blogs

A fresh start

A fresh start

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.

Enjoying the Evening

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

 

 Chilling out

Chilling out

 

Chill out!

Drive smart - don't add up to those accident statistics

A hot potato that tend to always bring up a fierce debate, is cyclists and how we behave in traffic. It's a pity that it is us cyclists who always seem to take the blame for the accidents, not the people walking their dogs or the pedestrians moving around with their necks stuck in forward position, not to mention the king-of-the highway people driving their cars. In the end of the day it's about safety for all of us, not just cyclists, car drivers or pedestrians alone!

We should all be aware that there are others around, stepping out of the car, check the mirror for incoming traffic, changing lane even when walking, watch over your shoulder for incoming runners, cyclists and other traffic, when riding your bike and there are children ahead, act as if they for sure would have to make you stop, because they can. And one thing that I always try to remember, if someone stops to let you pass, even if they would have to according to the rules, be polite and thank them anyway!

Things I've noticed are really important when being out cycling:

 

  • Make eye contact with car drivers when approaching intersections
  • Keep your head up, don't just stare down in front of your front wheel
  • Be aware, don't expect all the others to follow or know the rules
  • Let the others know what you do, the earlier the better, clear messages and hand gestures!
  • Helmet!
  • Turn that head, your neck can do it

 

By being polite, you can make the attitudes better, by being a jerk you do quite the oppositeRemember you are not alone in the traffic, even if you think you are the fastest one on the road, keep yourself on one side, not in the middleAttitudes are always attached to cultures. During 2009-2010 I lived in Italy for almost a year. First I was a bit afraid of the fact that there were no bikelanes, and I heard the traffic is crazy there. They proved me wrong. I could never ever had imagined how people respect you as a cyclist, because in Finland you are mostly seen as a person who, according to car drivers should never ride on the road, and according to pedestrians should never ride on the bikelanes either. In Italy things are different. I remember started laughing once when I approached a roundabout and the traffic from all directions stopped well before I got there just to make sure I could make my ride smooth. I smiled and waved at all of them and had a really pleasant ride, just thinking about what happened.

A recent study by Frank Bensch (Department of Diagnostic Radiology Helsinki University Central Hospital University of Helsinki, Finland):

 

Sport and recreational accidents had an overall incidence of injury of one in five, 
of which 71 % were considered to be serious. The three most common types of 
serious injury were intracranial injury, fractures of facial bones, and vertebral 
injuries. The most common accident mechanisms were bicycling, horseback 
riding, and team ball sports, with bicycling causing most frequently serious 
injury. 

 

There is a great picture with superb instructions for both cyclists and drivers made by Lawrence Ulrich, how to drive around cyclists:

Click to open a larger picture

Also read these great articles about the same topic:

cyclingtips.comHow to Not Kill a Cyclist (themorningnews.org)

So read these, especially the lessons by Lawrence Ulrich, and drive safe! The roads are for all of us!

 

Keep rollin'!

Winterclassics

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. 

The weather was mostly good

We even got some snowBut the crowd didn't care

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!

Picture from kristakeltanenblog.comPicture from kristakeltanenblog.comPicture from kristakeltanenblog.com

Great to see these kind of events taking place even in Finland!

Here's a video from the same event in Stockholm in 2011

Tweed Run Stockholm 2011 from Kristoffer Hilmersson on Vimeo.

 

 

Ciao!

Wrapping up 2011

So yet another year of cycling is left behind, definitely a good one. I reached a pleasant amount of goals set up for the year, most certainly due to the new bike bought in early spring when the snow still covered the ground. It was also an interesting year in pro-cycling, bringing new talents to the top elite.

2011, having bought the Kurt Kinetic trainer in 2010, was the first of my cycling years to begin with an indoor cycling period, and this enhanced the early season cycling a lot. Another big reason to a good start was the new bike that was several kgs lighter than my previous one. The Canyon Ultimate CF 8.0 was my first full carbon bike weighing at around 7,2kgs. I also bought a new cycling computer the Garmin Edge 500, and I have been more than pleased with it.

Canyon Ultimate CF 8.0 (Ultegra/Dura Ace)The first ride, we rode among snow and ice on April 5th. It was +4 degrees, but the sun already did it's job warming us up.

First ride of the year, all smilesAlmost a month later we saw something we never hope to see, a rider passing away during Giro. Wouter Weylandt passed away on the third stage of Giro chasing the front. He died wearing number 108, and this number will never be used again in the Giro, to the memory of Wouter Weylandt.

Team Leopard-Trek remembered Wouter on their website The Giro was then won by Alberto Contador, and he made it look really easy.

Alberto in pinkFinland had one of its best summers in years, and this ofcourse brought us many good rides in good conditions. Temperatures of around 25-30 degrees celcius and hardly any rain at all. This also helped me in achieving one of my goals, riding 300km. I couldn't have asked for a better day to do that, than the 14th of July. Almost no winds, pure sunshine and a perfect temperature. Having bought an HD camera, I was able to record many of the sections from along the ride.

