For many years we had visited different winter rallies throughout Scandinavia with great pleasure. And although the journey and local trips are usually enough of a challenge the one thing that seemed to be missing was the opportunity for some additional Nordic winter activities. Having attended enough rallies, both summer and winter, we felt we knew what was required to make a rally a success. This was winter’98 and we set out to find a suitable location following summer which we found in Lövåsen, Sweden. As we almost ran into an Älg (moose) on the road to the hotel the name was born – “Älg-Rally”.
First Älg-Rally took place winter 1999/2000 at the Lövåsgården Hotel in
Lovasen, Sweden, close to Idre. The friendly family hotel is situated in a
remote location in the mountains surrounded by nature, the ultimate stepping
stone to set of for your daily bike trip.
Those that have experienced Scandinavia in wintertime will need no further explanation, for those that haven’t “you will never forget the overwhelming beauty”. To ride your motorbike across snow covered roads to meet those that have the same passion is both a thrill and addictive.
Participants range from 25 to 70 years, male & female, ride either solo or have their bikes equipped with sidecars and usually come from Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and Luxembourg. Many of them now know each other for many years.
As a next evolution of the rally, over the years the character of the rally has become more "hardcore" (and consequentially the group smaller :-)). The R&R Nordic activities stayed in, but the Rally eveolved in not being about driving carefully from the ferry for a few 100 kms up to a hotel and stay there, but we drive (a lot), eat, drinks (a bit..), sleep, drive (really a lot)...with the occasional "day of rest" to get some local R&R. Usually visiting some three or 4 sites, usually cottages. This usually adds up to some 2000km snow ploughing in the week or so we are up there. Ie be carefull what you wish for if you join us...you might get it...
On some of the evenings we have good centrally organised food and drinks and/or outside BBQ with elk on the grill and highly explosive “gluhwein”. On the other evenings and during the day "you are on your own", meaning cozy cooking in the huts. Sauna (present at nearly any location) and skinny-dips in the snow or holes in an icy lake are frequent activities. At the sites we visit and have an R&R day, we usually stop at places where there is some events: Nordic skiing and downhill skiing equipment rental. Ice fishing, rendeer sleigh. We have contacts where you can rent your own snowmobile and explore the surrounding forests and mountains: ever did 130 km/hrs on a snow covered frozen lake? ? We have !!!
Last but not least we usually arrange for a dog sleigh tour for those interested if the opportunity is there. You, your pack of huskies and the great outdoors, what more could you wish for? - maybe getting lucky and see a beautifull active Aurora Borealis !!
The Rally usually takes place 1/2nd week of February for a 3-5 day period... but our planning process is erratic and we sometimes have strange brainwaves...The 2008 version was an extreme event, where we took 2 weeks and drove all the way up to Kirkenes (700 km North of Polar circle!) through Finland... 2009 we do not have a rally planned...(but contact us anyway if you have an interest, since we can point you to alternatives).
As a further stage of evolution of our twisted
minds - In 2009 we absolved an off-road stage in
inland Portugal...and licked "blood" - so in 2010 we
went for a special treat...Alg-rally
went "offroad" -
doing the East Euope Rally in May 2010
- 8 days, 2500 km !! ..and for 2011 we are
participating to the Spain Funduro - 6 days off road fun between Girona and
Anyway, if you wish to know more on when, where and what, (above you have some answers as to “why”) on what preparations are req’d etc. pls. do not hesitate to contact us.
Hope to see you at our next event!
Maarten Kool / Mark Notschaele