Long, dark, cold winters with snowdrifts, blizzards can be like living in a straitjacket for Markus Vikberg.
When the sun shines and the list of chores that goes with looking after a house and two children are complete, Markus needs no second invitation to get out on his Tiger.
“For me, riding my Triumph is like a drug. In Sweden, the weather limits your riding time and during that time of the year, I often get into a light form of depression,” he says. “But as soon as the snow starts to melt and the roads are free from ice, the Tiger gets out and my mood is raised.”
Friends who told him he needed to slow down with the arrival of his children have been proved wrong by the 30-year-old from Sundsvall, midway up the east coast of Sweden: “I’ve shown my colleagues that just because you are going to be a dad and have a family, you don’t have to give up your dreams.”
After taking his licence six years ago, Markus bought a 2012 Tiger 800 XC, but had no idea how it would change his life: “Riding my Triumph has affected my life beyond belief. Now I need my time in the saddle to feel good.
“With everyday life and the weather, days can be quite monotonous and there are always things to do. That creates a stress in everyday life, but when I put myself in the saddle, my life at home as a dad with jobs to do is forgotten. Then I become one with the roads and my bike.
“That’s the split second I get the inner rush I’m constantly craving. The Tiger is simple, capable, comfortable and sporty. It has taken, and will take, me to places others only look at on postcards… it takes me to my inner heaven.”