finland

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.

Lattomeriajo 2015

Lattomeriajo 2015

Lattomeriajot is the traditional season opening race for the Finnish road cycling clubs. This year the race was ridden in Ulvila and consisted of a 25 km lap that was either ridden 2, 3 or 4 times depending on which group you were riding in. The race (Elite) was won by Roope Nurmi (TWD-Länken).

Road Cycling in Archipelago

Probably one of the most beautiful places you can take your road bike to in Finland is the archipelago. You can ride the whole archipelago trail ( 250 km / 155 miles ), or the shorter ( 100km / 62 miles ). The longer route you'll find here, and if you want to read more about the archipelago trail, you'll find some information here. I did the longer one last summer in really chilly conditions and that was one of the hardest days on the bike in rain and + 12 degrees (read the blog post here).

Last weekend I took my road bike and headed for our summerplace in Nauvo/Nagu, and the weather was very different from last year, + 25 and sunshine. 

On the ferry between the mainland and Nauvo

On the ferry between the mainland and Nauvo

Travelling to the summerplace

Travelling to the summerplace

It's so amazing being in the archipelago, no cars, just the sound from the nature. Pretty much the only place where you can completely relax.

How about waking up to this view?

How about waking up to this view?

We also took a boat trip to Utö, located in the outer archipelago. Superb weather.

The Utö lighthouse

The Utö lighthouse

Fishing huts

Fishing huts

Beautiful landscapes

Beautiful landscapes

I often talk about food. Smoked fish is one of my favorites and that's what we did. What's better than self-smoked fish?

Yum

Yum

On the way back from the archipelago I had to make a stop. Finnish summer can really be awesome, and a warm day in June has plenty of absolutely fantastic aromas. One of them is the smell from the wild strawberries. It's hard not to make a stop and just pick a handful of them. 

True taste

True taste

And what's better than coming home, sitting down in the sofa and watching a mountain stage of the Tour de France? 

Relax

Relax

If you ever have a possibility to take a ride in the Finnish archipelago, please do it!

 

Have a good one! 

 

Royal Cycling

Tomorrow is the third race of the year for me, Royal Cycling (Royal Pyöräily) in Lahti, Finland. It will be a 132 km long route with around 300 riders starting. Youll find the route here. The route is somewhat hilly, and really looking forward for the hills at the end. A fast 2,8 km long uphill section just 10 km before finish. Whatever group I'll ride in, that's a place to make a breakaway in. So hopefully I'll have fresh legs tomorrow.

Elevation graphics

Elevation graphics

As usual, you're able to track my ride on Endomondo. The live tracking link should appear on my Endomondo page here or alternative you can actually follow it straight from my site here on The Invisible Hill under main menu, Races/Live tracking here.

We will start at 6 am, so once again a really early wakeup. Hopefully I'm able to get some proper sleep. 

Today was once again a great day of road cycling. A proper breakfast, coffee, and out for a short ride with a couple of short sprint-intervals just to get the legs going.

Pre-ride espresso

Pre-ride espresso

And what could be better after that, than watching a great mountain stage of Tour de France and have some proper food and coffee. Superb effort by Team Sky and Chris Froome, not to mention Richie Porte. Huge. I just hope Contador, Valverde or someone else could make it a good fight for Team Sky. If the domination is like today, it might be a boring last 2 weeks of the tour.  

Rice, chicken and green beans, my fuel-up-for-a-race-nutrition, always

Rice, chicken and green beans, my fuel-up-for-a-race-nutrition, always

So I'll keep you updated tomorrow on the facebook page with pictures from along the day. The weather should be great, hopefully my legs are great too.

No summer without wild strawberries, a must-stop when you see these on a easy ride. 

No summer without wild strawberries, a must-stop when you see these on a easy ride. 

Until next time, enjoy the summer, ride your bikes!

Leaving June, inviting summer?

A month has passed again, and it seems the weather hasn't changed a lot since last update. Rain and chilly weather has been the dominant condition and that can be seen in my ridden kilometres as well. But that will change soon, hopefully. A month is a long time, so I won't bore you with long stories, instead I'll try to recap the month in pictures. Hope you find them interesting!

This is how the summer has unfortunately looked a lot like this year

Many years I've wanted to ride the saariston rengastie, and this summer I finally did it. The total route was 180km, but I made a stop for a couple of days to our summerplace south of Nauvo.I took the route counter clockwise and the first ferry was after 80km in KustaviUnfortunately the weather was rainy and chilly (+12 C ), and I was wearing summerclothing so I ended up freezing quite a lot during the stops. Fortunately I had a jacket and a gilet to wear.Before leaving, I made a small note for myself to know the distances between the ferries and their schedules144km since leaving from Turku, I reached my destination. Felt pretty good after all rain and freezing!And there waited the thing that kept me going, Sauna!Fortunately the next couple of days were pretty good!Heading homeAnd fortunately the sun was also visiting Finland!On the ferry between Nauvo and the mainlandClear skiesI also had the opportunity to try out the new ultegra Di2 groupset. It was really a neat thing to be able to change gears smoothly during climbs and putting effort on the pedals. Also it adjusts pretty accurate even if you have the chain crossed.

