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.
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.
Just over a month ago a big event took place. It was the farewell of Jens Voigts career, with his attempt on the Hour Record. For you who don't know, the hour record is nothing less than riding all out during 60 minutes and the result is your distance. And a new record he did, Voigt pedaled 51,110 km during one hour. Now, that record is being aimed at by Matthias Brändle and IAM Cycling. A serious attempt that is.
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.
- Locate the hole in the inner tube
- Make sure there is only one hole, try to add some pressure with a hand pump
- Try to locate what caused the puncture, is there a hole in the tire or something in the rim? Remove any sharp objects.
- Make a loop around the hole to isolate the hole from the rest of the inner tube
- Make the knot really tight
- Place the now really tight inner tube on the rim (it will fit if the knot isn't too big)
- Place the tire back on and pump
- 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!
Hope you will find this useful, at least I did!
Enjoy, it's soon Friday!
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 week later, Pirkan Pyöräily is a great memory. It all started with waking up at 3:50 am. Porridge, bananas some bread and coffee was my fuel for the morning. I was eager to start driving towards Tampere.
The weather was perfect, and a couple of hours later I arrived in Tampere and the area where the start for Pirkan Pyöräily would be. In half an hour I had everything prepared for start.
Alexander Stubb was also on the starting line. He started in the first group with other "triathlon cyclists". He was interviewed, and told he would take a run after finishing the 134km course to prepare for the Iron Man competition.
In Pirkan Pyöräily, every 1-2 minutes there is one smaller group of 20 cyclist heading out to the course. This makes the ride much safer as you thereby avoid huge groups of several hundred riders. We also were to keep our pace as fast as possibly by ourselves, so I was to take part in the pace-keeping as well.
My group started at 8:07 and we decided to keep up a pace of 34km/h. Soon we passed a couple of groups who started minutes earlier. From the first kilometers I felt this would be fun. And it was. The weather was perfect, almost no wind, perfect for a good pace-keeping. In the video below (by jraipala) you can see my group with me as pace-keeper passing a group of riders:
After 50km I felt a really nasty pain in my hip, and a couple of times I actually thought about giving up. Glad I didn't. As the kilometers passed I still felt pretty strong. I several times helped other riders to get back to our group. This was because I myself went to the back of the group each time I took a snack. People were thanking for the help, and everyone was really, despite being tired, all smiles. Some 20km before finish I worked for 1,5km at the front of our group, and went again to the back of the group because I felt I needed a longer cool-down. At that time the group for some reason fell apart. Me, being at the back reacted too late to this. Having my heartbeat steady just a bit, I made an effort to close the gap of 150m. My heart was pounding and I felt my legs and lungs burning. 30 meters away from the group I had to give up. Ridiculous. But that was 30 meters too much to close down to ensure I still could ride 20 km to the finish.
The last 15 km we rode together with 2 other cyclists and got an average speed of 36,1 km/h. I was really surprised by the time, being almost half an hour faster than I initially had expected. Had a talk with the other guys from the group, and once again we were all smiles. Superb cycling event for anyone, even beginners!
My hip was aching like hell, but the euphoria of a superb ride just made me laugh about it. After spending almost an hour talking to others I jumped in the car and headed for Turku. And that feeling when you open a cold beer, 12 hours, 400km (by car) + 134 km later, and collapse in the sofa, no words!
Hope you had energy to read through the whole post. Next week I'll get back to you with more updates about what's happening training-wise!
Giro d'Espoo 2013 is now behind. I tried to keep this post as short as possible, but you know, sometimes that's difficult. I hope you don't fall asleep or bounce back to browsing through your facebook feed, at least not straight away. I also had a cam with me during the race so there's both video and pictures from the in-race, so you'll get a picture of how it is cycling in a bunch.
We needed to wake up quite early to get from Turku to Espoo in time. That time was 5.50am. Due to "whatever that thing in my knee was", I slept poorly, waking up every now and then to check how the knee felt. I managed to pour in some porridge and bread in me and 7.30 am the bike was in the car and we were traveling towards Espoo. Before packing the bike in, I took a short ride with the bike to feel how the knee felt while cycling. It didn't feel good at all.
Nervous we arrived to Espoo well before the start. We got our stuff from the organizers and went back to the car to prepare. Not only was I nervous because of my knee, but also because of the wind. I'd say it was around 10 m/s and winds gusting up to 15 m/s. Having probably many beginners in the group, these heavy wind conditions could be a dangerous thing to have. The only thought at this point was to be able to finish the race.
It was sunny though, and when we lined up for the start, I'd taken a short warm-up, and the knee felt a bit better. Hope started crawling upon me. It was again nice to see that cycling brings so many people together, and in a country like Finland where the public opinion is that you shouldn't talk to strangers, those barriers were all of a sudden removed. Had a nice talk with other cyclists and the mood was good.
And then we rolled. The start was somewhat hectic as usual, but all in all the first kilometers went pretty okay. But the wind. I already felt we were in for a pretty tough 3 hours in the saddle today.
111 km is not that long a race, and in just a couple of hours we were well on our way to approach the finish. Passing 70 km we had some rain, but for me that was only a nice "refreshing" shower. The knee had functioned pretty ok, but I could feel the legs were already a bit tired. As usual, even if I had started in the front of the group I again found myself at the back of the group. And every 2-5km there were some gaps I had to close down when the cyclists in front of me were not able to follow the pace anymore. A bit frustrating situation. The idea is to ride in two lines, but in the very beginning people who for some reason think the will finish earlier at the front of the group will pass you who follow this principle of riding in two lines. They pass you on both left and right, making it sometimes pretty dangerous. And at some point, these cyclists find out the pace is too high and the fall behind. And this is where the "close down the gaps" begin.
The heavy wind made it extra difficult, especially when the wind was blowing from the side. Cycling in 50+km/h in some sections and suddenly getting a blast of wind from the side easily throws you 1-2 meters sideways. Fortunately I managed to hold on and avoided crashing. There was 3 small crashes in the bunch during the whole race. Those were all in uphill sections and caused by stupidity. The big picture though was pretty clean riding.
I knew there was a big hill at the 100km mark. Legs were slightly tired but I felt the effect of having that number on my back. When we got to the bottom of that climb I got out of the saddle and from the back of the bunch I got to the front, and kept on attacking. I was joined by a couple of other cyclists and together we kept a pretty good pace. The last 10 km are mostly downhill, only 3 hills to pass. I did the job in those climbs, otherwise the other guys kept the pace high. I was really enjoying cycling! My legs felt really good, I was able to follow all sprints easily and felt strong. I also tried to cheer the others to try to hang in. In the last km I still felt strong, and took the lead. Shouted out to the others to follow and made an increase in pace. Unfortunately the others were not able to follow, but still they had almost the same final time as I did. Breakaway groups are the best thing in cycling, and having a strong group is so motivating. There are no words to explain that.
I arrived to finish with a time that was 4 minutes "worse" than last year. I was not disappointed, quite the opposite. The last 10 km was super strong riding, the time was worse because the group could not keep the pace quite as high as last year due to the heavy winds.
At the finish we chatted with the "breakaway" guys and everyone was all smiles, me included. I also received a big thank you from a guy that was riding in the same start group. He had been riding behind me almost all the way, and thanked me for a steady and safe riding, that made his journey much more pleasant. It's always really nice to get this kind of feedback, and made me even more pleased with my race. It usually is hectic with braking and sprinting in a big group, but you can always minimize this by looking over the shoulder of the guy in front of you. By doing this you know what is happening and this minimizes sudden braking and situations usually does not come as surprises when you know what's happening in the group a couple of rows in front of you.
At the finish, I also had some time to chat with Alexander Stubb. A great person who also enjoys cycling a lot. Always cheerful and happy to talk with you even if he would be busy (even if I had a Samsung to take this picture with, and not a Nokia).
I waited at the finish for my friend to arrive, and during that time the muscles had cooled down and I could feel the pain in my knee, back and hip. I had probably unconsciously been careful with my knee while cycling, and hence probably did not ride in the best possible position. But that didn't matter at that point, I had finished, I didn't crash and it had once again been a superb race!
And here's a 20 minute video from the last 10 km and the breakaway (available in HD):
So if you ever doubt taking part in any cycling event, read this post again and just do it!
Hope you managed to stay awake all the way 'til the end.
Have a good one!
It is the time of the year when all the cycling teams bring out their new cyclists to the front with their new equipment, bikes, jerseys, rims, you name it. Most of the pro tour teams have released their new cycling kits, but today was one interesting launch by the Swiss Professional Continental team, Team IAM Cycling. I've been following this team closely because of Kjell Carlström is one of the team directeur sportif, and I'm lucky to know this really nice guy from Finland. Spoke with him just yesterday about the upcoming training camp on Mallorca and the season start. Loads of really interesting stuff. Maybe I could make a small interview with him in the future to introduce you to the team IAM Cycling and what's happening behind the scenes. Below are some pictures from today's official launch. All the pictures are taken by Guillaume Boillot and you'll find his blog on http://guillaumeboillot.blogspot.fr with more really nice pictures!
