Toughts about Vätternrundan 2013

vatternrundan2013Last weekend I rode the legendary Vätternrundan in Sweden. My ride around the lake Vättern – almost 300 kilometers – took longer than I expected. My total time with all the stops was 11h 54min and riding time was 10h 08min.

This beeing my first Vätternrundan I´m happy with my result. I had a very good small group of co-riders I rode almost the whole ride with. I think I was the point man for the most of the time – gaining a nickname “sähköjänis” – resembling electronic lure in a greyhound race. (I have a Di2 set on my bike)

Vätternrundan is the largest recreational bicycle ride in the world. First official Vätternrundan was held in 1966 and after that this event has been organized every year.

This year there was 23 000 registered cyclists to the 300 km main event and they represented 55 different nations.

There are all level of cyclists taking part in this event. Everything from somebody with an old commuter style bike spending more than 20 hours on the route to a top trained and equipped pro-teams pedalling under seven hours…

This also means that anything can happend on the road. Not all of the participants are used to ride in a group and there was some accidents. I was lucky enough to avoid crashes, but there was a couple of near-accident situations.

Me and my co-riders tried to avoid groups we kept hazardous. It was quite easy to tell a difference between a safe and a dangerous group by monitoring if they were riding in clear lines or if there was overlapping. In the case of disorganized group or/and overlapping we tried to pass them to maximize our safety.

I have to say that the Swedes know how to arrange a big event. I give my all my respect to personnel behind the scenes of Vätternrundan.

Vätternrundan here I come!

prästgårdcafeVätternrundan is the largest recreational bicycle ride in the world. 300 km (approx 186 miles) long ride takes place in Motala, Sweden. Last year there was 23 307 registered riders from 46 different nations. Skandinavian weather conditions can spice up the event – last year 2 250 riders gave up due to rainfall and cold temperature – in mid summer.

This year Vätternrundan is 14th-15th of June. First riders starts Friday evening at 19.30 and the last start time is at 06.30 Saturday morning. I´ll start early in the Saturday morning at 03.16 am.

I´m travelling to Sweden with a group of Finnish cyclist mostly from Jyväskylä and Keuruu. We´ll take a ferry to Stockholm and then our bus will take us to Motala where we have our accomodation.

My goal is to ride the 300km ride in 10 hours. I don´t know any of the riders I´m travelling with, so I hope there is fit enough riders to form an average speed group targetting to that same time frame.

But then again – I won´t get any brighter medal or a prize if I manage to ride under 10 hours. The most important thing to me is to finish the ride safely. This summers main challenge waits me in South-Tyrol.

If I finish Vätterrundan it will be my longest ride. By this far my longest ride have been approx 190 kilometers, last summer from Helsinki to Turku with a friend of mine.

I´ll try to update my Twitter and Instagram regularly from Sweden – not on a road thou 😀