Most of the screws were loosened, but I quickly fixed it with my mini tool and Leatherman.

A quick stop for water at the Tampere College:

We continued on small roads, where views were beautiful:

We found a nice spot for the lunch break on the shore of a lake near Toikko:

There was also a little surprise on the dock, a nest with two hatching eggs:

Hendrik eating:

My lunch:

And a cup of tea with honey and a chocolate bar for a dessert:

Continuing on the small roads. These roads were a lot of fun. They went up and down all the time, with lots of twists and turns:

We had a break in Kyrölahti, and after that we continued on asphalt roads to Tampere, where Hendrik would head back home with a train. In Tampere we ate small dinner and ice cream, and Peter's bike was fixed in a bike shop.

Next I headed with Peter to the trails south of Tampere, near Hervanta:

The beginning looked good:

But then the trail conditions changed to much tougher, and soon we had this in front of us:

Welcome hellbiking and bushwhacking! And the hungry mosquitoes were biting us. What a contrast! Just an hour earlier we were eating ice cream and saying goodbye to Hendrik, and then this. But it was still kind of fun. There is always something extreme, and this time it was the mosquitoes.

On a bright note, there were a couple of soft spots where my 9:Zero:7 shined.

We turned around and tried the other side of Hervantajärvi:

But it was the same thing there too:

And the trails were really technical, with rocks and roots all over the place:

We turned back again, and decided to camp at a high place above the lake. The evening view was great down the lake:

Peter made water for us. And the mosquitoes were biting...

We set up our shelters quickly, and soon Peter was inside of his Tarptent:

I was hungry again and made a meal.

After that it was sleeping time. If only those mosquitoes would not find their way to my shelter:

To be continued...