SWEDEN 2011 AND 2012 AND THE TOUR TO THE NORTH CAP 2013
The Swedish countryside, with beautiful scenery and quiet nature, is a good place for cycling. Most of the area is flat, or you are going gently hill up and down which makes cycling easy. On the border to Norway there are more demanding hills, but still fine to ride.
The plus in Sweden is the quiet nature and some small roads which lead through remote areas. For people who like to pitch up a tent somewhere in the middle of the wood, it looks like an ideal world, because it is legal and there are wonderful places. For people with the need for accommodation, they have to plan carefully, farther north lesser possibilities to find a bed.
As road standards are excellent, especially on the east coast (main roads) there is much more traffic as you might expect. You should avoid going along or near the main traffic lines. Sometimes there might be no alternative and you have to expect to ride on E-roads. At least it is legal, – although a very unpleasant situation, we have had to do it on a few occasions.
Cycling tracks are sign-posted. However, cycling tracks, for example, „Sverigeleden“ or „Ostkustenleden“ and others, run on roads with moderate or heavy traffic. Traffic-free track you might find through towns and sometimes beside the main roads. But extra build cycle tracks through the countryside are not common. Besides, there are few signed cycle lanes on quiet roads that cover beautiful areas, Fäbodleden might be an example. However farther NORTH it is impossible to avoid main roads. – See North Cap – part KIRUNA. Which is annoying, beautifully nature destroyed by heavy traffic.
After nearly three thousand km in Sweden from Gothenburg to Overtorneo, we enjoyed mostly perfect cycling sometimes spoiled by lack of cycle lanes or quiet roads.
Start of the six days travels up to Stockholm. Partly along the Göteborg Canal
Teh first day, 113 km along minor streets and cycle tracks.
Second day 103km. The tour was mainly along minor roads, with less traffic.
Day three of the tour Gothenburg - Stockholm 134km. Interesting cycling from deep countryside to the centre of Mariestad and the Nationalpark Tivedstorp.
I lost the date through some problems with the gpx device. the route is the approximately done route.
The fifth day, mainly along the wonderful Göta Canal, 109km.
The sixth day, km 86. For the tour Gotheburg -Stockholm you need about a week.
Day two. Many possibilities to choose your way. Following the signs are not always easy. Mälardalsleden runs primarily on roads.
Last day of the three-day tour. Balsta is also the start point for the tour up to the north in 2012.
Balsta is the most northerly station for SL pendeltag (train) from Stockholm. You might find a very good overview of all bicycle routes in Sweden in „Skyltade Cykelleder i Sverige“ However be aware that Cycle lanes in Sweden runs primarily on (main) roads.
Day one of the first three-day tour in Sweden. The aim is to go around Mälaren and discover the cycling environment
Start of the two weeks holidays up to Umea. From Balsta to Sala, 136 km. From Stockholm north to Balsta with the train.
Day two, 139 km, again cycling in good weather. We have had lunch in a small pizzeria that we have found by accident. You should not miss out such opportunity in Sweden!
Day three, good cycling in quiet nature, mainly along „Fabodleden“ 92km.
Heading for day four, km 97 km. Fabodleden is fantastic to ride, the trip goes along minor roads in the deep forest along quiet lanes, fine cycling.
Start of the fifth day, this short tour lead us through Dala, this is where the Swedish wood horses have their home, 50 km.
The landscape is changing, you can see mountains in the background. We are heading along „Vasaloppet“. Sixth day 85 km, mainly on road.
This perfect trip leads on day seventh through wonderful nature up to the Fulufjället National Park, 93 km navigation challenge through the forest.
On this day we headed north, passed the highest Swedish village HOGVALEN. In heavy rain, we reached our booked Youth Hostel after 124 km.
On the ninth day of this trip, we passed along Flatrued, the highest Swedish road up to Ljungdalen. Rain and a bit snow in June 2012 made this day a challenge.
The tenth day 105 km, the first part was on the main street and the second part on gravel road through deep forest. A perfect day with superb cycling in beautiful nature!
The 6th of June 2012, the Swedish National Day, was reserved for a short tour of 52km to Ostersund. We followed partially the “Sverigeleden” and had a good Swedish National Buffet in Hotel Jämtli.
The first part was on road 87, I have underestimated the traffic situation, moderate traffic! The second part, from Stugun was excellent riding in quiet nature. Altogether 106 km.
On the last day of the first part up to Umea we had to go a bit on E4. I thought there might be a byway but I have not found one. Otherwise, it was a fine ride and we arrived as planned after 140 km in Umea.
Part two of Holiday 2012, 150 km up to Lyckelse. We have chosen to cycle south of the river Umeaelve. These streets have turned out perfectly for cycling. Sometimes we have not seen a car for hours.
This area is easy for navigation even we were driving just on minor roads. Beautiful landscape in bright weather has made as the day. One of the best sections. 107k km
The day started with good weather and marvellous cycling along lakes, later this day there was heavy rain. Rain is part of the game you have to accept a few rainy days during a tour. I never plan on weather conditions; it is as at it might be, 120 km.
From Arvidsjaur to Vidsel „Storforsen“ - just perfect cycling. At Hotel Storforsen we stayed for two nights and had delicious dinners on both evenings. We cycled mainly on small roads. These versions had turned out far better than follow „Sverigeleden“ which goes mainly on busy roads, 105 km.
We are aiming for Lulea, easy day with 106 km. For certain parts, we have had to follow street 374 and 356, but it was ok. A bit of traffic reminds us that we are back to civilization, 104 km.
End of the trip for 2012. In 2013 we will start here and go for the North Cap.
First day up to North Cap. A good trip on mostly quiet roads. Just a pity that on two occasions we have had to drive a few km along the E10. Altogether 102 km enjoyable cycling.
Done 2013 - 06 - 28
The day aimed to cross the Swedish border and reach Ylitornio in Finland. Definitely one of the best cycling days of the tour. We cycled on roads with less traffic in marvellous nature.
During the first part of the 121 km from Ylitornio to Rovaniemi we “enjoyed” heavy rain. The rain stopped about midday. Finally, we used an excellent cycle lane from Muuro up to Rovaniemi. All in all, a very good cycling day.
Starting the 99km on E75. Soon we used the quiet roads -to and along- the lake Perunkajarvi. After hours of good cycling, we got back to E75 for the final km to reach the destination for that day.
A bit earlier as usual and in a good mood, we started for the longest daily trip of the holiday. 170 km and a navigation challenge through finish forest made this day demanding. However, beautiful nature and good cycling weather rewarded us. We even found a small store & coffee shop where we had a good rest.
The environment is changing it starts to get hilly. Now the possibilities to chose alternative lanes and avoid main roads are very limited and later there is no choice at all. Touring from Kittila to Enontekio was all right and easy to navigate.
A short tour, about 85 km, brought us from Finland to Norway. From the point of orientation there is nothing to do, just follow road 93. From Enontekio to Kautokeino we still have had a passable cycle environment with limited traffic.
Since a few days we were very lucky with the wind, most of the time we have had a moderate tailwind. The environment is beautiful and it is nice to cycle. But you have to bear in mind that you are on the main-road therefore limited to move in line. 128 km.
We left the mountainous region and were cycling in beautiful nature up the coast of Tanjafjorden of the Barent Sea. Just sad, the traffic situation is going worse. 136 km.
On the last we had to deal with tailwind and crosswind with peaks up to 15 m/sec. In some exposed fjords we were forced to push the cycle for certain distances. 103 km.
The trip is a mix of good cycling and riding along the main street in beautiful nature.
This part was a bit annoying, a lot of traffic and no alternative. The original idea was to go through Kebenekaise Nationalpark, however, this is not possible, not even for Mountain bikes. So we went along the E 10.
Proposed Route: go further to Jukkasjarvi, Gallivare and Jokkmokk. Unfortunately, we had a minor accident in the forest near Jukkasjarvi.
