Every now and then there is a question which navigation system is the best for Adventure riding? I don’t have the correct answer but here are some features to check. Especially if you want to ride TransEuroTrail (Finland). I’ve been using Garmin GPSmap 62, Garmin Montana 600, Last summer Samsung Active Tab 2 & Osmand App and now I have Garmin Montana 700. I did a testride with both of these navigation systems attached to my motorcycle. I also had my camera (DJI Osmo Action) attached to my helmet -this I didn’t have in a very long time. And Rode Wireless Go II microphone was connected to my camera and the microphone itself was inside my helmet. Here is the video:
I’m not saying which one is better. They both have some cons and pros. Samsung Tab can be a little bit tricky to keep the batter fully loaded. It is very delicate part of the tablet this USB gate where you should connect the charging wire. I was using the magnetic type of wire where there is an extra connection just after the plug that you should push to the USB gate. The power that comes from my motorcycles alternator is not quite enough to keep the battery 100% loaded all day. But in novemeber when we were riding 9 hours it took only about 30% of battery power… So I could easily ride 2-3 days without recharging the tablet. It has also a small problem about the maps. You can get along with them but they are not as accurate than the maps in Garmin Montana. Every now and then I was little bit confused with Osmand maps. Why this track or that road is not on the map? Garmin Montana 700 biggest drawback (so far) is that you can’t change the thickness of the saved track’s line on the map! This makes it little bit tricky to see the line on the map that you should try to follow. The strangest thing is that it was possible in Garmin Montana 600!! (And also in Osmand App!) There are a lot of other devices and other apps to use. Especially this whole Apple -thing! I know nothing about them. But for android this Osmand is very good choice because it’s free or it’s not expensive to buy (full licence) where you can have unlimited amount of downloads (maps). I hope this helps you to choose a good system that serves you the best!
On august 17th I bought a new enduro bike! This time I chose BMW G650 XChallenge! It has the same 1-cylinder 650ccm Rotax-engine than in many many other bikes. It is known to be very trustful and you don’t have to make service all the time.
I rode the bike from Lappeenranta to home and I really was enjoying enduroriding again!
During this autumn I’ve been riding few times with friends also and I’ve had videocamera with me. Here are some nice videos:
This was 2nd of september. We were riding mostly quite big roads/ easy roads so everyone could join the ride!
The roads in Kiikala area are very nice!! You really can enjoy the speed and essence of Finnish nature and adventure motorcycling!
This one is from Vihti/ Karkkila/ Lohja area (Rausjärvi). It is also a part of Trans Euro Trail route that I planned last spring. In this video there is a scary moment in 06:45 when a car comes from the yard straight in front of me! Luckily I had enough time to ride aside!
In the end of september we had a little bit different ride. This time mostly OffRoad. This was already in the beginning of the day… The most difficult parts! I can say that I was sweating like a pig… or a horse!
This path is quite well known route in Vihti. Not too difficult, almost quite ok for ordinary roadbike too.
This is one sandpit near Lohja. There is also nice small pond and we are riding around it two times.
And the last route is an old railroad (without rails) in Pikkala. The railroad was built by Russians when the area was part of Russia after the WWII.
In this video there is short break to take pictures under the bridge and then riding over the log. This log is not that difficult anymore…
Weather was again very warm. This is not at all typical in Lapland that the temperature stays over +30 long time and even the nights are warmer than +20.
We started soon after 9am and it was already stifling hot. I had plans for some gravelroad in the beginning of the day but I choose the paved road because I could ride faster and get some refreshment from the wind.
I didn’t fill the tank in Kittilä which was a big mistake. I soon realized that there’s no big citys or even villages between Kittilä and Rovaniemi -it looked like there’s no places to add gasoline!! But finally there was one! This place was 57km’s south from Kittilä and the gasoline pumps was still working! Many these kind of places don’t have gasoline anymore because the regulations are more tight about spoiling the enviroment.
Quite soon after this we found a place for a break and swimming. There was this big river Ounasjoki and our route was following it until Rovaniemi but the rivers are not so obvious places for swimming…
This was a place to put the boat to the river and it was ok for us to make a quick refreshment. About 1 hour later we were in Rovaniemi and there’s one place my wife wanted to see! The Arctic Circle and the Santa Claus village!
Even in a very hot summer day you can hear at least Japanese, Russian, German, English and few other languages here. I hope these people didn’t come here to find the winter wonderland… We almost went to visit Santa Claus!
But we chose the motorcycle ride to the city… and we didn’t want to ride there too long. It was simply too hot! Our final stop was at Ranua -about 110 kilometers south from Rovaniemi. Just behind our hotel there was a beach so we could relax for awhile and ofcourse go swimmig.
Later in the evening we had a dinner in our hotel but to stay the night here we had chosen the “economy room” which meant a room with very poor air ventilation upstairs of… police office!
Luckily we could keep the window open all night so at least after midnight it was already almost ok to fall asleep.
