Scenic cycling around Lake Vänern without stress

For Pär Fredriksson, road cycling became the way back to top physical shape and the community that a large cycling club offers. Today he sits on the board of the Örebro cyclists and wants others to enjoy cycling in the same way as he did. This can be done, for example, by testing the new concept for cycling around Lake Vänern. A full 60 miles of beautiful views, pleasant overnight stays and varied road cycling.

You are one of the driving forces behind the Örebro cyclists. How did it go when you started cycling?

For my own part, I can call myself an exercise cyclist for ten years back in time. Has been involved in various sports over the years, but after moving from Skåne to Närke 15 years ago, the focus was on family, house and work instead. It was noticeable on the weight and condition after a few years, and when I realized that I needed to get to grips with it, the attempts at running resulted in problems with the calves and hamstrings. Found then with the help of colleagues up to road cycling, and has since been stuck in that "swamp". Was probably at most about 4000 kilometers in a year with bicycle commuting to and from work, and so more than twice as much on pure road cycling and MTB. 

Par-Fredriksson-Vanern-Runt-Orebrocyklisterna2

How did you end up in the Örebro cyclists?   

Was tipped off about the club, and thought it sounds fun to ride in the company of more like-minded people. It then led to Hjälmaren around, Vätternrundan and Vänern around. Many fun cycling activities that are either arranged via Örebro cyclists, or take place in community with members of the club. My participation in these activities has since led me to get involved in exercise cycling, and later also the board. I have kind of thought that I feel good about cycling, and want to give back in some way from what I got through cycling and through the club Örebro cyclists.

What does it mean to be involved in a big cycling club?

It can be anything from being a flag guard on Hjälmaren around, loading luggage on Lake Vänern, fixing map data for the County Administrative Board or Sunday cycling with other exercise-hungry cyclists. I have not entered the competition area, but it has been enough with various exercise races to satisfy my hunger in that area. But since the club has recently had a hand in the game of developing talent, for example Emilia Fahlin and the Ahlsson brothers, there are interesting opportunities there as well. The club simply supports all types of cycling, and we want people to find cycling in all its forms. Whether it is about commuting by bike, gravel road cycling, virtual cycling or our main branch of road cycling.

You have taken the initiative to package the classic Vänern Runt in a completely new way. What do you think is it that attracts in layouts of this kind?

In the situation that society has ended up in the last two years, with the pandemic, a consequence for the club has been that one of our main activities with Vänern Runt could not be carried out. It has been boring both for the club from a purely financial perspective, and of course just as much from a participant point of view as it has been a very popular and talked about race. One of the effects felt in society in connection with the pandemic is that people spend more time in nature to a greater extent. So instead of just setting up around Lake Vänern, we want to try a new concept that gives the opportunity to carry out a wonderful race in a slightly different way. There is still a focus on the experience with a lot of coffee and overnight stays along the way in combination with a round trip around Lake Vänern's beautiful surroundings. We Swedes - and some Norwegians, Finns and Germans - like to cycle around large Swedish lakes. Therefore, we want to give the opportunity to continue with Sweden's nicest exercise race around one of our largest lakes, despite the pandemic. 

What kind of cycling and experiences are waiting around Lake Vänern?

Scenic scenery, several coffee breaks and overnight stays in nice towns along the way. It is not the same excitement that can be experienced in the Vättern Round because there is a significantly lower number of participants, and official timekeeping does not occur. There are many nice sections that you pass along the road around Lake Vänern, just think how nice Brudfjällssträckan is! Then it is something special to cycle more than 600 km. 

You are a good cyclist yourself. Is there any route you are particularly fond of?

In that context, I just have to emphasize Brudfjället! But we cyclists are very dependent on conditions in the form of weather. I have cycled around Lake Vänern when it is pouring rain and there is a headwind, and then it is difficult to appreciate any nice stretch, Brudfjället included. But when the sun is shining and you have a tailwind, the uphills at Kinnekulle are also lovely!