Sverigetempot 2012

Starting from Riksgränsen in the very north of Sweden at 8am on the 26th of June we'll be riding as fast as we can to Smygehuk, Sweden's southernmost point. A distance of 2100 kms. An entry field of almost 60 cyclists. Follow us as we prepare, travel to the start and twitter, blog & upload pictures during the race.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hey ho away we Go we're on the way to never. (Neil Young - Song x)

Ready to head home

Spent the day in Arvidsjaur organising tickets home, cartons for our bikes and a bottle of wine for the journey home. Now we're packed and waiting for the bus.

However today we've managed to experience the first major accident of the trip. Micke, clearly wanting to look good on the train, had to buy some hair gel. Unfortunately Micke, unlike Iain, isn't so well practiced at cycling with a shopping bag hanging over his handlebars. Lo and behold bag gets jammed in the front wheel, hair gel gets squeezed open and now Micke has a front rim coated in sticky hair gel.

Otherwise, no major issues to report!

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Race report - Sverigetempot 2011

After a short night's sleep we set off this morning just after 6am from Moskosel for the first stretch of the day - the 46km ride to breakfast at Arvidsjaur.

We expected it to be tough to get the legs going and that it was, going extremely slowly up the first long climb. I think for both of us it was mostly the lack of strength in the legs.

We're now at Arvidsjaur and without any long discussion we've come to an agreed decision - we're retiring from the race. We're neither overly disappointed nor frustrated - just happy that we made a good attempt at such a tough challenge and are wise enough to stop now rather than later.

As seasoned cyclists who train about 12-15,000 kms per year this turned out to be a huge challenge. We've now learned to have a huge respect for the other participants, whether they do it in record time, get there inside the 9 day limit or just do like us and give it a try.

Good luck to everyone still in the race and thanks to the organisers for doing a great job.

Now we're off to fika....

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Day 1 report - Sverigetempot 2012

Called it a day (or a night) when we reached Moskosel after 459kms at 31.5 average giving 14:36 ride time and 16:48 total time.

Both exhausted, but in good humour. Tomorrow we ride!

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Now south of the arctic circle


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 1 running report

Jokkmokk reached at 19:48 after 11hrs 48mins total time and 10:32 ride time, so 33.1 average for the 349.1 kms. A group of 11 is 30 minutes ahead of us, but we're eating so that will soon be an hour.

Tired, strong (?) and in good humour after we saw we did a Vätternrundan distance in 8:52 ;)

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Focking climb!

A big Scottish cyklist and à smal Japanese!

Day 1 progress report

Going well. We were first to report in at Kiruna at 11:48 and now after 255kms we're at Gällivare having dinner. Tired but OK. No Thunis time yet...

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Yitaka filling up energy

Iain filling up energy!

Kiruna check point

First checkpoint in Kiruna and à Hamburger....!

On the road to Kiruna

Pre start

Start Time in 10 minuts!

No looking back

Now less than 2 hours before the start of the 2100km Sverigetempot. Breakfast, final sorting of packing, a little warm up (we're thinking of doing 4x4 minute intervals) then we're off!

One of the most important things on our race against the clock will be to avoid wasting innecessary time. The record holder for example had 21 hours of stop time by the time he reached Älvdalen after about 1300kms. So we've decided that every minute of time saved by being efficient will be called "Thunis" time. We're aiming for at least 30 minutes "Thunis" time per day!

The wind is blowing our way, we've got strong legs and empty brains. 90 minutes to start.....

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 0 - Sverigetempot 2012

The journey is complete but it hasn't really started! The waiting is almost over and we're as prepared as we could hope to be.

The 23 hour trip from Älmhult to Riksgränsen went extremely smoothly. At no point was the train any more than 2-3 minutes late and we rolled in to the beautiful snowy & mountainous landscape bang on time. Within 30 minutes or so of arriving we were checked into the Ski Lodge and had built our bikes.

The village of Katterjokk lies just 2kms away and that was our destination, by bike of course, for lunch. Raggmunk at Ebbe's - perfect. A short detour into Norway on the way back for a couple of pictures then we picked up our route notes and stamping cards and took a look around at some of the various equipment of our "rivals". Everything from a recumbent bike to some old fashioned tourers to even a couple of bike couriers riding fixies!! It takes all sorts. Not often you're about to start a road race and the other entrants are curious that you're riding high profile rims, looking like they think you're a bit "over the top".

