30 november 2011
I waked up this morning to thunder, lightning and snow. Felt weird and now all snow is gone exept on some cars. You can just tell it's been snowing hard somewhere around looking at them. Now I hope you all can help me figure out what race to do next? An adventure race or something close to that? Any suggestion are welcome. Leave a comment and I will have a look at it! =)
29 november 2011
On saturday I had premier, 15 laps of skiing in a short slope full with hand made snow and ice. But that dosen't mean we had a thought time having fun, no, the other way around, we had a great time with great friend! Same evening we got our first snow so far, one inche of powder =) That put us all in a great mode untill we woke up the next morning and it's poring down rain, porning down. Driving further north later that evening it tured to snow, first slushy and icy but than snowy and wished-for winter. All white snow made it much brighter and a lot more cozy. Now I'm in Östersund, middle of Sweden just 70 km away from where I grow up. Yesterday I joined the multisport club here in Östersund for some traning, we run up the ski hill here 5 times in snow. It's pretty hard work but a lot of fun, specialy with good frieds. More than half of the pleasure is doing this with good people and sharing the experience. Last years I have been traning by my self mostley and have almost forgott how fun and importened it is to share even this. How that gives that extra spark when doing what you are doing. After it turns to a nice memory that you smile at when thinking about it!
24 november 2011
After almost a week being really sick I'm back on my feet. I gues I brought something back from Costa Rica but I'm not sure. Talked to some other compeditors from CR and the also got really sick last week, thinking the water cause our illness. Well well, good news are I'm leaving for some skiing tomorrow in the Swedish mountain range, the Scandies. It's not much open for the moment but just to put the gear on and slide around on the hill is worth a lot. To be true, it's just one hill open, 120 vertical meter drop (360 feet) with just a white strip surrounded by green gras. More, I got my new Peak Performance set yesterday, blue pants and pink/purple jacket from their Heli serie. It's probably the most technical and well made gear there is today. All with Gore Tex shell membrane. It is even that way, that if you ask Gore Tex them self, that provide all kind of brands with their material they ski with Peak Performance and the Heli line them self. I will post pictures with the colored clothes later. Hope to get my new helmet and goggles from POC today to! When I sit here writhing, looking out the window it feels like spring today, 4,4 celcius. But I know it's winter and that it's snow somewhere in the world!
|Always bring a pair of sneakers, you never now when you run out of snow in spring time.|
17 november 2011
|Where are we going? Cliffs out 20 meters (60 feet) just in front of Daniel. Way down there you can see the vally floor. Now in Switzerland, soon in Italy.|
|Topp of Brighthorn, behind me you see Matterhorn soon to be covered by clouds!|
|My best day last season, particular when we talk about amount of snow, this day was crazy! Thank you Erik, Steamboat Catskiing operations (Steamboat Powdercats) for one unforgettable experiance!|
|Every turn was like this, all day long! As you can see it's like pushing a big wave infront of you! This feeling is very difficult to explain. You just have to trust me, there is nothing that is better than this feeling! =)|
|Daniel coming of Allalinhorn in Saas Fee late afternoon! Magic light and soft turns in april.|
15 november 2011
I would like to show you what I really do and what you have to look forward to see and read more about this winter. Today I got some well needed traning in with my good Johan, 1 hour & 10 min of fun and we both got fatigue. We wasted our energy on slope traning, running/climbing uphill, plus some flat running in the trees and blueberry gym, lifting logs and doing pull ups.
|Last day in Telluride season 2010-2011, people said winter was over and there was no powder. I don't know, but sure it looks soft and nice. That way I don't mind that people think season is over =)|
|This is how big the mountains are and how small you are! Tyndal couloir in Mote Rosa Massif, Italian side.|
|Also last day of the season, me skiing deeeep snow. Keep an eye out, more pictures will be posted within this theme!|
|Me hanging, waiting for the lift to open early morning in Zermatt.|
14 november 2011
After six month's traveling all over the world, my bags filed up with summer gear, shorts, T-shirts, friktion shoes, sunblock, sunglases, wetsuite and climbing stuff, today was to become a turn over day for my bags. Finally! It took me 2 hours to find (but I new where everything was, I found them on first try) repack, orginaize and shape/fill my bags with winter equipment. For now I just brought basic stuff, like skis, racing boots, warm clothing, helmet, headlamp and more. Still at my storage I left, ice climbing gear, all my be loved touring gear with skins, becon, prob, first aid, mountaineering ropes & stuff and shovel. Some more weeks before I can start use or think about using my touring boots and fat skis ergo. Now I just cross every fingers I got and send some wishes to the weather God's. I would love some snow now because I'm ready for it!