300.54 km began at 6 am. The route was taken counter-clockwise

 

In July, the Tour de France was won by Cadel Evans, after many twist and turns. My own season highlight was approaching fast, Tour de Helsinki in early September. In august though, I got an influenza that lasted for 3 weeks and this took the best training time away and I had to participate without having trained for many weeks and still having a flu. Thus it went pretty okay. With no big hopes I was able to make a time almost 15 minutes better than last year. 

I also had time to chat with Kjell Carlström, who was beaten in the final sprint and took the second place overall.

Due to the warmest fall in a long time, I was still able to ride in November, and the last outdoor ride was ridden in total darkness 7th November.

wearing almost everything I had in the closet

Even though I wasn't able to reach my goal of 7000km this year, the season 2011 was a great one in many ways. Many new routes introduced and a great weather among with a new bike, new gear (cameras, hydration packs, bibs etc.) made the year a pleasant one. And hopefully the season 2012 will be even a better one with faster averages, more kilometres, better training and even more rides with friends. I hope you all have a good 2012 and still have time to check this blog every now and then. 

 

Happy ridings!

Cyclists and skiers

I was glad to see that the finnish newspapers also write something about our great cyclists, Kjell Carlström and Jussi Veikkanen. I found this article in today's Helsingin Sanomat (27.2.2011). 

 

jussiveikkanen.com

teamsky.com

 

Next Sunday will also be the time for the annual skiing event, Vasaloppet. This 90km cross country ski race will be broadcasted live, also on-line at svtplay.se. As highlights from the past years is the great effort made by the swedish skier, Staffan Larsson who due to knee problems had to push himself along with his ski sticks all the way! He finished as 5th only 4 minutes behind the winner and led the race until the 73th km. Check the video below!

svtplay.se

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Tasty Tuesday

Instead of working and studying we decided to do some coffee tasting in the city of Turku. There are quite a few coffee places, but only a few with proper espresso. Most of the places serve the filtered normal coffee or espresso that's not espresso. So we decided to check out some of the places that actually offer some real espresso.

La Caffetiera is a nice small cafeteria that also offers lunch. The place is located at Kupittaa, Turku. It's nice and cosy, but it is only open between 10.30-15.00, which is a pity because they have some nice espresso that would be nice to grab before lectures. The coffee they use is Caffè Manuel which has a nice soft taste, that would probably also be quite gentle as a doppio. I would probably rate it with 8.0/10.0 points. Also the staff is really nice.

 

The second place that also has a really nice atmosphere is Cafè Art located close to the aura river. During summer they also have tables outside, which is great because of the location. The barista at Cafè Art is also one of the best in Finland. They use their own blends in the coffee. The taste is somewhat bitter (especially the last sip), but nonetheless it is pretty good. Probably around 7.0/10.0. If you want to have Cappuccino, you will surely get a nice piece of art made by the barista. 

 

 

The third place we visited was Cafè Sirius located at the main library in Turku. The place is owned by real Italians and is pretty awesome. The place might not look like an original Italian cafeteria, but the food is good and the coffee is really nice too. The coffee used here is Caffè Mokambo, and is probably the best coffee in of the ones we tried, getting 8.5/10.0. It is a bit stronger than the Caffè Manuel, but not as bitter as the one served in Cafè Art. Leaves a nice taste afterwards. 

 

 

The last place we visited was Tintå located close to the aura river. It is a really cosy place with neat wine lists and good food, probably one of the most popular places in Turku at the moment. They also serve good coffee, even though it is not as good as the other ones mentioned. They use Cafè Moak, which is good, but is a little too thin to the taste. It might be because of the fact that they seemed to use capsules in the machine. The overall rating would be around 7.0/10.0. 

 

And of course there are more places to get good coffee from in Turku, but I still haven't been to a place that would offer as good coffee as the cafeterias in Italy have. Maybe its about the fact that you are in Italy that makes it. But then again, maybe the experience is a big part of your espresso...

 

Cafè Roma, Ancona, Italy

 

And of course, what would a tasty tuesday be without checking out a local bike store and some rims....

Bike Fitting

Something i have been thinking about doing this spring, before the season begins is bike fitting. Roadd.cc posted a video about bike fitting on a Trek Madone. It's about setting up the bike properly for your body, and to do this in Finland costs you around 150€ (PROBIKE)

 

 

The SICI fitting process begins with an extensive interview and then progresses to measurements, a physical assessment and dynamic, on-bike positioning on a fully adjustable Serotta Size Cycle or your personal bike. The on-bike positioning begins with the feet and travels up the body to the hands. We apply principles of physiology and biomechanics to your unique blueprint to tailor a position just for you.

 

I also found an interesting article about Saddle Sores, and in the general advice section, there was a mentioning about talking about cycling...

Nobody else cares about your cycling as much as you. This includes your partner and work colleagues.

......

Remember, this is general advice. If symptoms persist consult your doctor.  Or if you still have any, talk to your non-cycling friends.

 

I'll try to remember this in the future (probably i won't).