The cyclists for Team IAM Cycling are:
- Marcel Aregger
- Marco Bandiera
- Matthias Brandle
- Rémi Cusin
- Stefan Denifl
- Martin Elmiger
- Jonathan Fumeaux
- Kristoff Goddaert
- Heinrich Haussler
- Sébastien Hinault
- Reto Hollenstein
- Kevyn Ista
- Dominic Klemme
- Permin Lang
- Gustav Larsson
- Thomas Löfkvist
- Matteo Pelucchi
- Alexandr Pliuschin
- Sébastien Reichenbach
- Aleksejs Saramotins
- Patrick Schelling
- Johann Tschopp
- Marcel Wyss
Many of you will recognize world class riders on this list, and it will be really interesting to see how the team will do among the pro tour teams in the hard early season races (Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, Milan-San Remo, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Tour of Oman and Tour of Qatar).
Read more about Team IAM Cycling:
- Website: http://www.iamcycling.ch
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/IAMcycling
- Twitter: @IAMcyclingFans
As some of you may have noticed, many of the stuff is still in French, but I'm sure there will be more content in English as well in the future.
And last but not least a short interview with Heinrich Haussler about joining the Team IAM Cycling. He truly is one of the great riders in the peloton.
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?
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...
The spring classics are over and now it's time for the first real grand tour of 2012! The Giro d'Italia will be ridden for the 95th time, and hopefully we'll see a great Giro without accidents and a even battle for the Pink! Giro d'Italia is the main event for most italian riders, and is especially important for the italian teams. The biggest names battling for the win this year are Roman Kreuziger (Astana), Ivan Basso (Liquigas), Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).
This year the Giro d'Italia will begin in Herning, Denmark. The first stage is a time trial and the two following stages are flat stages also taking place in Denmark.
The route will cover 3503,0 km with an average stage lenght of 166,9km between May 5th-27th 2012.
The Giro d'Italia will gather a lot of people along the streets of Italy to watch one of the most prestigious sport events in the world. If you're not in Italy, there will be live video coverage from all the stages on several channels. If you don't have access to Eurosport, you can always use the Gazzetta TV or check other live streams from Steephill.tv.
The official promo video for Giro d'italia 2012
I hope you all enjoy the Giro d'Italia 2012!
February legs, cycling slang for a heavy stoney feeling in your thighs is okay when it's February. February is usually the time when you start realizing the summer is approaching. One sign is when you start looking at new clothing for the upcoming season. Well first you start getting daily e-mails from the online bike-shops "Save up to 40% on winter clothing! Clearance on 2011 bikes! NEW 2012 ranges in stock now!!"
Before you know, you have 12 open tabs in your browser showing both bikes, clothing, helmets, energy bars, shoes, sunglasses.. you name it. You start comparing different sites, and in the beginning its hard to choose, because you need to pick up stuff for about $300 to get free shipping. And all of a sudden, when you browse through a new neat jersey it says "this item has free shipping to your country". Your basket now has 10 items and the basket value is $350. This, is spring.
So even if we have loads of snow and it's still below 0, the mind is set on spring and summer. I ofcourse envy people living in southern latitudes, where you already began your outdoor cycling season, but to be honest, the Trainerroad app that I mentioned earlier is taking good care of my pre-season shape. I now have ridden more than 500km (well above 300 miles) in a month, and finished the Early base (Foundation,form&base) training plan. Next week the treshold rides will begin, and they will add more strenght and endurance to my legs. And if all goes well, I get rid of my february legs during February month.
A month ago I ran into a superb video made by the GarminUK team. It's an ad for the edge 800 and the GarminConnect community. Check out their page with training tips and other stuff!
I hope my winter training could some day look like this!
Have a good one!
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
Cyclists often talk a lot, and we tend to sound really professional to people who know nothing about cycling. Even more important is how you talk to your fellow cyclists. I found this neat video and really recognized myself from it, and got a good laugh! This video is actually made by people with a good cause, to improve the future of bicycling for everyone.
I am for bikes. I'm for long rides and short rides. I'm for commuting to work, weekend rides, racing, riding to school, or just a quick spin around the block. I believe that no matter how I ride, biking makes me happy and is great for my health, my community and the environment we all share. That is why I am pledging my name in support of a better future for bicycling—one that is safe and fun for everyone. By uniting my voice with a million others, I believe that we can make our world a better place to ride.
Check out the website for this cause at http://www.peopleforbikes.org/
And the video!
And for all of you in southern latitudes, this is how it looks up here in northern Europe at the moment. Not taking the bike out... not yet.
Over and out!
