Bugging Across Finland – Extreme winter cycling expedition
Written by Andrej Kršjak
Last February we set out on a real adventure together with Jussi Heikkinen from ENTIS, who is possibly one of the toughest Finnish men alive. A winter expedition took us across the country from Turku to Nuorgam, which is the northernmost point of Finland and the EU. It is a tiny village with around 200 people literally at the Norwegian border.
1500 km of pure extreme cycling in one month inspired by nature, sustainability and insect food
Bugging Across Finland alias BAF expedition consisted of more than 1500 km of purely extreme cycling – not the usual summer trip around the town. We embarked on this journey not only to promote cycling, nature, sustainability and insects for human consumption (Yes, ENTIS sells insect products as the alternative source of protein and nutrition for humans.), and to push our physical limits and get people outdoors on their bicycles. We were hoping to complete this challenge within one month and of course to survive. In the end, we did both (lucky us).
Meeting friendly Finns throughout the journey
We met many people throughout the journey, who offered us a roof over our heads. In return, we told them about the expedition and brought some insect snacks for them to try. The high rate of people who tasted the snacks might even suprise you.
From my perspective as an expat in this country, I was astonished by the hospitality of Finnish people no matter which city or town we entered. It was something I expected to happen. Although not to the degree that people would go the extra mile every single time to help us, show us around or give us a piece of advice for the road. In case anyone who we met with along the way is reading this – kudos to you lovely people!
I was genuinely satisfied with my bike, which, and this is true, did not break even once! Well, apart from slightly squeaking and frozen morning brakes, but that is inevitable in -30 degrees. Once you start pedaling and everything heats us, the problem is gone in no time.
I am sure, I can speak for Jussi to tell you that he was equally satisfied with his Tundra. Even though it suffered a few tiny scars along the way. Despite this the scars transformed his bike into a real warhorse.
This journey was more than just about cycling. It showed us what we are capable of, it supported several causes, but most of all, I hope it inspired people. No matter which country they are in, to take their friends, go outdoors, and enjoy all kinds of cycling adventures. That is what truly matters at the end of the day – enjoying cycling.
If you want to see how it looked on the road and what we have been through, go to Bugging Across Finland on ENTIS or Tunturi Bike YouTube channel. We recorded the whole journey and made it into a series!
As for us two with Jussi, I believe we will embark on yet another journey with our bicycles, but the question that remains is – which one will it be?
Photo by: Janne U. Leppäkoski
Moreover, story about BAF is going to be published in a bicycle magazine 1/2020 Fillari-lehti (28th Feb) in Finland and 2/2020 iVelo (23rd Jan) in the Czech Republic. Now, even people abroad can read about the expedition and see Finland from a new perspective!