Here’s video about the day (made by my wife):
This was the day when we started our way “back home”. It was only “downhill” from here untile we will reach the Helsinki-area. But luckily there was still many nice places to see…
This picture is from the beginning of this road (Road to Kalkkoaivi). I didn’t have the time to check the whole route and I also had the very unlucky experiences of having the flat tire few days ago… So I only checked how it looks from the beginning.
After quite many kilometers we finally made a stop to check Äkäsmylly. It’s still operational watermill in Lapland wilderness! We though it was very beautiful place.
Pitty it was very HOT day (+32 celsius) and we didn’t want to sweat our clothes totally wet so we walked back to the bike quite soon and continued riding.
Next stop was after quite long gravelroad-ride!
In the Pakasaivo -lake the water doesn’t change! There are no rivers or creeks that comes or goes from it! There’s also a special Lappish mythology that says it’s a place for the dead… So even it was very hot day we didn’t want to go down there and swim because we thought the place was little bit scary! (And because we were 50 meters higher than the lake surface!)
After this it wasn’t too long to our hotel. This time we were lucky! It wasn’t the best possible season for skiing so we got the room from very nice hotel (with spa) and it was quite cheap! Just when we were arriving at the hotel when we saw this:
This was kind of shocking… when you have this beautiful image on your mind about cute reindeers who are helping the santa claus and walking around lapland wilderness… And here she was peeing almost in the middle of the road making the pavement wet!! Yaiks!
We spent the night in Lapland hotel Saaga with this view:
After very nice breakfast we chose the road that goes over Kuurna dam.
There’s not too many places in Finland where you can ride over the dam that’s why it’s quite nice to ride here. Then we continued to the north and we were riding on the westside of Lake Pielinen until we stopped at Pirunkirkko (Devils Church). These caves are 34 meters deep and even 7 meters high (but actually it’s not a cave -it’s just a crack in the rock).
Very close to this cave is one of the most famous views in Finland: Koli!
Koli is a hill just beside the lake and the elevation is more than 200 meters from the lake surface to the top of the hill. Luckily we had perfect clear weather to check these views!
This is called “The National landscape” but I think it’s little bit misleading. I would understand that The National landscape means something very typical Finnish view… But this is quite special and NOT typical at all! But on the other hand I feel quite proud standing up there and I’m thinking “This is my home country!” So maybe it is a good thing that we call it “The National Landscape”!
Then there was quite a lot of riding to Nurmes and to the house of Bomba.
Here we had a short break and we continued riding to Kuhmo and still to Iivantiira.
On the southside of Kuhmo there is many places in the forest (and beside the road) that are kind of museum about “Winter war” in Kuhmo. We stopped at one of them and walked around a little bit.
About 10km’s north from Iivantiira I had a flat rear tire! It was a gravelroad but quite in good condition… It seems that I just had very bad luck that one sharp stone found its way to make hole in my tire!!! This happened about here!
I had the repair kit to fix the tire but I was suspicious -it will not hold! There was one local guy who stopped and said he has the kompressor at his home (with Pressure gauge) and he can pick it up. I had only 3 small bottles of pressure air in this repair kit so I was sure I will need more air to have the correct pressure! These 3 bottles make only about 0,5 bar so I was very lucky that I got this air kompressor and I could fill the tire! After maybe 45 minutes of fixing we were riding again…
But not for a long! Maybe after 20 km’s and the tire was flat again!
I fixed it again and I got “normal hand pump” from another local guy.
This one didn’t have a pressure gauge… But I think I got the pressure quite ok just by checking it with my “sensitive hands”!
After 30 minutes we were riding again… But not for long!
I felt how the tire was getting empty all the time! The bike felt like it was “wobbling” all over the road and I had already made the decision that we will leave the bike there and we will take a taxi to the nearest camping area… So I stopped the bike, took the bags away from the bike and ordered the taxi. We were about 28 kilometers away from Suomussalmi.
While we were waiting for the taxi my wife started to listen to the tire… If there was this quiet sound of air coming out from the tire? But there wasn’t! And there was still some air in the tire! I checked how the bike felt without the bags… and it wasn’t so terrible!
So very fast decision: Cancel the taxi-order, put the bags back to the bike and try to ride as far as we can… And we did all this 28 kilometers!!! I step out from the bike, walked inside to the reception-house (in the camping area) and while I was there paying for the cabin the tire finally gave up! With a loud “farting-sound” all the air came out from the tire and ofcourse the bike fell to the right side…
Luckily I had my new bags (SW Motech Trax) and they are aluminium. So no holes to the bags and no marks of any kind in my bike!
I only needed to hit the small dents away with the hammer. This I did few days later…
I didn’t take any stress about finding a new tire, The camping area was so beautiful so We just enjoyed the sunset in The Campingarea of Kiantajärvi.
And my bike was waiting for the next day:
Wife made a video about this day. This time it was in 2 parts, part 1:
The day started with a littlebit of rain. The road was wet and there were clouds in the sky. We stopped anyway in the museum bridge of Virransalmi.
