Last weekend me and Andrea did a small tour of the Norrbotten inland and coastland. Starting off with a very nice 30+30 year party for Aron and Emmy in a tiny village outside of Älvsbyn. Summer heat was peaking with temperatures above 30 degrees, no wind and even warm water in the river. Crazy stuff. Mosquitoes and other blood sucking insects where also booming unfortunately, making it a bit hard to sleep.
After a great evening and morning we left for Piteå to meet up with Micke and Carro, hang out on the beach and ride a bit in the night when temperatures were a bit more mellow. Just below 30C that is, instead of above. We rode a Piteå classic called Råberget that I have done twice before and still enjoy coming back to. It is a small mountain with lots of rock slabs and a few tricky rock gardens, both on the way up and on the way down.
Me and Micke flowing down Råberget slickrock. Photo by Andrea
It was when trying to ride through one of those flattish rock sections that I stalled out and fell on the side. No biggie for me, but the clanging sound of aluminium against rock gave me shivers. Upon closer inspection it turned out as I found a big ding in the swing arm that those shivers were well motivated.
Fortunately the Five is a sturdy beast, and it was still in shape to finish the ride. However, a more in depth damage assessment shows that the ding actually has affected the alignment of the dropouts, since the Maxle now needs a bit of persuasion to screw or unscrew. Bummer, I really liked that frame.
Anyway, on our way home on Sunday we stopped by in Skellefteå where Stojje was arranging a Bike rally, which is like a mini-enduro format. There were three stages, the first and third of which were downhill with pedally sections and around 2 minutes in length. The second stage was more or less flat on a twisty lumpy trail, about 5 minutes of pain, suffering and swearing.
Pedalling my hardest on the start of ss1. Photo by Andrea
These kind of races are always really fun to participate in, the atmosphere is very friendly and everyone is just there to have a good time, but when the clock starts it is all forgotten and everyone is pushing themselves to the ragged edge.
I felt like my riding was O.K, but not more. I think everyone struggled with flow on the second stage, it was just too lumpy and twisty to get any sort of speed going. On the first and last stages I felt like I was not pushing hard enough, and since my derallieur was bent I only had my lowest five or six gears, not ideal. Therefore I was a bit surprised to come home with a shared third spot in a pretty competent field, not bad.
A quick swim to cool our overheated bodies and off we were. Back home to mend the bikes and recharge the batteries for new adventures.