Stockholm Cargo Bike Festival 2015

A few pictures from the first Cargo Bike Festival held in Stockholm on September 19, 2015. One of my neighbors -who I sent a link to the Facebook event to- ordered a cargo bike right after he and his family went and tried all the bikes available for test rides. I can only call that first edition a success.

Stockholm Cargo Bike Festival 2015

What, when and where?

When: September 19 (together with Stockholm Bike Carnival)
Where: Arkitektur & designcentrum, Skeppsholmen
Event on Facebook: here
In Swedish: Svenska lastcykelmässan 2015 on Cykla med lastcykel

The Stockholm Cargo Bike Festival exists to promote the development of energy-efficient & space-efficient urban transportation through cargo bikes, create general public awareness, get the attention of the media, politicians and authorities.
Cargo bikes will be available for test rides so any one can experience their true potential firsthand.


Babboe Nordic, Bullitt STHLM, Cykelfabriken, Cargobike, Ecoride STHLM, Enskede Lådcyklar, Levande video, Livelo, Nordiska cykelkompaniet, Move by bike STHLM, Norvelo, Söders cykel & Velove Cargobikes & Trailers

This entry will be updated as more information becomes available.

thank you for cycling – May 27, 2015 – tack för att du cyklar

On May 27, the City of Stockholm and Naturskyddsföreningen (the most influential non-profit environmental organization in Sweden) will give goodie bags to cyclists around Stockholm as a thank you for riding a bicycle (“tack för att du cyklar”).

Cycling in Stockholm

In order to get one of the bags you will have to ride by one the following 17 check points:

  • Alvik (Alviksplan)
  • Hornstull
  • Ekelundsbron (Solna)
  • Slussen
  • Årstabron
  • Skanstull
  • Götgatan (by Katarina bangata) – bike service available
  • Hammarbyfärjan (Södermalm)
  • Roslagstull (north side) – bike service available
  • Stadshuset – bike service available
  • Norrtull
  • Lidingöbron (Ropsten side)
  • Sankt Eriksplan
  • Raoul Wallenbergs torg
  • Älvsjö station (by the bicyle pump)
  • Kista – bike service available
  • Hökarängen

Will you commute by bike on May 27 and ride by one of the check points to get a bag? What do you think the goodies will be this time? Or, if you’re reading this afterwards, what did you get?

Sthlm Bike goes Royal

Sthlm bike, the world’s most beautiful bicycle race, is back with a new route on September 6.

This year’s ride (Sthlm Bike is a non-timed race so take it easy and enjoy the scenery) is a bit longer (48 kilometers) than last year’s (42 kilometers) and has been given a new – Royal – dimension according to the race organizers: “We will not just ride through Stockholm’s beautiful landscape but the route will take us from castle to castle.”

Stockholm bike, route, 2015

We’ll start at the Royal Palace and head to the islands of Djurgården where we’ll bicycle by Rosendal Palace followed by Kungliga Djurgårdens Förvaltning (no idea how to translate that but that’s where coffee and snacks will be served).
We’ll then continue towards Ulriksdal Palace where you’ll get a chance to refill your water bottles and bring your blood sugar levels up. We’ll then head back towards the city via Haga Palace and Hagaparken.
From Sveavägen on we’ll ride through the city to the finnish line: City Hall (don’t forget your blood sugar levels), Kungsholmen, Fredhäll and Södermalm. Breakfast will be served at the Royal Garden.

I really enjoyed last year’s ride and will definitely join this year with a couple of friends. I suggest you join too and register already.

Registration starts now and will remain open until August 27 or until all 3,000 entries sell-out.

a Monday in Hell

Not much bicycle riding in the last few days as I had to stay home with a sick child and the only cycling in the saddle activity I managed to squeeze in was a round trip to the Bicycle Film Festival Greatest Hits on Friday evening. Upon arrival at Arkitektur- och designcentrum I was greeted by an american man smoking a cigarette just outside the building. “Hi, what’s your name?” – “I’m Pierre.” – “Where are you from?” – “I’m from France.” – “Where in France?” – “I was born in Roubaix but…” – “Really? I’m working on a film about Paris-Roubaix. My name is Brendt Barbur by the way. Founder of the Bicycle Film Festival”.

