Health

Looking back at my cycling season 2018 so far

Looking back at my cycling season 2018 so far

It's actually great writing this seldom. Well I kind of feel bad about it, but also thinking about my last post in the beginning of February, summing up January feels like ages ago. Back then, even spring seemed far away, and now we've already put behind the midsummer celebrations.

Cycling Year 2016 in Pictures

Cycling Year 2016 in Pictures

Despite the fact that 2016 was the worst cycling-wise, it still was an important year. I graduated finally, years late, but graduated. It was also the first summer having a car, which meant day-trips to places on nice sunny days. I promised I wouldn't go into any details, instead I will share some pictures from along the year.

Awakening

Awakening

Inhale. The cranks turn, pedals absorb the power, finally transmitting it to the wheels, turning them with an almost silent hum. A few gentle clicks and the rear derailleur smoothly moves the chain further on the cassette. Exhale. I grab the handlebars tight and pull myself out of the saddle. I feel the bike respond to my every action. Acceleration is smooth, yet effective. Every move has been exercised so many times, there is almost no energy lost to the thought. Inhale. I gasp for more air.

Autumn is here

Autumn is here

It's been a while since I've been talking about training and everyday activities. I also have some race-reports waiting to be written. A lot has happened and it feels like summer really flew past us faster than any previous version. My racing season is over for this year, and preparations for season 2016 have already begun. This summer was twofold in many ways. There were many ups but they seemed to be followed most often by immediate downs. We also lost a great soul this summer.

Looking back at my cycling year 2014

Looking back at my cycling year 2014

It feels strange wrapping up a cycling season in February when everyone does it in December or early January. But I will do it now, mainly because my memory is really bad but also because I want to go back and look at what I did so it's easier to compare to my efforts today. Cycling year 2014 was great in many ways. And a warning to those of you who are looking for a short story, you can stop reading here.

Yuletide

Yuletide

So after a couple of good weeks of training there was one with less good outcome. I went on a business-trip to Stockholm and became ill so I've been off the bike now for 5 days. So nothing new to share, except that Christmas is approaching. I've bought myself something already and the packages should be arriving these days. So because lack of cycling photos, you'll get some Christmas ones instead. Have a nice weekend!

Tracking progress and loss of power

Tracking progress and loss of power

I've been picking up my off season training this week. After a somewhat long pause, I've also added workouts with slightly harder intervals. And darn I can feel the powerless February legs. The downside with having the Garmin Vector power data is that I now can accurately measure the loss of power.

Weekend behind - a new beginnig

Weekend behind - a new beginnig

A month ago I got some news that made it uncertain whether I could train for next season or not. That would mean, next season would be just one of getting back to shape. On Friday I got to know, that event won't take place now, and will be postponed until spring or autumn, or in best case not take place at all. 

Back to life

Can't believe how time flies when you have fun, or when you're just busy doing what you do. One can say the summer has turned into autumn in Finland, and a lot has happened after my last post about Fincycling, both for me as a cyclist and for the Fincycling project. I will start easily by letting you know my old neck- and back issues came back after what has been a great summer training-wise. I've beaten my previous FTP records by a good margin. I also had the possibility to travel to Italy to do some hill-training, mainly as a preparation for our trip to Italy next week. Think those kilometers in the mountains did really good for my climbing skills. I will recap the summer within the following few posts, just to not bore you too much. 

 Pills I was supposed to take.

Pills I was supposed to take.

Welcome back!

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!

Off-season 2013-2014 officially over

It has been a busy week, therefore a week of silence. Besides a busy week, this week has finally ended the off-season 2013/2014. An off-season that was really different from my previous years. More time in the saddle and less gym. This was the first off-season with Resistentia, and may the stats speak for themselves.

I did 27 more workouts, tracked almost 1 100 km more, in total 54 hours more time in the saddle. My training was slightly less stressful. On average my rides were almost 20 minutes longer in duration. This can be partly explained with the new Felt F65X cyclocross I bought in November. Thanks to Huntteri.fi for that opportunity. I will write a review about the bike during spring. I also managed to reduce weight and increase my watt/kg ratio. For these results I have not only thank myself for, but especially Resistentia and Huntteri.fi. Resistentia for providing me with coaching and a well structured training plan and Huntteri for giving me the opportunity to get a proper cyclocross for the winter.

I also managed to stay healthy and had no influenza this year. I feel really good and confident for the upcoming season. Can't wait to hit the roads and challenge myself beating my current records.

Last weekend was the last time I was out with the cyclocross. Really spring already

Behind the camera

What's left of snow

On Tuesday this week I finally did a proper maintenance on my Canyon roadbike, cleaning, oiling, changing wires, handlebar tape, things you need to do before the season can start. And on Wednesday it finally happened. And wow, that difference from an aluminium cyclocross bike to a full carbon roadbike, stunning.

Thumbs up!

The forecasts promise great weather for weekend, can't wait to track some big hours in the saddle trying out all my new gadgets and nutrition etc. 

 

Have a good one!

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!

Wrapping up first month of Road Cycling-14

January is the month when we get that small distant taste of a new road cycling season with The Tour Down Under and pro cycling teams showing up new gear and team colors. For me January often is an indicator of what the upcoming year might bring. The first FTP tests, weight reduction in order to even further work on the W/kg ratio and really starting to build for the upcoming road cycling season. 

Ice hockey and trainer seemed to be the agenda for January training

Last year I had a pretty good start, and looking at statistics this year I haven't been doing as much. No gym so far, managed to do some core training and qualitative training on the trainer and also outdoors, so cycling wise I think I'm still ahead, and I feel that as well in the legs. Looking at the previous FTP test, that also indicates I'm on a good way and in head of last year's numbers.

Food was another theme, especially eating smarter

There are several other great news in road cycling during January. IAM Cycling Team has been invited as a wildcard to the Tour de France 2014, Paris-Nice and the Dauphiné. Even if they didn't got the invitation to the Giro d'Italia 2014, the dream of making two grand tours still live since IAM Cycling team looks forward to hit the Vuelta as well this year. You can read the whole article here. These invitations are also in line with the expectations that Kjell Carlström mentioned in an interview with him earlier in January

January has also brought some great news for Finnish road cycling. The project "Suomen Pyöräily Nousuun" has advanced and now the "Suomen Kilpapyöräily Ry" will continue to work on the first ever attempt to really bring together our promising youth and bring them to the top of professional road cycling. Behind this movement are great names such as Kjell Carlström and Charly Wegelius. One could say, a new era in Finnish road cycling has begun. Read more about it by following Suomen Pyöräily Nousuun Facebook page.

 Kjell and Charlie teaching our youth! (picture from  Suomen Pyöräily Nousuun facebook page )

Kjell and Charlie teaching our youth! (picture from Suomen Pyöräily Nousuun facebook page)

I will let you know more about this project as it progresses.

 

Enjoy your weekends!

Rapha Festive 500, almost there

Having days 1-3 done, with almost 300 km ridden, I headed towards day 4 and 5. I started feeling myself a bit tired already, but wasn't prepared for what awaited me early on from day 4...

 

Rapha Festive 500 - Day 4

The day began with mixed feelings. The weather was good, the sun was shining for the first (and apparently last time) during this challenge, but I was tired and could have slept for a couple of more hours. But because the day is so short in Finland, I needed to get going. Immediately as I started I felt pain in my knees, both of them. I hoped it would just go over after a few kilometers, but it didn't. It was quite nasty, both knees felt as there would be a needle inside, and that needle picked the knee from inside with each pedal-stroke. Some 10 km in the ride I started thinking about abandoning, and made a stop at 20 km to give the knees a rest. After the short pause, I started pedaling, and it felt bad, maybe not as bad as moments before, but still bad. I decided to go on, the sun was shining and if my knees would collapse, I would call a taxi. Well I made those 107 kilometers, after many ups and downs.

 At my restplace in the forest, I found a boat. Strange place for a boat one could say.

At my restplace in the forest, I found a boat. Strange place for a boat one could say.

 Felt F65X

Felt F65X

 Amazing light, no more darkness!

Amazing light, no more darkness!

 For the first time, may I present, my shadow!

For the first time, may I present, my shadow!

 Second stop at 40 km

Second stop at 40 km

 Neat little river

Neat little river

 Never tired of having sunshine

Never tired of having sunshine

 More nice light and river

More nice light and river

 Still like the looks of the bike

Still like the looks of the bike

Web IMG_3026.jpg
 My new favorite ride-snack, salted and roasted Cashew nuts!

My new favorite ride-snack, salted and roasted Cashew nuts!

