The snowmobile club with enthusiastic volunteers who are keen to follow suit

The caravan of snowmobiles winds through the dreamy winter landscape in the forests outside Lövånger.

The snowmobile trail feels like a well-plowed European road - a result of the great commitment to the trails that the Lövånger Snowmobile Club is known for.

We followed a dedicated group of snowmobile enthusiasts in the snow to the local hot spot where the coffee fire is always burning.

The parking lot outside OKQ8 is a natural gathering point for snowmobilers in Lövånger. It is more the rule than the exception that a grilled bread slips down when talking about snowmobiles, snow depth and the latest in the village.

- Here there is always someone you can talk to and ask where they have been driving. I usually make sure that the old man and I go out and meet other snowmobilers on excursions. You always get some tips or can exchange experiences," says Lisbeth Andersson, who lives in Selet.

Her black Polaris Indy 600 is freshly polished and shines even though it's completely overcast on this day. She bought the scooter 2.5 years ago because she "doesn't like riding behind the old man".

- The freedom to drive yourself and get out whenever you want is unbeatable. It was kind of the same reason when I bought my motorcycle. In winter, there are lots of excursion destinations around here, several cabins, shelters and barbecue rings that are nicely located, places that are not so easy to get out to otherwise," says Lisbeth.

What is the attraction of belonging to the snowmobile club?

- "It's a tremendous community and we have a lot of enthusiasts who help out and make great snowmobile trails. It's worth every penny we pay as members. It is always a boost when excursions are organized and I meet more and more girls who go out on their own machines," she says.

The Lövånger snowmobile club has around 160 members and is supported by membership fees, which were raised to SEK 400 this year for active members and 200 for supporting members. In addition, there are sponsorship packages for entrepreneurs in the intermediate area who want to support the club.

The municipality distributes a cord grant based on the number of miles that the club has to maintain, and in Lövånger it is about SEK 25,000 for the 19 miles of snowmobile trails they have taken on to maintain. The municipality also assists with firewood that the club drives out to various excursion destinations.

Lövånger has become known for Europe's largest veteran snowmobile meeting, which it has organized for almost 15 years, bringing long-distance enthusiasts to the village and contributing to a net income that has gone straight into the business.

In the summer it is about maintaining the signs, clearing brushwood or repairing scooter bridges.

During the winter, of course, it's all about clearing the trails so that they don't become an impassable washboard. Without its enthusiasts, the club would be nothing, says chairman Janne Löfroth.

- "It is a constant work in progress all year round, but we have many people who work hard day and night to ensure that we can maintain this high standard. Priority one is that the trail is well marked so that even those who come here for the first time find the right way and priority two is that the trail is well prepared, says Janne.

He has been chairman for more than 20 years and knows why he puts in voluntary work time.

- "For me, being out on the trail is pure relaxation. I can sit there and think about just about anything without feeling any stress. I grew up in Vebomark, where I was exposed to snowmobiling from childhood, so it has always been a natural thing," he says.

We have arrived at a real gem west of Lövånger. Here on Orrmyran, Johan Frisk's father, Thorvald, built a log cabin about 40 years ago and it was supposed to be without locks.

- The idea was that he wanted it to be open to everyone. There have always been a lot of snowmobilers here over the years and it is just fun to be able to keep the cabin open, it is a reasonable excursion from the surrounding villages and here you can go sledding for the children on the slopes or just drive around with the scooter on the marsh. I think the snowmobile club has a good dialog with us landowners and we have been able to agree on various issues, such as where it is best to run the snowmobile trail," says Johan, who currently owns the cabin.

Inside the cozy timber ring, a small stove burns and here you can warm your frozen toes and have a cup of coffee.

Associations bring together both old and young. Around the table sits Uno Olofsson, 3 years old from Hökmark with his family, sipping a good cup of hot chocolate, and at the other end Rune Berglund, 75 years old, who helped start the snowmobile club in 1981.

- "Rune is fantastic, he takes care of the trail loading on the Ringleden around the community and along the community's neighboring routes," says Janne in praise.

- "I had a break for a few years, but when I retired you could say I had something of a relapse," says Rune.

- No small relapse and we are happy about that, says Janne.

- "Oh, it's fun to get out as long as you can stay healthy and meet some people. My wife always asks when I come home, "Oh, were you the oldest today too?" and the answer is usually the same every time," says Rune.

Outside the cottage, a few fires are burning and the sausage butchers on the grill are competing with the chef's coffee to see which will be ready first. Around the fire there is a pleasant buzz from today's snowmobilers.

- There is almost too much snow to be able to sled really well. You thought that would never happen.

- No, exactly.

- Is there any coffee left?

Oskar Andersson is about to break up before the rest of the gang. But he was also out on Saturday night until 3 am with his Yamaha Venture and the home-made power cord, prepping the joints.

- "I've gotten into this, it used to be sled dogs, now it's scooters and cords," he says and continues:

- "My wife was working at night so I had nothing to do yesterday. I left at ten in the evening but there was more snow than I thought so it took longer, but I don't mind. It's my big interest. What is it that attracts you? That it should be a good trail to ride on, that's why I welded it together in an attempt to make the ultimate cord," he says.

A power cord consists of a welded steel grid that draws out irregularities very effectively. Oskar has modified and fixed a model in extra coarse steel that he is happy with.

- "But now I'm going home to rest. I'm just going to play with the cord first.


Senast uppdaterad:
27 March 2023