Category Archives: Mountain biking

Mountain Biking

Moving from the coast of South Africa to inland Sweden takes some adjustment. Let’s forget that Swedes speak a language derived from drunken Vikings and poor German farmers. We’ll just focus on outdoor activities for now.

Such a move requires sacrifices. Odin sacrificed his eye for knowledge. I sacrificed surfing for free education. It’s basically the same thing.

There is actually a surf scene on the east coast of Sweden, but the waves are tiny and they only roll through with the winter storms. That means your meatballs are submerged in sub-zero Baltic water, for the pursuit of waves you could find in a bathtub.

So surfing is off the list of sane sporting activities. Considering that Sweden is just a giant forest dotted with villages, serial stalking would be perfect. Somehow I ended up with a mountain bike as a birthday gift and felt compelled to use it.

Falling off a mountain bike is far less forgiving than wiping out on a surfboard. The Indian Ocean’s soft, warm embrace has been replaced by the cold, hard rock and root of Swedish terrain. Additionally, the solid saddle of a mountain bike acts like a jackhammer when riding over rough terrain. Ride standing or get your rear end pounded.

In South Africa one can surf all year round. While Sweden is covered in ice for eight months of the year. Not a problem! I ordered ice-tyres that look like a torture device from Medieval times. Cycling into the forest at -10 Celcius is beautiful and terrifying. Snow covering sky-high pine trees in crisp winter air is postcard perfect. At the same time, ice covering your single track is like cycling on a giant bar of soap. Crash now and your corpse will be found thawing in spring by an old lady’s poodle.

Was the move worth it? Yes. Do I miss surfing? I would give up a meatball for some sloppy PE waves right now.