The Vätternrundan takes place annually Summer solstice am Lake Vättern held in Sweden. The tour goes around the entire Lake Vättern, which is the second largest lake in Sweden. Say and write 300km in one go, will be launched in Motala. The racing cyclists start between 20:00 p.m. and 08:00 a.m. the next day.
On this page I record my personal preparation so that I can read for myself afterwards what I can do better next time. You can also learn from one or the other mistake I make or from the things I do right.
The Vätternrundan becomes my personal Season highlight 2017, at least I hope so. You don't rattle off 300km on a racing bike on one butt cheek, and I have to admit that I've never ridden that far in one piece before. But what is my motto? I love the challenge!
The idea of going to Vätternrundan came to me last year when I wrote a guest post Cycling Claudes blog read. 300km in one go, that's awesome. I also wanted to have this borderline experience and so it happened that I first searched the internet for reports about the Vätternrundan. Every article, every post made me more curious. So it happened that in autumn 2016 I applied for a starting place in the legendary Vätternrundan 2017 applied, because you must know that the starting places limited are. You had to specify a desired start time during the application process. I figured it would make sense to have slept a little - so I ruled out starting in the evening - and still be able to enjoy the sunrise Summer solstice get. My start time is now 01 p.m. Saturday morning. It will be cold but I hope it stays dry when I start my adventure.
Preparing for the Vätternrundan
May 17, 2017 – I have exactly one month, exactly 31 days left for my preparation. Of course I've been preparing since the winter, but can you prepare really well for the 300 km of the Vätternrundan? First things first: I need kilometers in my legs. Both in one go - long distances - as well as short regeneration laps. I've already covered a few 100km this year, but I've neglected the regeneration laps a bit so far. Also, I haven't found my ideal pace for the 300km yet, but I've tried it out a bit. In any case, I will not be able to keep up with an Ü 35km/h. At the first RTF of the year, the Elbe Classics, I drove a 26km/h average, which in turn seemed too slow to me. I guess I'll end up somewhere in the middle, we'll see. During the week there are definitely short laps and I would like to have one more at the weekend 155km RTF drive, I'll aim for my speed.
The right bib shorts
So far I've always ridden pants XY. Say: I didn't really care what brand my racing pants were. I once had something from the Decathlon house brand BTWIN in short and long and once I bought new bib shorts in Italy. So far, however, I had never spent more than EUR 80 on a pair of bib shorts. A racing bike colleague once said to me: The only true thing is Assos. You buy them and never want to wear anything else again.
After doing several 100km tours this year, I realized that my back end hurts at some point. I googled it and road cyclists everywhere recommend it Assos bib shorts as the real thing. I had to try one of these first, because at a price of EUR 255 (yes, you read that right) I wouldn't order blindly online. To my delight, I discovered that a new store had opened directly across from my employer: Starcycles and Starcycles is Assos premium partner! That's what I call luck.
The advice from Starcycles was very good. The seller asked me what I would like to do with it and when the Vätternrundan mentioned everything was actually clear. It should be the Assos T.cento are the long-distance trousers from Assos.
[eapi keyword="Assos T.cento"]
Now I've also ridden the bib shorts for the first time and I can say: It's a blessing! From now on, these racing bike pants will be looked after and cared for and only washed by hand, I never want to give them away again.
8 June 2017 - Nine days before Vätternrundan
It's been a while since I've had anything to do with my preparations for Vätternrundan Motala / Sweden let it be heard, but of course that doesn't mean that the preparations for mine 300 km tour don't go any further. In order to be able to drive 300 kilometers in an acceptable time, I obviously have to train. My workout is on before I shut it down next week. In between, I have always built longer tours such as the Vossy RTF in Neu Wulmstorf, on which I've been 161 km scrubbed with a lot of pressure on the pedals.
As you know, I drive mine VW bus to Sweden. I divided the trip to Motala into two stages. First we go to Denmark. I will cross over to Rödby DK on Thursday 15th June in the afternoon in Puttgarden/Fehmarn and then drive a little before stopping at a campsite. The next day it should go straight to Motala. I have my bully not that long, so a test sleep was on the plan first. So two weeks ago I was at the Baltic Sea in my VW Bus to spend the night. I have to admit: I slept very well! With a pad on the folded bench and multiboard, it was really very comfortable to sleep. However, I noticed that it could get very tight with a bicycle on the bus. The solution: A rear carrier is needed. I've been wanting to buy one for a long time. Of course, the bully driver knows that VW charges very well for its accessories. The good piece costs about EUR 700 new, so I started looking for a used one. Unfortunately, in the middle of the season it is not that easy. I was lucky and found one in very good condition rear carrier near Hamburg. After a little maneuvering I got the carrier for EUR 400, - and have had him on the bus ever since.
Mission Bully = Complete!
It's not that easy to think of everything, so today I set out to find out all the documents I need at the start. I visited the site of Vätternrundan and logged me in. Probably the most important document is the StartID in the form of a barcode. With the StartID you have to report to the race management to get your Starting documents, start number and transponder to get. Besides, I've got the same one Route map with the whole depots printed out. Of course, I also take this information digitally with me, but I would like to memorize the route and all the depots in advance, that somehow I can do better with paper than just digital.
As far as the regulations of the Vätternrundan are concerned, I almost fell on my face, luckily I had to do that too StartID get it, otherwise I would have looked stupid at the start. Since my start is at 01:54 in the morning, of course I have to light on the wheel have - even if Summer solstice is. But what I didn't know and what really surprised me was that you reflectors required on the racing bike. Luckily enough for the Swedish race control reflective tape on the fork. In my case, I can even stick the reflectors on the wheels because I have disc brakes and my 33mm rims offer enough space.