Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-22-10, 08:39 AM   #1
Astrakan
Member
Thread Starter
 
Astrakan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Toronto, ON
Bikes: Rocky Mountain Whistler 30, CCM Navigator
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Touring across Sweden. Route or timing suggestions?

I'm currently in the planning and training stages of a tour across Sweden. I'll be going to/from Kiruna in the north, and to/from Ystad in the south.

Sweden is flatter in the south than the north, so on the one hand I can see starting in the south in order to give myself a bit of a break at the beginning, and ratching up the difficulty as I go.

On the other hand, I can see starting in the north with the more difficult passages, making things easier on me as I go.

Not sure which is preferable. Any experienced riders out there care to share their insight?

Also, and I'm not sure if my logic holds up here... but since Swedish topology is more mountainous in the north than the south, does that not mean that I'm likely to have more downhill if I begin in the north... It seems to make sense to me, but I'm not sure that it does on such a large scale.

And finally, any suggestions on timing? I'm leaning towards an August trip, but if some Swedes on here have any suggestions in terms of weather, traffic, mosquito populations, etc. I can be persuaded to change my tune.

Any thoughts would be most welcome.

Thanks!
Astrakan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-10, 09:52 AM   #2
EKW in DC
Senior Member
 
EKW in DC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Bikes: Trek 830 Mountain Track Drop bar conversion
Posts: 2,053
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think the Swedes are are bikeförums.net, not here. JK

On a serious note, that looks like an awesome tour idea! Can't really contribute personally answer-wise, but I like the idea.

Here are tour journals of some bike touring adventures in Sweden. Might get some ideas here.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/l...octype=journal
EKW in DC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-10, 10:43 AM   #3
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Bikes: Bob Jackson World Tour (touring) and a Miyata 100 (commuting)
Posts: 2,819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EKW in DC View Post
I think the Swedes are are bikeförums.net, not here. JK
hihi yäs but söme åv us äre häre ås wäll

June, july and august are the summer months... long days and short nights... August may well be the warmest month ('though it can rain at any time) Mosquitos everywhere, 'though less on the coast (don't let this put you off, just be prepared).

Sverigeleden (Swedish routes) are sign-posted bicycle routes stretching right through the country. Here's some info (in english):

http://www.svenska-cykelsallskapet.s.../sveledeng.pdf

Wild camping is legal (for one night in any place)... Here's all the blurb on "Allemansrätten" lit: "every man's right" or "Right of Public Access"
http://www.swedishepa.se/en/In-Engli...public-access/
and campsites are easy to find (don't be put off by the signs "BAD - CAMPING", "bad" means "bathing"... always makes me chuckle 'though

The north (above Stockholm) is MUCH less inhabited, with greater distance between villages and towns. All small towns have food stores, often the ICA chain... zoom in on this map:
http://www.ica.se/Sok-butik/

The major roads have wide shoulders and good for riding (except the few motorways (E) of course)

All the coastal routes are pretty flat as the mountain ranges are inland in the mid/north west...

Swedes are basically a friendly, honest, helpful bunch with good english language skills (hope I haven't offended anyone

Let me know when your close to the Gothenburg area...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrakan View Post
Also, and I'm not sure if my logic holds up here... but since Swedish topology is more mountainous in the north than the south, does that not mean that I'm likely to have more downhill if I begin in the north... It seems to make sense to me, but I'm not sure that it does on such a large scale.
uh, if you start at sea level, and finish up at sea level, then you've gone up as much as you've gone down, which ever way you go... (although I must admit I prefer riding north to south as it's downwards on the map) ... You'll have more downhill in the mountains, but that's only because you've climbed uphill. I guess you could always get a helicopter to take you to the top of Kebnekaise to start your tour!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhGa3WJOpAk

Personally I'd go South to North, solely to get further and further away from civilisation as the tour progressed

Last edited by imi; 06-22-10 at 01:27 PM.
imi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-10, 02:16 PM   #4
Astrakan
Member
Thread Starter
 
Astrakan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Toronto, ON
Bikes: Rocky Mountain Whistler 30, CCM Navigator
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EKW in DC View Post
Here are tour journals of some bike touring adventures in Sweden. Might get some ideas here.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/l...octype=journal
Looks like a great resource, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by imi View Post
June, july and august are the summer months... long days and short nights... August may well be the warmest month ('though it can rain at any time) Mosquitos everywhere, 'though less on the coast (don't let this put you off, just be prepared).
Just to clarify a couple of points:

Do you mean that August is rainier than June or July? Likewise with mosquitos? Or just that those two are true for the Swedish summer in general. I can handle either, but figure I go in June or July if it's generally less rainy or mosquito-y earlier in the summer.