12 november 2011
|Oscar and my brother Erik on our way the curch.|
|With the Royal Castel in the background.|
|Happy here and ever after, this is just before the cermonie! They looked even happier under and after!|
|This is how they met, on the ice! You could really tell this is their enviorment.|
Congrats Brother and Malin! Thank you for two great days and everyone else that was there to make their day special!
10 november 2011
Yes, that's right. I done my first traning again after La Ruta. Run 10 Km yesterday with a friend, 45 min. I thought we a great pace but not understad it was that good, was suprised when I looked at my watch and saw the time. This is after all just two days after we finished our 4 days of racing in Costa Rica. My body feels remarkably lite, strong and fresh. I'm happy about that. My masseur said yesterday that he was supriesed how well and fast my body seemed to had recover. I also wanna rise a finger and point out that Team Thule Sweden won Multisport Wourld Championship yesterday in Tasmanien south of Australia followed by another Swedish team, Team Silva. Congrats! Planing and dealing with my brothers wedding that's on friday on the 11/11/11 now, finally pieces stick toghter. Tomorrow I will pick up my bike from the bike shop that done a great job recomposing it like new again after La Ruta.
7 november 2011
To summarize my days before and in Costa Rica. La Ruta is a serious competition where world athletes get toghter and bike and have fun for four days. No matter what anyone would have told me or explained ahead I could never understand what to suspect I realize now today. Three days before our start we went out on the course training. I have to admit, I got a big shock. When climbing this insanely steep hill, I was thinking; How could I ever train and prepared for this by not being here before and seen it, I have had to bike up- & downhill Gästrappet in Åre to get this incline ten times a day. And how could I ever explain this for my friend. That combined with the heat and humidity was parts of what made me worried. Not just mentaly worried but also pyhsicaly, I had never put my body under such heat and stress pressure before for such long time as three days. Dehydration is easy to avoid if you just drink right amount of water every hour. But if you drink to much you lose a lot of salt and minerals when peeing. That way you dehydrate yourself of minerals and salt insted. Witch is the real problem. People usually don’t think about that. Food is not a problem, we have enought of fat reservs in our body to make it four days. Include all risks of being infected through crossing rivers in the jungle, be covered by mud and dirt for hours with small cut on your legs this could easily led to infection. Just some mud or river water on your waterbottle can get you diarrhea. Ofcourse I had plenty of cuts on my legs after banging in to my padel hard a few times... This things plus that I been sick for two weeks before the race, not have I had a bike or any proper gear either just until two days before depature. (I can just blame myself for this) Changing my way of eating five days ahead of the race made my wonder how I would react to Costa Rican food? On top of that, the five days before, I felt completly inactive, I gues I have never been so still for such long time in years. That’s what it felt like. This stressed me out. For the first time in my life I felt real stress and how it effect my body and mostly my stomach. I and my body work this way, I need to control this thing, and I usually do when it comes to this things. Because then I can effect and handle my future and where I want to steer it. And when I can do that, that gives me confident. So when race day 1 came up I was relieved. I could finally do what I was there to do, digg in to myself and just racing. Earlier in my blog I mentioned what attract me to do this race was, a comment on their website said it’s a personal growth journey. All kind of adventure races are that, one way or another I would say. Dosen’t matter if you do it for one or seven day, the journey just get a little differnt. And it’s different for all of us even if we do the same race, that reflect both positive and negative ways. My gues is also that business people get out the same adrenaline kick of closing a big deal and make a lot of money like I get out of biking through a contry or swim and run through the Stockholm arcipelago and be totaly exuasted and crossing the finish line. It’s a type of satisfaction within your self when you accomplish and reach your goals. We like that feeling so much so we are out fishing for it over and over again, through different things I also strongly belive in moving