The wait is soon over, the 2015 racing season will finally begin this Sunday. It will be a short 55 km introduction to lactate overdose for my body that has been sleeping for almost half a year. You can do a race hard despite the shortness of it, and I guess I'm ready to digest the lactate.
It has been a great couple of weeks with a lot going on around Fincycling. As I am writing this, the team is heading for Otepää, Estonia for the second training camp this spring. The first training camp was held in Tikkurila between March 21st and 22nd. Another important event, a press conference, was held on Monday March 30th. A new team and new sponsors were introduced and the event was well noticed by the Finnish press. In this article you can read about the first training camp, the Fincycling 2015 team, the schedule for 2015 and about the Fincycling press conference.
My Facebook news feed was filled with road cycling pictures last weekend. Those pictures were taken by cyclists who had enjoyed the great weather. I too enjoyed the sun and had a pretty good week of training, some 15 hours in the saddle and plenty of sunshine. Riding outside, spending longer times in the saddle actually felt super good and the body adapted to it immediately. No fatigue whatsoever. No looking at the Garmin 810 to look for how many kilometers I had tracked or how many hours I got left until I could head home. Just pure enjoyment.
Spring is the time we all cyclists wait for. When we can finally put the trainer aside and start hitting intervals and introduce those long Sunday rides again. And that feeling of power transmitting from your legs to the pedals and all the way down to the asphalt, that feeling is amazing, your bike actually moves forward! But spring is not all sunshine and rainbows. The air is usually heavily polluted during the first spring months. This because of loads of dirt and sand is still not washed away after the winter. I spoke to Matti Huutonen, meteorologist at YLE, about air pollution, street dust and how concerned we really should be about cycling outside when the air quality is poor.
Now its not often a cyclist in Finland can update such topics in the first days of March. I am fortunate to be able to do it this year. Last year I did my first road bike ride 26th of March. Some years ago I was not able to begin the outdoor season until April. This year I got to type those words in my training calendar as early as 1st of March. I feel privileged and I have never been this excited before a season. The GoExpo fair in Helsinki is also one of the first signs of spring. I visited the fair last weekend.
It has been a couple of really strange weeks, both in good and bad. It feels as if the ups and downs have both peaked in an abnormal way. I won't go into any details about the downs, but I guess you need them every now and then to really figure out what's important in life. I've been fortunate to have many ups as well, and those I'm more than glad to share with you.
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.
The Fincycling project continues to grow as we saw an agreement between the Cycling Union of Finland (Suomen Pyöräilyunioni ry) and Fincycling take shape January 6th 2015. The great efforts done by the whole Fincycling team has paid off, and for the coming years 2015 - 2017, Fincycling will be taking care of the U19 boys training and racing schedule. This if something is a proof of a job well done and shows the level of trust for this project.
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.
It's now a couple of days since the 2014 Rapha Festive 500 was completed. Last year I did the challenge for the first time ever, and due to only a few hours in the saddle during December I decided to give my legs the gift of trying to complete the Festive 500 again this year. The weather would be completely different from last year and that I was to learn that.
It is that time of the year again. It's Christmas and with Christmas Holidays comes the Rapha Festive 500. For you who don't know what the Rapha Festive 500 is, you can read the Rapha article here. In a nutshell, you need to complete 500 km outdoors on your bike between Christmas and New Year's eve.
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!
Today was that day, when you know you will go through some pain and desperation. It has been too long since my last FTP test, so I honestly was unsure what to expect. Something less than during summer but more than last year same time. Having had some time off the bike in October and mainly easier workouts lately, I knew this could be really painful.
Today was like yesterday, but the the sun was finally visible! In November in Finland that means it will be colder. And cold it was. On the countryside the temperature was below zero. I was kind of prepared. I had triple shoe-covers, neoprene toe-covers by Castelli, water and wind resistant summer shoe-covers and on top neoprene shoe-covers. Still, approaching the second hour in the saddle my toes started to freeze. But I managed to do almost 3,5 hours without bigger problems.
Yesterday was a proof of the power of thought. I went out for a ride, and halfway I realized my saddlebag was left home. I'd been training on the trainer already for a week and therefore removed it. Well I thought, I only had one or two punctures this year, I can't have that bad luck it would happen just now.