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It's been a while since we've had the opportunity to train together due to our schedules and being into the long Swedish summer (we're still waiting!) vacations. Jon bought himself a new mountain bike and what better way to test it by hammering out 80kms through some previously uncharted forest roads and paths around Uppland. I've been looking at Google Maps for a while now trying to link individual sections together into a more consolidated route. I'd already been exploring some areas and was just hoping there were ways through others, otherwise we'd just plough on regardless and carry the bikes if necessary. I'm pleased to say the planning was good for an 80km route which first took us South towards Odensala / Märsta along some pleasant country roads free of any traffic, then East towards Arlanda turning into forests around the airport. As the weather had by then turned to heavy rain, we had a lot of puddles to navigate where you're never sure what's lurking under the surface. At one point we appeared right at the end of the runway amongst the landing lights, how awesome a shot that would've been to get a plane landing as we cycled past!
The route then took us back north heading for the #77 before crossing it and heading north again through forests in the direction of Ösby. After bearing South West towards Fjällnora, there came the 'can we get through there?' part and the answer was thankfully YES after we made a slight detour for a private road and picked up Upplandsleden which was a mixture of ride-able and un-rideable single track (more geared for hiking than biking). Crossing a small bridge (Jon originally thought this crossing may be a raft we'd have to pull across on a rope!) we navigated around Eda, Lagga and then the final climb in the forest behind Olunda ridskolan. The weather was 'typically Swedish summer-esque' as was the forecast! 14C and cloudy to start, light drizzle, heavy rain, more heavy rain, then finally glorious sunshine for the last 10km! Awesome to get out and a long ride which with the exceptions of some lengthy climbs, mimicked the conditions of Cykelvasan pretty well. Think there'll be some more exploration of those forests east of the E4 in the weeks to come.