Electronical shifting is the future, pretty sure about itThe groupset was attached to a Trek Madone 5.9One of the 4-5 sunny riding days this month. Makes you smile!Midsummerweather was perfect, here a steamship taking people out to the archipelago from TurkuCycling home the next morning, 5 amHope you enjoyed the pictures, I'll be back with more stuff next week, and some updates coming up on the site as well.

 

Have a good one!

 

Spring in pictures

The Giro d'Italia is turning towards the end and my first cycling event this year, Giro d'Espoo is only one week away. The spring is once again turning into summer, and in a couple of weeks we are stepping into June, the first real summer-month, at least up here. Every season we try to find new routes to ride here in Turku, and we've found a couple of really nice routes that we've never ridden before. At some point I'll provide you with more detailed workout data on these pages, so you can have a closer look at the routes, but more about that later on. 

Naantali in early MayFishing here seemed to be popularOne new route we found took us to the inner archipelago (click to open in googlemaps)Here we also found a JupiterAnd a great steep but short hill!Bikes need to be taken care of as well, so we took the bikes to the countryside for a wash

A clean Canyon Ultimate CF 8.0And a great example of finnish design, Tunturi PopThe spring hasn't been that warm, hence we've mostly ridden shorter rides (40-90km), but before the Giro d'Espoo, I wanted to make at least one a bit longer ride (120km). So a sunny sunday I took my bike for yet another new route towards the archipelago.

The ferry to Velkua (click to open in Googlemaps)Sunbathing on the ferryTired of looking at my bike? I'm not......neither were the cows!Finnish archipelagoI'm also happy to see our cycling community grow. What used to be just 3 guys, has now turned into a mixed pack of around 10 riders, and even if it is nice to ride alone pushing yourself to the limits, group rides are a great way to enjoy cycling and friends. Today's busy schedules made it pretty hard to find someone to ride with, but this year with more riders, we've already enjoyed a few rides together.

Slipstreaming, or almost slipstreamingEnjoying the weatherRuissalo in Turku offers a really neat scenery for all outdoor activities (click to open in googlemaps)I hope you enjoyed the pictures, I'll be posting more, but for your sake I'll try to keep the posts short and interesting. 

 

Enjoy what's left of spring!

 


Early Spring in pictures

Before reaching the 2000km (1250miles) mark of this year we've experienced everything from snow, icy rain to sunshine. Sunday March the 11th was the day that brought us back on the roads, with a pleasant sunny weather and some +6 degrees celcius. Yet there was plenty of snow around, which made the little breeze quite chilly. 

Bike all set up for the outdoor season


Proper clothing is important in any weather condition


All smiles


Setting up the Garmin device for outdoor use


Plenty of snow, but the roads were almost all dryAlmost all the roads...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunbathing in +6 degrees (C)


It was a pretty dirty job..


A week later, icy rain and + 3 degrees was pretty nasty

April was quite cold here in Finland, but fortunately we had at least a couple of good sunny days to ride our bikes.

Taking the ferry to Attu in late april


Run out of energy bars, so I had to use these finnish Karelian pies instead. Unfortunately my stomach didn't like them during exercise, I felt really bad and had to fight against throwing up later during the ride. But they're really tasty in any other occasion!


First ride without arm warmers was ridden in late April


A fallen off chain.....and just seconds later back on the bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icy rides in March are already forgotten


Even the donkeys are out, enjoying the spring!

I hope you enjoyed the pics, I'll be back with more stuff again soon. The Giro d'Italia is about to start in just a couple of days and there are also other stuff on the agenda!

 

 

Ci Vediamo!

Do you recognize yourself?

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.

-peopleforbikes.org

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.

The Aura River in Turku, Finland

 Yea, there is a river to the left, but it's frozen

 

 

Over and out!

Finland is the Ice Hockey World Champion 2011

Last night it happened after a long 16 years of waiting. Finland became the new Ice Hockey World Champions! After a slow start Finland boosted up in the second period and took a glorious 6-1 win over Sweden. Finland went crazy! The feeling on the streets was awesome, people were singing, shouting, crying and dancing long into the night. This win is important for the finnish people, bringing us together and brining up that brotherhoodly feeling we usually lack in this country. 

Thank you Finnish Lions!!

picture taken from iihf.com

 

Cycling Sunday

Today has been a real Cycling Sunday with an easy bikeride in some 16 degrees and sunshine, and also today Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the oldest of the Classics will end the Spring-classics before Giro d'italia next month.

Some pictures from the first rides this year:

 

 

And a short video from today's ride: