ECMC 2014 - STHLM - Day 2
 After a lovely breakfast by the train tracks we got on our bikes to get to the ECMC headquarters which we reached with only one stop in between - the tourist information. Not that we came to Stockholm unprepared, but the folks in our car had deviously stolen the town map we brought from home. But let's be fair: They needed it much more than us, since Stockholms inner city is not the car friendliest in the world and getting around quickly as an outsider is nearly impossible, needless to say, finding a free-of-charge parking spot is even worse.

While Friederike and Lennart went mad driving through the city, Jacob and I had a much nicer morning experience. At the HQ, we first ran into Johan (the friendly tall guy), one of the teamers; then into the lovely, crazy danes from Knuds Kiosk and later into 2 dutch riders (whose name we shamefully have forgotten). Johan showed us around and we ended up in a 7/11 store around the corner buying our hard-earned and much longed for coffee - which was really good for a 7/11 coffee. It took some time, but the second part of the crew arrived eventually at the headquarter, parked outside, got fined for not having a parking ticket after 5 minutes, decided to park the car on the yard and didnt move it again until departure day.

There was a big upside, the beer we painstakingly spared on the trip was finally to be reached at any time now, so we took the opportunity by the horns and started giving out cheap german 0,26 € beer for free for all the people around. I guess that made us look somewhat sympathetic... Shortly after, the official ECMC 2014 registration started. After a few minutes waiting in the line and sharing more beer with more people we got our ribbon and held a nice welcome-to-the-ECMC bag in our hands, coming with a event guide, a zillion of stickers, 2 patches, a STHLM ass saver and a set of BOOKMAN lights. That was a serious bag of goodies. Needless to say, the drinking commenced and more and more riders started to show up, Frankfurters, Berliners and in the end even the Leipzigers who rode the Viking Quest
The crowd gathered for a "fast-track" sightseeing tour by bike and off we went throught the streets of Stockholm. Unfortunatly many partakers seemed not to be used to ride in large groups which led to some crashes averted only by a hair's breadth (Quote by Max: "DUDE, i already saw you under the bus"). But save for a nice cuddling with a flowerbed by one misfortunate rider, accompanied by a burst of laughter from all around, the ride went safe and sound.
The Ride ended at the A-T-R, probably one of the best bike stores in Stockholm (defintely concerning the personnel). The speakers were set up, the owner of A-T-R played some nice tunes. Jacob and I started our search for affordable food (yeah, right, this is Stockholm, stupid). Spoiled by Berlin and East German prices we didn't find anything for a long time, but by chance we ran into a very friendly woman who pointed us into the direction of the Chutney ("Do you know any restaurant which is both cheap and offers lots of food?"). Vegan Tandoori, free second servings including coffee, tea and free salads, all for only 12 euros? We were hooked. Thanks to my coercing silver tongue skills we even got a 3rd free serving with which we could really stuff our stomachs.
Back at the A-T-R, the party was still very much going, but should be relocated to an open-air spot on the beach at LÅNGHOLMEN. We were on pins and needles to get going so we took the liberty to go the island before anybody else which earned us a very nice, fast-paced ride through nightly Stockholm and a beautifully romantic, Caspar-David-Friedrich-esque Overview over the skyline.

We spent some time at the secluded place, listening to old-schooly boom bap hip hop, reminiscing the days and wondering about the fact that the days here seemed like a week at least. After a while we realized that we must be at the wrong spot because nobody else showed up, so we got on our bikes and searchd the island until we found the rest of the posse. Campfire, music, lots of bikes, "FISTA" shouts: This must be the right place we thought to ourselves. Someone had bought more beer which was sold for real Euros. Good for us, since we didnt bring any Krona. After a while Lennart and Friederike showed up with the cheap vodka we brought from Germany. Alcoholically set for the night, we enjoyed the company of many nice people from all over europe.
I got to say though, we also met the worst, most unpleasent person of the whole ECMC (seriously, fuck you).But as the saying goes, exceptions prove the rule. At some point we got to know Levi from "Cycle me Home", who must be one of the nicest persons on earth . I think its safe to say he inspired us at least a few times to get on our bikes and ride, if not having a part in creatng the whole FMGX thing a year ago. Thanks, dude, you are amazing.

Another typical ECMC story was that Lennart, who is not yet owning a bike of his own and would have to get back to the HQ by foot, was driven back on Daniels (Knuds Kiosk) cargo bike.
Jacob and I decided, after seperating from Levi and Luc (dude, you were DRUNK), to take the shortcut over the highway back to the HQ. Quite a nice and surprising experience. Back at "home" we shared a end-of-shift, good-night-beer with Daniel, talked for hours about everything but bikes and eventually went to sleep.

(What happened after that: After about an hour of sleep, Jacob woke up, marched aimlessly through the HQ, looking for his mobile, found it eventually, ended up in the front seat of the wrong car, ate someone else's cookies and slept for a few hours. Hopefully the owners of the car aren't pissed. At DMFK you can sleep in his tent if you can't find your's. Big Love.)


Text: Max Siering & Jacob Wassermann/FMGX

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