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Seeking mountain biking in Stockholm

Week of July 23-29, 1998
Seeking mountain biking in Stockholm
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Seeking mountain biking in Stockholm
Question: I'm traveling on business to Stockholm in September for three weeks. My weekends are free, and I would like to mountain bike on short trips. Any suggestions? I could travel on a Friday night to a location if need be.

Sam Rockaway
New Brunswick, New Jersey

Stockholm's countryside is rich with picturesque forests and lakes.
Adventure Adviser: A two-hour plus drive northwest from Stockholm is picturesque Falun, perched on a glistening lake. With rolling farmlands, forests of pine and a necklace of lakes, this area has some prime riding, mostly in the form of single-tracks connected by little-traveled country dirt roads. Unlike mountain biking in say Marin, where you might get heckled for crossing private property or sharing a trail with hikers, the Swedes extend a warm welcome to single-trackers, and trail conflicts are virtually unheard of. You can literally ride over (or camp on) any private property provided you stay clear of the residential dwelling. If you're a hill-lover, riding in Sweden might be a bit tame as the terrain is relatively flat with an occasional roller. But the riding can be technical, with lots of rocks and roots.

Checking in with the locals is my fool-proof way of finding the best rides in any location. So when you get settled in Stockholm, venture to a local cycling store or call a mountain biking group to collect information. You may even be able to jump on board a planned weekend outing, a great way to meet some Swedish folk, find some riding companions and experience the countryside like a local. (Just don't start snacking on herring instead of Power Bars for an energy boost). Virtually everyone speaks English, so don't be bashful about picking up the phone.

Stockholm MTB Yeti (named after the abominable snowman of the Himalayas) is Sweden's oldest mountain biking club, and members pride themselves on loving long, technical rides. They're always happy to show visitors the trails and Stockholm's epic scenery, so contact one of the club's board members: Bjorn Stenberg (08 612 58 18); Rickard Callertun (08 652 73 48) or Friedrich Eltester (08 652 33 36). Sweden's Cycling Federation (Svenska Cykel Forbundet) may also have some tips, and you can reach them at 46 8 592 525 50 (fax: 46 8 592 529 36). As for shops, I suggest stopping by Cykloteket, located at Torsgatan 66 in Stockholm (phone: 46 8 32 46 00), or you can send an e-mail to info@cykloteket.se. Two other shops to check out are Svenska MTB Importen (46 8 249010) and Sport Recycle (46 8 23 10 11).

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