Tuesday, September 23, 2014


September, ruska season in full swing, and 6 cyclists in the wind looking for a connection with the spirit of Finnish Nature (read an equinox storm).

No plans being drawn in advance, they let their heart lead the way. First, the well-trodden Kunnarlantie towards Pirttimäki. Answering the spell of the forest, they promptly turned to Reitti 2000, the famous long distance trail of Helsinki metropolitan area. Hazy memories from previous hiking trips led to think the section up North from Pirttimäki would be cyclable, but reality quickly kicked in and soon they found themselves pushing the bikes over roots and rocks.

Still in high spirits, a decision nonetheless had to be taken: continuing in the forest over bumpy terrain, or rolling easily along the nicest touring road of the region, Velskolantie?
Unable to resist the attraction for smooth asphalt once in sight, our cyclists turned to the road, cruising up and down the hills. Reaching the crossroad on Vihdintie they all came with a general agreement about the place for camp: The laavu of Kämmenlampi bordering Espoo and Vihti, by the Reitti 2000.

After pondering 3 different options to reach it, the group pushed North towards Rinnekoti in full speed. The Beast, having some recollection from a solo walk along the Reitti 2000 in 2012 was put with the duty to find the connection to the trail. A lucky spotting of a fading blue and white mark on a tree and all were back on a challenging terrain once again, definitely more suitable for hiking than cycling.

Darkness setting in, the push over mires and streams through the woods went on for a good while, until full night finally came. A quick glance at the map was enough to realize it would still take at least an hour of painful effort along the trail to reach the laavu. With some creative map reading, an alternative route was chosen: first circumnavigating a lake on a countryside road, followed by a few hundred meters of hacking our way through the woods keeping a second lake on our right to keep the right direction, to finally find Myllymajalämmentie where the sign to the laavu was indicated. The plan worked brilliantly!

Deep in the night the sight of 6 cyclists coming from nowhere might have scared a bit the 2 hikers already at the laavu, but it looks like they did not mind the company. A proper autumn storm scheduled for the night, Lee, Robin and Florian opted for the laavu to set up their sleeping systems, while Nick, Christiane and Xavier would try their luck setting up their shelters to see how they would hold in the wind and heavy rain. The usual dinner in common was enjoyed and after a few silly discussions it was time to blow off the candles and call it a night.

Roaring winds, torrential rain (almost no exaggeration here), nothing could trouble the sleep of our tired cyclists. A bright sun and crisp autumn air welcomed their morning, feeling at at one with themselves, each other, and the surrounding nature.

A brief breakfast, a straight ride along Vihdintie with Nick and Robin and I was home, full of memories of the last few hours. Who said you cannot get an adventure in less than 24 hours? Certainly not Sub24 Helsinki.

Thanks all for the companionship and the great times out there.

- Florian


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