The trail of pilgrims – Dalsland, Sweden

 

Some time things just turn our so damn good when you combine a classic family trip with some bike riding in a new place!

I had the bike on the car rack when going to the ”biggest tourist attraction in Dalsland” for a couple of days. So, what is it – the tourist attraction? Well it’s a bonanza in the art of engineering. In what used to be a stream with waterfalls the water has been controlled by a dam, an aqueduct for boat traffic and several locks. On top of this railway and car traffic on separate bridges crossing the whole thing. Absolutely amazing. Check it out:

Anyway, since this was a spontaneous visit based o taking another route home from Strömstad I hadn’t done my homework in terms of checking trails more than something called the trail of pilgrims. I just made a fast sketch on a piece of paper and that’s it. I found it after a couple of kilometers on asphalt, followed it for 16km and used gravel and asphalt roads to get back.

It turned out to be a very special ride. Special as in awesome trails in a beautiful nature, but also special as in not sitting in the saddle for three hours and falling over many times due to the super slippery trails due to intense raining the day before.

So, the first part – the one in the Melleruds Municipality – was newly cleaned and ready to enjoy

And SNAP! The bolt attaching the saddle to the post broke in two.

But how is it possible? I’ve experienced a lot but actually never this, and it’s happening on such a good trail. F**k! Just gotta continue, should be possible… or should I turn around? I had only done 10 minutes of it but wanted more so I decided to continue. What I didn’t know was that it would be three hours of pedaling standing up…

I reached the first top and it was even possible to see lake Vänern

(Not kidding… the glittering far away in the horizon to the left is the lake):

Wonderful view and fun biking

Then, somewhere among the blueberries mother nature had designed one of those roots that gives you an amazing catapult OTB. But ok… the berries were good. Definitely better than my shoulder the day after.

And what do you know… Even without falling I spotted some wild strawberries

”Schwedische Idylle” as the Germans would put it

Apparently the signs haven’t been to clear in the past, but I found my way easy all the way

But ok… for this one you could wonder what road it is referring to

More of the nice trail

Also Åmals Municipality has their part of the trail

In the wet parts of the trail – which aren’t too many I spotted some tracks. Local MTB heroes or just lost Germans trying to make it back to the RV filled with kayaks, mopeds, Zodiacs etc?

So beautiful landscape – couldn’t stop taking pictures

Somewhere at Högelund (?) I departed the marked trail fairly tired of standing up all the time and the fact that I didn’t have any breakfast in order to get away early when the rest of the family was sleeping. I pass the first house so far

Gravel road to Tisselskog

And then a 10 kilometer long rollercoaster of asphalt. Totally amazing that you can squeeze in so many hills and bends on such a short distance. With the muscles full of lactic acid I finally make it back and kick off my soaking shoes

I really wouldn’t recommend anyone to go biking for three hours only standing up, but I can really recommend the trail of Pilgrims. Fantastic biking and partially very technical.

If you are looking for good accommodation, check out ”the Visitor”. Newly built cabins with a good view over the canal.

Oh yeah… Puzzled as I was by the broken bolt I checked it more closely after the ride. And yes… you don’t need to be an expert in materials to see that the crack had been maturing for a while…

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