We talked for a while and when Brendt asked me, the amateur cyclist born in Roubaix, whether I had watched a Sunday in Hell or not, I did not really know how to answer and after something like “euhhh…. yes… maybe… no” I had to admit to being a bad student coming to the festival rather unprepared.

I had seen some of the movies of the greatest hits already but some were new to me and the two hour program felt way shorter than it was. The evening ended with Lucas Brunelle’s Off The Grid but even though I know he’s a regular contributor to the Bicycle Film Festival (I respect that) and his movies quiet exciting to watch I still don’t see the point of glorifying reckless riding and, furthermore, still don’t understand the whole meditation and metaphysical bullshit the guy can come up with for a full 20 minutes.

I rode home through hipstermalm and somehow managed to stay on the bike despite all the drunks and taxis using the bike lane for everything but cycling and suddenly it’s Monday. I have the whole day for myself and decide it’s time to work on the fundamentals. I have to watch a Sunday in Hell or I can’t keep blogging about cycling and tell people I’m from Roubaix each time the Queen of the Classics pops up in a discussion. And so I did just that. I just enjoyed a Monday in Hell.

Bicycle Film Festival

Edition 2014 of Bicycle Film Festival Stockholm will be presented at Arkitektur- and designcentrum on Skeppsholmen. Two days (October 3 & 4) full of bike movies, a bike exhibition by Black Label Bicycle Club Stockholm and a cruise through Stockholm city. After the last set of movies on Saturday Bicycle Film Festival will head to Bloms Café with gold sprint race and DJ marathon. Buy your ticket(s) already.

October 3

19:00 – Program 1

  • BACK TO BATTENKILL, USA 2014 | 4 min. Dir. Josh Miller
  • CLEAN SPIRIT, Netherlands 2014 | 88 min. Dirk Jan Roeleven

21:00 – Program 2, Bicycle Film Festival Greatest Hits

  • MADE IN QUEENS, USA 2008 | Video 10min. Dir. Joe Stevens & Nicolas Randall
  • SKI BOYS, Canada 2006 | Super 8 8min. Dir. Benny Zenga
  • BIKELORDZ: STYLES ALIVE EDITION, Ghana 2012 | HD 10min. Dir. Mikey Hart
  • BOY, England 2012 | Digital 10min. Dir. Justin Chadwick
  • BELLE EPOCH, Italy, USA 2008 | Video 3min. Dir. Robert Chynoweth
  • ON TIME, USA 1985 | 16mm 10min. Dir. Ari Taub
  • THE BICYCLE, USA 2012 HD 7min. Dir. Adam Neustadter and Chris McCoy
  • THE CYCLIST, USA 2013 HD 10min. Dir. Morgan Krantz
  • SISTER SESSION, Estonia 2012 | HD 11min. Dir. Helen Habakuk, Doris Taaker, & Brett Astrid Vomma
  • ROAD SAGE, USA 2013 HD 12min. Dir. Lucas Brunelle

October 4

18:30 – Program 3

  • FIX THE ICELAND, Czech Republic 2014 | 11 min. Dir. Kryštof Hlůže
  • LUCAS BRUNELLE GOES TO AFRICA, USA 2013 HD 7min. Dir. Lucas Brunelle
  • EVOLUTION OF BICYCLE, Denmark 2013 | 1 min. Dir. Thallis Vestergaard
  • TUESDAY NIGHT SPECIAL, USA 2014 | 16 min. Dir. Harry Zernike
  • MELONS, TRUCKS & ANGRY DOGS, Germany 2014 | 56 min. Dir. Kristian & Martin Ansand & Gilluck