From Tuustaipale to north we had first gravelroad about 19 kilometers and because of rain there were parts with soft surface… almost like mud. In the video you can see how it can be…
Kissakoski was the place where we stopped and walked around.
Then we stopped for a short break in Hirvensalmi.
And for a little bit longer break in Mikkeli to check the observation tower of Naisvuori.
It had already stopped raining and the roads were already dry. So the rest of the day it was cloudy and warm. From Mikkeli we took the roads to east. And from the gravelroad near Anttola we found nice quarry.
And soon it was about the time to take the “private” ferry over the Lake Saimaa and I also took my drone up to the sky to make a video when the ferry was about to enter to the pier:
The ride over the lake was so relaxing! The lake was calm without any waves and the beautiful archipelago all around us made us feel that this is a fairytale.
We still had some riding to do after this. First is was this nice paved road in the middle of Lake Saimaa:
We went to Puumala to have a pizza. There was quite interesting tent in the middle of the willage:
There was 1 more quite nice road and a yellow ferry (These yellow ferries are for free in Finland) before we arrived to our destination.
The place we were about to sleep was quite terrible. Luckily it was also cheap.
The last day of our nice tour in Western Finland was about getting back home. Only few stops in the way and then back home in the afternoon.
First stop was at Observation tower in Lempäälä (Pyhällön lintutorni).
Very nice views from the top!
Then we stopped at Toijala train museum, pitty it was closed!
And finally we stopped at Saaren kansanpuisto in Tammela. It’s recreation park with nice swimming beach.
Water was so warm… It totally felt like summer! (And it was only May 13!)
We were home about 4pm so there was still nice time to relax and getting ready for monday at work…
The route for the day 5 was like this:
And the route for the whole tour looked like this:
After a good sleep and breakfast in our hotel (in Seinäjoki) there was one (a little bit strange) church we wanted to check.
This building was built first as a gunpowder warehouse but in 1864 it was changed as a church.
Then we were climbing to a “very high mountain” in Pohjanmaa. It is even 145 meters above sealevel (!!!) But in this area it’s a lot and from the top of the “mountain” there are very nice views over the “flat land” of Pohjanmaa!
The wooden tower on the top of Santavuori is very old! It was built in 1965 and for me it looke likes some parts of the tower is already falling apart.
Little bit further I chose the gravelroad that would go over the rive, I was thinking this would be a nice route to shoode. And it was!
There are some museums about waterpowerplants just after the bridge.
Then it was about riding the quite booring roads of Pohjanmaa (& Satakunta and Pirkanmaa) towards south. It wasn’t until we reached Siuro when we made a longer stop to enjoy some snack and admire the views.
There is quite famous bar just beside the rapids.
It was quite a big surprise that there was only a few bikes here with us. But quite many rode by -it was so beautiful day!
After Siuro we visited one abandoned graveyard and in the most famous tower of Pyynikki.
The tower in the lowest picture is “Näsinneula” -it’s the most famous tower of Tampere. But this “Pyynikki tower” is much older and in much more beautiful area.
After meal we still went for a walk in a park of Hatanpää:
The summer was definitely in Finland!
The route of the day was like this:
This day was about turning back… But only after we would first ride quite far away north to Raippaluoto. We made a quick visit in Botniaring (racetrack) and rode through Jurva (city or village?). But soon it was time to turn to gravelroad!
At the end of this “offroad” ride there was a nice small observation tower of “Rajavuori”
Then we rode to Vaasa, it’s one of the oldest cities in Finland. There was old church but it burned in 1852 -Now there is only ruins.
From Vaasa we rode to Raippaluoto and to go there you have to ride over this very nice bridge!
Here in Raippaluoto we wanted to check another observation tower in Saltkaret.
This is quite amazing place if it is clear weather and if you will climb to the top of the tower!
From Raippaluoto we rode little bit more east so that we wouldn’t have to ride the same roads back home.
Before we arrived to Seinäjoki we took a short stop at Ylistaro church -the third biggest church in Finland!
And after putting all our stuff to hotelroom we went swimming (Yes it is 11th of May and it is very early for swimming in Finland!)
But it had been so nice weather already many days and the water was actually very warm in Kyrkösjärvi!
The route for day 3 was like this:
This was my last day in the foreign country! But I was still enjoying the riding as much as in the beginning of this trip! We startded riding the nice roads on the north side of Örebrö like this and this.
These were very nice and small countryside roads! But we also had to take some gravelroad -for me it was ok but not for all of us.
We had one short break in a small city of Kolsva… This I remember well because I felt happy and relaxed. Sun was shining, the chat with fellowriders was nice and we were laughing, the nature around us was nice and everyhting was well and perfect!
At the end of the day I remembered to put the video on! It was very nice road… even there was some gravel on the road.
This road is in Rånäs and there are other roads nearby which are kind of same.
We had accommodation very near to Kapellskär harbour.
And next morning I took the boat from this harbour to Naantali -Finland.
And in the evening I took one more ride from Naantali to my home. The tour was over!
This was the route for day 18: