Sign up to the third edition of Midnight Sun Randonnée, an epic round trip across the Scandinavian peninsula. Follow river valleys, lake shores and fjords. Cross coniferous forests, marshlands, snow-capped mountains and the Arctic Circle. Experience 24-hour daylight conditions during the summer solstice.
Two stages are new for 2024. There’ll be an additional secret checkpoint and no gravel section. MSR does not require qualification but we recommend that inexperienced riders complete a BRM 400 before the event. We don’t ask for signed medical certificates, however as with organised events in general, we do require that participants have a third-party insurance in case of an accident on the ride.
Name: Midnight Sun Randonnée
Entry limit: 200
Start address: Brännland Inn, Brännland 35 Umeå
Finish address: Scandic Plaza Umeå, Storgatan 40 Umeå
Start time: 23:05 – 00:05 CEST (No start groups)
Start date: Sunday 16 June 2024 (end date: Thursday 20 June)
Min.- /Maximum time: 40:47 – 90:00 hours
Number of checkpoints: 11 (+2 secret checkpoints and start/finish)
Checkpoints: Granö, Lycksele, Vilhelmina, Kittelfjäll, Hattfjelldal, Mo i Rana, Arctic Circle, Vuoggatjålme, Arjeplog, Sorsele, Åmsele
Length of course: 1 213 km (as calculated by Strava)
Elevation gain: 11 737 m (highest point 740 m a s l)
Course on Komoot: MSR 2024
|Umeå – Brännlands Wärdshus||0||0||Sun 16 23:05||Mon 17 00:05||–||–||–||Food|
|Granö – Granö Beckasin||69||69,0||Mon 17 01:07||Mon 17 03:41||MSR-01||MSR-01||513||513||Food|
|Lycksele – Hotell Lappland||122||53,4||Mon 17 02:40||Mon 17 07:13||MSR-02||MSR-02||928||415||Food|
|Vilhelmima – Hotel Wilhelmina||240||118,0||Mon 17 06:13||Mon 17 15:05||MSR-03||MSR-03||2 082||1 154||Food/Sleep|
|Kittelfjäll – Fjälltorget||370||129,1||Mon 17 10:17||Mon 17 23:45||MSR-04||MSR-04||3 638||1 556||Food/Sleep|
|Hattfjelldal – Hattfjelldal Hotell||468||98,8||Mon 17 13:29||Tue 18 06:17||MSR-05||MSR-05||4 849||1 211||Food/Sleep|
|Mo i Rana – Yttervik Camping||564||95,3||Mon 17 16:41||Tue 18 12:41||MSR-06||MSR-06||6 220||1 371||Food/Sleep|
|Arctic Circle – Arctic Circle Centre||661||97,5||Mon 17 20:04||Tue 18 20:25||MSR-07||MSR-07||7 595||1 375||Food|
|Vuoggatjålme – Camp Vuoggatjålme||754||92,9||Mon 17 23:23||Wed 19 04:34||MSR-08||MSR-08||8 633||1 038||Food/Sleep|
|Arjeplog – Hornavan Hotell||859||104,6||Tue 18 03:08||Wed 19 13:45||MSR-09||MSR-09||9 495||862||Food/Sleep|
|Sorsele – Sorsele River Hotel||949||90,7||Tue 18 06:21||Wed 19 21:37||MSR-10||MSR-10||9 999||504||Food/Sleep|
|Åmsele – Åmsele Camping||1 107||157,3||Tue 18 12:17||Thu 20 10:07||MSR-11||MSR-11||11 191||1 192||Food/Sleep|
|Umeå – Scandic Plaza Umeå||1 213||106,7||Tue 18 15:52||Thu 20 17:05||MSR-12||MSR-12||11 737||546||Food|
The ride starts an hour before midnight at sunset on Sunday the 16th of June. Cyclists who maintain an average speed of 18-20 km/h including stops will finish between midday and afternoon on Wednesday the 19th of June. Riders maintaining an average speed of 14-16 km/h including stops will finish between early morning and midday on Thursday the 20th of June, the day before Swedish Midsummer’s Eve.
Checkpoints 1-3: The starting point, Brännland Inn (62 m a s l), is located on the outskirts of Umeå about 10 km from the centre. The initial part of the route follows the Ume River and the European highway E12 (also known as Blå vägen, ”The Blue Road”) to the village of Granö where riders cross Ume River on a wooden bridge to reach the first checkpoint Granö Beckasin. Making a U-turn back over the river again riders will continue to follow the Ume River all the way to the second checkpoint Hotell Lappland in Lycksele (218 m a s l). The sun will already have risen (sunrise, 02:15) when the first cyclists arrive in Lycksele shortly after 03:00.
From here, the journey leaves the Ume River and the first hilly stage begins on road 360 to Vilhelmina. For the most part the gradients are shallow but the climbs are sometimes long, reaching an altitude of 589 m a s l at the village Risträsk before descending again to Vilhelmina and the brevet’s third checkpoint Hotel Wilhelmina. Having completed the first 240 km of the course, cyclists arrive here just in time for breakfast. Hotel Wilhelmina is the first checkpoint with organised sleeping arrangements.
Checkpoints 4-5: After Vilhelmina the journey enters the Scandinavian mountain range, the Scandes. Leaving Vilhelmina on the E45 the course soon makes a turn’s onto road 1067 to the village Stalon. Following the shores of Lake Malgomaj the first half of the stage is reasonably flat until Stalon where the course turns onto road 1077 to the village Dikanäs. Here the first real climb of the stage begins. The road reaches an altitude of 636 m a s l at its highest, crossing through the Marsfjället nature reserve, before descending to the lake Dikasjön (418 m a s l). From here the course continues on road 1088 to the forth checkpoint, Fjälltorget, located in the centre of the village and ski resort Kittelfjäll (535 m a s l).
From Kittelfjäll, the route again crosses through a mostly uninhabited landscape covered with mountain spruce and birch forests, marches, rivers and lakes. The road reaches an altitude of 647 m a s l before crossing the Norwegian border after 61 km. The first cyclists arrive in Hattfjelldal (215 m a s l) and the checkpoint Hattfjelldal Hotel around dinner time.
Checkpoints 6-7: Also the stage after Hattfjelldal is hilly albeit with smaller climbs as riders follow the shores of Lake Røssvatnet, Norway’s second largest lake (383 m a s l), on the narrow and winding road 291/331. Watch out for sheep! This road ends with a long shallow descent of almost 25 km down to the village of Korgen where the it connects to the European highway E6. About 7 km after Korgen, the course reaches sea level and with a view of the Ranfjord cyclists soon arrive at the sixth checkpoint, Yttervik camping, about 15 km south of the port city of Mo i Rana (Mo). South of Mo, the speed limit on the E6 is mostly 70 km/h. Between Korgen and Mo there are two short tunnels that cyclists are allowed to cycle through, and also a stretch of road with tunnels after the village Bjerka that cyclists are redirected around (well signposted).
After Mo, participants leave the sea and the journey continues into the mountains again on the E6. Just before the village of Røssvoll about 8 km north of Mo, cyclists are redirected around another tunnel (well signposted). About 3 km after Røssvoll there is yet another tunnel that cyclists, on the other hand, can cycle through. It measures 1,3 km and is dimly lit. Bike lights are recommended! The course then leads the riders through the Dunderland valley, making a short detour down to Rana River and the village of Nevernes and then up above the tree line on Saltfjellet to the seventh checkpoint which is the Arctic Circle Centre, located at the Arctic Circle. A majority of participants will have passed this checkpoint in the afternoon on June the 18th.
Large parts of the highway from Mo to the Arctic Circle Centre has been rebuilt and resurfaced in recent years so the road surface is mostly excellent. The climb from sea level up to the Saltfjell highway’s highest point (692 m a s l) is very easy with slope gradients generally between 2-4 percent however a northerly wind, which is not uncommon, may add to the difficulty. Dunderland is sparsely populated with few villages so the speed limit north of Mo is mostly 90 km/h.
Please note, during the day the E6 can be quite busy with cars, campers and semi-trucks. Riders who would like to avoid heavy traffic should consider doing this stage late in the evening or at night. Remember; still daylight conditions.
Checkpoints 8-9: After the Arctic Circle Centre riders have a long downhill run to Junkerdal where cyclists leave the E6 and begin a 15 km long climb of 600 m on the national road 77/national road 95 up to the Swedish border. The first 2,7 km of the climb have an average gradient of 5,8 percent. Cyclists use the old national road which is closed for motorised traffic for the first section of the climb.
Highway 95 is the only national highway (A-road) that crosses the Scandes above the tree line and about 8 km after the border the course reaches its highest point at 740 m above sea level. From here, the journey continues down to SMHI’s (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute) weather station in Mierkenis and then further on to Lake Vuoggatjålmjaure (481 m a s l) and Camp Vuoggatjålme, which is the brevet’s eighth checkpoint. Here, we are still north of the Arctic Circle so the sun will stay above the horizon all night. After Ust’-Shchuger in Russia, the second coldest temperature in Europe has been registered in Vuoggatjålme: -52,6°C.
The stage to Vuoggatjålme is the last of the hilly stages. From Camp Vuoggatjålme the course continues down to Arjeplog and the ninth checkpoint Hornavan Hotel, located on the Lake Hornavan (426 m a s l) whish is Swedens deepest lake with a depth of 221 m. Participants aiming for a finishing time of around 75 hours will arrive here well after midnight on Wednesday. The fastest cyclists, aiming for a finishing time around 60 hours, will have arrived here around dinner time on Tuesday. For riders who abandon the brevet, Arjeplog is the first checkpoint after Kittelfjäll with bus connections back to Umeå. In Arjeplog you will find the famous Silver Museum which is well worth a visit.
Checkpoints 10-11: After Arjeplog, the journey heads south to south east on straight or gently curving roads through flat and forested landscapes. Stronger riders may use these last stages to make up time after the hilly stages whilst riders with tired legs may find the endless forests mentally challenging, especially if there is a headwind.
Road 609 from Arjeplog leads to Slagnäs where the course reconnects with the European highway 45 (the Inland Road) and from Slagnäs participants then follow the Inland Road to Sorsele and the tenth checkpoint Sorsele River Hotel.
From Sorsele, the journey continues 28 km on the Inland Road before turning onto road 363 which follows the Vindel River, an unregulated tributary to Ume River which has it source in Vindelfjällen. Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Europe.
Road 363 leads down to the brevet’s eleventh and final checkpoint which is Åmsele Camping in Åmsele. This is the last checkpoint with organised sleeping arrangements. From Åmsele, the journey continues past the villages Hällnäs and Vindeln on road 363, Sweden’s longest county road, to the village Tavelsjö via a short detour through the village of Rödåsel.
After Tavelsjö the course leaves the 363 and turns onto road 629 which leads to the village of Kassjö and later also the start location in Brännland. From there riders follow familiar town roads down to the end checkpoint hotel Scandic Plaza Umeå.
The event provides sleeping arrangements at most checkpoints for short naps. Please note, these spaces are limited and are non-solitary. If you need to take a long sleep at a checkpoint we recommend that you book a private room or cabin where you can sleep between sheets. Rooms and cabins can be booked in advance or subject to availability upon arrival during the event. See booking details below.
The first checkpoint is Granö Beckasin on Ume River. Here cyclists make a quick stop for refreshments. The second checkpoint is Hotell Lappland in Lycksele where cyclists will arrive a few hours after sunrise. Here participants will make a longer stop to eat a proper meal. The brevets’s third checkpoint, Hotel Wilhelmina in Vilhelmina, is the first checkpoint with sleeping arrangements for short naps. Obviously, also private rooms can be booked here. Kittelfjäll is the forth checkpoint. Here, the event has several 4-bed rooms at Kittelfjäll Youth Hostel, which also has showers and a kitchen.
Hattfjelldal Hotel is the first check in Norway. Its non-secluded sleeping arrangements are located in a conference room. Many cyclists booked private accommodation here in 2023 so be sure to book a room well in advance if you are planning to take a longer rest. The next checkpoint is Yttervik Camping & Cabins situated on the Ranfjord and here also the event has organised accommodation. Situated on the E6, Yttervik Camping is a popular stop also for regular tourists. If you plan to sleep in a private cabin here book early! Not far from Yttervik camping is the port city of Mo i Rana. Following the European highway E6 the course makes a detour around the town centre but if you want to sleep in Mo then a stay at Scandic Meyergården Hotel is recommended. Mo has a selection of restaurants and shops. If you visit Mo, you will need to connect to the course again where you left it.
From Mo the course leads up onto Saltfjellet to the Arctic Circle and the Arctic Circle Centre where riders make a food stop. The last place to sleep between checkpoints before the Arctic Circle is the guesthouse Krokstrand Café & Rooms in Krokstranda (private accommodation). Coming down from Saltfjell, the course leaves the E6 at Junkerdal where it turns east and heads back to Sweden. If you make a short detour here you will find two more alternatives for private accommodation between checkpoints, one is Saltdal tourist centre and the other Storjord Hotel. In addition to motel rooms and cabins, Saltdal tourist centre has a grocery store and a restaurant.
After Junkerdal and the Swedish border comes the brevet’s eighth checkpoint Camp Vuoggatjålme on Lake Vuoggatjålmjaure. As in Yttervik, the event has a number cabins at its disposal in Vuoggatjålme and a variety of cabins can also be booked privately. Larger groups can for instance book chalets with private saunas. Vuoggatjålme has a restaurant and bar situated by the lake and also a sauna, in the event of bad weather in the mountains. A few kilometres before Vuoggatjålme riders will find a small grocery store at Sandviken Mountain Lodge by Lake Tjaktjaure, which also offers private accommodation.
The ninth checkpoint is Hornavan Hotel in Arjeplog. In addition to non-solitary sleeping arrangements for participants in a conference room, the hotel also has a restaurant and a bar. In addition to the included meal, participants arriving here in the morning can also buy a breakfast buffet ticket. Many cyclists also booked Hornavan Hotel in 2023 so be sure to book a room well in advance if you plan to sleep here. The tenth checkpoint with organised sleeping arrangements is Sorsele River Hotel in Sorsele. This checkpoint also offers a shower and sauna in case of bad weather. The brevet’s eleventh and last checkpoint before the finishing line is Åmsele Camping in Åmsele. Here too there are sleeping arrangements and cabins can be rented privately.
For participants who have booked a room at the finishing checkpoint Scandic Plaza, logistics will be easy. Brevet cards are handed in at the reception desk and room keys are handed out. For cyclists with sore muscles, the hotel’s sauna on the 14th floor offers a panoramic view over the landscape surrounding Umeå and is well worth a visit.
Accommodation on route
Hotel rooms and cabins can be booked privately on location or in advance if you want to take longer breaks during the brevet. Please check the links below to hotels and campsites with cabins. Some offer discounts to participants.
Vilhelmina – Hotel Wilhelmina
Kittelfjäll – Kittelfjäll Inn
Checkpoint Kittelfjäll, 370 km from start, is open between 10:17 and 23:45 on the 17th of June.
Book a room on website www.kittelfjallvardshus.se or call +46 940 57 47 00.
Hattfjelldal – Hattfjelldal Hotel
Checkpoint Hattfjelldal, 468 km from start, is open between 13:29 17th of June and 06:17 18th of June. To book room on website Hattfjelldal Hotel/GoExtreme or send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +47 916 84 340.
Mo i Rana – Yttervik Camping
Checkpoint Mo i Rana, 564 km from start, is located at Yttervik Camping. The checkpoint is open between 16:41 17th of June and 12:41 18th of June. Book a cabin on the Yttervik Camping website. For a discount on booking, use discount code YTTERVIKSOMMER. Send an e-mail to Yttervik Camping email@example.com or call +47 75 16 45 65.
Mo i Rana – Scandic Meyergården
Vuoggatjålme – Camp Vuoggatjålme
Checkpoint Vuoggatjålme, 754 km from start, is open between 23:23 17th of June and 04:34 19th of June. Book a cabin online at Camp Vuoggatjålme, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +46 961-107 15.
Arjeplog – Hornavan Hotel
Checkpoint Arjeplog, 859 km from start, is open between 03:08 18th of June and 13:45 19th of June.
Book a room at Hornavan Hotel by email email@example.com or call +46 961 777 100. For 10% discount on booking, use discount code MIDNIGHTSUN.
Sorsele – Sorsele River Hotel
Checkpoint Sorsele, 949 km from start, is open between 06:21 18th of June and 21:37 19th of June.
Book a room at Sorsele River Hotel by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +46 952-121 50. For 10% discount on booking, use discount code MIDNIGHTSUN.
Åmsele – Åmsele Camping
Checkpoint Åmsele, 1107 km from the starting point, is open between 12:17 18th of June and 10:07 of 20th of June. Book a cabin at Åmsele Camping by sending an e-mail to email@example.com or call +46 72 274 04 64.
Food & Meals
The menu for 2024 will be set during the spring but it will be similar to previous years. The menus at most but not all checkpoints have local or national influences and are made from local ingredients. Here are examples from years: on the day before start, the event participants were served the Austrian dish Kaiserschmarrn (scrambled pancakes) with a Swedish touch: blueberry jam. In the evening, riders were then served a light buffet dinner at the start location Brännland Inn: baked chicken fillet, sausage from Brännland Inn’s own charcuterie, bulgur salad, two varieties of pasta salad, a potato salad and also a mixed green salad bean salad.
At the checkpoint in Granö riders made a quick stop for coffee and an energy bar made from dates, blueberries, oatmeal and chocolate. At the first food checkpoint in Lycksele, riders were served rainbow trout with glass noodle salad and red lentils was served, followed by coffee and cookies. Storuman will not be a checkpoint in 2024 but the meal there has been marinated moose steak with a potato salad together with herbs, Västerbotten cheese and roasted sunflower seeds and served with gahkku (Sami hot cake). For dessert coffee and rhubarb cake. In Kittelfjäll riders ate a pasta bean salad with arctic char and after that a cinnamon bun with coffee in 2022. In 2023 riders could instead choose from a two different cooked dishes, one being spaghetti bolognese.
In Hattfjelldal a Norwegian speciality was served: arctic char soup served with a focaccia bread, followed by coffee and cookies. At Yttervik camping, next to Ranfjorden, riders ate a wrap with salmon and at the Arctic Circle centre there was also a wrap but this time with reindeer meat and to this lingonberry drink and coffee. At Vuoaggatjålme riders were served a pasta sallad with chicken. In Arjeplog another wrap but now with meatballs of moose meat together with a potato salad. In Sorsele, moose also was on the menu, and finally in Åmsele participants were treated to the now famous dish Palt, fried over an open fire and served with lingonberries and butter, and later coffee.
At all checkpoints, there are options for vegans and vegetarians. When registering to the event please submit special food requirements: vegan or vegetarian, food allergies, lactose or gluten intolerance etc.
Grocery stores & Restaurants
This event takes place in a sparsely populated region of Scandinavia so towns and villages are few and far between. The opportunities for spontaneous stops between checkpoints to refill supplies are very limited.
On route, in the towns Lycksele and Mo i Rana there are Circle K petrol stations which serve food and are open 24/7. Most of the towns and villages where checkpoints are located have grocery stores and in some cases restaurants. Grocery stores in smaller villages usually close at 18:00. In Arjeplog, the Coop is open until 22:00 and the Coop in Sorsele is open until 20:00.
Some villages that aren’t checkpoints also have grocery stores, restaurants and petrol stations which serve food. In the village Korgen between Hattfjelldal and Mo i Rana there is a Circle K petrol station, open until 22:00, which serves food. The Coop in Dikanäs, between Vilhelmina and Kittelfjäll, is open until 18:00. In Jäkkvik between Vuoggatjålme and Arjeplog there is a grocery store which is open until 19.00. The grocery store in Rusksele, between Sorsele and Åmsele, is open until 18:00. The Coop in Vindeln between Åmsele and Umeå is open until 20:00. Vindeln also has a few restaurants.
All establishments in Sweden and Norway accept debit cards such as Mastercard and VISA; also in combination with Apple Pay for contactless payments. Participants do not need to carry cash.
Status of the roads
Please note, the 2024 edition of MSR will not contain a gravel section. Excepting road works, the event 2024 will be held on paved roads that are for the most part in acceptable or excellent condition. Some roads are paved with rough and grippy chipseal others with a smoother asphalt. Sections of the mountain roads, especially in Norway, are frost-damaged with ravelled asphalt and transverse cracking of the road surface. Look out for potholes and ruts on those roads.
Larger tire dimensions and lower tire pressures will reduce road vibrations but for the course as a whole tires with the dimensions 25-28 mm are sufficient.
If there are last minute changes to the course due to unscheduled roadworks following the spring thaw, participants will receive information by email. Information will also be given during sign-in at the start location. Please check this section of the web page during the spring as the event date approaches.
Climate & Weather
The meteorological definition of spring is rising daily average temperatures between 0°C and 10°C for at least seven consecutive days. At the latitudes of the event, meteorological spring normally occurs in late April and early May. Meteorological summer occurs when the daily average temperature has been at least 10°C during five consecutive days. In the mountains, meteorological spring turns into meteorological summer during the event in mid-June.
The daytime temperatures on lowland terrain will be around 15 – 20°C which will drop to 10 – 5°C at altitudes above the tree line. Night temperatures on low-lying terrain: 10 – 5°C. Above the tree line, night temperatures stay around 5 – 0°C.
|Kittelfjäll||14°C||22°C||4°C||-1°C||7 – 14 km/h||32 km/h|
|Hattfjelldal||12°C||23°C||6°C||2°C||7 – 14 km/h||32 km/h|
|Mo i Rana||17°C||26°C||10°C||4°C||7 – 14 km/h||32 km/h|
|Arctic Circle||9°C||23°C||6°C||2°C||11 – 18 km/h||32 km/h|
|Vuoggatjålme||14°C||22°C||4°C||-1°C||7 – 21 km/h||50 km/h|
The topography of a landscape has a determining influence on winds, temperatures and precipitation. In the mountains the weather therefore remains changeable and unpredictable even in summer. Chance of rain in the mountains during the event? About 50 percent. In June this will usually be light to moderate rain, however, the occasional heavy rain shower can occur. There may also be light snowfall although snow will not stay on the roads.
Clothes & Equipment
As has been shown above, daily temperatures will fluctuate during the event. Temperatures may reach 25°C during daytime and drop to 0°C during the night. Add to this the wind chill factor when choosing clothes for the event. An air temperature of 2°C combined with wind speeds of 15 km/h will give a wind cooling temperature of -1,8°C. Therefore, choose high-quality wind/rainwear and long-finger gloves that keep you warm and dry, even in the very worst of weather conditions.
The event will not provide a bag-drop service so the clothes you wear during the brevet must be carried on the bike from start to finish. For this reason, choose clothes that will give you as many combinations as possible instead of items that you may only use once or not at all. A system with layers of thinner garments that have different properties is recommended. They give you the possibility to regulate your temperature during the day by making short stops to remove or put on a layer that are then stored in your back pocket for later use. Lined shoe covers, windproof vests, and leg and arm warmers are practical in conditions with varying temperatures.
