Back on the ice

Far up in northern Scandinavia by the shores of the Bay of Bothnia in Luleå, Sweden. This is where you will find fat bike paradise.  Ok, I’m sure there are loads of other cool places to ride across the globe but this one has something unique.

Up here the sea is almost free of salt and during the winter it freezes up completely, big time. We actually have public roads on the ice. This also makes our archipelago with over one thousand islands accessible by fat bike.

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Every year after the summer is gone and the horrible autumn months slowly pass by this is all I can think about. It always feels like a long wait. The days are getting shorter and the days shorter. I swing by the harbor every morning to check the ice conditions. It’s almost like waiting for Santa when I was a kid. Super exited and it feels like it is taking forever…

And all of a sudden it’s there. All white and solid ready for fat bike adventures.


We are still in early December and since we are just a few hundred kilometers south of the arctic circle the days are short. This week before Christmas has the shortest days of the year. Winter solstice is 21 December and we only got three hours of sunlight.

Going out on the ice for the first time of year is an amazing feeling. Just a few months ago I took a lunch swim right where this pic was taken. I love the contrasts of the seasons. This early in the winter it is safer to stay around the shores around the city. But eventually the outer archipelago will freeze up and almost one thousand islands will be accessible by fat bike on snowmobile trails.


We’re still low on snow so right now it is possible to go where ever you want. Just set a direction and go.

To get the most of the few hours of daylight I went up river to one of my favorite spots. A few kilometers up there is a narrow stream where the river has cut through the land creating steep sand slopes. I love riding here during summer and we take the kids swimming and sunbathing. It’s a cool feeling to get here by bike over the water.


This is the perfect place for a coffee break. I even got me some cinnamon rolls from the local bakery. As I was washing down the rolls with a magnificent view the sunrise turned in to sunset. You don’t even notice when the sun starts to go down, it all happens in one movement. It’s time to head back.




I’m truly blessed to live here. Luleå is located where the river runs out in the Bay of Bothnia and I get here in ten minutes from my doorstep. This is the perfect place for fat biking with some amazing places just around the corner.

This is my third winter on fat tires and there is so much still unexplored. Can’t wait ’til January when I’ll be able to go bikpacking in the outer archipelago.


Greetings from Luleå, Swedish Lapland.

Fatbiking eu from Bike life in Swedish Lapland on Vimeo.






Author: Olov Stenlund

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