Accident in the forest of Jukkasjarvi back to Kiruna.
Following a visit to the Kiruna Hospital, we had to take the bus for the last step to Jokkmokk.
Stockholm is an excellent place to do cycling. Many cycle tracks invite you to discover the town and the surrounding area.„Sverigeleden“ and „Ostküstenleden“ leading through Stockholm mostly on cycling tracks without traffic. Besides, we have done many tours in and around Stockholm, not all of our tours are saved on this map. Done 2011, 2012, 2013
The Mälaren cycling track is running on streets with more or less traffic. There are many opportunities to choose from different versions along the Mälaren track. Done 2011
More pictures 2011 Lake Malaren Stockholm
The tour from Gothenburg to Stockholm is worth it. The possibility to go partly along Sverigeleden, Västgotaleden and follow the Göta Canal is a fine opportunity to see different landscapes. The path along the Göta Canal is without car traffic, although to reach the individual canal sections, you have to ride along some streets, in sum very enjoyable ride in a beautiful landscape. If you are in SWE you should not miss out this trip, done 2011
More pictures under 2011 Goteborg – Stockholm
Stockholm – Umea, 1430 km. The main cycle activity in 2012 lead us from Stockholm (Balsta) up to Umea. During 15 days we have had fantastic cycling through marvelous nature. On the tour we passed the highest village in Sweden, Högvalen, cycling in National Park Fulufjälet. Riding along the borderline of Sweden and Norway on the fantastic “Flatruet” and crossing Sweden from west to east reaching Östersund on Swedish national day. We enjoyed the afternoon at the local museum and a good meal based on the Swedish traditional food. We left our bicycles in Umea for the next part up to Lulea planned in a few weeks.
More pictures under 2012 Stockholm – Umea
Umea to Lulea 610 km, the second part of the holiday 2012. Again supreme riding in beautiful nature. From Start, in Umea we stayed on the south side of the river to avoid the main road; this was a total success. Unforgettable Storfosen. The signposted “Sverigeleden” runs often on the main street with heavy traffic. Therefore I have made up my track through fantastic nature on quiet roads. It is time for Sweden to update the “Sverigeleden” to new demands! The part from Arvidsjaur to Vidsel is an example of how we avoided streets with moderate traffic.
More pictures under 2012 Uea – Lulea
The NorthCap Tour 2013 – has been a fantastic experience. Throughout the three weeks, we have seen a lot of the “higher north”, enjoyed marvellous nature and interesting sightseeing places.
Planning a cycling tour up to North Cap has some difficulties. North of the Arctic Circle there is just a limited number of roads. You would expect that in these remote areas there might be less traffic, but that is not always so. To avoid the most annoying traffic you should not use “E” roads, sadly this is not possible on a few occasions.
I recommend cycling through Sweden or Finland up to Kautokeino and follow 92 and 93 to Karasjok. Further north there are no alternatives. This route has proved to be interesting and with less traffic than the Norway Coast.
Returning from North Cap over Norway, Harstad to Riksgränsen and as well in Sweden Riksgränsen to Kiruna, I see with mixed feelings. On the one hand, there is beautiful nature, on the other hand, there is just E10 / E6. Norway, between Harstad and Narvik, is not the best place for cycling. In Sweden, the idea was to cycle through the “Abisko National Park” to avoid E10; however, that is very difficult and not suitable for trekking bikes. So we had to use the E10 and experienced beautiful nature spoiled by heavy traffic.
The second part of the North Cap Tour started in Harstad, and the proposed route was Riksgransen, with a break in Kiruna to visit the Kebnekaise Nationalpark and go further to Jukkasjarvi, Gallivare and Jokkmokk. Unfortunately, we had a minor accident in the forest near Jukkasjarvi. Following a visit to the Kiruna Hospital, we had to take the bus for the last step to Jokkmokk.
More pictures under 2013 Lulea – Jokkmokk