Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

Driving in the Mud & Rain

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Yesterday I received my new bicycle. 29" wheels. 2.5" wide. A Rock Shox fork. Black, white and blue. Yeah, I am excited as little boy with a new toy! Thus the rain didn't hold me back to ride to the climbing gym yesterday, but that didn't really do it justice. Today it continued to rain, but for what do I have waterproofs, right?

After some trouble with a website project this morning and afternoon I packed the JetBoil Sol Ti, some tea & food into the Osprey Raptor 18, filled up the reservoir, put on the waterproofs, gloves and buff and jumped on the bike.

I headed north through the city, then turned east along the lake till I reached the recreational area forest, where I rode the jogging paths, looking for a nice single track to break her in. As I usually ride a Jopo or my Mom's 50+ years old Holland bike in the city, this is new terrain to me. Very exciting new terrain.

After a while I got the urge for firing up the JetBoil Sol Ti and have a cup of tea. The Sol Ti worked as expected - brilliantly fast with zero fuss. Less than three minutes to a rolling boil is great in my book. Sipping my Ginger and Lemon tea, I take in the view across the bay. The clouds are blown across the sky, some deep grey, others more of a fluffy white. The sun tries its best through break through the cover, but it just a distant memory - rain and grey dominate. Autumn is here.

I pack up, put the hoody and gloves back on, and continue over the single track through the forest. Yellow, brown, red and green the leafs make for a spectacular roof above me, while the leafs, roots and rocks on the floor make for a slippery experience - but thanks to those sick wheels, there's no slipping away. Slowly I build up the confidence to ride faster and faster on this terrain. But there's parts where my confidence lacks, and I push. Rocks of football size and roots like planks make me humble.

From the corner of my eye I spot Horns of Plenty, Penny Bums and many more eatable mushrooms. Pulling the breaks, I stand still almost immediately. My hunter-gather instincts want me to take the fruits of the autumn forest home, but for a lack of a small plastic bag they remain where they are. Remember a plastic bag the next time, I think.

With the bounty remaining where it is, I continue the ride. The rain decides to show me that it isn't scared by my waterproofs, and commences a deluge. I'm not impressed. Supreme grip under me, I pedal forward until I reach the connecting street. The options are to go south & then west and head home through civilization, or return the same way through the forest. The decision is quickly made - I prefer mud over asphalt.

More rain. More mud. More colourful leafs flashing by my eyes, as I ride through the forest. Life is good. Forgotten the stress of the morning. I'm now here, outdoors, in the rain. Wet, sweaty, happy.

Too soon I reach the road along the lake back home. Cars zip by, their red tail lights looking foggy in this weather. Everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. I lounge, observe, feel the rain hitting my hood, raindrops running along the brim of it. I switch on the Knog Boomer, so the hasty drivers don't overlook me. I slowly ride on the asphalt, along the lake, down the hill, home. Sauna, I really deserve you tonight.

The doors to new adventures are wide open.