 Almost smiling

Almost smiling

 Moments later I spotted cyclists in the distance

Moments later I spotted cyclists in the distance

 Rode with them for some 5 km, unfortunately there was one puncture during this time. Great co-operation here! Not to mention the motivation boost you get when you meet fellow cyclists.

Rode with them for some 5 km, unfortunately there was one puncture during this time. Great co-operation here! Not to mention the motivation boost you get when you meet fellow cyclists.

 Then it was time for sunset

Then it was time for sunset

 Last signs of light

Last signs of light

 Arriving home, food awaited!

Arriving home, food awaited!

 I never get tired eating good food

I never get tired eating good food

Rapha Festive 500 - Day 5

I was afraid I wouldn't be able to continue today due to my knees. They still hurt but I decided to go for it. Putting on my legwarmers i realized what could have caused the knee-pain. I've been riding with both knee- and leg-warmers and this causes high pressure on the knee and forces the kneecap tighter to the knee. That would also explain why the whole knee is kind of tender to the touch as well. So today I rode without the knee-warmers. The ones I use are the Castelli Nanoflex warmers. The knees did hurt, pretty bad at times, but I managed to finish today's 65 km ride as planned. It was really chilly and windy, the coldest day so far, almost froze my feet. Luckily I had a pair of SealSkinz Winter Handle Bar Mittens with me. Perfect gloves!

 Freezing weather today

Freezing weather today

 No more sunshine, icy rain and wind

No more sunshine, icy rain and wind

 These saved my hands today

These saved my hands today

 They really are warm

They really are warm

Day 4

Day 5

So one day to go, only 40 kilometers planned, but with my knees being sore, hard to even walk with, I won't party until I've really ridden all 500 kilometers. But if I make it, I just might celebrate the new year's eve with one for this one!

raphaalmost.png

 

Let's keep our fingers crossed

Trainer Season Start

The trainer season has officially begun. I really can feel my lungs are not 100 % in shape (more likely 45%), not to talk about my legs, but so far so good. 2 easy workouts behind, and I'm starting to believe I can start training seriously in some weeks. Frustrating to be forced to take it really easy, but there are no shortcuts here.

Before riding indoors, you need to clean your bike, so that's what I did on Friday. The Park Tools CM5 Cyclone Chain Cleaner is a really neat gadget to clean your chain. Just add some degreaser and you're good to go. 

 Park Tools Cyclone Chain Cleaner

Park Tools Cyclone Chain Cleaner

 Clean Canyon

Clean Canyon

 First sign of trainer season

First sign of trainer season

 Bike attached to the Kurt Kinetic Road trainer

Bike attached to the Kurt Kinetic Road trainer

 Ready to roll

Ready to roll

 Let the workout begin

Let the workout begin

For you who are wondering about the trainer I use and how I motivate myself to ride indoors, stay tuned, I'll share some tips on that next week!

 

Enjoy what's left of the weekend!

 

 

Surviving the darkness

It's the time of the year when it's dark when you go to work in the morning and dark when you come back home in the afternoon. Especially up here in northern Europe you really need to compensate those lost sunny hours with vitamins. Today I filled my vitamin reserves with some more vitamin C, D, B and fish oil. I've decided I'll jump on the trainer tomorrow. That means cleaning up the bike properly today.

 Getting home today (Turku cathedral)

Getting home today (Turku cathedral)

 

Remember the vitamins!

Forced to relax

Soon  7 weeks with a flu has kept me away from the bike. Well mostly off the bike. Last week I tried to make a few easy rides, but my body responded with a small temperature, sore throat and a drippy nose. Really frustrating as I can feel all muscles turn into jelly.

 Early morning ride before work

Early morning ride before work

Well at least I have time to carefully plan the winter cycling season, this time with a coach. Yesterday was my weekly massage day, sometimes I feel those sessions are more mental healing than healing your body. The masseur surely does a better job than any psychologist.

 Friday relaxing

Friday relaxing

I also found a neat new Rapha video, and found it to include a familiar theme.  Check out the neat short video Rapha Retreats 2014.

 Wednesday chilling

Wednesday chilling

It also looks as if Belgium got some snow. Another really beautiful picture from Jered and Ashley Gruber, this time from Muur van Geraardsbergen, Belgium.

I certainly hope we won't have any snow yet!

 

Have a good one!