Come to think of it, I should track down some Swedish weather data...

Quote:
Sverigeleden (Swedish routes) are sign-posted bicycle routes stretching right through the country. Here's some info (in english):

http://www.svenska-cykelsallskapet.s.../sveledeng.pdf

Wild camping is legal (for one night in any place)... Here's all the blurb on "Allemansrätten" lit: "every man's right" or "Right of Public Access"
http://www.swedishepa.se/en/In-Engli...public-access/
and campsites are easy to find (don't be put off by the signs "BAD - CAMPING", "bad" means "bathing"... always makes me chuckle 'though

The north (above Stockholm) is MUCH less inhabited, with greater distance between villages and towns. All small towns have food stores, often the ICA chain... zoom in on this map:
http://www.ica.se/Sok-butik/

The major roads have wide shoulders and good for riding (except the few motorways (E) of course)

All the coastal routes are pretty flat as the mountain ranges are inland in the mid/north west...

Swedes are basically a friendly, honest, helpful bunch with good english language skills (hope I haven't offended anyone

Let me know when your close to the Gothenburg area...
All very good stuff, thanks!

Quote:
uh, if you start at sea level, and finish up at sea level, then you've gone up as much as you've gone down, which ever way you go...
Yeah, but just by looking at the Swedish map and checking some sea levels it seems the north is higher up than the south. Kiruna is 550 metres above sea level, while Ystad is on the sea. But perhaps that is gradual and I wouldn't notice it very much? Although from what I can tell from the topology maps (which I admittedly kinda suck at reading) the hills seem to not really kick off until we reach Piteå.

My wife is keen on doing Ystad to Haparanda, and just follow this guide:

http://www.resebokhandeln.com/scs-cy...ml?language=en

But as far as I'm concerned, then we'd stop 25% away from having covered the country in one direction. The benefit obviously would be that it's all sea level, and that we can basically follow the coast the entire way.

Thanks again to both of you. It's much appreciated.
Astrakan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-10, 10:29 PM   #5
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Bikes: Bob Jackson World Tour (touring) and a Miyata 100 (commuting)
Posts: 2,819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrakan View Post

Do you mean that August is rainier than June or July? Likewise with mosquitos? Or just that those two are true for the Swedish summer in general. I can handle either, but figure I go in June or July if it's generally less rainy or mosquito-y earlier in the summer.
Sorry for the confusion. I meant that in general terms. The summers here have been strange the last few years, with quite a lot of rain. All three summer months can be great... or not... :/

The mosquito thing is impossible to predict as well. In early summer if it's too cold and windy they'll be less of them... there again, if it's a scorcher of a summer and really dry, that'll keep their numbers down as well... but it's generally somewhere in between :/

Last edited by imi; 06-22-10 at 10:35 PM.
imi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-10, 11:31 PM   #6
Shilun
Senior Member
 
Shilun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Taiwan
Bikes:
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I covered almost the exact same route, though many many years ago. Here are some of the things I remember.

1. July/August temperatures can be surprisingly high. I forgot the sunscreen and got really burned, but...
2. ...in the north, the ground remained freezing cold even in summer. Some nights I couldn't sleep because of the cold creeping through my hips.
3. Long distances separating food/liquid stops in the north.
4. Free legal camping almost everywhere helped to keep costs down, but...
5. ...grocery costs were very high. I survived on canned tuna and yogurt.
6. Many roads in the north were unsurfaced. In the rain, the mud and debris clogged up the drivetrain.
7. Tires got totally worn out after about 5 weeks. I'm not sure if it was the aforementioned road surfaces or the heat. Also, it was a little tricky to find replacements in my tire size (27 inch in those days).
8. The 'midnight sun' was quite disorienting. I wasn't carrying a watch. One 'morning' I arrived at a store only to find it had closed for the day at 6:00pm!
9. Lots of midges in the forest, but plenty of open midge-free camping places to be found.
10. Friendly, helpful, outdoor-minded people who saw nothing odd about cycling and camping in the wilds of the north.

