Whilst we were making our way through Sweden we heard from a few people about an incredible cycling event which takes place each summer. Vätternrundan (pronounced vet-turn-rund-an) starts from the city of Motala in central Sweden. Every year, thousands of cyclists converge to ride around the local lake, Vättern. And why would so many people want to go to Motala to ride around a lake, I hear you ask? Well, because Vättern is Sweden’s second biggest lake and a complete circuit is 300km (186 miles). Oh yes. And who is going to be joining an estimated 22,000 others on the ride this year? Me (Neil).
This year’s event takes place exactly one month from today. A mass start with 22,000 riders might lead to a little congestion so riders are set off in groups every two minutes, from 7.30pm until 6 the following morning. I’ll be setting off shortly before midnight, aiming to be back in Motala for a late kanelbulle breakfast around about 10am.
The organisers reckon that in terms of the number of people riding multiplied by the distance, it’s the world’s biggest cycling event. It’s been running since 1966 and, incredibly, there are people who’ve ridden it every year since (a total of 13,200km!)