Friday, 8 August 2008

A ride along the Klarälvsbana

Another unexpected and rewarding discovery this week has been the Klarälvsbana, a fifty-five mile asphalt-surfaced cycle route from Hagfors to Karlstad that follows the line of an old railway track. It's flat, and very pleasant to cycle along.

No expense spared - they have even put white stripes down the side for the visually impaired, and they mark the edges of the track with reflective posts when it travels over an embankment (which I suppose one might conceivably need on a dark winter night). The money came from the EU, and the project was completed last year. It isn't seeing a huge amount of use yet, summer traffic seems to be about 30-40 cyclists each day past the cafe at the half-way mark, but I'm sure it will build when word spreads, because it's an excellent car-free route between the two areas.

There are a couple of campsites beside it, and free camping is a possibility too. They've even built little composting toilets at each five kilometre mark, with fly-proof screens and toilet paper too!

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