SWEDEN OR BUST

Twenty-four hours of daylight and $10 beers doesn't sound like it will add up to much of a nightlife, but in July Spoke contributors Camilla Stoddart and myself will find out if Sweden can provide. I will be in search of a wife and Camilla will be in search of the golden light that makes her photography so special. Camilla has been selected to take part in the Scandinavian Photo Challenge which is one of the top events in the nine day action packed Are Mountain Bike Festival that will take place from 2-10 July. Spoke Magazine are proud to be a media partner for the festival and accordingly you will be treated to web posts live from the venue as events unfold (or my advances at the locals) and a full story in Spoke Magazine some time later in the year. For more information and a host of banger photos from Swedish super shooter Mattias Fredriksson read on..

Åre Bike Festival 2011

July 2-10 marks the second edition of Åre Bike Festival. Nine days of great riding in one of the worldʼs premier bike resorts, Åre, Sweden.

Founded by the local bike club Åre Bergscyklister, the goal is pretty simple: to enjoy Åreʼs fantastic biking to the fullest, whatever your favoured discipline, age or previous experience. The festival program is packed with pro camps, fun competitions, night riding and a whole lot more that attratcs both cross country, downhill and dirt riders.

Highlights during the week include Pilgrimsloppet, a scenic cross country race, night riding with the Åre tram in the midnight sun, extended opening hours in the bike park and two different downhill comps. Last year's success, girl camps with Canadian freeride star Darcy Turenne, is back once more – along with a slew of freeride clinics hosted by experienced pros.

The dirt jump part of the festival will take place at a new venue in the village, built and designed by Åre Bergscyklister with help from professional trail builders from UCIʼs BMX department. Åre Bergscyklister will also host daily cross country tours as well as guiding in the bike park.

The poster event for the week though is the Scandinavian Photo Challenge by Nikon, a unique photo comepetition with five of the worldʼs leading bike photographers individualla invited. They team up with four riders of their choice to create a five minute slideshow to be shown at the huge closing party on Saturday night and judged by an expert jury.

More information and full schedule for the festival can be found over at www.arebikefestival.com.

All images are free of rights in editorial content about Åre Bike Festival. Photographer: Mattias Fredriksson.