Many of us, including myself, have found our way to cycling watching Tour de France on TV. It has been possible to watch cycling live on Eurosport and national TV channels in some European countries for many many years. Today the services are widespread and it's possible to watch almost any cycling race, anywhere with a mobile device. There has been some exceptions though, including the Finnish cycling races. Fortunately the passion for cycling has brought a change to that.
Strava came up with a great feature a week ago. Strava will gather all your activities from the year 2014 and convert them into a short half minute video with all your greatest achievements, KOMs, total kilometers, elevation gain and so on. They will also embed some Instagram pictures in the video if you have uploaded some from your rides.
After many years it was time to change the layout of the website. New mobile devices, new way of interacting with websites made the old layout impossible or hard to use. After hearing your comments about the site I have made some changes in the look and feel of the site. I hope it is something that is easier to use and easier to read than before, on all of your devices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One would think it's obvious that generally cheaper bikes would certainly outsell the more expensive cars. But this is not true. According to npr.org it was the first time since world war II that more bikes were sold compared to cars (Italy). Actually more bikes were sold in every European country except for Belgium and Luxembourg.
These numbers can probably be explained by the fact that car sales have dropped a lot this year, down to a 20 year low to be precise. Still I think we can make that ratio even better. How? Just go through this scheme from adventure-journal.co:
Do you need a bike?
Today I took at trip to see my family, was a long time since last time. But likewise nice to be back home as well. I've been planning my winter-training and now I'm just chilling and reading the web. Some great reading from Rapha once again, Part One: The Choice by Rigo Zimmerman. Read the whole story here.
There were a million things I could think of in fact that I would rather do than ride out into the barbarity of a winter's day. There always was, there always is. - Rigo Zimmerman
So we live in Techy times, and cycling is really not being left outside of the technological advances. Just last week the new Recon Jet technical cycling sunglasses, or wearable computer as the Recon Instruments folks call it, were launched. So what is the Recon Jet and what is the price? What is the technology they rely on?
Recon Jet looks somewhat like a mixture of a pair of Oakley sunglasses and a pair of Google glasses. At the moment they're priced at $499. And the total weight is around 60 grams, so really not much. So here's how they look:
The Recon Jet works together with any ANT+ device, such as your Garmin device. Which again can be displayed on the lens. Sounds like straight from any Batman or James Bond.
How does it work? Check out the video on Vimeo:
George Hincapie is also involved, at least marketing-wise as he has been testing the product before launch. It seems to have convinced him
Want to win a pair of Recon Jet glasses? Read how to win here
The Technical Specifications:
ONBOARD SENSOR FRAMEWORK
• 3D accelerometer
• 3D gyroscope
• 3D magnetometer
• Altimeter & barometer application
Ambient temperature sensor
Optical touch sensor for UI control
Works in all weather conditions, and with gloves on
1 GHz Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9
• 1GB DDR2 SDRAM
• 8GB flash
Wide screen 16:9 WQVGA display
Virtual image appears as 30" HD display at 7'
Power-saving sleep mode
High contrast and brightness for readability in high ambient lighting
Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Smart)
• Apple MFi Bluetooth support
• MEMS GPS/INS Kalman filtering fusion algorithm
• Support for connectivity of up to 8 ANT+ peripherals
• Device charging/power
• Data transfer
EMBEDDED AUDIO & VIDEO
• HD camera
• Integrated speaker and microphone
Read more about the Recon Jet and Recon Instruments:
A new video by Garmin due to their launch of the new Edge series. They really nailed it, again!
And the video "Winter training - The Climb" from last year.
As a cycling fan I'm always excited about new things from the world of cycling. And something new is what we are about to get. If you didn't hear about Global Cycling Network, you really want to check it out. As stated on their website the Global Cycling Network is about:
TAKING YOU CLOSER TO THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST SPORT THAN EVER BEFORE
Also check the neat video from Global Cycling Network (be sure to watch it in HD):
Otherwise the flu is hanging in tight, and seems like there's no end to it. I'm still positive about getting on the trainer any day now.
Ready for Christmas?
For one who loves food, Christmas can be a heaven. It's often not easy to resist something you're offered just once a year. So because I know I will be eating a lot of fatty (yummy) food during a couple of days, I've been adding more green stuff on my plate than usually. And I might stick to that even after Christmas.
Enjoy your Saturday evening!
Christmas is approaching, but you still have some time to buy presents. Soft or hard, a cyclist will be pleased with both kinds. Here's a list of stuff I figured out a cyclist would want to have for Christmas:
Portland Design Works Bar-ista™ Cup holder
Stages Power meter brings a totally new power-meter experience to any cyclist. Prices starting at $699
K-Edge GO BIG mounts. If you have a GoPro cam, you definitely need one of these mounts!