or pyhsical activity as one of the best medicines, this with a special way of thinking (that I get when I’m training, because I’m in motion) help me through many hard and tough things here in life. So did it this time, everything just let go when the the start shot went of on november 2. I was finally laughing, biking and running through mud up to my knees without being blamed when coming home all really dirty, going as fast as I could downhill on beautiful ridges along gravel roads and singel tracks, hiking through the jungle being so wet and humid I felt like I was melting like an ice cream a hot summer day. Climbing this steep hills, being so tyerd without knowing when you will reach the top or how much futher you have to go. Crossing strong rivers, with it’s cold water cooling down your chins, Walking on ledges with direct drop of’s next to you with you bike on your shoulder. Biking over active vulcanos at over 3000 meters (9000 feet), first be drowned with warm tropical rain reaching the finish line late afternoon down town and hours before freezing high up by cold rain and thick fog, almost not able to see where you where going. Be souranded by banana trees crusing gigantic felds towards the ocean. Power walking over rail road bridges and bike along railways, through small old and tear towns. See school kinds cheering us on behind fences, singing, smiling and even living through this circumstances showed us pure happines. Knowing thay are our future and believing in it. Mentaly push yourself even when feeling really tyerd and find more energy you thought you didn’t had. AND meeting new great friends along the way and get to adventure with them! When all that and more came to me, it all made sence to me agian way I do this. I felt free and total happines!
To qvote what Dan said to me on our way back to San José yesterday evening; ”This can never be explaind Staffan if someone asks. You can just tell them: You go down to Costa Rica and do La Ruta, then you come back home and tell me how it was.” This race is more than a personal growth journey, specally for me if I look back today. For me I have done other things that made me grow more but this gave me something else, for me something more giving this time. I got to experience and know new people, kulture, nature and enviorment! The growth for me was learning how I react to stress and that experience.
I got a comment sent to me from a friend this morning through sms/text: It siad; Congratulation Staffan, you just don’t have a strong and big heart that can support your body with enought red blodcells to take you through a race like this exceptionaly well, it’s warm, welcoming and friendly to! That made me happy!
Thank you all sponsors again for helping me to make this reality!
Blake´s LotaBurger, Stadium Sweden AB, POC Sports, Enervit – science nutrition, Cykloteket and Peak Performance.
And last but NOT least, all and everyone of you readers, Thanks! =)
6 november 2011
La Ruta de los Conquistadores 2011, worlds thoughest moutain bike race is over and we all successfully finished today in Limón by the Atlanic Ocean. Day started out with the race director, holding the microphone in his hand, lift it closer to his mouth, saying; Welcome to the last and easiest day of La Ruta. All of us where looking at each other, thinking; Yeh, sure, we heard that before... And ofcourse it was not an easy day. This day is the longest in distance for the whole race, 120 km. The climate turn tropical and it's really hot and humid. Yesterday I over heard another racer asking if there have ever been good weather this day, because all years he been attending it's been pooring rain. But like he siad, I have seen pictures with nice weather last day. And today he got what he asked for, heat! Climbing uphill isn't that impressiv number vice, but road vice, fist big lose rocks covering the entire road makes it very hard biking steep pitches uphill. But today was all about downhill and flat long felds, and railway biking/hiking. I partnered up with some different racer, so you can stay in a line and pull each other, that's the expresion they use in the bike world. Being tight up behind another racer create like a windtunnel were you can rest as the second or third rider. Cause the first person is breaking the wind. This way you can save both a lot of energy and time, as on downhill, uphill and on flats. After a long fun ride down after our first climbs in the morning, we got to a town were we turn right up on a railway. And yes, we are biking in between the rails, on lose sharp rocks and concrete foundation. As reaching the first bridge we hop of our bikes and like ballerinas we tip toeing on 20 cm (8 inche) logs that