“If you want to travel fast, travel alone; if you want to travel far, travel together.”-African Proverb.
Once upon a September, my friends (Budi and Roshan) and I decided to go on a trip to see some of the landmarks close to the Jyväskylä. We planned to cycle as far and as long as possible. So we assembled one Saturday morning….
|Two heads are better than one; Also two maps are better than none. We found following street names that we had noted, previously, to be useful.|
After a few hours of riding and sight seeing along the way, we got to Petäjävesi but…
|Disappointment, as the church had caught the flu that was flying around in the fall. I hope it gets well soon….|
|Aha! This was the cause… Hay Fever. ’Bad hay, naughty hay’.|
|For a sick church, it stands quite proudly and strong. Interesting fact about Petäjävesi old church: it is a UNESCO world heritage site, it is made of wood and it was built in 1763-64. It is open to the public in late spring until mid September. Check out http://www.petajavesi.fi/kirkko/index.php?lang=enfor more information.|
With surroundings like these, who won’t get better. Quite serene, isn’t it? If you look closely to the right, you can see a faint rainbow.
|After a break, we were off on our journey…|
|Down-up-down-up-downnnn-up-up-down. AND UP.|
With so much excitement, we decide to rest our legs and bikes…
|[budi] Luck is one of the most important ingredients of a good trip. That time we got lucky with the weather.|
As we cycled on our way, people wave and greet us. It was a good feeling. Then we stumbled upon a horse farm…
|Then we had an idea; WHAT if we used the horses for the rest of the trip? When we ’whispered’ the idea to the horses….|
|Well, I don’t think the horses were up for the idea.|
With a horse rejection, we continued on our way…
|This is why i like cycling out of town…. very light traffic and beautiful landscape.|
|After an eight-hour trip with a number of stops, photo sessions, water and food, we completed 85 km.|
Ahhh… a little to the left. (Kids, Please don’t try this at home). Small joys of this world.
There are some bike map routes from Jyväskylä that can be found from http://www.jyps.info/pyoraily/pyorareitteja-keski-suomessa (use google translate/chrome, if you don’t understand Finnish).
The recipe for a good bike trip in Finland:
– A good bike. A bike with gears is preferable.
– Bike Map
– Appropriate clothing (wind jacket, water proof jacket, gloves, eyeglasses (depending on the weather). DO NOT OVERDRESS, you will get hot from peddling ).
– Food (sandwiches mostly), water, juice, energy drink, sweets, chocolates…anything that can rehydrate and energize. Alcohol is not recommended during the trip but after…
– Puncture repair kit and small first aid kit.
– Saddle cushion (optional, but a good idea if you like your tooshie.) There are also cycling pants with padding that are available.
– Small pump (optional).
– If your Finnish is very sketchy, a small phrase book is helpful but not necessary.
Anything else guys…
[budi] 1) Keep your bag light, or else you’ll suffer in uphill track. 2) Bring about 2-3 litres of water. If you’re brave enough, bring just one small bottle and ask locals for free refills. 3) Repair/service/oil your bike before the trip to make sure it works flawlessly.
I’m really glad I went to this trip. It’s a mix of everything I enjoy about travelling: nature, physical activities, spontaneity, experience, low cost, and good friends. I won’t forget that time when we ate lunch on a bench just next to a graveyard in the middle of rain. And also the moment when we finally arrived in a “real” civilization. The feeling of achievement was just so overwhelming. After we concluded the trip by sauna, the day was perfect for me. Cheers to Derek and Roshan for the company during the whole trip. We shall do this crazy $#!+ again in winter 🙂
I would like to thank Budi and Roshan for their contribution to the article and for making this a memorable trip.