Bikepacking in Finland Looks Amazing in ‘Not Far From Home II’ - Video

Dec 6, 2017
by Kona Bikes  
Views: 6,084    Faves: 47    Comments: 2


Finland s Lemmenjoki National Park

Finland s Lemmenjoki National Park

Erkki Punttila cruising through Finland s Lemmenjoki national park aboard his Kona Unit X.

Erkki Punttila cruising through Finland s Lemmenjoki national park aboard his Kona Unit X.

There’s a common saying that life is like a wave and our existence is essentially surfing whatever kind of water comes our way. Metaphorically there may not be a better way to justify the ebbs and flows of good and bad that everyone undoubtedly experiences. What sets certain people apart though, is their ability to ride the waves in their own, unique way. Erkki Punttila knows that the best way to reset is to embrace the tides and sail away into a different mindset.

Erkki Punttila cruising through Finland s Lemmenjoki national park aboard his Kona Unit X.

Erkki Punttila cruising through Finland s Lemmenjoki national park aboard his Kona Unit X.

The setting is the far north of Finland in the Lapland area. It’s north of the arctic circle. It’s dark and cold; exactly what you think northern Finland would be like in the depths of autumn, except it’s also stunningly beautiful. Erkki’s path has led him to sell most of his possessions and move his life onto a sailboat. The S/y Sanibonani was built in South Africa in 1978. She has a luxurious history of cruising the Caribbean and Mediterranean, but now she’s finding her home in the cold waters of Finland. “Living aboard a sailboat has been a great experience,” Erkki said. “Extremely limited storage space makes you focus on the stuff you really need. Enjoying a sunset with good coffee really beats having eight pairs of shoes you never wear and a metric ton of random stuff around you.”

Erkki Punttila cruising through Finland s Lemmenjoki national park aboard his Kona Unit X.

Finland s Lemmenjoki National Park

Erkki’s preferred method of transportation while in port is his Unit X. “I had the Unit on deck ready for grocery runs and the occasional bike packing trip,” he said. “In the spring, the boat was still bound in the ice so I had to haul 20-liter diesel canisters for the heater with the bike, which was no problem with a sturdy front rack.” Erkki’s need for adventure runs deep and he recently took his Unit X to explore Finland’s largest national park, Lemmenjoki. Known for its gold digging claims, Lemmenjoki spans 2,850 square km, and is peppered with huts where travelers can spend the night out of the extreme cold.

Erkki Punttila cruising through Finland s Lemmenjoki national park aboard his Kona Unit X.

Erkki Punttila cruising through Finland s Lemmenjoki national park aboard his Kona Unit X.

