Winter cycling can be a challenging but rewarding activity. While it requires a bit more preparation and equipment than cycling in warmer weather, the rewards of being out on the road or trails in the cold, crisp air can be well worth it. In Finnish Lapland, winter can last from November to May, the sun does not rise above the horizon at all and Northern Lights can be seen on clear nights which makes it a winter cycling destination you don't want to miss.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR WINTER CYCLING?
One of the most important things to consider when winter cycling is your clothing. Layering is key, as you want to stay warm but also be able to regulate your temperature as you ride. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, followed by a thermal midlayer and a wind-resistant outer layer. Don't forget to bring gloves, a hat, and a scarf or neck gaiter to protect your face and hands from the cold.
In addition to the right clothing, you will also need to make sure your bike is ready for winter riding. The best bikes for winter cycling are fat bikes that are specifically designed for use on snow and other rough terrain. Fat bikes are characterized by their wide tires, which are usually 4 inches or wider in width. These wide tires provide a larger surface area, which helps the bike float over soft terrain and provides more traction on slippery surfaces.
Fat bikes are similar to mountain bikes in many ways, but they have a few key differences. In addition to the wide tires, they often have a wider gear range and a more upright riding position to help the rider maintain control on rough and soft terrain. They also tend to be heavier than mountain bikes, which can make them more challenging to ride on smooth surfaces.
BEST DESTINATIONS TO GO WINTER CYCLING IN FINLAND
When it comes to finding routes to ride, many of the same resources that are useful for summer cycling can also be helpful in the winter. Best place to start planning your cycling trip in Finland is Bikeland website that showcases all the Finland's cycling tourism routes. When planning a winter cycling adventure all the information about the Finland's winter trails can be found from here.
Two destinations in Finnish Lapland stand out from the others with their number of maintained winter trails, Ylläs and Saariselkä-Kiilopää. Ylläs has more than 100 kilometres of groomed trails for biking. Trails vary from easy to difficult; some take you up the mountains and some run the deep forest of the National Park. The best thing is that along the way there are several Wilderness Cafes where you can stop for a cup of coffee or hot soup. Also, the winter cycling routes in Saariselkä and Kiilopää offer endless experiences to bikers. Some of the routes take you through the National Park of Urho Kekkonen where the open fells and arctic pine forests paint out the scenery that is beyond compare.
Overall, winter cycling can be a fantastic way to stay active and explore the outdoors and Finnish Lapland during the colder months. With the right preparation and equipment, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable ride no matter what the weather!