Planning Southern Scandinavian Adventure

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Quixoticgeek

Full Member
Aug 4, 2013
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Europe
I'm planning a bike ride through Denmark, Southern Sweden, and into Norway next summer. My route is going to be a mix of on and off road, and once I reach Sweden I'm hoping to be able to wild camp where possible.

The main thing I'm trying to decide on is what time to do it. My main choices are First half of August, or, the middle 2 weeks of September. The main governing factor is trying to reach a balance between insects, and temperature. I don't want it to be too cold (it is my SUMMER holiday afterall), but I also don't want to cycle a thousand kilometers through a cloud of flying blood suckers...

Can anyone advise on what I might expect in terms of mossies in the two date options?

Thanks

J
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,131
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McBride, BC
Boreal Forest bugs are the same the world over. I live in it.
To preserve your sanity, use a tent.

I'd pick the September slot and be prepared for some very chilly nights.
The shorter days means you can stretch out your evening meal in the dark for hours.

End of June and all of July is the Bug's Festival. August is bad unless I go south into our
Okanagan desert.

All the same, we get dozens, if not hundreds, of foreigners riding Highway 16 from Prince Rupert on the west coast
to Jasper and south on the Icefield Parkway to Banff then out to Calgary. All summer long.

To that end, Google the cities that you will pass by.
Most should have a monthly weather chart = precip/max.min temps and so on.
Take notes.
 

Wayne

BCUK Welfare Officer
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Dec 7, 2003
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www.forestknights.co.uk
I spend every September in Finland. The temperature is quite variable just like the UK. Could be 4-5C or 15-20C.

The insects are much less a concern in September that late July early August.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Yes. September can get chilly, specially in the evenings and nights.
Go in July or early August.

In forested areas do expect both mosquitoes, gnats and horse flies.
You just need to pedal faster than they can fly, and use a spray when you are stationary!

I am not sure what you mean by ‘off road’? Dirt roads?

There are certain restriktions and recommendations how to cycle in nature in Sweden. I do not think you will get far, too many streams, marshland and so on.

Lots of great unpaved roads, crisscrossing Sweden!

The Swedish west coast has loads to see. Geology, archeology, history, nature. Spectacular coastline, islands, fishing villages.
Good seafood. Nice people. Wild camping everywhere.
 
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Quixoticgeek

Full Member
Aug 4, 2013
2,476
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Europe
Yes. September can get chilly, specially in the evenings and nights.
Go in July or early August.
Given a choice of insects or cold, I choose cold every time. I can always put more clothes on. I've just got in from a chilly overnighter to test my kit. It was only -2°C, but was a good shake down for my kit.

In forested areas do expect both mosquitoes, gnats and horse flies.
You just need to pedal faster than they can fly, and use a spray when you are stationary!

I am not sure what you mean by ‘off road’? Dirt roads?
Unpaved roads, I use it as a term for anything that isn't tarmac.

There are certain restriktions and recommendations how to cycle in nature in Sweden. I do not think you will get far, too many streams, marshland and so on.

Lots of great unpaved roads, crisscrossing Sweden!
These are what I am aiming for.

The Swedish west coast has loads to see. Geology, archeology, history, nature. Spectacular coastline, islands, fishing villages.
Good seafood. Nice people. Wild camping everywhere.
Aye, I'm hoping to meet a couple of people I've only ever chatted to online on my way. It should be a good trip. Assuming I can get fit enough between now and then...

J
 

Trig

Nomad
Jun 1, 2013
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Scotland
Assuming I can get fit enough between now and then...

J
Thats the bugger with cycling isnt it, need to be constantly at it to keep the fitness up.
Hard to be bothered during the winter months to keep training, but it sucks starting from scratch again.

Sounds like it'll be a good trip. What type of bike are you planning on using?
 

Quixoticgeek

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Aug 4, 2013
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Thats the bugger with cycling isnt it, need to be constantly at it to keep the fitness up.
Hard to be bothered during the winter months to keep training, but it sucks starting from scratch again.

Sounds like it'll be a good trip. What type of bike are you planning on using?
Well I do 15km every day just to and from work. That's 75k per week.

I don't quite get the whole not cycling through winter thing. Winter just means I put thicker gloves on, and when it gets icy, I add the spiked tyres. It's been snowy here in Amsterdam the last week or so, I've been cycling in it just fine. Last night I did a 46k training ride and I could see the black ice twinkling in the beam of my light, I was very glad for the spikes. I could feel the tyres seeking grip, before the spike catches and it stabilises.

