shared paths look different in Järvsö

Thanks to – “because of” would grammatically be more correct but completely wrong expect for some spandex retards out there – the massive amount of people who choose to walk or ride during summer commuting by bike in Stockholm is quite an enjoyable hassle at the moment.

This is especially true on shared paths that are ridiculously narrow in some parts of the city and that only fuels the annual summer war between pedestrians and cyclists. But it does not have to be that way! Let’s look at how the smart brains of Järvsö solved the problem: with only a couple of wood boards and the help of gravity they created a nice segregated cycle facility leaving enough space for pedestrians on the left of the bicycle lane.

Wall ride, Järvsö
me trying out the bicycle lanes in Järvsö last Saturday

Thumbs up to Järvsö for solving the shared path problem so well! I can’t wait to see Stockholm urban planners follow these guys ideas on streets design: imagine a double wall ride (first to the right, second to the left) to connect Götgatan to Skeppsbron. Wouldn’t it be sweet? Or am I just day-dreaming again?

Hammarbybacken, dual slalom 2013

It was a fine spring Sunday afternoon in Stockholm and while skiers & snowboarders enjoyed one last ride on the (short) slopes of Hammarbybacken mountain bikers were back on the saddle for some dual slalom racing on the steepest side of the hill.

Hammarbybacken, dual slalom - 2013

Because of the 11 stitches I currently have between the legs (I might write about that later but I’m still not sure it would make a good story) I’ve been off the bike for the last two weeks and could unfortunately not join the 18 or so riders in what looked like great fun. Instead of the goggles I put on my nicest sunglasses and brought the camera to support my friend Yoann (#15 but he got eliminated in his first qualifier), shoot some action and work on my tan.

Hammarbybacken, dual slalom - 2013

Sun, snow & mountain biking: an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon if you ask me. More pictures can be found in this folder.

sea, ride & sun in Réunion

I really do like Stockholm, no doubt about that. I like the city for the perfect mix it is between urbanized areas, forests or parks and lakes or the Baltic Sea, and the best way to enjoy that environment is in my opinion to wander around walking or, even better, riding a bicycle.

The best time of year to do so would be, for most people at least, summer but Stockholm is a whole different but as beautiful city in winter! Unfortunately I have to be a bit more objective and I must admit that winters are a bit rough even for the most committed riders and one needs a break from snow and ice once in a while.

I suppose I don’t really have to justify myself but after my 8th winter up here I finally did what a lot of Swedes do sometime between November and March: I traveled to a warmer place, in the south hemisphere and on the 2nd of February I was sitting on a plane bound for Réunion, an eleven hour flight from Paris (following a 2 hour flight from Stockholm to Paris).

Addiction being what it is I could not travel that far and not ride some of the local trails and since packing a bag for such a destination is quite easy (you basically just need a couple of t-shirts and shorts) I had room for Crank Brothers Mallet 3 pedals and a pair of Five Ten Cyclone shoes (my usual mountain bike setup).

Ready for departure

I did not spend 10 days riding a bicycle over there (that was definitely NOT okay with the wife) so I had to pick the one thing I really wanted to do on an island that basically is a big volcano: downhill mountain biking or to put it in cycling figures a 3 hour ride that started at 2,205 meters and ended at sea level.

Three hours of downhilling on various grounds (volcanic rocks, muddy soil, …) and through amazing landscapes (volcanic desert at the top, forests of Highland tamarinds, sugarcane fields, …) on a rented full suspension Kona bike.

Downhill in Réunion - The Maïdo

It was an amazing experience (even though it gets pretty warm with a full face helmet when it’s already 35°C+ outside – 95°F+) and I hope I can soon post a video shot by a fellow rider. Stay tuned.