If you live in Finland, you want to check out Pelago Bicycles in Helsinki for any ideas!
If you live in Stockholm, Sweden I'm sure you'll find a lot of nice stuff at the awesome Bianchi Café
Rapha offers a great range of quality clothing. A waterproof bag is important for anyone who takes the bike to work
If money is not an issue for you, then you might want to consider buying the Coffee Machine Ferrari for any cyclist!
Cyclepassion calendar for 2013, do I need to say more?
If your trendy city dweller friend is worth a $419 bag, then you should consider this one from ONA
I hope you found something useful for your cyclist friend, or for yourself?
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.
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.
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.
Friday again, enjoy the weekend!
Cycling is not always about sweaty men. Each Friday will therefore be dedicated to the beauty of the cycling scene.
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?
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...
As mentioned earlier there will be some updates on the site, and the first of them will be the News section. You'll find the News section just below the site banner.
The news section is built from 20 cycling sources, including daily cyclingnews sites as well as some interesting cycling blogs. You can read the news straight from this site, or by clicking the header of the newspaper, you can read it on Paper.li that is the actual service provider.
I hope you'll find this a helpful thing, to keep you up to date with the latest cycling news and interesting cycling stories. As this is a daily newsfeed, the news will be updated every day at 8am (GMT +00:00). You can also subscribe to the daily newsfeed by clicking here.
I've read in the Finnish newspapers that we have had the coldest summer in 25 years, and to be honest it has affected the training. To be able to complete my goal, and to even have a small chance of reaching the main event in september being fit, I need to start biting the dust. Next week will be focused solely on training and taking care of myself (read: visiting the sports masseur). Despite the chilly and rainy weather I've managed to make a couple of good rides. This week we put in some hill-interval training. That's probably one of the hardest workouts on a long time! Lungs and legs burning and heart pounding like hell. I guess that's when you feel you're alive!
This is how my day started, and it will continue with planning the workouts for next week and with the Tour de France Time trial, that will be the last stage before heading to Champs-Élysées tomorrow!
Have a nice weekend!
A month has passed again, and it seems the weather hasn't changed a lot since last update. Rain and chilly weather has been the dominant condition and that can be seen in my ridden kilometres as well. But that will change soon, hopefully. A month is a long time, so I won't bore you with long stories, instead I'll try to recap the month in pictures. Hope you find them interesting!
I also had the opportunity to try out the new ultegra Di2 groupset. It was really a neat thing to be able to change gears smoothly during climbs and putting effort on the pedals. Also it adjusts pretty accurate even if you have the chain crossed.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures, I'll be back with more stuff next week, and some updates coming up on the site as well.
Have a good one!
The Restaurant Day is a one-day "carnival" when people around the world can set up a restaurant, café or a bar for a day. This event took place last Saturday, and we decided to include one of these places to our cycling route.
The place we went to served pancakes, both sweet and salty and home made rhubarb-juice. The weather was awesome and loads of people had found their way to the same place, a beautiful farm just outside of Turku.
Last week i got my hands on one of these:
MyKnoaky is a small piece of Oak-wood that is designed by a Professional cyclist, Andreas Klier. MyKnoaky is a part of the plant-for-the-planet project. Read more about the neat idea on the official website:http://myknoaky.com/
I'm also glad to see the summer has arrived to Finland. Yesterday was the first really warm day, +28 degrees and no wind, a perfect day for riding a bike!
I'll be back with more details for the Giro d'Espoo this week!
Meanwhile, enjoy the summer!
Finland, being cold and dark is not always the best place for cycling. Instead we have to organize other activities, such as ice hockey. Last Saturday, 4th of February the reigning champions (HIFK) in the finnish top hockey league, SM-Liiga organized a great outdoor event, Talviklassikko (finnish equivalent for the NHL Winter Classic). Despite cold weather (-17 degrees celcius), the Helsinki Olympic Stadium gathered around 30 000 fans to watch this game between the two hockey teams from Helsinki.
Simultaneously, there was a cycling event in Helsinki, the Winter Tweed Run -Helsinki. It was, as the Talviklassikko organized for the second time in Helsinki. This event gathers people with classic vintage bikes and Tweed clothes. This awesome event was joined by a great photographer, Krista Keltanen, who shared some really neat pictures from the ride! Check out her blog here!
Great to see these kind of events taking place even in Finland!
Here's a video from the same event in Stockholm in 2011