Sunday, September 9, 2018

Kuusamo - Posio - Autti - Rovaniemi - Helsinki - home

The bicycle was working fine and now it was time to get going to enjoy some more nature and finally enter Lapland and visit the artic circle :)

Another cutie <3

A beautiful swamp :D

Finally crosssing into Lapland :)

Found another great berry spot

Blueberry oat meal coming up

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Auttiköngäs museum
sun :) :)

old times - it was used until 1970 for transporting logs

Really nice for the doggies :)

Fantastic view from the tower

Most secure parking on this trip @Autti
Kemi river
Almost there

around and around :D

Waiting for the train to come

Track Kuusamo - Posi - Autti - Rovaniemi

How does a vegan get to leather gloves (I prefer them when e.g. using the grinder)? Collecting them from the ditch :D ... Yes! I saw so many gloved along the road that around Lieksa, I decided to collect the ones which were in good condition and I got two pairs. The one even had the ID tag still on :D

Total track 1800+km and 37km ascent

Monday, September 3, 2018

Trouble with the bicycle on the last days of the journey

Yeah - no trip without at least some trouble :D
So Next day I took off the wheel and hitchhiked the 25km to Kuusamo. There is the one and only motorbike/bicycle/smalle engine repair shop in the region. Well, there was no freehub sparepart, the only thing he could offer was a new hub (which would require to re-spoke the wheel) in 3 days including all the work. That would completely ruin my plans. Since the bicycle is pretty new and had only seen a few km, I suggested to take the freehub apart, clean it and see what happens.

While the guys went to work I visited the nearby 99,99% vegan restaurant. I sat down, enjoyed some goodies and a coffee when I got a text message, the wheel is ready... and is it working? The message did not say that. So I walked over and to my surprise the freehub worked again. So it was dirt after all and nothing was broken. I was very happy and relieved.

I went back to the restaurant for lunch with Anna Catarina who gave me a lift from Kuusamo to Ruka the day before. She drove me now also back to my cottage, I had a short business telco and then I went to install the wheel. That was when the trouble continued: IT DID NOT FIT IN ANYLONGER!!!

How was that possible? Did I loose a part when taking off the wheel? Did the bike shrink? I had no idea. The problem was that the brake disc touched the brake caliper, so that the wheel did not turn anylonger. I was frustrated ... all alone and lost in the deserted holiday village. After some search I found a neighbor and borrowed a bicycle from him to go to the shop for some additional tools to take things apart. Well, the nearby small grocery shop did not have any tools and lucky me I found an electrician who worked late and I borrowed some tools from him (on trust base that I bring them back asap). Well, none of them helped.

I removed the brake caliper and then the wheel fit in, so I could at least ride (but without rear brake). On the next iteration I figured to make(!!!) a washer and by doing so I got the 1mm space I need to fit the brake caliper again. Ok now the wheel fit in and I got the brakes working. Strangely the chain now fell off when shifting in the highest gear and it did not go to the lowest gear. It looked like the entire wheel had moved to one side a good deal. How was that possible? I adjusted the gear system so that the chain would not fall off, the rest - I did not care. I was too tired to think. I did a test ride and returned the borrowed tools and since the guy was still working, I asked him for a proper washer and yeah, he found one :) By now, it already was late and I was too exhausted for sauna. So much for a nice evening in a cottage with own sauna :-o

Anyway, next morning I would be able to cycle to Kuusamo to visit the repair shop again. That of course meant I had to change my plan and not ride via Kemijärvi, but via Posio and Autti instead.

After some exciting 25km, I reached the repair shop and showed the guy the problem. He had some trouble to understood where the problem comes from and then disappeared to the back for a while. When he came back, he only commented that the axle was installed the wrong way! Really? An expert! That incident again encourage me even more to maintain my stuff by myself in future as much as possible. Well, one more experience to s... happens :D

Anyway, now off to Rovaniemi via Posio and Autti. Santa was waiting :D

And here a few pics from those days

Big fellow hitchhiking to Kuusamo. Thanks to the first guy, he made a sign for me to get easier to Kuusamo :D

The one and only repair shop

The 100% vegan restaurant which also serves honey for tea (nonono - honey is not-vegan!!!)

A clean and working freehub

While I was working hard a reindeer came by :-o

My borrowed bike ;)

My self-made washer from one ring of my plastic cover (kevyt peite)
Here we go again .... lalala

Good tasting vegan food in Kuusamo :) ...
... and the main course

Some goodies for Skippy and me ... for some sweet time together ;)
Wisdom of the day: Carbohydrates are the foundation of vegetarian food. Prefer whole grains.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Kuhmo - Lentiira - Suomussalmi - Juntusranta- Hossa

The next 4 days would be a real challenge. I learned from the leg to Kuhmo that 85km in unoptimal conditions is beyond my healthy daily limit. 70km are still fine. Furthermore, after such riding days I really appreciate a hot shower (or sauna). This is supposed to be holidays after all and not some kind of survival trip😇

So even though there are many lovely places in the wild to pitch a tent, its a bit too cold already for me. On the other hand, the  map is not showing many accomodations along my route. If there is a 10km gravel road to take, that might be no issue by car, yet b y bicycle it would be 1hour more as those are tiny gravel roads, mostly in poor conditions.

As I learned from finding the previous place, one needs to ask around and so I did. I was amazed how many possibilities for decent money there came up and within a few hours those next critical places were reserved. I was happy and I did not need to engage plan B here which would have meant going by bus to Kuusamo. I also figured out that I indeed had one day extra - what a pleasant surprise...

Enjoying the sun

I got an entire big apartment for 15EUR/night in an old school.

The rest is now used for village and other events

Laundry day :D

But only build for "small" people :D

Also time for some maintenance. Changing the chain and brake pads.

Next day was only raining so I took the morning school bus to the next city. My bicycle fit perfectly in the trunk. Since it was a replacement bus the driver even came the day before to test that the bicycle fit - that is service!

So I had some extra time in Suomussalmi to walk around :)

Reindeer growing starts near Suomussalmi.

I was another day of rain and I found this nice kota for rest

The rain stopped and I could enjoy the ride even more

A big drying cabinet was very welcome :)

Another hidden gem - an entire flat for 35EUR/night.
Next day off north to Hossa. Since it was a short ride I always spent some time in the Hossa National Park.
Somehow camping was not too tempting, so another night in a mökki ... with a view from the toilet - better then reading newspaper :D

Next day I continued north towards Kuusamo...

This makes me really sick. First you can admire those gorgous animals and then eat them 😟

Somehow I spooked them off more then with the motorbike :D

Time for a break and ... berries

First signs of fall...

A small example of a typical road ... up and down and up and down ...
Then this happened. The freehub (Freilauf) was blocked. This meant when I did not pedal and was moving the chain hung through and hit the wheel. So it was some exhausting 20km to Kuusamo on the big road where trucks passed by at full speed.

To be continued...