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the sportif
tour de dalsland*
 

words by Johan Björklund

photography by Kristoffer Hedberg & Johan Björklund

“After having underestimated the time it would take and having overslept, my brother ended up riding in the ditch — in complete darkness and pouring rain — on the notoriously serpentine Brudfjällsvägen.” Tour de Dalsland (*our translation of the swedish name of the race “Dalsland Runt”) co-founder Johan Björklund recites the history behind the race with thrilling stories.

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In the summer of 2011 three of us from Wenersborgs Racer Club rode parts of what is known today as Dalslandsleden for the first time. We were used to 30-40km rides and none of us had been cycling for more than a few years, but our ambitious plan was 276 kilometers in two days.

We didn’t really know what we were doing to say the least. After having underestimated the time it would take and having overslept, my brother ended up riding in the ditch — in complete darkness and pouring rain — on the notoriously serpentine Brudfjällsvägen.

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In 2012 we managed to ride on what was probably two of the warmest and sunniest days of the year and five of us rode 193 kilometers and started to realize that we were starting some kind of tradition. Last year we were a total of eight who rode 311 kilometers through both Norway and Värmland, but like before with the main focus on Dalsland. We saw small gravel roads, torrential downpours in Årjäng, small hand-built houses in Kesnacken and great food in Fengersfors.

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It was always obvious that we were going to do this again in 2014, but when we had we had kept it to our inner circle of friends the previous years, we decided that we would invite friends of friends this time around. We also decided to create a route that would give us as much of the good parts of Dalsland as possible and headed out for five recon ride during the late winter.

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We think that we’ve found some of the best gravel roads, most desolate small lakes, as well as the curviest stretches of tarmac. 413km with at least 100km on gravel during 3 days. We can’t wait to show our home roads to the 30 cyclists that will join us this weekend.

Photos from the 2013 edition

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The 2014 route

velonode-dalsland-route

Friday (84km): http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4104894

Saturday (156km): http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4104768

Sunday (173km): http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4104828

worth sharing?

Name: Johan Björklund

Age: 31
Lives in: Vänersborg
Profession: Librarian & recreation leader
Bikes: Focus Izalco Pro 3.0 & Batavus CS
What camera do you use: Sony RX100 II & iPhone 5

Best place to ride:Brudfjällsvägen” in Mellerud, Sweden. “There’s not a single stretch on it which is flat or straight longer than 10 meters a piece. Everything from grades up to 21% to 90 degree turns. It was formerly used by SAAB when they sent journalists to test drive their new cars”.
Instagram: @dvnder
Follow on Velonode: @dvnder

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