In a brevet personal assistance such as follow cars or food depots are strictly forbidden between checkpoints. Because the course crosses mainly sparsely populated areas, the opportunities to refill supplies can quickly become very uncertain, especially in the mountains. For this reason, it is very important that you carry enough food and drink with you on your bike to get you between checkpoints. Saddle bags or frame bags are usually used to carry food, tools, rainwear etc., see examples: Apidura, Ortlieb, Arkel, Roswheel, Pro Discover. On busy roads and roads with speed limits between 90-100 km/h, a reflective vest can be a good complement to a lit taillight, especially in rain and fog.
The event MSR uses a simple and easy-to-use website during the race for tracking purposes and for personal safety in the mountains. By checking in at checkpoints via the website both the organiser and friends and families will be able to follow your progress along the course. For this reason, perhaps even if you want to take photos, it is important that your mobile phone is switched on during the whole ride.
For international participants outside the EU/EES a prepaid solution will be practical, Telia Prepaid. Cellular reception is for the most parts exellent along the route. See coverage maps: Telia Sweden. Telia Norway.
In Sweden and Norway, the standard voltage is 230V. Sockets: type F Schuko (EE 7/4) and type C Europlug.
At most checkpoints you’ll find basic tools for repairs and at some checkpoints you can also buy spare tires, inner tubes and repair kits but the only bicycle workshops with qualified bike mechanics on route are in Mo i Rana. When you arrive in Mo you’ll see Sport 1 Sporthuset Mo on the right hand side of the road. In the shop you’ll find the mechanic, Ole, on the first floor.
Nature & Fauna
You will have a good chance of seeing moose, reindeer and foxes close to the road, especially in the evening and night. You may also see red deer and roe deer, and in rare cases wolverine, lynx or pine marten; perhaps even grey wolf or brown bear. On the mountain lakes you will find birds such as whooper swan, mute swan, and arctic loon. In farm meadows you may see common crane, Canada geese and greylag geese. In the forests you may see black woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, common cuckoo, capercaillie and black grouse, but also birds of prey such as boreal owl. You also have a chance of seeing larger birds of prey such as golden eagle and rough-legged hawk. Above the tree line you may see rock ptarmigan. In Norway around Lake Røssvattnet, domestic sheep roam loose on the roads. Down by the sea you will perhaps see a white-tailed eagle soaring above the Ranfjord among arctic tern and several species of gulls.
The right of public access to the wilderness prevails in both Sweden and Norway, which means that it is permitted to both camp and swim in privately owned forests and lakes as long as you do not litter or destroy; or are in close vicinity to private homes (if so, ask permission first). In the mountains, the water in streams is drinkable. However, do not drink from stagnant water. The water should be running and clear.
- What kind of food, especially concerning protein sources?
The food will be varied but will include food typical of the region such as fish, moose and reindeer.
- Will I need insect repellant during the event? When do they strike?
June is early summer in the mountains so gnats and mosquitoes may not have arrived in full force by then. If there’s no wind and you stop next to a marsh you’ll soon hear them, if they’re there.
- How do you get to and from Umeå?
There are regular domestic flights to Umeå via Stockholm. Both from Stockholm Central Station and Arlanda airport it is also possible to take express or night trains to Umeå. Not all trains have spaces for assembled bikes but most if not all trains and buses will allow disassembled bikes in bike bags. At Stockholm Central Station there is a daily bus service to Umeå. There are car rental services both at Stockholm Central Station and Arlanda airport.
- Can we rough sleep at controls if no free bed is available?
If the weather is fine you can sleep outdoors nearly anywhere you choose. Otherwise cabins at the checkpoints are fairly cheap and can be worth it if you want a good nights sleep (60-80 EUR for a cabin). Subject to availability you can book on arrival and pay with a debet card.
- Which controls will definitely have showers? Free or paid?
All checkpoints that have sleeping facilities have free showers and all checkpoints have a WC.
- What about UV? Should we use sunscreen?
You should definitely use sunscreen!
- Is bottled water necessary?
No need for bottled water.
- Can you recommend a good website to check on weather on the Scandinavian peninsula?
