AND IKEA, ABBA G ROADIN EPIC OFF- West­lake By John Dis­cov­eri ng e. ad­ven­tur A for­est soli­tude beauty and the hid­den Swe­den via south­ern of off-road bike

Motorcycle News (UK) - - New Bikes -

lance at a map and south­ern Swe­den looks nor­mal enough, with lit­tle in­di­ca­tion it’s ad­ven­ture bike heaven. There’s Gothen­burg on the left, Stock­holm on the right and below that is a splodge of green with a few lakes and a criss­cross of main roads. But zoom in and some­thing odd hap­pens. Firstly, the lakes mul­ti­ply, with thou­sands of smaller ones pep­per­ing the coun­try­side. And

Gsec­ondly, there don’t seem to be many more roads. In fact, huge swathes of the coun­try don’t have any roads at all.

What you dis­cover when you get there is that the green splodge cov­er­ing the en­tire south of Swe­den - an area three times the size of Wales - is one mas­sive for­est bi­sected by thou­sands upon thou­sands of gravel tracks. Th­ese swoop and squirm be­tween tiny vil­lages and farms, skirt­ing lakes and only oc­ca­sion­ally pop out onto a road, which you briefly fol­low be­fore div­ing back onto the gravel.

It’s a never- end­ing ad­ven­ture play­ground - with no-one else in it. Swe­den has a pop­u­la­tion just 15% the size of Bri­tain’s and twice the land mass so it’s nor­mal to ride all day and only see a hand­ful of other ve­hi­cles. Not only that, but be­cause most of the tracks are smooth - there are far fewer pot­holes than on

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