20:30 – Program 4, Urban Bike Shorts

  • I’M ALRIGHT, USA 2014 HD 4min. Dir. John Lynn
  • TRON KONG, Hong Kong 2014 | 2 min. Dir. Joshua Wong
  • SPIN!, USA 2014 | 2 min. Dir. Harry Zernike
  • MY RIDE, UK 2014 | 3 min. Dir. Jessie Ayles
  • MY WONDERFUL BICYCLE, USA 2014 | HD 4min. Dir. Steve Olpin
  • HAVANA BIKES, Spain 2014 | 5 min. Dir. Diego Vivanco
  • WHIFFED OUT, USA 2013 | 12 min. Dir Jason Giampietro
  • DELIVERY, USA 2014 | 10 min. Dir. Christopher Walker, Joshua Simpson, Michael Beach Nichols
  • THE COLDEST MARCH, UK 2014 | 17 min. Dir. Ben Pickett

The Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) is an independent film festival that screens films related to urban cycling culture, in cities around the world. It was founded in 2001 and is based in New York. – Wikipedia

Sthlm Bike, the world’s most beautiful bicycle race

I’ve been wanting to (among other things) spend more time riding my bicycles for a while and I just got the chance to do so. Until I decide otherwise I am now off on Mondays and today marks the beginning of a new routine: I will walk my daughter to school at 9:00 and will pick her up at 15:00 but I yet have to work on self-discipline and figure out how to make the best of these six hours each week.

So here I am, drinking espresso and writing about yesterday’s Sthlm Bike, the world’s most beautiful bicycle race, no less.

Sthlm Bike, 2013

Sthlm Bike is a 42 kilometer non-timed race and even though one could go flat-out through the streets of Stockholm and be served breakfast first at the finish area it would just be the most stupid thing to do. Starting at 7:00 from Gärdet the route was mostly on paved roads but included a couple of gravel roads through greener areas. I’d say that I know my way around Stockholm quite well on two wheels and I was very pleased to cycle parts of the city I just never had the occasion or reason to visit.

As always the Capital of Scandinavia did not disappoint and cruising around an almost car-free Stockholm in the early hours of Sunday morning was pure pleasure (can’t help but wish that day will come when cars will be banned from the city center).

Sthlm Bike, 2014

The highlight of the ride though was, in my opinion, the coffee and cookies booth at kilometer 17. With the race starting at 7:00 participants were expected to meet at the starting line at 6:30 so I, and a lot of other riders, left home quite early that morning with little or no time for a proper cup of fuel. Being reasonably fit and used to cycling I did not need the kilometer 26 banana but it was great for those less accustomed to riding 40+ kilometers. Anyway. That coffee was golden.

Our vision is to be able to offer a car-free Stockholm to 25,000 cyclists on a Sunday morning in September –

While this ambitious number has not yet been reached the race organisation and the volunteers who helped cyclists along the course did make clear they were up to the task. Great weather. Great route. Great race. Looking forward to September 6, 2015.

thank you for cycling – September 17, 2014 – tack för att du cyklar

On September 17, the City of Stockholm and Naturskyddsföreningen (the most influential non-profit environmental organization in Sweden) will give goodie bags to cyclists around Stockholm as a thank you for riding a bicycle (“tack för att du cyklar”).

Cycling in Stockholm

In order to get one of the 150,000 bags you will have to ride by one the following 17 check points:

  • Alvik (Alviksplan)
  • Liljeholmsbron (east side)
  • Ekelundsbron (Solna)
  • Slussen
  • Årstabron
  • Skanstull
  • Götgatan (by Katarina bangata) – bike service available
  • Hammarbyfärjan (Södermalm)
  • Roslagstull (north side) – bike service available
  • Stadshuset – bike service available
  • Norrtull
  • Lidingöbron (Ropsten side)
  • Sankt Eriksplan
  • Raoul Wallenbergs torg
  • Älvsjö station (by the bicyle pump)
  • Kista – bike service available
  • Hökarängen

Will you commute by bike on September 17 and ride by one of the check points to get a bag? What do you think the goodies will be this time?

Vätternrundan 2014: Part 8: It’s all over!

Sorry this took so long. To be honest I thought I’d posted it but apparently not.

Remember those sore feet I had in Karlsborg? Well I thought it was because of the stiff bike shoes. It ended up being a splinter that I’d stood on and jammed into my foot just where I press down on the pedals. If I’d looked at it then I’d have been able to solve it straight away. How annoying is that?


So, what did I learn?

