Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two More Days Until One Big Bike Ride

About 18,000 cyclists are gearing up for what’s called "the largest recreational bicycle ride in the world," "världens största cykelmotionslopp." Sweden will host Vätternrundan this weekend. The cyclists are timed, but it’s called a recreational bike ride because no individual winner is declared (it’s more of a celebration of the cycling community) and the largest bike event of its kind based on number of participants and distanced traveled.

The 44th edition of Vätternrundan starts in Motala Friday evening for some and early Saturday morning for others. The riders start in waves, between 8pm and 5am (the early starters get the extra motivation of watching the sun set and rise over the lake) and the cyclists have until midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning to complete the 300 kilometer (186 mile) course around Lake Vättern, Sweden’s second largest lake.

The organizers say they will serve Blueberry Soup 81 kilometers in. Nice.

Vätternrundan is a part of En Svensk Klassiker (A Swedish Classic), in which you’re awarded a diploma for completing an event in cross-country skiing (Engelbrektsloppet, Vasaloppet or Öppet Spår), running (Lidingöloppet 30k), swimming (Vansbrosimningen) and cycling (Vätternrundan), all in one year.

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