cycling in snow

Cycling in cold weather and snow

After a long period  without snow here in southern Finland the really cold weather is back. The temperature has stayed between -10 and -20 degrees, hence I've stayed inside doing trainer exercises all week. But today since the sun was finally shining, I decided to take a ride despite some -15 degrees celcius. It was also a perfect weather to try out my new winter cycling shoes, the Northwave Fahrenheit GTX (Gore-Tex) Winter Road Shoes. 

The Northwave Fahrenheit GTX (Gore-Tex) Winter Road Shoes

The Northwave Fahrenheit GTX (Gore-Tex) Winter Road Shoes

I also had suffered many punctures lately and made a thorough check on the tires. And it struck me how bad that gravel they shovel on the icy roads really are for tires. They're sharp as glass and really cut through those tires, had several smaller pieces that had made some small damage already, and one that had cut through and caused the punctures.

That "gravel" is like glass

That "gravel" is like glass

 I repaired the tire, changed the inner tube and headed out. I wore several layers of warm clothing, breathable and windproof. That's a must do if you are riding in temperatures below -10 degrees.

Late afternoon

Late afternoon

After 10 kilometers I had to stop because my feet were freezing. Fortunately I had a pair of neoprene shoe covers with me, so I just put those on and continued. I would estimate that the Northwave Fahrenheit GTX Winter Road Shoes will be able to handle some -5 degrees but if the temperature goes below that, you probably want to add another layer on top of that. I'll review the shoes when I have more hours on them.

Felt F65X bathing in sun...

Felt F65X bathing in sun...

After one and a half hour I made a short stop to take some photos. At this point it was - 15 degrees and a sign of cold weather could be seen as a layer of ice on my collar.

Icy collar

Icy collar

Snowy scenery

Snowy scenery

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Even if it was cold, I didn't freeze. But I guess my body still reacted to the freezing weather. I had a pretty high average heart-rate even if i didn't put much effort into pedaling. The sun was setting just before I got home. Have to admit it was pretty nice to watch.

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I had one bottle of warm water with me when I left home, but after 20 minutes it was already so cold I didn't want to drink it, and after one hour it was all frozen. When I got home the bottle looked like this:

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It seems we won't see much of the sun during next week, and the temperatures will continue to stay below - 10 degrees. Good thing I went out today and enjoyed the weather.

 

Enjoy your weekend!

Rapha Festive 500 countdown

It's not many days until Christmas, and same goes for the Rapha Festive 500 challenge. As mentioned earlier I'll be tracking live with Endomondo. To ensure my kilometers will be tracked I will use two phones tracking, one to Endomondo and the other to Strava. So if my Garmin Edge 500 for some reason fails I'll have a backup. 

2 x Galaxy S3 phones takes care of back-up tracking

2 x Galaxy S3 phones takes care of back-up tracking

Main device will be my Garmin Edge 500

Main device will be my Garmin Edge 500

I've been closely monitoring the weather as well. It seems I will be riding in some heavy winds, with temperatures slightly above zero and rain mixed with snow and ice. Not the conditions you'd like to have, but then again, with perfect weather conditions this wouldn't be a challenge right? I have added a small weather widget to the left hand side of the page. That will tell you what the weather condition is at the moment here in Turku.

I will also be doing some video from my rides. Hopefully I'll receive my helmet mount for the GoPro Hero 3 before Christmas, I was lucky to be able to borrow the camera from a friend (thanks Antti!), since mine was stolen in Italy.

I will also record some video with this, GoPro Hero 3

I will also record some video with this, GoPro Hero 3

I hope you all are ready for the holidays, looking at Twitter and Facebook, it seems many of you are enjoying your last day at work today before heading for Christmas.

Drive safe!

Cycling, snow and pigs

A great weekend behind, and to be honest I felt it this morning. Some good kilometers in snow and great food and loads of it. Sunday began with watching Biathlon and eating a proper breakfast with porridge, fruits and freshly pressed orange juice.

Proper breakfast = good ride

Proper breakfast = good ride

Kaisa Mäkäräinen made a pretty decent job in Sunday's competition, still need to work on the shooting, but I'm confident about Sochi and at least one medal. Next up was preparing dinner and heading out for another snowy ride. Today would be a good day of food and cycling. Before heading out I was to prepare the piggy for the oven.

Pulled pork on the menu

Pulled pork on the menu

Piggy after half an hour

Piggy after half an hour

The pig would stay in the oven for 4 hours, meanwhile, I would head out. It was -6 degrees Celsius and I actually could still use the Castelli Nanoflex warmers, pretty good gear I'd say! On top of the Castelli fawesome Gilet I would also have a Craft winterjacket.

Some of the gear

Some of the gear

Ready to rob.. roll

Ready to rob.. roll

Mud-cake works pretty good as a ride-snack

Mud-cake works pretty good as a ride-snack

It's important to be seen, even from behind!

It's important to be seen, even from behind!

Really looks like winter already

Really looks like winter already

Grey..

Grey..

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View from the office

View from the office

Pulling Pork

Pulling Pork

Pulled pork

Pulled pork

Still digesting the good rides and the perfect pork!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Cycling in snow part 2

While cycling to work this morning, I realized to my disappointment that they had been plowing the snow around the church. Yesterday, that place offered a nice challenge to an otherwise dull ride to/from work. Even though I'm more than happy with this snow (read: dislike winter), it was nice to see it had been snowing all day, which meant a hustle on the way home again.

This awaited me after a day at work

It seems as many are struggling with cycling in snow. A winter cycling tip for all of you, let out some of your tire pressure, not too much so you damage your rims, but enough to be able to squeeze the tire slightly. This will give you a better grip. Another tip is to look out for trails in the snow, they might cause some bumping, so prepare for a slight movement sideways and avoid heavy counter steering, that will throw you off the bike!

Ride safe!

Influenza time

Sore throat, runny nose, aching muscles.. It's that time of the year again. There are ways to avoid the influenza besides keeping your hands clean and trying not to rub your face. Especially when living in these northern latitudes, when you don't see the sun, it's important to get enough vitamins. So because my eating habits are sometimes not the best, I did some shopping today. In the pharmacy that is..

Vitamin D, C and Omega 3 supplements ( I know there are doubts about these, but as long as you believe in them they'll work)

So I'll skip my workout today, eat healthy and work on that placebo effect!

Yummy warm spinach soup with eggs

PS. A 29er is awesome in snow!

Keep yourself warm!

Winter Wonderland

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. 

My Haro Mary SS

A colorful fixie in the snow

The first snowstorm a week ago

A proper Espresso Doppio keeps you warm and focused

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.

Biathlon, coffee, gingerbread and ice hockey

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. 

Enjoy folks!