Mountain biking at Sipoonkorpi 20.10.2012
Like they say at a certain radio station promo that men don't have hobbies they have missions. How true. We were on a mission too.
Objective: To find new trails
Sipoonkorpi is a new national park very close to Helsinki. As I haven't been living around these parts of Finland for too long it is still quite unfamiliar terrain for me. It was only a year ago that I realized that the place even excisted. AK-himself guided me around Sipoonkorpi the first time. I have been back a few times but there are a lot of places and trails yet to be found. A mountainbike is the perfect tool to get to know Sipoonkorpi as the area is not totally connected but more like separate ares.
To me mountain biking is about... hmm... it does seem silly to call this sport mountain biking in Finland because let's face it, we don't have any mountains here. We do have lots of lakes and fine forests and many, many bogs but not a single real mountain. Personally I'd be willing to trade at least some of those bogs away. No wonder that the finnish translation to mountain biking is something like offroad biking..
|Offroad but rideable at this point.|
My favorite trip planning goes like this: pick a starting spot and an end. Then get moving and try to navigate in between. Also as I consider myself a pretty normal guy, perfecting the gear selection takes a whole lot of time. And you have to remember that it's not just about hiking or biking, it's about executing a mission.
This mission was meant to be an overnight bikepacking trip but due to normal time limitations had to be changed to one full day. And one full day of daylight riding isn't a lot this time of year as the sun rises around 9am and sets around 6pm.
I had pursued Leif to come with me this time with promises that the trails were going to be perfectly ridable. I had my doubts though, well I was actually quite convinced that it was going to be wet and muddy as it had been raining basicly everyday for weeks. This morning was looking like a nice exception with even an occasional glimpse of sun.
I had agreed to meet at Leif's place at 10 am but when I got there he was still half dressed. Leif was quick to point out that this was probably the first time ever I was on time and I had caught him by surprise. We had to get going quickly as riding in darkness was not part of the plan.
About an hour later we were at our starting point, at Helsinki-Porvoo highway rest stop, the one near Landbo road.
|This is where it begun, still quite dry.|
|As there aren't that many glaciers nearby this is all rainwater.|
Just before Kalkkiruukki we were caught by a cyclocrosser. As the flying mud settled we chatted a bit and he gave us a some route info which changed our destination. I watched this fellow pedal away in deep mud with his barely an inch wide tires, looked down my fatbike tires and felt little bit less like a superhero.
My idea originally had been to follow nordic skiing trail from Kalkkiruukki to to the northern parts of Sipoonkorpi where I know a very hushus unmarked fire place actually built by a friend of mine for our ex-president. Coolest part of this route was that it would have taken us through rather large bog. Sorry Leif, this kind of plans I had in mind but as condititions were already rather moist I figured I didn't have to take him through that way. Also the cyclocrosser had mentioned about a kota that was supposed to be at a Brännberg, one of the highest peaks of Sipoonkorpi at 79.4 m.
|More mud fun!|
|Pretty self explanatory..|
Daylight was fading quickly, we had maybe two hours before sunset so some pavement sections towards car were in order.
Then came the highlight of this trip, we got lost. Not really lost, but more like we couldn't pinpoint our location on the map kind of lost. We had come most of the way from towards car and had taken a turn to smaller trails. What looked like simple route on the map was something quite different, trails got narrow, disappeared alltogether and none of them seemed to go our way.
The fun didn't last long, maybe after 500meters we were back on the map and just as it got dark we were at the car.
Not really an epic adventure but it was a good ride. We found lot's of new trails and even more mud. And as a cherry to the cake was the minor lost in Sipookorpi episode.