Fredrikshof come year after year
Sweden's biggest cycling club, Fredrikshof IF, has 1,600 members. They make a trip to Åland every year. A two-day tour starts in Stockholm on a Saturday morning; you cycle to Grisslehamn and after a two-hour trip on Eckerö Linjen you get to Eckerö.
An hour or so's cycle ride later and the group is in Mariehamn. You spend the night there and get a good meal. On the Sunday you cycle over the bridges in Åland's beautiful archipelago before having an Åland pancake snack. The trip home is on Viking Line direct to Stockholm.
There's room for both cyclists and bicycles
As regards accommodation in Mariehamn, there are plenty of options but Övernäsgården is one of the favourites. It's a guest house that also includes a holiday village. It is located a few minutes' cycle ride south of Mariehamn centre.
This is what Tom Stenman of Övernäsgården has to say about the cyclists:
"They're a great bunch of people. One special request they make is that we arrange safe storage for the bicycles overnight. So we reserve a cottage especially - just for the bicycles."
Another option in terms of accommodation that the cycling club chooses is Pensionat Solhem, which is also located in Södra Mariehamn and has reasonably priced accommodation.
The best cycle tours for cycle training
Harry Rönnberg is one of Åland's most active cyclists. He is one of the Ålandscyklisterna club who train twice a week. They have what is known as a Sub9 group, namely cyclists who do the Vätternrundan cycle ride in under nine hours.
Which tour would you recommend to someone who wanted to do cycle training in Åland?
"There are plenty of tours on excellent paths that take you out towards the sea, then have you turn and come back. If you want to have a proper ride of around 120 to 130 km starting in Mariehamn, there is a great ride towards the north.
“You ride up over Jomala, on towards Finström, then to Sund and a bit further to Björby and Kvarnbo, and then towards Tjudö. As far north as you can go, you get to Geta. There I can recommend a cafe in Getabergen. The route home goes southwards via Bamböle. By then you've worked up an appetite for a good dinner to round off the trip in Mariehamn."
The Åland race
The 150-km Åland race starts at 9 a.m. on 8 August. For those of you who prefer shorter distances, we have the Annual Peace Race which provides 30-, 60- and 110-km sections. The Ålandscyklisterna club organises the Åland race. They organise the Annual Peace Race in collaboration with Emmaus/Ålands Fredsförening (Åland's Peace Association).
Cycling in Åland
You can read about the Åland race and the Ålandscyklisterna club here.
Övernäsgården: read more at www.overnasgarden.ax
Foto: Martin Söderlund, Fredrikshof IF