The route passes one of the weather stations for the Swedish meteorological and hydrological institute. For mountain weather reports: https://www.smhi.se/q/Mierkenis/Arjeplog/2692001.
- At each control, will there be food provided by the organisers or do we need to find food on our own?
There will be a fixed portion of food at all checkpoints included in the entry fee. At some checkpoints extra food and energy bars for the ride can be purchased. Some checkpoints are hotels that have restaurants. You will find a list of suggested places here where you can buy food on route. Check google maps for exact locations.
- During the randonnée, do we need to write anything on the brevet cards or will they be stamped when we arrive at controls?
No, you don’t need to write anything on the brevet cards during the ride (only before you start and after you finish).
- Does the App use the phone’s GPS for tracking?
No, the app doesn’t use GPS. Its main function is to give information to the volunteers, not to track your ride. It will not drain the batteries on your phone
- Payments on the road. Do I need cash?
You will have limited use for cash. All shops, restaurants and hotels use EMV terminals so payment with Mastercard and Visa is possible. Apple Pay will work fine.
- How strongly do you recommend bringing a sleeping mat?
Don’t bring a sleeping mat. Better to focus on extra clothes if it gets cold, wet or both. Remember, the mountains are very exposed with no shelter.
- Finishing MSR at Umea past 23:00, what to expect? Hotel 24h desk? Proper food?
Food is provided for at the Umeå Plaza that will get you through the night if you want to go to sleep directly after you finish. Otherwise there is a MAX Burgers (with vegan alternatives) a few hundred meters from the hotel that is open until 02:00. There is also a service station Circle K nearby that serves food which is open 24/7.
- Reflective gilet (like the PBP19): is it mandatory? It’s not mentioned in the website rules.
You’ll be cycling in constant daylight conditions, day and night. Reflective gilets aren’t mandatory but it is recommended that you have a rear light lit also during the daytime which makes you easier to spot on the roads. You’ll also need a front light if visibility is poor due to rain, snow or fog but also in the tunnels in Norway.
- Where do I pick up my jersey the day before the event?
Jerseys can be picked up at Brännland Wärdshus during the dinner on Saturday. We have a couple of spare jerseys (Strike) to switch between if your ordered size doesn’t fit.
- The website references a need to show proof of a liability insurance policy. We’re not sure what that is. Is that referencing a health insurance policy?
If you have a serious collision and injure someone else, a third-party insurance (public liability, personal liability) will cover you for damage to others and their property (if you are responsible for an accident or damage a parked car), and also cover you for legal costs. A liability insurance may already be included in your travel insurance. If you are a member of a cycling club a liability insurance may already be included in your membership (check if valid abroad).
- Are aerobars allowed? If so are there any restrictions on them, e.g. their length cannot exceed the brakes, or some other restrictions?
We don’t have any restrictions concerning aerobars.
Tips for the road
- Before the event, study the course in Google Street View, in particular critical road junctions and the location of the brevet’s checkpoints.
- When cycling conserve energy as much as possible. Try to keep a steady heart rate throughout the brevet. Imagine that you will cycle the second half of the brevet faster than the first.
- Don’t stress, which is also a waste of energy. A brevet is largely a mental test. Don’t count kilometers. Relax and let the brevet take the time it takes. Subdivide the distance into shorter stage goals and focus on them.
- Try to be organised at checkpoints as time spent here is included in your overall ride time. Plan your stops in advance and be efficient. Over time you’ll pay for the effort of riding faster in order to make up time spent at checkpoints.
- Plan your food and fluid intake long-term. Do not leave a checkpoint without refilling supplies and water bottles. Always carry reserve supplies in case of something unforeseen happens between checkpoints. That said, help from residents along the course is allowed, such as refilling water bottles or repairing a bike, even between checkpoints.
- Don’t forget to register at the checkpoints! Check in at the checkpoints and make sure that your brevet card is signed and/or stamped BEFORE you do anything else, for instance eat, sleep or visit the toilet etc.
The organiser Cykelintresset wishes you a safe journey and good luck!