holds the rail on place over the bridge. Coming of the railway the heat smack you in your face coming along enormous banana felds on dusty road. When cars pulled up infront of you it's like driving in a bad snow storm when you can't see a thing. Coughing and reaching for your waterbottle. That are empty after spraying yourself all over your body to cool down. Or cause you already drank it. Another railway, new bridge to cross. Local people standing in the river underneath screaming, we thought the wanted our attention so we would fall down. But no, 20 meter a head of me a see a person racing starting to scream and letting go of his bike, Droping his helmet and waveing a whole lot around himself. Wasps attacking him. I hold up for one second and then I'm just walking pretty fast through with my waterbottle in on hand and the bike in the other. I got away with maybe 10 stings. I could just hear how people where panicing behind us but what could we do, just keep on walking/bikingto get our self out of there. Than we had 15 km of railway riding, shaking as nothing else and always on your mind, no flat tier please! 30 min later I saw the Atlantic Ocean on my left side, I new it was close. 17 km biking on the beach, this is hard when you are hot, thirsty and the sand so soft it's making you skid around. But beautiful! This finish of on a gravel road that lead you to Limón and the finish line. I cross the finish on 5 h and 15 min, my total time for all four days were somewhere between 26,5 - 27 hours and a overall position as 63 person. way over my expectations. Day two through my eyes the thoughest but also the most fun. Thank you all so much, sponsors and readers and following me/us through this tough race. And believeing in us! Thanks again! There will be another inlay about the race when I get back home to Sweden. Flying back tomorrow morning, 5 hours sleep now and than home. Hopefully I get a film running on the blog next coming days!
|At the finish line in Limón (most famous for being a banana town, the export a great deal of all world bananas from here). I'm very happy and relieved holding my La Ruta medal that you only get if you finish all four days within all cut of:s.|
|With Brad and Ron at the finish, Atlantic Ocean in the background! Ofcourse I had a celebration swim!|
Thanks guys for being an awesome support team!
|Steven getting his medal when crossing the finish line.|
|Ron and Steven! Both really happy.|
5 november 2011
|Dan gives tumbs up at start line in San José|
|Me crossing the finish line in Turrialba|
|My great great support crew, from left; Ron-Me-Brad|
|Stevens best ride friend today just after finish day 3, Odd from Norway.|
|Black vulcanic ash cover your face, Steven dosen't seem to mind.|
|Dan's big hero today, this guy lend his wheel to him!|
|Morning meeting in San José just before start. Team Blake's LotaBurger!|
|Getting a new wheel so he could take him slef and his bike across the finishline today. Yahoo!|
4 november 2011
Okey, let's talk about today. We climbed, and climbed and climbed and we climbed. But let's talk about the downhill first. It's like a bobcourse, all curves are banked (or not all) and your drifting out because it's so slippery. Speed is defenetley safty, ofcourse this is easier if you have air in your tiers. Yes, I got a flat tier again, or it was leaking. Here you turn in your bike to mekanics, expext to get it back in full race ready shape but not. Front tier is leaking and the gears was far away from perfect. However, reded singeltrack cowerd buy one inche of red mud following ridgelines and steep old roads. The way they build road in this contry is extraordinary, places you would never think you could put up a road. Some guys I been riding with from Fox Racing (they make shocks from bikes and more) said it's like riding a red mud waterfall. Just let it go because breaking won't help. Ofcourse, to enjoy this downhills, you have to earn it. I have never been riding hills this steep, 30 degree as steepest and now we are talking uphill. This can not be explained, I got people trying to explain for me how this is and I thought I understand. But no, I saw some do this on their bikes but most of us, including me, walked. I heard from some experinced racers that been doing this for some years that this day, today, the new day two that has never been done before was by far their tuffest and hardest experience from La Ruta ever! And I can confirm that, it was really tuff today, same amount of uphill like yesterday but on a shorter distance. We all finished again even this hard circumstances. I crossed the finish line on 6 h & 45 min, Steven about one hour later and Dan 30 min after Steven. Something like that.
