Gravel Adventures from Finland

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by PBG, Feb 22, 2021 at 1:19 PM.

  1. PBG

    PBG n00b

    Greetings from Finland!

    For a long time I've been reading and watching stories of many awesome adventures here, and finally wanted to share some of mine from Finland as well.

    I've been riding for quite some years already, a lot around Scandinavia, but quite a bit also around other European countries, enjoying the Alps, etc. and some miles in US as well! As for everyone, year 2020 turned out to be quite different than what I had been expecting. I had again big plans to travel outside Finland to experience some epic motorcycle adventures, but of course had to trash all of those. 99 % of my riding throughout the years has been on tarmac. Therefore having ridden all around Finland already, I thought 2020 would be without any new adventures with motorcycle.

    But little did I know. I was forced to think outside the box to not to loose the motivation to get out there and do what I enjoy most. I remembered coming across the concept of Trans Euro Trail earlier. It sounded extremely interesting, but I had concerns if I had the skills or the right bike (=too heavy) to do it, without much previous off tarmac experience. Still, me and my long time best friend and travel buddy, who had the same concerns, decided to take a shot on it! We had 9 days time to ride - what could go wrong? If the trail would turn out to be too difficult, we could always leave it, rent a cabin somewhere, and drink for the rest of the time :photog

    So last June, we hit the trail in Helsinki, being prepared for everything we could think of, including camping and cooking. We were quite confident we wouldn't enjoy the trail for long with our over-packed bikes. But against all the odds, we were basically immediately extremely excited to be riding off the tarmac, in such places where we would have never normally ridden. We had thought that we had already experienced all we wanted in Finland with the motorcycle. But then mile-by-mile, kilometer-by-kilometer we were more amazed about the excellent trail, sceneries, and being forced to practice new way of riding with our heavy bikes!

    Finally, instead of ending up drinking somewhere for several days, we found ourselves from the end of the Trans Euro Trail Finland! We had finished to whole trail, over 2000 km mostly gravel and forest roads, within 7 days! Something we could have never imagined when we started our journey!

    This experience changed our mindset completely. We had found the beauty and tranquility of the gravel roads and their sceneries, and thus realised that the whole world was now open for us in totally new way. Additionally we learned that you don't always need to travel to the end of the world to have an epic adventure! Furthermore, we saw our country in a completely different way than never before - and fell in love with the beauty of it!

    Being so inspired of riding the Trans Euro Trail, we rode both together and separately several other shorter gravel adventures in Finland during the year - making our own trails! I ended up riding record mileage for the season, and that tells a lot. Considering how mostly negative 2020 was, it changed my view on motorcycling completely, in a positive way only. After all my years of riding, I feel like I have just started to learn how to ride and how to make even better adventures!

    I have made some video series of the adventures. If you are interested in my/our newbie gravel adventures, here the first episode of our Trans Euro Trail adventure, and the first episode of our self-made adventure around the greatest lake in Finland. If you haven't been off the tarmac, but have at least been thinking of doing it, hope this motivates and gives you the final push to do it. I also hope these stories show how awesome adventures you can have in Finland!

    LeMaitre, adv63 and Amphib like this.
  2. GezwindeSpoed

    GezwindeSpoed Long timer

    Jan 15, 2009
    The land of the Dutchmen
    Good you found out "off tarmac" is so much nicer and give you so much opportunities to have an adventure.

    You are living in gravel paradise :lol3