Saturday, 1 March 2008

Icebike cycling to Rautas

This morning I got up at 8:00 for a cycle tour to Krokvik, around 10km from Kiruna.
I had a warm and big breakfast with porridge, filled my thermos with hot water, dressed up and got on the road.

Cycling on ice is wonderful. I was at Krokvik after only 35 minutes, much faster than I had expected; cycling with spikes is slow, resistance is big, but it was going very slightly downhill, as I discovered on the way back. I explored the village of Krokvik.

Some dogs. A child calling to a dog in a completely alien language. Not Finnish. Definitely not Swedish. This is Sápmi. In a gård, some reindeer were standing. A plogbil passed by on the main road. Fortunately not while I was cycling there. I wouldn't know what to do in that situation.

I enjoyed cycling so I continued to Östra Rautasälven.

There I found a raststuga and drank my tea.

I continued to Rautas järnvägstation, which was my further point, around 21km from Kiruna. I returned and discovered that the way back was tricker. I ate my lunch at the same raststuga and went back on the road. A car going in the opposite direction honked at me and its driver waved and smiled. I waved back but too late. I continued and passed by Krokvik. Heavy cycling. At Plattvik I take some rest. Again a (the same?) plogbil passed by, again in the same direction as me, again fortunately I was not on the road.

It was heavy and cold. At one point I had my gloves on inside my thick mittens. I put all fingers in the main part of the mitten because my thumbs were cold. Then I could no longer change gear. I put my thumb back seperately and was able to change gear again. It was not so cold anymore. But I did have cold feet.
Around half past two I was back in Kiruna. Tired.

Total distance around 45km.
Today I broke my northernmost cycling record, which is now Rauttas.
I might also have broken my furthest-away-from-any-other-humans record.

More pictures here.

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