Finland s Lemmenjoki National Park

Finland s Lemmenjoki National Park


MENTIONS: @konaworld




21 Comments

  • + 21
 Amazing adventure! Happy 100th independence day Smile
  • + 8
 How much time goes into the actual making of the film vs just riding/exploring on a trip like this? Looks like he had a cameraman with him so I'd be curious to know how much time is spent getting shots for example. Looks absolutely incredible though.
  • + 3
 From my own experience I can tell you it probably takes twice the amount of time it would have taken if you just rode. I shoot and ride everything myself. I fairly recently did a short involving me getting on a train for 30 minutes, then a bus for 45 minutes to get out and ride in the snow (www.pinkbike.com/video/467503). Most shots are easy enough that can be done on the down time, but certainly shots of riding may take several takes and going back to do a few times over. Your question, though, is probably more in terms of "is it worth it?". And the answer is obviously "yes" if someone took the time to put it together. One could very easily ask, how much does it take to ride that vs. just driving it? A lot more certainly, but I don't see how that matters if you love riding. For some people it's certainly as interesting to film rides as it is to ride. Just another form of self expression.
  • + 1
 @thrice: Thanks for the reply. Does filming like he did not take away from the "adventure" aspect of it? I mean he is filming a bike packing trip which sort of changes the mentality of a bike packing trip when you have to do multiple shots are with multiple people etc when its just meant to be an adventure ride?
  • + 7
 @ianswilson815: The answer to your question, plain and simple, is: Absolutely. It does take away. Probably a lot. Now, was the objective of the trip to live adventure to its fullest or to make an attempt at documenting it? I believe it was the latter. There is certainly no way to enjoy a trip like this to its fullest when you are filming it. Specially something that results in this level of quality. But again, they are different things and pose different challenges. If you've ever raced downhill you know that the race run is not necessarily as pleasant as just riding down the mountain in a leisurely way. But it presents a different challenge. We all have different things that drive us. I know, living in Chicago right now, filming stuff gets me motivated to actually go out and ride. You'll find that at least 50% of what makes people good at something is just their dedication to go out there and do it. Half of what makes this short great is just the fact that somebody took the time to properly document what a trip like this feels like. My two cents of course, someone else can have a very different point of view.
  • + 6
 After moving to Canada and becoming a slightly tragic enduro bro, I had my first exposure to bikepacking 2 years ago in Banff at the grand departe of the most legendary of endurance races, The Tour Divide. After a cold Albertan winter binge of Joey Schusler films, local Canmore legend Ryan Correy's podcast (bikepack.ca) and following Lael Wilcox's amazing achievements, I took off on my first overnight trip from Canmore, south to Fortress Mountain in Kananaskis. Initially obsessing over whether my bike was suitable and the belief i had to spend $500 on bike bags, I overheard a conversation at the LBS that stated the best bike was the one you have and the gear you can carry. Because "you'll never get it right the first time anyway". 90km of pedalling, hail storms, freezing alpine wind, soaking wet, lost, alone and in prime grizzly habitat as the sun set below the mountains, I knew I had finally found my purpose riding bikes.

3 weeks later I rode out on a solo, unsupported ride tracing the first segment of the tour divide from Canmore to Fernie via the Fernie alternate. 2.5 days and 235km of ass pounding gravel roads later, I pedalled the last few kms into Fernie on a full suss enduro bike that had prompted a few confused glances among the other tourers the night before in Elkford.

I once heard a rider say that endurance cycling has the ability to take you to some dark places in your mind and that the outcome depends solely on your willingness to confront your own emotional/mental abilities. I can absolutely confirm that I was slumped in a ditch, choked with dust, exhausted and hungry, staring blankly at my feet as if expecting them to drag me up and finish the ride as they'd been told to do so many times before on the BC Enduro Series. What I learned that trip is that we can push ourselves emotionally and physically far beyond our perceived breaking point and to understand our true potential. For me, Bikepacking has not only been a complete revelation of the human spirit but also of the connective tissue of our local biking communities. I could not encourage each of you enough to grab your bike, grab a pack and go re-invent yourself on a gravel road somewhere. You will never feel the same about your abilities again.
  • + 7
 What an amazing place. Really like the modes of travel. Sailboat, full rigid, all your gear with you. That's really getting out there. Rad!
  • + 7
 I feel inspired, sitting here at work.
  • + 2
 Exactly the same here, I'd love to do that kind of trip.
  • + 2
 Just came back from Finland less than a month ago. 10 day work trip so no bike but it looked amazing. Especially northern Finland and Levi. It was so sick and great people. The bike trails looked amazing and totally underrated. Go Finland and Suomi 100 congrats
  • + 1
 I am lucky enough to have visited northern Sweden on a few occaisions (family) and I can only encourage people to visit and explore, most especialy Abisko and the national park. It's the kind of raw wilderness that can make you feel insignificant and vulnerable, which is difficult to experience in western europe. I have a niggle in the back of my head that says I should bikepack kungsleden one day...
  • + 3
 Now that’s the life for a Tigger!!
  • + 1
 Absolutely amazing looking trip. And it's an odd thing to say I guess, but as a clydesdale it's nice to see people more clydesdalish in edits.
  • + 2
 Been to Hetta in Finland last weekend. Bit too much snow for biking so stuck to dog sled and snow mobile.
  • + 1
 This is what it's all about. Getting uncomfortable in raw territory just makes mountain biking so pure.
  • + 2
 Come on @konaworld... couldn't make that video 1 second longer?! Wink
  • + 1
 I need to bike pack one day. Thst looks amazing.
  • + 0
 I see the ‘Made in Taiwan’ sticker is still on the bottom bracket lol
  • + 1
 Really Good!
  • + 1
 Epic looking trip
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