Coffee

Ups and downs the past few weeks

It is an awesome feeling being back riding the road bike outdoors. Rain or shine, it beats the indoor training easily. Getting back that feeling of acceleration and the sound of rims humming on the asphalt, wow. It has been really windy lately, but neither has that affected the positive vibes on the bike. Really looking forward for the first races this year, that's the first point of really knowing about the progress made this off season. After a business trip to Stockholm earlier this week I got ill with some really heavy flu and a temperature. Still struggling with that, so no time in the saddle this week. I'll again share what's been going on lately with pictures instead of writing a novel. 

Fixing the bike before first outdoor ride is really important!

Changing all wires on the bike (yea, no electronic shifting here.. yet)

Clean Canyon

Also stacked up with some nutrition, I've changed from Maxim to SIS this year

First longer ride ahead, including Garmin Virb Elite

Klaus arriving

Crossing Aura river

A coffee break on a windy and chilly ride

 Nutrition and hydration is important as well

Nutrition and hydration is important as well

One of the best road cycling books ever, Domestique by Charly Wegelius

Turku evening

We also have some cobbles

Stairway to water

Garmin Virb Elite mounted to the handlebar

It seems even uphills can be fun

Selfie...

Canyon having a break

Spring!

Not all sunshine

Soaking

"Seated" uphill training

Another passion I've had since a kid is aviation. So I do geeky things during my trips on the airports, for instance following planes on an app (flightradar), tune in to the air traffic control radio frequency and watch them land live.

Planes landing on 19L

Back in Turku

There are loads of great things happening in the world of road cycling. Paris-Roubaix this Sunday and many great races have been ridden during the past few weeks. Also the Finnish road cycling project, Fincycling, is progressing with great speed. I'll write more about Fincycling in my next post. So stay tuned!

 

Have a great weekend!

Spring is in the air

This week has been warm (well not warm like Italy, but warm comparing to the average temperatures in Finland this time a year). This week has also been great for cycling. On Friday it was time for yet another FTP test, this time a proper one. Having done only a few hard strength training workouts I was a bit nervous. But gladly I managed to perform pretty close to what I expected I could. Felt really strong at the latter part of the 20 minute interval and that gave me a nice boost in self-confidence on the bike.

Post FTP workout

After the FTP test, since it was Friday I rewarded myself with sort of "junkfood" and Sauna.

This morning I woke up well rested having had troubles sleeping during the week. And what a great feeling it was to wake up when the sun was shining! This winter has probably affected me more than the previous winters for some reason, and I realized it today feeling great, energized and really happy. Can't remember the time when I would have had all those 3 feelings at the same time. So the sun was shining and Kjell had planned a 2-3 hour easy outdoor ride for me today. Great!

I prepared myself some morning coffee with my Bialetti Brikka (that is by the way working flawlessly and makes a tremendous crema!). While having my espresso and porridge, I had all the time in the world to read the news, twitter feed and update myself with the latest in the cycling world.

After an easy and relaxing morning it was time to change the studded tires for normal cyclocross tires and head out. And folks, that makes a difference!

Look ma, no spikes

"Oh please, how long can it take to take that pic?"

Today's ride-snack, nuts

Nice fog on the lens

Goodbye winter!

One more, still, like the looks!

All the asphalt roads were dry, and almost 100% ready to ride with a roadie! I returned home just in time to watch the Omloop het Nieuwsblad, and what a race that was! As a hockey fan, I also watched the "Winter-classics" Talviklassikko between HIFK and Jokerit, a pretty close game, and a nice ending to the rivalry of being the best one in Helsinki.

Yum!

Tomorrow is one of my favorite sporting events of the year, Vasaloppet where almost 16 000 skiers, both elite and amateurs participate. 90 kilometers on skis and what's interesting is that you usually see tactics in this race, similar to the ones in road cycling races. I've been following this race ever since a kid, and I'm excited every year to watch it, brings back good memories. Also a couple of friends of mine will participate, so it will be interesting to follow them! Tomorrow also Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne will be ridden. So a great day of sports!

 

Have a good one, enjoy your weekend folks!

February coming to an end

I'm actually thrilled about the fact that time passes by really fast right now. I have many great things to look forward this year, some of those things I can't tell you now, but many of them will be "game-changers" in some way.

So cycling in February, how has that been? I haven't been able to ride as much as I wanted (sounds like I've said that before as well), but still I've been able to make progress. I've lost some 4 kilograms of body weight and at the same time been able to increase my FTP value. My goal is to lose 4 more kilograms before the season kicks off for real.

Eat less, eat frequently, eat properly

Last week I received my Rapha Festive 500 badge. A neat little thing that reminds me of 500 really wet kilometers. Read about my Rapha Festive 500 journey, first half, almost there, completed. Of course Rapha style it arrived in a fashionable envelope.

First part of pre-season accessories also arrived from Germany. Some small things such as inner tubes and tires.

I've been quiet about coffee for a long time (I guess?). But I also bought a new Bialetti Brikka moka pan. A huge difference to a normal moka pan, and comparable with an espresso at a bar with proper crema. 

The Brikka valve makes the difference

Proper crema

Of course I've been following the Winter Olympic Games in Sotchi as well.

USA-FIN Bronze medal game (Ice Hockey, men)

Sunday, besides a massive game by team Canada in men's ice hockey, I saw the sun for the first time this year (cycling outdoors). It almost feels like spring now, just hope there will be no more snow...

Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol and post-ride coffee

So it's soon March, hopefully the month when we can take out our road bikes!

 

Exciting!

Stepping up off-season training

After a slow start for the road cycling season 2014, I've slowly managed to make progress in my off-season training. The days at work seem to be way too long and it often feels impossible to find energy for training. Afterwards, once you make that decision to hit that workout, you will thank yourself for doing it.

I often motivate myself by going back in time, thinking about those races and special moments when I just couldn't hold on to that wheel in front of me, or when a breakaway attempt wasn't strong enough and just drained my energy, that feeling when I failed. If there is something I hate in cycling, that's failure, especially failure because I just wasn't good enough. I couldn't execute my plan as I wanted because I wasn't in good enough shape. I have experienced several failures and I remember most of them really well, remember exactly how I felt when those seconds hit me, when I wasn't strong enough to perform as I wanted.

These moments I remember so well, will help me move forward. To hit those intervals on the trainer, to go out cycling even if it's freezing and dark or to head for the gym early in the morning. I want to be better. I want to progress, I want to be better than last year, last month or even last week. I want to outperform myself, surprise myself. And most of all, I do not want to give up, at least not without giving it my best. Limits are created by your mind, giving up before giving it your all is not an option. If you then however fail, that's ten times better than a "what if". 

Doing intervals while watching ice hockey, easier said than done!

During the weekend I had a great, almost 3 hour outdoor workout, mostly just easy pedaling. Made some minor adjustments on my position on the bike, and darn those changes were good. The position now feels perfect and no pressure on the knees anymore. Below some pictures from the weekend:

Cashew - Tea break

Sunday morning

Sunday morning coffee

Orange juice in the making

A Finnish breakfast?

Sunday evening

It's already Wednesday tomorrow, almost weekend that is. Try to hang in there, not more than 5-6 weeks left of the winter!

Quick tip: How to repair an inner tube

Having had several punctures in a row it happened to me. It was freezing cold, I had run out of spare inner tubes and was 20 kilometers from home, in the countryside. What you always can do, is call a taxi or a friend to pick you up. If that's not an option, or you wanna ride your bike, there is an option.

This is a quick tip that I learnt from the Global Cycling Network. 

  1. Locate the hole in the inner tube
  2. Make sure there is only one hole, try to add some pressure with a hand pump
  3. Try to locate what caused the puncture, is there a hole in the tire or something in the rim? Remove any sharp objects.
  4. Make a loop around the hole to isolate the hole from the rest of the inner tube
  5. Make the knot really tight
  6. Place the now really tight inner tube on the rim (it will fit if the knot isn't too big)
  7. Place the tire back on and pump
  8. Good to go!

What's neat with this, it actually works pretty well and you can keep going for several hours without problems. Actually, when I tried this, the tube held a 7 bar pressure for a day. Not bad!

Global Cycling Network has loads of more tips for repairing tires and inner tubes, check their YouTube channel here.

Check the whole video below!

Out cycling and punctured all your inner tubes? We've got a couple of ways to get you home. Follow GCN on YouTube: http://gcn.eu/gcnsubs Puncturing all your spare inner tubes is one of those things that you hope never happens when you're cycling. It's worth being prepared just in case disaster strikes.

Hope you will find this useful, at least I did!

Watching the People's Choice Classic with a steaming cup of Italian Coffee

Enjoy, it's soon Friday!

    Rapha Festive 500 First Half

    It's been a couple of long days in the rain. As said earlier, I was able to begin my Rapha Festive 500 a couple of days late, hence I've been spending more time in the rain than what feels good...

    festivetrack.png

    The weather has been as the forecast promised, rain, rain, wind, chilly and some more wind. After 3 days in the saddle now, every day has been rainy, especially yesterday's 100 km ride, rain from beginning 'til end. And winds have been around 8-10 m/s on average. So really some pretty hard and long days in the saddle for my legs that really aren't i shape. Having said that, I'll let you browse through pictures instead of me complaining about the weather and sore legs.

    Warm-up ride

    On Wednesday night after arriving home I took a short warm-up ride before the "real" rides.

     Cycling in darkness

    Cycling in darkness

     Lights on

    Lights on

     Stylish

    Stylish

     Foggy

    Foggy

    Rapha Festive 500 - Day 1

    On Thursday I tracked some 85 km. It was windy and grey.

     Ready?

    Ready?

     Is that the sun?

    Is that the sun?

     Kirjalansalmi

    Kirjalansalmi

     View from the office

    View from the office

     View from bottom

    View from bottom

     Short stop

    Short stop

     End of the road

    End of the road

     Finnish landscape

    Finnish landscape

     Mud

    Mud

     All smiles..

    All smiles..

     No asphalt around

    No asphalt around

     Second stop

    Second stop

     At the sea

    At the sea

     Ridesnack

    Ridesnack

     And coffee of course

    And coffee of course

     Black gold

    Black gold

     It has been a really stormy winter so far

    It has been a really stormy winter so far

     More sand

    More sand

     Misty roads

    Misty roads

     Find the Felt

    Find the Felt

    Rapha Festive 500 - Day 2

    The second day was all about rain and wind. + 5 degrees, 8 m/s and rain from the beginning until the end. 100 km tracked, I was pleased with that. Actually, once you've been riding for 3 hours in constant rain, you can laugh about it! Some of the pictures are not that great quality, I blame the weather.

     Grey again

    Grey again

     Ridesnack for today

    Ridesnack for today

     Raindrops keep falling on my head

    Raindrops keep falling on my head

     Wet roads

    Wet roads

     Finnish archipelago

    Finnish archipelago

     Felt waiting to get moving again

    Felt waiting to get moving again

     View from the office, more rain

    View from the office, more rain

     Naantali sun

    Naantali sun

     

     

    Rapha Festive 500 - Day 3

    Today was a shorter day in the saddle, only 74 km. The weather was slightly better than yesterday, 10 m/s + 5 and rain only the last 1,5 hours. After this ride I've also tracked 57 % of the Rapha Festive 500 total. Great!

     Today's fuel

    Today's fuel

     Finnish forest

    Finnish forest

     Forest Felt

    Forest Felt

     Exit

    Exit

     More Finnish landscapes, grey and wet

    More Finnish landscapes, grey and wet

    Only some 200 + kilometers to go, and no rain tomorrow (they say..). 

    Day 1
    Day 2
    Day 3

    It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas?

    Note: This is a long post, but has loads of pictures so should be easy reading.

    One of the best mornings of the week is Sunday. It's the morning when you have time to read the morning newspapers, drink you favorite coffee and have a proper breakfast. But it definitely does not look like Christmas. It's raining outside and the fact that Christmas Eve is on Tuesday feels kind of distant. But that's the way it is this year. Yesterday was another rainy ride outside, just 60 kilometers, but believe me it felt as 90. Yesterday was also the darkest day of the year, when the day here in Turku was 5 hours and 44 minutes long, with the sun setting just after 3 PM.

     Grey countryside

    Grey countryside

     Greyscale continues

    Greyscale continues

     At a distance, the bike looks clean

    At a distance, the bike looks clean

     The office

    The office

    It was also the last ride for me before the Rapha Festive 500 challenge, where I need to be doing more than 80 kilometers (50 miles) a day, since I will be away on Christmas Eve. Will be some really hard days in the saddle, at least looking at the forecast now with rain, heavy winds and some degrees above zero. 

     Inspirational?

    Inspirational?

     Rear view

    Rear view

     How about a smile?

    How about a smile?

     The darkest day of the year

    The darkest day of the year

    These were the last ride pictures before Christmas, and next ones will be from the Rapha Festive 500. Because it's not at all like Christmas, I had to make it feel like Christmas, so I bought myself a Christmas tree. I think I found a pretty nice one, and no, I didn't steal it. And no, I do not have a star on top of it.

    Web IMG_2779.jpg
    Web IMG_2781.jpg

    I also bought some new coffee beans, Arabica blends. It is roasted by one of my favorite roastery, Kaffa Roastery. The Go'Kväll (Good evenin') and Tauko (Break) both have a great aroma and surely have a great taste as well. The Tauko (Break), will be travelling with me on my Rapha Festive 500 challenge as well. Figured out the name fits perfect and coffee is a must have for a cold ride.

     Kaffa GoKväll and Tauko

    Kaffa GoKväll and Tauko

    So before I take a short break, I want to wish you all a really great Christmas. Remember to eat loads of good food and enjoy just relaxing with your family, friends and close ones.

    Enjoy!

    Web IMG_2835.jpg

     

     

    A day without coffee ?

    I'm sitting in the train on my way home and I feel I need to share this with you. As most of you know, besides cycling I'm passionate about coffee, and today was a day I really understood how addicted I am.

    I had a pretty stressful morning and therefore hadn't time to prepare coffee at home. I was going to jump on the train and have my coffee on the train instead (that is Finnish coffee, actually not to even be mentioned together with real Italian one, but that gets you kinda going as we'll if there's nothing else). We'll there had been a switch between trains and because this was done in a hurry, they'd forgotten the coffee maker, so no coffee on the train. Wow, I started feeling desperation..

    Two hours later I arrived to Helsinki, it was 11 AM and I was really craving for coffee. Headed for the office and in a hurry went out for lunch, because there was a meeting at 12. Returning from lunch I decided to have a coffee at the office instead. Returning to the office I found out the coffee machine was out of coffee. It was 12 o clock and still no coffee. At 13:45 it happened, there was coffee and I was able to pour down that black magical drink down my throat. Actually had two cups in a row. If I ever wondered, am I really addicted, I probably got my answer today. Until 13:45 I was unable to think clearly on anything else than the fact I didn't have coffee yet.

    When I get home I will grind some great coffee from beans roasted in sicilian style. I bought these beans a month ago in a small Italian shop in Helsinki. Ionia is a coffee roastery founded in 1960 with roots in Sicily. Really a nice blend, strong yet smooth taste with great crema. I can recommend this one.

     Great blend

    Great blend

     Dark roast

    Dark roast

     Great crema!

    Great crema!

     

     Enjoy your addictions!

    Winter Cycling Season Opened

    The first snow has landed in Turku, and I guess it's here to stay. So it was time to gear up my 29er and head out. -1 degrees and light snowfall, almost perfect conditions for a short ride outdoors and a welcomed change for riding the trainer indoors. 

     Pre-ride coffee

    Pre-ride coffee

     Today's ride

    Today's ride

     Roadblocks are for cars

    Roadblocks are for cars

     Silent roads

    Silent roads

     Got home just before it was really dark

    Got home just before it was really dark

    To be honest, that was really fun. Maybe winter is not that bad after all!? Now some hot mulled wine and something good to eat.

     

    Enjoy your Saturday!

    Wrapping up the week

    It's really strange to say, it's December. When did that happen? The good thing is that one of the dark rainy months has already passed and only a few to go before the outdoor season starts again (well a few..). As usual, I think pictures are nicer to browse on a Sunday evening, therefore I'll bombard you with them instead of words. I'm also planning to do something I've never done before, a real adventure. I'll tell you more about that next week, or before christmas ;)

     After a long day you need to fill up your energy levels

    After a long day you need to fill up your energy levels

     There is no day without coffee

    There is no day without coffee

     Besides coffee, beer and cycling kind of goes together. Great source of vitamins. Wine should neither be forgotten.

    Besides coffee, beer and cycling kind of goes together. Great source of vitamins. Wine should neither be forgotten.

     First hard FTP test done this indoor season. This is when you really feel you are alive, that burning in your lungs and legs. The work for season 2014 has begun!

    First hard FTP test done this indoor season. This is when you really feel you are alive, that burning in your lungs and legs. The work for season 2014 has begun!

     Post workout nutrition. You should really try the Sierra Nevada Torpedo as well, superb IPA! Visit Sierra Nevada Brewery at  http://www.sierranevada.com/

    Post workout nutrition. You should really try the Sierra Nevada Torpedo as well, superb IPA! Visit Sierra Nevada Brewery at http://www.sierranevada.com/

     The Christmas tree has arrived and was lit up this weekend

    The Christmas tree has arrived and was lit up this weekend

     First signs of freezing water on the Aura river

    First signs of freezing water on the Aura river

     Sunday mornings, morning paper and proper breakfast. Life.

    Sunday mornings, morning paper and proper breakfast. Life.

    I hope you all had a great weekend. I'll upload some more stats about training, upcoming events and site updates during the upcoming month. Stay tuned!

    A picture I took early Friday morning, I need to admit, there can be nice mornings in November as well..

    Project4.jpg

     

    Have a great week!

     

     

    Weekend behind, weekend ahead

    These weeks pass by so darn fast. Probably the worst thing about that is to try to balance work and training. And when work involves travelling, it's hard to get the proper scheduled workouts done. It's possible, I know, Alexander Stubb has proven it. Well anyway, I thought I'd share some pics from last week

    Visited johan & nyström coffee shop in Kanavaranta 7, Helsinki. Such a nice place, good coffee and superb atmosphere. If you are around, you should pay a visit! 

     johan & nyström

    johan & nyström

     Johan & Nyström

    Johan & Nyström

     Nice assortment of tea

    Nice assortment of tea

     Great croissants and good coffee

    Great croissants and good coffee

     Nice chalk-drawings around the place

    Nice chalk-drawings around the place

     The best drug in the world

    The best drug in the world

     Pelago Bicycles

    Pelago Bicycles

     Waiting for this already, Friday sauna probably the best thing to do after a week at work

    Waiting for this already, Friday sauna probably the best thing to do after a week at work

    I'm confident I'll be back to my training schedule next week, really looking forward to that. 

    Links:

    johan & nyström

    Pelago Bicycles

     

    Cheers!

     

     

    July - a great month of cycling

    July was a superb month for cycling here in Finland. The weather was mostly great and I ended up spending almost 50 hours on my bike in July, including two bike races, Royal Pyöräily and Vuelta Vantaa. As usual, I rather share pictures with you than describe every ride in great detail.

     The weather has been superb. Here riding with Juha in Ohensaari.

    The weather has been superb. Here riding with Juha in Ohensaari.

     We've just had a few days of rain. Proper clothing keeps you dry

    We've just had a few days of rain. Proper clothing keeps you dry

     That means washing.. and washing

    That means washing.. and washing

     Also ordered a new pair of shoes, Specialized S-Works Road shoes. Will write a review on them as I have some more hours on them

    Also ordered a new pair of shoes, Specialized S-Works Road shoes. Will write a review on them as I have some more hours on them

     One needs to take some hours off the bike as well. Coffee and Calvados is one way of doing it.

    One needs to take some hours off the bike as well. Coffee and Calvados is one way of doing it.

     Another way is BBQ at the sea

    Another way is BBQ at the sea

     After rain comes sun

    After rain comes sun

     Cycling to Ruissalo is easy with proper Finnish bike

    Cycling to Ruissalo is easy with proper Finnish bike

     Fixie-warning!

    Fixie-warning!

     Me and my bike

    Me and my bike

     Klaus with proper ride-snack!

    Klaus with proper ride-snack!

     We found some new hilly routes, this one in Paimio

    We found some new hilly routes, this one in Paimio

     11 % steep

    11 % steep

     Welcome to Finland

    Welcome to Finland

    I hope August will be as good as July. I will participate in 2 races, Eteläkärjen ajot next Sunday and Myllyn pyöräily the following. These will be the last ones preparing for my main goal this year, Tour de Helsinki 1st of September. I will let you know more about those later. 

     

    Enjoy what's left of summer! 

     

    A superb day of road cycling

    Some days are better than others, and today was one of those days you'll remember even on the coldest and darkest winter days. It was simply superb. 

    Today's schedule was to ride some easy 4 - 5 hours and then get back home to watch the end of stage 2 of the Tour de France. Around 11 am I took the bike out, +23 degrees and sunshine, light winds. Perfect. 

     Smooth

    Smooth

    I also decided to take a new route section today, took one wrong turn before I found the actual route. And luckily so, it was really beautiful. Idyllic yards, beautiful landscapes and winding roads.  

     Ponies ahead!

    Ponies ahead!

     Nice scenery

    Nice scenery

     Idyllic neighborhoods  

    Idyllic neighborhoods  

     Tour de France colors

    Tour de France colors

     Dear Lord, please make the summer last forever

    Dear Lord, please make the summer last forever

     Decided to make a stop for a couple of minutes. Just to listen to the birds, the summer breeze and to smell the great tang of summer

    Decided to make a stop for a couple of minutes. Just to listen to the birds, the summer breeze and to smell the great tang of summer

     It's sometimes nice to vary the ride snacks. Raisins are great nutrition for your rides with plenty of fructose and energy.

    It's sometimes nice to vary the ride snacks. Raisins are great nutrition for your rides with plenty of fructose and energy.

    For those who want to have the nutrition facts for raisins, here you have it:

    Nutritional value of raisins (100g) 

    • 299 calories
    • 0.5 g fat
    • 79 g carbohydrates
    • 59 g sugar
    • 4 g dietary fiber
    • 3 g protein 

    The ride was filled with euphoria. Many great thoughts and ideas as well as just plain enjoyment of the fact that I was riding my bike on a day like this. I will certainly memorize this day, and go back to this day whenever I have a bad one.

     Four and a half hours later I arrived home, just in time for the action on the second stage of the Tour de France 2013. And what a stage that was. I prepared some recovery food and coffee and enjoyed the stage. Superb. Many great strong attacks and no crashes. And once again a demonstration about how strong will and determination can take you far. In the last kilometers there was a small breakaway, and as usual before the finish the group started looking at each other because no one wanted to do the dirty job. Jan Bakelants got rid of that group and barely finished before the main group with Peter Sagan in second. Huge effort by Bakelants, and surely a day he'll never forget. 

     Post ride Tdf with Italian coffee #awesomeness

    Post ride Tdf with Italian coffee #awesomeness

    Have a good one! 

    Road cycling season so far

    The weather for road cycling has been superb this year. At least most of the time. I've been spending some 130 hours on the bike this year, and that's a early season record. I aim at having that figure somewhere around 250 hours. We'll see how close I'll get. Instead of writing a lot, I'll share some pictures with you both on and off the saddle.

     Early season preparations setting up the bike, should be done with espresso

    Early season preparations setting up the bike, should be done with espresso

     Early season team-ride

    Early season team-ride

     During a business-trip to Stockholm I visited Bianchi Café & Cycles, my favorite café, many times. You should really pay a visit here if you're in Stockholm! Click the picture to read more about the place!

    During a business-trip to Stockholm I visited Bianchi Café & Cycles, my favorite café, many times. You should really pay a visit here if you're in Stockholm! Click the picture to read more about the place!

     Waiting for the flight home

    Waiting for the flight home

     Taking a small brake on a long Sunday-ride

    Taking a small brake on a long Sunday-ride

     Giving it all is sometimes pretty exhausting...

    Giving it all is sometimes pretty exhausting...

     Rainy rides are not that bad when you are properly equipped

    Rainy rides are not that bad when you are properly equipped

     Attack!

    Attack!

     Easy evening ride in Ruissalo

    Easy evening ride in Ruissalo

     Green times in Attu

    Green times in Attu

     Pedalare pedalare!

    Pedalare pedalare!

    Hope you enjoyed the pictures. 'Til next time, have a good one! 

    Weekend ahead, wrapping up January

    The first month of the year is behind. It was a good training period and I had some good results as well. Without yesterday's minor back injury at the gym, the month has improved my aerobic fitness as well as strength and power. It's the result of both slight reduction in weight as well as increased power output.

     A snapshot from my W/Kg progress (without revealing any numbers ;) )

    A snapshot from my W/Kg progress (without revealing any numbers ;) )

    The next real progress test will be in just a couple of weeks and I'm really looking forward to that. A bit concerned about yesterday's minor injury, but hopefully it's just a minor strain. Will try a ride today to check how it responds to training.

     Mornings with the morning paper, coffee, NHL and news

    Mornings with the morning paper, coffee, NHL and news

    The awesome thing about stepping into February is that it is probably the single last month of pure indoor training! However, contrary to last year I'll probable be training indoors until April/May to sustain and increase the power abilities.

    In the cycling world we've seen the Pro Tour kick off. Tour Down Under was won by the 23 year old Dutch Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco Pro Cycling Team). We also saw Andre Greipel take 3 stages with huge sprint efforts, Team Sky working hard for Geraint Thomas and a huge effort by Finnish FDJ rider Jussi Veikkanen hitting the top 10 with 10th place! The next big race will be the Tour of Qatar that'll kick off on Sunday. It's the first big race for the new Swiss Team IAM Cycling, and the first test for Kjell Carlström as a directeur sportif! 

     Keeps you going

    Keeps you going

    I also found a great site for all you interested in the Pro Tour Cycling scene! The site is www.procyclingstats.com and in there you'll find everything from stats, riders, routes and races. This is the database we've been waiting for, check it out!

     Click to open PCS website

    Click to open PCS website

    I hope you all have a good weekend!

     Keep on riding ;) (source:  Ville-noire )

    Keep on riding ;) (source: Ville-noire)

    Weekend routines

    Just awesome to be back in business (training) after a period of snuffles and crappy feeling. Now a week into daily training routines and it all feels superb. And tomorrow I'll have the first FTP test that will illustrate the progress made so far. It's a pity I had a 4 week break in the middle of the training, it will surely have an effect on the FTP test. But still, I'm pretty hopeful about the outcome. I hope I'm able to add at least + 5 watts to my FTP. I'll let you know how it went when I'm done with it, and also enlighten a little bit how the training actually looks like and how it's all done.