Almost all of the 46 entrants (3 are still on their way) joined for a really good meal on the next door hotel followed by a short briefing by Peter, the organiser, fellow entrant and (I think) course record holder.

Now we're just relaxing after removing as much as we can from our baggage and making the final preparations.

Tomorrow we ride!

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Incredible luck it seems with the weather. Torrential rain in southern Sweden while we have dry, sunny and TAILWINDS for at least 2 days!

Route notes - page 7/7

Route notes - page 6/7

Route notes - page 5/7

Route notes - page 4/7

Route notes - page 3/7

Route notes - page 2/7

Route notes - page 1/7

Dinner for the idio....

Hmm? What's new about the weather tomorrow?

Route map in hand, looking for the first fika stop?

Riksgränsen, the start of tomorrow's Sverigetempot

Confirming we've got 130 kms to lunch at Kiruna tomorrow

Both Norway and Sweden in one picture

It's also quite steep in Norway

It's too expensive to continue into Norway, so we turned back from here ;)

A little trip over the border into Norway

A bit of last minute shopping

Lunch in Katterjåkk

Alternative transport for tomorrow?

Jesus christ!? This is the mosquitonet up here i the north! I hope we don't meet anyone!

Abisko Turiststation


We've now reached Torne Träsk, with Norway in the background. Less than 100km to Riksgränsen

Nothing open in Boden yet so Micke is callling for a pizza

Sunday, June 24, 2012


The night train to.......

I'm thinking of leaving him on the train and going to the nearest bar in Stockholm

The train company built the luggage racks for our bike bags obviously

Packning list - Micke

I got almost the same including à bottle of wine....;-)

Sänt från My AJ-fån !

Packing list - Iain

We travel light. Micke has a seatpost mounted bag and Iain goes with last year's tried & tested solution - a Rapha backpack. Both of us will probably mount a small frame mounted bag on our top tubes for energy gels and bars.

Iain's packing list consists of the following:-

Pinarello Dogma bike
Cycling shoes with overshoes
Lezyne frame mounted pump
Garmin gps computer
Front & rear lightweight LED lights
2 water bottles
4 spare inner tubes
1 spare tyre
Tyre lever
Spare valves
Spare screws for shoe cleats
Spare 11 speed Campa chain (difficult to find replacer in northern Sweden)
Energy gels
Sport drink powder
Garmin charger
iPhone & charger
Lock for bike
Mini towel
Sun cream
Gel for treating injured muscles
Painkiller tablets
Rapha backpack with reflective raincover
2 pair cycling socks
1 pair short bibs
1 merino short sleeved base layer
2 cycling jerseys
1 lightweight wind vest
1 rain jacket
Knee warmers
Arm warmers
Cycling cap
Light track suit trousers

Sounds like a lot but other than the last 3 items it will only be the bike spares, toiletries & chargers as well as one jersey and a pair of socks in the backpack so it'll be pretty light.

Finally, cycling glasses, cash & credit card to complete the list.

If Micke has time his list will follow ;)

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

How many kommuns this time?

There are 290 kommuner in Sweden - how many will we cycle through in the coming days?

The route

In simple terms, we follow the "inlandsbanan" through Kiruna, Jokkmokk, Östersund then head down through Dalarna, between lakes Vänern and Vättern and then south-west to Laholm near the west coast. From there we turn back inland past Örkelljunga to Klippan before going over Söderåsen and then down to the finish at Smygehuk. We must follow the official route and get our card stamped at 14 specific points.

The route can be found here.

At least one half of the team hasn't understood the concept of travelling light

Our mechanic releases Micke's bike after a thorough German service

Sverigetempot 2012

From RIKSGRÄNSEN in the very north to SMYGEHUK in the extreme south, a distance of close to 2,100 kms through the entire length of Sweden. A few hours by plane, a bit more than 24 hours by train, a few days adventure by car and an extreme challenge of endurance by cycle - otherwise known as SVERIGETEMPOT 2012!

Tomorrow Micke and Iain set off on the long train journey up to the start point which lies about 400 kms north of the arctic circle. The race, with at time of writing 49 entrants from several countries, starts at 08:00 on Tuesday 26th June. As far as we know the record is 5 days, 14 hours and 16 minutes. As it's a race we won't reveal much about our plan but suffice to say that Iain plans to be in work on Monday 2nd July!

Follow us here on our blog and through the twitter hashtag #sverigetempot for regular updates and pictures as we take on this challenging adventure.