10 best tips for mountain biking in Lapland
Lapland’s unique nature offers mountain bikers experiences and challenges not found elsewhere. The climate in Lapland varies from spring to autumn, and each season has its own distinctive features and challenges.
In spring, melting snow can make trails muddy and slippery, and snowfalls can still surprise even late in the season. In summer, you can enjoy the midnight sun and long days in Lapland, but the number of mosquitoes can also be challenging in some places. In autumn, the colorful foliage and cooler temperatures entice people to venture out, but rains and the flickering of the northern lights in the darkening evenings bring their own challenges to mountain biking.
The biking trails in Lapland present challenges for both the bike’s technology and the riders. Rocky terrain, roots, wet conditions, and varying elevation changes require good bike control, a durable bike, and careful maintenance.
Here are the top 10 tips to help you enjoy mountain biking in Lapland
- Choose the right bike: Select a mountain bike that is suitable for Lapland’s challenging terrain and varying conditions. City bikes and hybrids are not suitable for Lapland’s mountain bike trails.
- Maintain your bike: Check the condition of your bike regularly and ensure that the brakes, gears, and suspension are working well.
- Use good tires: Choose proper mountain bike tires that provide good grip and can withstand rocky terrain. Sturdy mountain bike tires offer sufficient traction and won’t puncture constantly even in rockier terrain.
- Be prepared for weather conditions: Pack rain gear, warm clothing, and possibly a sufficient amount of spare clothes, so you can adapt to unexpected weather conditions. Even if it’s warm when you set off, rain combined with strong wind can cool down the rider quickly.
- Leverage local knowledge: Familiarize yourself with the area’s bike trails in advance and ask locals for tips on the best routes and conditions.
- Practice mountain biking techniques in advance: Practice various mountain biking techniques, such as riding on rocks, crossing root sections, and managing steep climbs and descents. These skills will come in handy on many, especially more challenging, Lapland mountain bike trails.
- Take care of hydration and energy: Bring enough water and energy-rich snacks to keep you going and stay alert. In Lapland, a store or café is not always just around the corner.
- Be prepared for local insect issues: Despite their persistent reputation, insects are rarely a problem for cyclists in Lapland. However, in some places, there might be a high concentration of insects, and if a flat tire happens to occur in such a location, it can become uncomfortable without proper gear. During the worst insect season (June-July), keep at least a light windbreaker with you, which you can put on if insects start to bother you. Ensure in advance that insects cannot sting through your protective clothing.
- Remember safety: Wear a helmet and other protective gear, and make sure you have first aid supplies and a phone with you for emergencies. It’s a good idea to download the 112 Suomi app on your phone in advance.
- Enjoy nature and the scenery: Take breaks to admire the stunning landscapes of Lapland, relax in the midst of nature, and enjoy the experience that mountain biking has to offer.
With these tips, you are ready to face the challenges of mountain biking in Lapland and enjoy unforgettable cycling experiences in the stunning northern landscapes. Remember to respect nature and other hikers, making mountain biking enjoyable for everyone!