Cows and Runes

We tried a new area to hike recently and were surprised at this gem in the Stockholm suburbs. The area is called Järvafältets naturreservat and it is near the Akalla T-bana line. The area is quite large and its pretty easy to go for a more than 20km walk. Its made up of a mix of farmland, small lakes, woodland and small hills.

There are a lot of paths so easy to get a bit disorientated, but they do have a great map that you can pick up at entrances. The paths are not as well marked as the more isolated areas like the Sörmlandsleden, but you are never far from the city. It’s always a good idea to take some navigation device so you can orientate yourself even when close to the city  (eg. smartphone with maps and data connection, compass, GPS).

Jarvafaltet Map
Jarvafaltet Map

At the entrance near Akalla we saw this rune… there are many more in the park but we were pretty unsuccessful in finding them, even with the map and a lot of hunting. We assumed that mostly they are not as spectacular as this one and a bit hidden off the path.


jarvafalet rune map

And here is a spectacular cow we saw in a field.

Cow in Jarvafaltet
Cow in Jarvafaltet

and some of the landscape.

trees in jarvafaltet
trees in jarvafaltet

Frying Pan Savers

We saw this concept in a high end cooking store and just had to duplicate them for a fraction of the price.

Get some cheap felt (real or artificial) from your local craft store… I purchased this hideous colour from the sale section.. it will be in the drawer not on display. Using a plate or pot draw a circle representing the inside of the pan, then draw a larger circle that represents the outer of the pan plus about 1 1/2 to 2  inches. Cut out around the outer circle and then make 8 wedge shaped cuts to the inner circle. Don’t worry too much about how accurate you are.


Make a set that matches your frying pan collection and now you can stack them without scratching the Teflon.


Total cost was about $5 for 3

Follow the Orange Paint path

It was a nice autumn day so we decided to go on a bit of a hike. We  have a wealth of choices here and we thought to try a bit more of the Sörmlandsleden (in english) which is a 1000km trail to the south of Stockholm. Its lovingly maintained by a group of volunteers who as part of that mark it with orange paint. The trail is generally pretty good for hiking with paths near the trailheads leading to more rugged territory. You can get to the trailheads on public transport and there are something like 100 sections. At various places along the trail there is access to fresh water and shelters. And you can exercise your Swedish ‘right to roam‘ and camp.


For 200 SEK you can join and get access to the maps which are very good and a worthwhile investment for your own safety and to keep the volunteers supplied with paint and lumber.

As you can see, the trail is well marked and where necessary there are bridges across any watercourses that you need to traverse.

sormslandsleden1 sormslandsleden3

We have hiked other parts but today we decided to start at the beginning and hike stages 1 & 2, totaling about 15km and taking about 4 hours. It was great to get out and experience the fresh air and the countryside.

sormslandsleden4 sormslandleden5

To get to the trailhead we took the T-bana to Björkhagen and to return we caught the 573 bus from Nyfors. There are circular routes, although a lot are linear but they tend to go between public transport locations so you can leave the car at home.

Thanks to all those volunteers who maintain this fabulous asset that is so accessible.

Bike Recall, skewers and cam levers

Its worth noting that there is a large bike recall occurring at the moment. It is related to the quick release skewer and the possibility of the cam lever getting stuck in the disc brakes.

The details are here:

I found that Haro, the manufacturer of one of my bikes is involved so I checked the various skewers. I found that the Haro bike I own has a slightly different design skewer than the one involved in the recall. Here you can see that when it is open, the skewer cannot move back against the disc as it cannot open more than 180 degrees. This type is the split cam type with a plastic washer. Its essential that the washer is in the right place on this one when you tighten it or it can loosen.

skewer1    skewer2   

I think its a good idea to check these things when manufacturers do a recall, so I inspected the rest of the bikes. Three had that type of quick release, but the 4th, a Rocky Mountain had the type of skewer and cam lever that is implicated in the recall.

Here are a couple of images. You can see the lever that is part of the Cam is to the side, and rotates beyond 180 degrees… indeed it could protrude towards the disc.

skewer3  skewer4   

It so happened that I had assembled this bike, and I’d always worried that the levers might catch on something , so I had pointed them back and parallel to the ground. During that process I had installed the lever on the opposite side to the disc. Not sure if it makes a difference but it does mean that it could not have hit the brake. I checked the distance and it had the requisite clearance anyway.  For now I’ll leave it on the opposite side and I’ll get a replacement eventually.

So its worth checking all the bikes in your collection as even if not named in the recall they may have an offending skewer/lever. The issue is not just with new bikes so expect to see more recalls as other manufacturers catch up. Safety first is a good policy here so remember to follow the instructions for replacing the skewer or take it to a bike shop if you are not confident in doing this right.