A long bike ride in my future? Sam dreams of Sweden


I’m no fan of bucket lists, see Bucket lists bug me, but there are some rides I’d really like to do. One of them is the Vatterrundan, THE WORLD’S LARGEST RECREATIONAL BIKE EVENT. I found out about last year when I was at a conference in Sweden (Children’s Rights – origins, normativity, transformations, prospects, Linköping University, June 7 – 9, 2016) and asked the conference organizer Bengdt Sandin  about the sign pictured above. He enthusiastically told me all about the event as he’d done it several times in the past.

It’s 300 km and is held at a time of the year when there’s lots of daylight in Sweden. My usual worries about running out of light were somewhat allayed.

Vätternrundan (pronounced vet-turn-rund-an) is the largest recreational bicycle ride in the world. The 300 km course follows the shoreline of the beautiful Lake Vättern and early starters can see the sun set and rise over the lake during the ride.

Vätternrundan starts and finishes in Motala, Sweden, whose population swells to three times its size during the cycling events. The cyclists, their friends and relatives and the thousands of bicycles create a festival atmosphere, making the bike ride that extra special. Many cyclists return year after year to be a part of this large and welcoming cycling community.

The course appeals to all sorts of bicycle enthusiasts and the level of service along the course is very high. Word of this well-organised event has spread far beyond the borders of Sweden. More than 50 different nations is represented.

Because Vätternrundan is a recreational ride, no winners are listed. Instead cyclists wear a timing chip that registers their individual times. These times can be seen under Results. Everyone can check what time they started, when they passed the check points and what time they arrived at the finish in Motala.

There’s more about the history of the event on its Wikipedia page.

Here’s a shot of the lake around which the cyclists ride:

What appeals to me? It’s not a race but it is a challenging distance. I’d have to train up to it. It’s a beautiful, friendly part of the world. And also I love breakfast and coffee in Sweden.

I’ve even blogged before about my dream of doing this ride!

What’s your big, dream event? What attracts you to it? Why?

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