Gotlandsleden - A 500km bike ride on a Swedish Viking-era island

Gotland – the Swedish island where the Viking-era history meets beautiful cycling and a gravel event powered by Sigr and Windbreakers Club.

Gotland, Sweden's paradise island with characterful wilderness and a coastline punctuated with sandy beaches and sculptural sea stacks. Its historically significant capital of Visby is a Viking-era wonder and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gotland has been a cycling paradise since the 70’s, when Swedish author Ulf Lundell’s debut novel Jack almost got the entire Swedish population to go on a cycling holiday there. The term “cycling in Gotland” became a concept and there are still many people who get a dreamy look in their eyes when you mention Gotland and cycling in the same sentence.

One of those who fell in love with cycling in Gotland is Jonas Moberg - one of the four people behind the Windbreakers Cycling Club. Inspired into action due to a distinct lack of cycling events in 2020, the club is arranging a Covid-19 safe ride at the end of August. The so called Gravel Raid Gotland only has room for 40 people. Sigr got the chance to talk to Jonas:

- Jonas, please tell us more about the Windbreakers Club

"We are 4 people who run WBC, everyone has their roles, but basically we all have a morbid interest in cycling in all its forms. We started WBC this spring, perhaps the worst opportunity ever to start a new company targeting events in cycling. But hey! This is what we love."

- So what is so special about cycling here in Gotland? And where is Gotland for those who have never heard of it?

"Gotland is an island in the middle of the Baltic Sea that is relatively small. You can easily choose what type of cycling you want to do, well except downhill because the island is extremely flat. It's about 500 km to get around the whole island and instead of mountains, you get a biting headwind that is incredibly educational."

- Your best tip for those who are thinking of coming to Gotland and cycling. Which months of the year are best? And can you cycle all disciplines? (Road, MTB, Gravel etc)

"As I said, Gotland is excellent for all types of cycling except downhill. And I would say that May to October / November are the best months. The best is in fact August or September. Contact us and we will can help put a great programme together."

- This weekend you have a Covid-19 secured event for 40 cyclists. Tell us a little bit about it.

"In normal cases, well when Covid-19 was not here, our local bike store Bikeoholic together with the local cycling club held a gravel race - always this last weekend in August. This year has been canceled because of Corona. We felt it was a shame to cancel completely, so we took the opportunity to create a nice gravel weekend with limited places. Safe and sound. The event will consist of cycling and a damn nice hang out before, during and after cycling. All riders get a really nice finisher jersey from Sigr."

- What does it look like in the winter in Gotland? Can you cycle long distances also in November-January? What's the climate like?

"So with the right clothes, you can really cycle all year round here. Many of us at WBC do just that. Gotland may be the best place in Sweden if you're trying to avoid snow. Talking of cooler weather cycling, we're proud to be part of the launch of the new Sigr Gotlandsleden Jacket this August. The Gotlandsleden jackets that Sigr offer are perfect autumn and winter jackets here in Gotland. Partly because of the merino wool lining. But mostly because they have the best name ;) GOTLANDSLEDEN.

Find out what all the fuss is about and buy these wonders of nature here!

More hints and tips:

General information about cycling in Gotland

Everything you need to know if planning a visit with a bike

1 comment

  • Karl

    So Happy for you guys! Can’t make it this year. I love Gotland.

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