So, if you can't stop the Winter, you at least can try to make the most out of it. Recently, thanks to a friend of mine, I found this neat page, TrainerRoad.com. As a cyclist in these northern latitudes, the indoor bike-trainer-season is pretty long, but this site and the software it provides will hopefully make the season a bit more interesting. It'll provide you with approximate watt results, and all the information you can get from your ant+ cycling computer. All you need is a usb ant+ stick and you can pair the TrainerRoad software on your computer with the ant+ products (watt meter,heart rate monitors etc.). And one without a power meter can use the VirtualPower system, that will give you a watt reading on the screen. What is neat about this, is that I train in front of my TV, and since I now can connect my computer via HDMI to the TV, I can now watch my training data from the TV at the same time I'm watching for instance a cycling workout video. How cool is that!? I'll let you know how this all works as soon as I've put my ass down on that trainer!
Check also out the video about TrainerRoad:
I also spoke about some new stuff on the page. And as I sat down last week I realized it could be nice to share some info about the stuff I read and the gear I use. So from now on you can find some descriptions about the cycling gear I use, and have used along with the literature (Readings) about cycling and training that I've read or currently read. Check them out!
Hope you find some of the stuff useful!
One week from now, September the 4th will again be the main goal for this cycling season. Tour de Helsinki, a 140km "race" that gathers some 2000 cyclists. The training so far has been quite alright, but this week, just 12 days before the race, I got a temperature which then developed into infection in both ears and throat. I was prescribed antibiotics on Thursday 10 days prior to the race, and now 7 days before the race, the temperature is gone as well as the sore throat, but the infection seems to be stubborn when it comes to my ears. The doctor told me on Thursday, that I'm not able to race in 10 days...
This struck me. So I've been training the whole summer for a race and now all of a sudden someone tells me I can't participate? Well my first thought was that everything was over, I could sell my bike and start playing Playstation instead. But a few hours later, my despair turned into hopefullnes. Maybe I could participate anyway. Maybe I'll get well soon and even have some time to recover. Ofcourse I know it's impossible to reach the same results, but doing even a decent job would be fair enough for me at this point.
I also started thinking about next year, why do one participate in only one race during the summer, especially one this late, when the influenzas are harassing the population, the probability of getting sick is pretty high. Well there is no answer, maybe next year I will, maybe not, but something to think about, especially if after all I couldn't participate in Tour de Helsinki this year. I'll probably get back to the topic Tour de Helsinki during the "race-week".
Staying at home, I also had time to make something out of the manymany hours of video I've been shooting during the past month. And there's more to come next week. Here's what I made today, hope you enjoy it! (if possible, watch it in HD)
So, almost a month passed by, we saw the Tour de France get a new winner, I did cycle 300km and now, it seems like autumn is approaching Finland.
My last post was about cycling 300km, and sure I did manage, and yes I did make a short movie about it (you'll find the vid further down). It was tough, not tough in a way that my body couldn't handle it, it was mentally really tough. Going alone for 11 hours and the last 100km just felt I would never get home. My garmin seemed to be stuck on 200km. But later on, when I got back on well known roads in the last 60km I felt I could really speed up a little, and actually had same kind a pace I usually have riding on these roads. The same evening my back hurt a little, but the only thing that lasted longer than one evening, was the red stripes in my face (who could ever think the sun would follow my left cheek all the way...), and sure my workmates were there to remind me I had probably forgot the sunscreen.. All in all, a great ride, great weather and a great achievement. But honestly, I wouldn't do it again, not alone. But now I at least know I'm able to survive Vätternrundan. You'll find the training data HERE.
During the ride I had to make 3 stops, just to strech the legs and get some energy (beside those energy bars..)
And the short video from the different sections of the ride:
July of course was also the time to watch the Tour, and it actually was pretty exciting this year, and I was glad to see Cadel Evans take the overall win. He had been fighting so many years to finally get there!
Besides this, I cycled another 1000km in July, making the total for this year some 3000km. I'm almost halfway to the goal, which at this point is far away, but I'm still sure I'm gonna make it. In one month we'll also be attending a cycling event, Tour de Helsinki. I'll give a heads up and some more photos from our rides in July in the next update, soon.
If you ever wonder where to put your money, invest them in cycling. Nothing beats a delivery of several cardboard boxes filled with cycling stuff! This is what was delivered to me just a couple of days ago:
I was really pleased with that camelbak hydration pack (3l), really comfortable and will be a good thing to have on those longer rides. I also got the GoPro HD Hero helmet cam, and was really pleased with it (scroll down for video), even though the plastic mounts are not the best I've seen, actually one part broke down just after 2h...
Last but not least, a 15 min video from the sunny ride to Attu, hope you like it (watch it in HD if possible).
Over and out!