     Morning gym

    Morning gym

     Post workout food

    Post workout food

     Nothing better than a proper meal with fruits, eggs, sausages, vegetables, freshly pressed orange juice and Italian coffee.

    Nothing better than a proper meal with fruits, eggs, sausages, vegetables, freshly pressed orange juice and Italian coffee.

    I also received new pedals, the Look Keo Blade (Carbon), and used them now for a week. Really snappy and stable pedals, a big upgrade from my old pedals. I'll write more about them when I've been able to test them outdoors as well.

     Look Keo Blade (Carbon) pedals

    Look Keo Blade (Carbon) pedals

    Enjoy the weekend!

    Winter Wonderland

    As the snow has invaded Finland (we now have some 20 cm of it) it is time to let out some air from the tires and prepare for a flight over the handlebars. 

    My Haro Mary SS

    A colorful fixie in the snow

    The first snowstorm a week ago

    A proper Espresso Doppio keeps you warm and focused

    Despite the off season in cycling, winter is the season for spectator sports. Since I'm a huge fan of ice hockey and  during the last few years also a fan of Biathlon, winter means spending time in front of the TV. I also enjoy watching cross country skiing, that during the last couple of years has adopted some characteristics from the world of road cycling. Today I will spend in total 5 hours in front of the TV, watching speed skating, biathlon, floorball and ice hockey. I woke up early today to go to the gym and took a short ride in the snow, so no, I don't feel guilty of spending so much time inside.

    Biathlon, coffee, gingerbread and ice hockey

    Pekka Koskela won both distances today in speed skating, Kaisa Mäkäräinen took a third place in Biathlon, Finland is currently playing against Switzerland  in floorball world champs and later on HIFK will play away against Ilves in Tampere.  The thermometer is on -8 °C, so I'm more than happy to stay inside. 

    Enjoy folks!

    A day in an amateur cyclist's life

    Some of you might wonder how serious I am about cycling. As stated in the About me section, this is nothing serious. The more you ride, the more serious it gets, even though I wouldn't classify my cycling as particularly serious, in comparison with many other amateur cyclists. I do train yes, I talk about season and off season, yes, If you ask some of my friends they'd probably think I spend too much time with the bike, yes. Cycling is kind of a lifestyle and immediately when you want to progress in an endurance sport, it takes time. So even if I'm not too serious about it (because I have a budget), I like to make the most out of it. So how does a day in an not-too-serious cyclist's life look like?

    A proper breakfast, something you often wouldn't have time to have. But critical, especially if you have a day in the saddle

    A cyclist is nothing without coffee

    This is when you know it's off season

    So instead of going out for a ride you head for the local gym

    Did I mention coffee already? Italian coffee

    After workout (not pint) shake

    Never forget about food. A snack every now and then keeps you going. And yes I do eat  a lot of pasta (especially during summer), but I didn't want to make pasta just to show you a picture of pasta.

    So this is how today looked like. Of course I switch between gym and indoor cycling from day to day, but today was a gym day. To finance a pretty expensive hobby, one of course needs to go to work as well. Not to mention I still have some stuff undone before I graduate (cycling isn't helping studies either). But no one's (me), interested in work or study related stuff, so no excel sheets or academic papers here.

    And to show the difference between an amateur like me and a professional, take a look at the video below, and you'll understand...

    Enjoy!

    Great days are made of cycling

    Today I took the first pedal strokes in a couple of weeks. It felt almost like the first outdoor ride after the loooong winter indoor training season. Today was sunny, warm, a great day for cycling. Even though the ride was not longer than a couple of hours, I felt I was back doing the thing I really want to do. Great days are made of cycling and good espresso. Thank God and Italy for both!

    It's all in this picture.. (picture taken from kerdni.tumblr.com)