Well, quite a lot actually. Firstly, that 300 kilometers on a bike is not as hard as you might think as long as you have done the prep work. Anyone who goes into it thinking it’ll be easy is either mad, stupid or a Team Sky rider (and even they don’t usually ride that far in one go!).

Apart from that, this is what I take away with me:

  • They say to do 1000 kilometers training if you want to make it round Vättern, 2000 if you want to do it comfortably and 3000 if you want to do it fast. Those numbers are pretty accurate I’d say! I did about 2800 and still had to dig deep when my energy hit rock bottom.
  • Join a bike club. They can help you with training, to find a team and, most importantly, they get priority placing when registration opens. Sure, you have to pay a little more but at least you are freed from the wild scramble to get a place. Vätternrundan fills up in minutes and a lot of people are left disappointed!
  • Cycle as part of a team. Having friends all around you to push you along and keep you going when things get hard is the best thing you can possibly have. I know at least two members of my team would have quit if the rest if us had not been there encouraging them.
  • Set a goal. But remember that it doesn’t matter if you don’t achieve your goal. Just getting round is a pretty bloody major achievement in itself. It’s more important to enjoy yourself and have a good time than to eat some time limit that nobody cares about except you.
  • Make sure you know how to fix a puncture. It might sound stupid but you’d be amazed how many people we passed waiting for service cars to come and fixed punctured tyres! You’ll ruin any chance of beating your goal time but, more importantly, you’ll get cold and stiff waiting around. Better to fix it yourself and get on your way again.
  • The right bike for you is better than the wrong bike with a flashy label on it. You’re ten times better off having a bike nobody has heard of but that fits you than a Specialized carbon fibre wonderbike that is way too big or small.
  • The people who make fun of you for spending so much time training and grinding yourself down are mostly just jealous because they are too lazy to get off their butts and do it themselves.
  • You cross the line saying, “Never again.” A few weeks later you’re thinking, “When does the registration for Vätternrundan open?” I won’t be doing it next year but I will be back some day!

Why am I not going back next year? Well mainly because my wife would kill me but also because my job are entering teams in Halvvättern and I want to be part of that. Even doing Halvvättern without practicing with the people you will cycle with is just a bad idea.

That’s it. My Vätternrundan 2014 adventure is over. I’ve also completed Vansbrosimmet and will run Lidingöloppet on Saturday.

Vätternrundan 2014: Part 7: Hammarsundet to Motala

And then we were off on the final leg. Just 40 km to go but there was still a serious chance of a couple of team mates dropping out. The pace had dropped significantly but the morale of the lead group was high as we realised we were going to make it. The ones who were struggling were in real difficulty so that every time we came to a hill they got dropped. The pace dropped even more to make sure we stayed together. Suddenly in front of us was a beautiful, the first sign to Motala and it was only 20km away. What we didn’t know then was that the route did not follow the shortest road to Motala so we actually had about 30 km left 🙂

As we got clsoer to town I began to recognise things and knew we only had a few minutes left of our ride. We organised ourselvse into two perfect columns and rolled into Motala’s waterfront area to cross the finish line in 11 hours and 48 minutes.

Mission accomplished!

Vätternrundan, finish

My family were there to greet me and my little boy was very proud of his old dad.

Welcoming committee

Vätternrundan, medal

My butt was killing me and my legs were tired but I’d made it and didn’t feel nearly as bad as I’d expected. The team sat down for some food then it was hugs all round as we headed off to see our friends and families. Here I am in my final moments in team kit as I got back to our camp site.


Part one of my svenskklassiker was done and I was feeling very good about myself.

Here are the bare figures from the ride (viciously stolen from my team-mate’s Garmin Edge since my iPhone lost GPS contact and thinks I cycled across lake Vättern rather than round it)…

The full route

Vätternrundan, route


We needed to average a moving speed of 27.3 kmh to make our goal. We had included some stops as well to refuel and rest.

Vätternrundan, speed


Considering the race goes around a lake (usually pretty flat things), you’d think that it’s a pretty flat course. Not at all! There were actually very few flat sections.

Vätternrundan, altitude

In the final part of this report you’ll find out what I learned before and during my first (but probably not last) ride around lake Vättern.