Then there is Haga, the complete opposite to Hellas. My happy place. It is a part of the royal national park and is a tiny park situated around a lake, with running paths, tennis courts and hidden bike tracks – in the middle of the city! This is my “after-work-need-to-get-out-on-my-bike-right-now” place. As much as I love riding with people, I really enjoy a solo ride in Haga. When I first moved to Stockholm I used to live close by and, since I didn’t know many back then, I used to go on solo explores in the park all the time. I now know the park like the back of my hand and, with the help of a friend, we’ve marked my favorite trails with blue dots so you can link together a quick, fun one hour loop.
The trails are kind of hidden here and I bet a lot of people in Stockholm don’t even realise that you can actually ride here – except for “Hagakullen” (or “Haga Hill” as it would translate to), which yet another “massive” hill in Stockholm. With its impressing 70-ish meters above sea level it actually has four of the most flowy and fun tracks around. When I go for a ride after work I always link it together with these tracks and, most of the time, I end up meeting friends on top the hill who are also getting some quick laps in before bedtime. However, you are equally as likely to only encounter deers and rabbits. Either way – it will be a good ride.
Since there is only three main riding spots for trail rides around Stockholm – Flottsbro, Hellas/Hammarbybacken and Haga – you will most likely always bump into people you know when you’re out riding. Stockholm might have a comparably small riding scene – but it keeps surprising me. Even if you think you know the majority of the bikers around, you always end up getting to know someone new. And even if you think you’ve ridden most trails around, you end up riding something new. It is pretty good.
After having moved around a lot in my life I have finally found a place where I know the quickest way to get to places, where I know people to ride with, people to drink wine with, and places to escape too and people to escape with. And even if the trails aren’t the best or the longest they are still fun and special to me. So, wherever in the world I will end up living, Stockholm will always have a special place in my heart - it will always be “home”.
All images: Johan Haag