Monday, November 18, 2013

Vajosuo Beer Ride 2013

It's November, and the winter is not yet here in Southern Finland. But one thing is sure in November, and it's the Vajosuo Beer Ride. I did it last year for the first time. For those who doesn't know, the idea is to ride on the mires of National Park of Kurjenrahka, camp overnight at the Vajosuo shelter with good food and beers, and ride again the next day back to starting point.

Last year I rode directly from home to Vajosuo shelter, but this time I would ride the Saturday evening section too. To make it even more special, I would ride with the new 9:ZERO:7 190mm fatbike and Lumicycle Explorer lights. My original plan was to ride from home to Lake Savojärvi (the starting point), but I decided to play safe because of a slight flu.

The weather was almost exceptionally good, with clear skies, +5°C temperature and a full moon. But prior to the event we have had lots of rain, so the route would be very wet and slippery. The athmosphere around Lake Savojärvi under full moon was absolutely stunning!

The duckboards were indeed very slippery, and even icy in many places. I managed to fall a couple of times but without any bad consequences.

I had forgotten my helmet and therefore the other Lumicycle Explorer light at home, so it would be have been easier in the darkness with the helmet light, but even the one light on the handlebar was very bright.

Without any doubt, this route is probably the most extreme I have ever encountered. It's very demanding and without my fatbike it would be complete nightmare for me. The new bike worked really well on the challenging terrain. I had RunKeeper tracking my progress, and the route took 13.36 km / 2h22min to complete.

There were two casualties who were escorted back to starting point.

At the Vajosuo shelter, the campfire was immediately started by Juha, the father of the Beer Ride.

Juha preparing a delicious looking pasta sauce.

My choice was pork chop with potatoes.

The mood at the shelter with the fire was great.

Traditionally, we visited the bird watching tower around 2AM. At this point, the wind had picked up considerably.

My spot for bivying.

In the morning, the usual breakfast chores.

I was not the only one riding a new bike. Peter had his new Salsa Mukluk.

Ready to continue.

At the Vajosuo. This is definitely one of my favourite places.

My new 45NRTH Fasterkatt shoes survived the water torture test very well.

A short stop at the Käärmelähde (translates as Snake Spring).

The new 9:ZERO:7 was absolutely mindblowing. Only my flu made the riding feel pretty hard. Another short stop at the Laaskorpi shelter.

Back at the Lake Savojärvi, after 25.74 km / 2h27min. We took a shortcut at the end and Juha completed the entire return route alone.

Thanks to all participants, it was a great time again!

Check out Peter's report here.

Tommi's great shots are here.