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Sara Bergman Larner

Photo: Jonas Kullman

Sara has a love for spandex, hardtails and rolling beech woods. But, like a true Åre local, it’s the nature and social aspect that attracts her when it’s time to pull out her XC bike for an adventure around Åre.

Sara, who’s originally from Östhammar, has cycled for almost 10 years and discovered cross country when she lived in Skåne for a while. After that, she was hooked. Intensive training rounds in beech forests and relatively flat terrain. There was a lot of cycling and competitions at a hobby level, including the Swedish “Cykelvasan”.

Sara experienced a minor culture clash when she moved Åre in 2012. Here it was naturally a completely different terrain that also required a different kind of equipment. Fully cushioned bikes, long shorts and large backpacks with all kinds of equipment and coffee.

A perfect day riding here is more of an adventure. Where bears less importance, it’s the social and the nature experiences that are primary. Spending time with friends on a sunny day and getting varied cycling in a beautiful mountain environment with a minimal amount of packing as possible. 😉 A happy day ends with a cup of coffee at Grädda, maybe a few laps in the dirt and then a cosy BBQ at home with friends.

Simple everyday cycling, such as the old road to Duved, then a lap in the electric track or cycling up a transport on Mt. Åreskutan and taking Månskogen and Getrappet down are a couple of my favourite rounds for XC in Åre.

Otherwise, classics around Vålådalen such as Bäverkroken are nice tours, which are also slightly more technical. It’s fun to stop at an obstacle and practice together how to parry and pass. It’s important to have a nice attitude on the trails, to give way to hikers, to be generally pleasant and to have respect for nature.

What’s the best thing about biking cross country?

 – I like the speed and the challenge when it gets a little more technical. Cross country is a great combination of interval training, getting out into nature and of course meeting like-minded people, and a way to spend time with friends.

Why should you come to Åre to ride? 

– It’s a completely different experience than anywhere else! It’s more of an adventure than just a workout. All of a sudden you have to wade over mountain streams or carry your bike over logs and stones.

What do you do in Åre when you are not biking? 

– I like that nature is very easily accessible. It’s never more than 100 meters away. Just having a book and a cup of coffee and sitting out in the garden is wonderful. To go down to Lake Åre, throw rocks and maybe drink some bubbles. Pick berries and mushrooms on a clear autumn day. To see the little things.

What’s the best thing about Åre? 

– That there is so much variety, plenty of variety and clear year-rounds. It’s very intense in winter, then spring comes with a nice breathing space and during the summer when it’s a little quieter you can meet all friends. You have time to talk and just have an ice cream in the central square. There’s a nice community, it’s easy to meet people and people are happy and inviting.

Sara’s three best cycling tips:

  1. Practice technique, it gets so much more fun and you get more out of biking.
  2. Pack as lightly as possible. Both equipment and bike.
  3. Join a biking club for both community and tips.

Sara’s training tips:

• Interval training, to get good conditioning.

• Core training for strong posture.

• Core training, to maximize power to your legs.

• Stretch your hips extra carefully.

• Practice sitting on the bike to get your butt used to it.

Ready to find your favorite trail in Åre? Go to Åre Trails to find your trail, regardless of whether you want to walk, ride, hike, bicycle…Click here to explore >>

Last updated 6 July 2021