As for the bike. Her name is Sandy, I built her myself, the frame is a Genesis Vagabond, gearing is quite low, 40/28 on the front with an 11-34 cassette on the rear.

Here's a photo of her this morning after I broke camp.



J
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
You will get fitter as you go.

Your bike as shown should be fine!

How will you find your way, gps? Of course you can cycle during winter. Only in England is -1 degree considered a temperature where everything stops.
:)

Remember, in addition to the unpaved roads, you have lots of nice paved ones, which are hardly used.

If you prefer cold before insects, go as late as you can.
Frost might occur nighttime, but not much minus, not until November.
Mid September will be fantastic, the leaves are turning, holidays are iver, no tourists on the roads, lots of local produce to buy and eat!
 

Trig

Nomad
Jun 1, 2013
274
54
Scotland
Oh i dont mind the winter weather, theres often not alot of difference here between winter and summer, just a bit colder and some extra rain usually. Just hard to be bothered going out after work in the dark for a cycle is what i meant.

Nice bike, well kitted out !
 

Quixoticgeek

Full Member
Aug 4, 2013
2,476
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Europe
You will get fitter as you go.

Your bike as shown should be fine!

How will you find your way, gps? Of course you can cycle during winter. Only in England is -1 degree considered a temperature where everything stops.
:)
GPS. I have a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt unit on the handlebars with the route programmed in. It gives me a moving icon on a map, as well as beeps when I go off route. It also gives me useful info like Cadence, Heart rate, speed, etc... Very useful. I am a big fan of "Plan your ride and ride your plan" as an approach.

It's not only in England. Here in the Netherlands we had some snow last weekend. It was enough to break much of the public transport and gum up most of the roads. I was fine cycling around on studded tyres in full winter gear. Got some strange looks doing 20+ along ice covered streets when others were slipping and sliding like mad. Unfortunately there were some bits where the Sastrugi made things very interesting to ride...

Remember, in addition to the unpaved roads, you have lots of nice paved ones, which are hardly used.

If you prefer cold before insects, go as late as you can.
Frost might occur nighttime, but not much minus, not until November.
Mid September will be fantastic, the leaves are turning, holidays are iver, no tourists on the roads, lots of local produce to buy and eat!
The changing leaves sounds fantastic.


Nice bike, well kitted out !
Thanks. A lot of thought went into her construction and planning. I've still not finalised all of the details, the handlebars aren't tapped yet as I am still fettling the position.

J
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Sweden is very beautiful in fall!
Plus you can buy some truly delicious old apple varieties then.

I hope the planned trip happens and that you will enjoy it, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask!
 

The Cumbrian

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Nov 10, 2007
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The Rainy Side of the Lakes.
I was in southwest Sweden from late August through to the following January a few years ago and wasn't bothered by insects at all, apart from the the very occasional deer fly and a few midges during the first two or three weeks. I did quite a bit of walking and camping in the woods and by lakes and it was never any worse than in England. After mid September I wasn't bothered at all (with the exception of the deer flies mentioned earlier) and the weather was more settled than in the UK.

Cheers, Michael.
 

Quixoticgeek

Full Member
Aug 4, 2013
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Europe
This trip is starting to get near, just over a month til I leave. I'm going to be starting in Hamburg and heading north, through 4 countries and 1500km total.

I think I have most of the kit I need, Am going to get myself a silky saw so I can make firewood easier, which brings me onto a question, does anyone know what the state of firebans are in Sweden & Norway, or if there is a useful site(s) where I can find such details?

What is the legal status of hobo fishing in Norway and Sweden? Do I need a permit/license for fishing in the various lakes/rivers I pass?

I think I've finalised my route, I'm now at the stage of researching what resources are along the routes, including things like bike shopes, and places to restock food. I'm planning to do 2 nights of wild camping, then a hotel night (to wash cycle shorts). It's all getting kinda real.

Thanks

J
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I think (not sure 100%!) the fire bans are over in Sweden.

Most if not all forest fires are out now.

Considering how catastrophic those fires have been, and how traumatized people are in Sweden now, I would personally not light ANY fires outside an established camping ground!

You need to follow the Allemansrätten rules and regulations to the dot.
Google it!

Fishing - freshwaters - permit needed. Coast and sea - no permit.

Making fires on exposed bedrock - illegal.
Do not cut or damage living trees.

You will find all info online, better get precise info .
 
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