|This is how dirty the bikes are when we finish. Look at the mud scale in my last inlay to pic what short of mud it is! =)|
|Dan crossing the finish line, day 2, La Ruta.|
|Start day 2, 06.00 am, Sun just get's up!|
|I'm reaching CP 3, Some new energy and pump up thoes tiers and away you go!|
|Steven with his Dad (Brad) at Cp 3, loading up with some fresch energy to!|
3 november 2011
Day one is over. All three of us made it to the finish line in time, we can race tomorrow again! 06.00 am this morning 231 ryders set of for Jaco beach heading for the jungle and the fisrt gigantic hill. I already wrote about it in an earlier inlay but it's worth meantion again. It's steep as nothing else, add 231 ryders to that and all are trying to get up there at the same time, madness. But a fun view to. When your at the top/summit it flattens out and you get your first downhill along this ridge line that works it way through this amazing landskape. Later you take a hard right turn it to this crazy path, singeltrack, steep down hill, wet and superslippery. Here I run into my first problem, flat tire and my front wheel, even thoe I race on tubeless wheels... So now they are not tubeless anymore... (Pontus.... =) This tracks and roads are not like anything I seen before, I get back to that later. That meant I had to run for 3 km to the first checkpoint, there a support team could help me. Steven and I was here at the same time, he gave me food while I worked on my tier. After I got my new tub, we head straight in to the jungle, crossing strong rivers, walking most of the time for 1,5 hours. This is way it's called a adventure race and not just a bike race. I learnd about some things here, there are a bunch of different type of mud and clay. This are the main ones: Gray mud; Hard and sticky, like biking on glue, alot of friktion. Light brown mud; laying on top of this hard packed mud, very slippery. Gray/brown mud; slippery like ice. Red mud; sticks to everything and everywhere, horrible. And last, mud mixed with fist sized rocks, incredible slippery. This is how the jungle is, the track is about 2-3 meter wide (6-9 feet) and can have openings that are some meters/feet deep. When we got out from this humid place I was happy to be back on the bike. Here I broked my rear shock so I couldn't lock it or open it. (Fixed now) We reached checkpoint 2, some open felds after that was cocking us when the sun shined right at us. Here I meet up with a guy from Costa Rica that become my new team buddy. We sticked toghter almost all the way to the finisg line. From CP 3 it was all up, 15 km of uphill. There on, up and down, up and down, I saw some really bad crashes when it started to rain when finally got on to asphalt again, people where just laying everywhere. I finished on 9 h & 3 min I think, Steven got in one hour later and Dan around 17.00 (5 pm). I heard someone said I was in the top 40-60 but I don't know, and it's just the first day so a lot can still happend. Now we just cross our fingers that Dans bike is holding up so he can continue tomorrow. He got some problems with a wheel and a break. Sleep time now and we start again 06.00 am tomorrow morning.
|Start at Jacó beach 06.00 wednesday morning|
|Me and my Costa Rican Buddy!|
|Cleaning my sunglasses at CP 3|
|Steven at CP 3 eating a banana|
|Dan at CP 4, not far behind us here. Than his bike broke down so he had to run with his bike last 20 km. That's respect!|
2 november 2011
Registration went well. Not much new information was given than we already knew. I guse that will be on the fly. So next four days I (we) will bike through Costa Rica and it’s nine micro climates. The course lingures it’s way from west- to est coast. Over two vulcanos, trough djungel, felds and over mountain passes. They chanched day two, witch will be brand new for this year. That’s an extra vulcano, plenty more of uphill and more mud. They thought that day was to easy so they made it harder for this year. At the meeting they said one thing of interest. That one check point on day two are impossible to set up because they can’t get to it. It’s been raining more than usal through the rain season so it’s to muddy, rockey and slippery getting there by car. We start 06.00 am outside Quality Hotel in Jaco. Our starting numbers are 168 = Steven, 169 = Dan and 170 = Me (Staffan =). We are totaly 231 competitors for this years La Ruta de los Conquistadores. You can follow and look for us at www.adventurerace.com of what we understand. Thanks to all of you that reads and follow me (us) on my blog. Let me know if you have questions and I try to answer them. I will update hopefully every night next days and let you know how we are progressing.
|231 red bags|
|In the lobby before race meeting yesterday.|
|My lens gave this picture a funny perspectiv =)|
1 november 2011
|From left, Dan Weatherbie, Steven Rule & Staffan Bjorklund as Team Blakes LotaBurger.|