My Cycling Year 2012

Another new year of cycling is here. This year will be different from the past years, hopefully better than especially last year. Year 2012 was in many ways a year of learning to listen to your body, and learning from failures.

As every year when the snow starts to melt, we take the car and drive around Turku region to scout for any dry roads to cycle on. In 2012 the day was March 11th and indeed we found a dry road in Lieto

 +4 degrees and partly dry roads = season begins here

+4 degrees and partly dry roads = season begins here

We were really excited to get out after a long winter! (11.3.2012)

 Some sections were still covered by ice

Some sections were still covered by ice

The spring was quite cold, and my first +100 km ride (120 km) ridden May 13th had an average temperature of +14 (min +11).  That ride was my preparation ride for the first of two cycling events in 2012, Giro d'Espoo. We also discovered some new routes to Velkua and Merimasku. We also had some great group rides during the early 2012.

 The route to Merimasku even includes a small hill

The route to Merimasku even includes a small hill

 The route to Velkua included a ferry

The route to Velkua included a ferry

 Riding with friends is always nice

Riding with friends is always nice

Giro d'Espoo was the first performance marker for 2012. The weather was perfect and the 110km race was well organized. The race went better than expected and I finished in a breakaway with an total average of 33,5km/h. It all felt pretty easy.

 Even met Alexander Stubb before the start

Even met Alexander Stubb before the start

 At the start-line 

At the start-line 

Then it was time for the summer. A summer that never came it felt like. The weather was bad throughout the whole summer (a couple of nice days), usually heavy winds and a lot of rainy periods made the riding pretty demanding at times. This also affected the kilometers ridden. It was just easier to justify short rides in bad weather. An exception was the day in June when I took my bike around the archipelago. It was one of the hardest rides so far. +12 degrees and it was soaking almost the entire first 144km, not to mention I almost got lost and the heavy winds once again. 

August was the month to test my motivation. My bike broke down in early August, and when I got it back from maintenance my neck and back broke down. A couple of weeks without riding at the most important time felt wrong, but gave me motivation for this year.

A typical Finnish summer...
A typical Finnish summer...

Tour de Helsinki has always been my main goal, and was also the main goal in 2012. Not having spent much time on the bike the end result was just as could be expected. A crash and cramps made sure my time would be worse than the year before. And all of a sudden it was winter again.

As mentioned, the year 2012 was the year to learn new stuff. I learned to lose, I learned about patience, I learned to listen to my body and began going to a sports masseur. I think I became a mentally stronger rider although I didn't achieve some of the goals set up for 2012. What happened in 2012 changed also the way I will be training in 2013 and it also changed the way I will put up my goals this year. So even if 2012 was probably the hardest and worst year for me as far as results are concerned, it still gave me a lot.

I'll end wrapping up 2012 with quoting Mark Cavendish:

"There's something that can't be replicated that makes cycling so special"