#027 Ekerö Island Ekerö 96km Following the loops to find paradise.
Percentage: 80% gravel 20% road
Style: Gravel roads with some short single track sections
Route designer: Karl
“Just north of Stockholm lies the military training grounds of Svea Livgarde. A long time ago I went through basic training here and haven’t had any desire to venture back to places like “Tillfället” and the misleadingly named “Paradiset”, until now.”
Karl contacted GRVL.se to share his route around his old military training ground. Here’s what he had to say:
“After many years my memories start to fade and I realise the training grounds is actually a fantastic area for gravel riding. The roads are frequently used and are well maintained. And when there is no military activity the lack of residents makes for quiet surroundings. The route only covers part of what’s available and there’s lots more good roads to explore. ( Please see the notes at the end of the article about safety in military zones. )
It’s possible to start this route in the west suburbs of Stockholm and link up with Livgardet by following the shore of lake Mälaren. This is a nice section with non-technical hiking paths, but can be very busy with walkers so I advise to skip this part and take the commuter train directly to Kungsängen.
From Kungsängen, follow the cycle track under E18 and take a right on the jogging track that brings you up to the gates of Livgardet. Head over the carparking and continue to follow the jogging tracks around the area past Granhammargrinden (best place to jump the fence if you had been AWOL) and past the UN camp. From here you will follow almost exclusively easy gravel roads until you leave the training grounds.
Rich wildlife include mouse, roe deer, fallow deer and fox and is mixed with military installations, pillboxes and carcasses of old armoured vehicles. It’s truly a different experience. When your riding buddies are done telling old stories from military duty, you may leave the area at Bom 28.
From here we make our way back to Kungsängen on mixed surfaces, gravel, paved roads and a short stretch of single track north of Lejondalssjön. Kungsängen offers the first opportunity for a fika since Soldathemmet outside the gates of Livgardet and a welcome stop before heading back to civilian life.”
Obviously all this cycling uses up all your energy so why not make some energy bars to bring along with you?
Niklas, the photographer on this tour has a great recipe for you to follow.
Nik’s Energy Bars
4 dl oatmeal
0.5 dl of sunflower seeds
1 dl dessicated coconut
10 dried dates or prunes
1.5 dl of raisins
30g dark Chocolate 70-85%
2.5 tbsp honey
2 tbsp boiled water
Divide dried plums into pieces and mix with raisins.
Pour hot water over them and honey.
Mix to smooth batter with a hand blender.
Roast oatmeal, sunflower seeds and coconut in a hot frying pan until they get some colour.
Mix in finely chopped dark chocolate. Stir together all ingredients and place on baking paper, pat to desired thickness.
Set cold for a few hours, then cut into appropriate pieces!
Livgardet is an active training ground so you must check the schedule for restricted access in advance at https://www.forsvarsmakten.se/sv/organisation/livgardet/skjutfalt-avlysningar-och-bullerinformation/#/area/kungsangens-ovnings-och-skjutfalt and take note of signs before entering. Stumbling in on a live firing exercise is both hazardous and penalised with a fine.