All in all, a wonderful trip. But if I were doing it again, I would go with a partner. Some of the days in the north were a little lonely with nothing but trees to keep one company.
Shilun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-10, 12:44 AM   #7
akohekohe
The Professor
 
akohekohe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: O'ahu
Bikes: Alex Moulton Double Pylon, Surly Big Dummy, Alex Moulton GT
Posts: 888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The prevailing winds are much more important than the hills but I'm not sure which way this works out best for. I was backpacking in Swedish Lappland last summer and we followed the advice of the locals and drank the water from the lakes and steams untreated with no ill effects. If you are going to go in August, North to South makes sense because it will start getting cold up north in August. In fact you can get snowed on any time of the year up there. It can be 25 and still get below freezing the same day. Your major choice up North is going to be whether to head from Kiruna down to the Gulf of Bothnia and follow the coast going through Luleå, Umeå, Sundsvall, etc., or stay inland and go through Östersund, Mora, etc. By the way, you don't avoid the hills by going along the coast. It is really very scenic either way. If you want to learn Swedish it is much better to start up north where they speak more slowly and articulate much clearer than they do further South. In fact, in Skåne they don't even speak Swedish, but have their own language that neither the Swedes nor the Danes can understand. The Swedes are a very friendly people but they are shy. Don't let their shyness fool you, they love to be helpful. Eight out of ten rural Swedes will offer you their guest room and feed you once they figure out you're Canadian and not from Stockholm. They will think you are crazy to vacation in their country because they all go to Southern Europe, the Iberian peninsula or the Caribbean for their vacation but they are also proud of their country and will want you to have a good time. So have fun!
akohekohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-10, 01:52 AM   #8
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Bikes: Bob Jackson World Tour (touring) and a Miyata 100 (commuting)
Posts: 2,819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by akohekohe View Post
...In fact, in Skåne they don't even speak Swedish, but have their own language that neither the Swedes nor the Danes can understand.
Great observations last two posters... however the people in Skåne are speaking swedish, it's just their dialect is very strong. Northerners are known for not wasting their words (and some of the dialects up there can be a bit strange too...)

Out of respect for your private sphere many swedes will not initiate contact, but do not mistake this as aloofness or unfriendliness, most will be more than happy if you "break the ice"...
imi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-10, 01:55 AM   #9
Pedaleur
Je pose, donc je suis.
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Back. Here.
Bikes:
Posts: 2,898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Personally, I would go North to South, just in case it starts getting colder towards the end. The elevation change over that distance is completely irrelevant (500m over 2000km is a mere 0.025% grade).

I am jealous, though maybe in August I'll finally do a tour around the Kattegat (Oslo, the lakes, Göteborg, Malmö, och hjem).

Hmmm...
Pedaleur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-10, 04:29 AM   #10
Astrakan
Member
Thread Starter
 
Astrakan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Toronto, ON
Bikes: Rocky Mountain Whistler 30, CCM Navigator
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow! Thanks a lot to everyone who's posted, it's greatly appreciated.

Lots of food for thought. For example, I hadn't considered August being the end of summer and hence it getting colder as the trip goes by.

Right now I'm in the middle of comparing the Sverigeleden route from the link imi posted with the route from Cykelspåret that I posted. I'm thinking I'll maybe end up merging the two. Once I settle on something I'll make sure to post it here for others to find.
Astrakan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-10, 10:09 AM   #11
Astrakan
Member
Thread Starter
 
Astrakan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Toronto, ON
Bikes: Rocky Mountain Whistler 30, CCM Navigator
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Alright, so after having had a look at both Sverigeleden and Cykelspåret, I think I've got a first draft of our route. It's basically a blend of the two routes, and it goes like this:

Sverigeleden and Cykelspåret combined

That's only an approximation, so don't pay any mind to the step-by-step instructions on the side. But it's the basic gist of how I think we'll go. At least until I've had a look at it some more and/or received feedback on why not to go somewhere.

For reference, here's similar approximations of the routes I used to plan it:

Sverigeleden
Cykelspåret

Thanks again to those who've already offered their insight, and if anyone would like to comment on our potential route I'd surely appreciate that too.

Last edited by Astrakan; 06-24-10 at 10:21 AM.
Astrakan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-10, 02:38 PM   #12
erikasberg
Senior Member
 
erikasberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Bikes:
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi!
I would suggest re-routing so as to pass by Stockholm and keep following the coast line as much as possible. In general, between points K and E on your map I would stay along the coast as your current route is mostly made up by not very exciting rural landscapes, old mining towns and woods. As for which month to go, anecdotal evidence suggest that the weather will always improve once work and school starts in mid august, go figure..Have a great trip, and let us if you have any more questions.
/Erik
erikasberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-10, 02:39 PM   #13
erikasberg
Senior Member
 
erikasberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Bikes:
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi!
I would suggest re-routing so as to pass by Stockholm and keep following the coast line as much as possible. In general, between points K and E on your map I would stay along the coast as your current route is mostly made up by not very exciting rural landscapes, old mining towns and woods. As for which month to go, anecdotal evidence suggest that the weather will always improve once work and school starts in mid august, go figure..Have a great trip, and let us if you have any more questions.
/Erik
erikasberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:31 AM.