food

Rapha Festive 500, almost there

Having days 1-3 done, with almost 300 km ridden, I headed towards day 4 and 5. I started feeling myself a bit tired already, but wasn't prepared for what awaited me early on from day 4...

 

Rapha Festive 500 - Day 4

The day began with mixed feelings. The weather was good, the sun was shining for the first (and apparently last time) during this challenge, but I was tired and could have slept for a couple of more hours. But because the day is so short in Finland, I needed to get going. Immediately as I started I felt pain in my knees, both of them. I hoped it would just go over after a few kilometers, but it didn't. It was quite nasty, both knees felt as there would be a needle inside, and that needle picked the knee from inside with each pedal-stroke. Some 10 km in the ride I started thinking about abandoning, and made a stop at 20 km to give the knees a rest. After the short pause, I started pedaling, and it felt bad, maybe not as bad as moments before, but still bad. I decided to go on, the sun was shining and if my knees would collapse, I would call a taxi. Well I made those 107 kilometers, after many ups and downs.

At my restplace in the forest, I found a boat. Strange place for a boat one could say.

At my restplace in the forest, I found a boat. Strange place for a boat one could say.

Felt F65X

Felt F65X

Amazing light, no more darkness!

Amazing light, no more darkness!

For the first time, may I present, my shadow!

For the first time, may I present, my shadow!

Second stop at 40 km

Second stop at 40 km

Neat little river

Neat little river

Never tired of having sunshine

Never tired of having sunshine

More nice light and river

More nice light and river

Still like the looks of the bike

Still like the looks of the bike

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My new favorite ride-snack, salted and roasted Cashew nuts!

My new favorite ride-snack, salted and roasted Cashew nuts!

Almost smiling

Almost smiling

Moments later I spotted cyclists in the distance

Moments later I spotted cyclists in the distance

Rode with them for some 5 km, unfortunately there was one puncture during this time. Great co-operation here! Not to mention the motivation boost you get when you meet fellow cyclists.

Rode with them for some 5 km, unfortunately there was one puncture during this time. Great co-operation here! Not to mention the motivation boost you get when you meet fellow cyclists.

Then it was time for sunset

Then it was time for sunset

Last signs of light

Last signs of light

Arriving home, food awaited!

Arriving home, food awaited!

I never get tired eating good food

I never get tired eating good food

Rapha Festive 500 - Day 5

I was afraid I wouldn't be able to continue today due to my knees. They still hurt but I decided to go for it. Putting on my legwarmers i realized what could have caused the knee-pain. I've been riding with both knee- and leg-warmers and this causes high pressure on the knee and forces the kneecap tighter to the knee. That would also explain why the whole knee is kind of tender to the touch as well. So today I rode without the knee-warmers. The ones I use are the Castelli Nanoflex warmers. The knees did hurt, pretty bad at times, but I managed to finish today's 65 km ride as planned. It was really chilly and windy, the coldest day so far, almost froze my feet. Luckily I had a pair of SealSkinz Winter Handle Bar Mittens with me. Perfect gloves!

Freezing weather today

Freezing weather today

No more sunshine, icy rain and wind

No more sunshine, icy rain and wind

These saved my hands today

These saved my hands today

They really are warm

They really are warm

Day 4

Day 5

So one day to go, only 40 kilometers planned, but with my knees being sore, hard to even walk with, I won't party until I've really ridden all 500 kilometers. But if I make it, I just might celebrate the new year's eve with one for this one!

raphaalmost.png

 

Let's keep our fingers crossed

Pirkan Pyöräily 2013

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. 

4:15 am, heading towards Tampere

4:15 am, heading 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. 

Bike set up and ready to go

Bike set up and ready to go

My number

My number

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.

Alexander Stubb before start

Alexander Stubb before start

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.

Pirkan Pyöräily at the start

Pirkan Pyöräily at the start

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!  

Relax!

Relax!

Stacking up

As we get closer to the new outdoor season, it's time to go trough the old clothing and update the cycling wardrobe. Time to open up the wallet once again, but saving on clothing will cost you on the road. Freezing, numb toes together with sweaty yet cold torso will make you regret you sorted the price list view from low to high and didn't bother to scroll down. Today I received the first pre-season shipment..

Clif energy bars to keep me energized on my rides and the ultimate energy drink, High5 Electrolyte drink. Can't get enough of this magnificent drink.

Clif energy bars to keep me energized on my rides and the ultimate energy drink, High5 Electrolyte drink. Can't get enough of this magnificent drink.

It's hard to find a really tasty, yet nutritious and healthy energy bar. I've found the Clif and Maxim energy bars to be the ones getting closest to meeting those requirements

It's hard to find a really tasty, yet nutritious and healthy energy bar. I've found the Clif and Maxim energy bars to be the ones getting closest to meeting those requirements

And to once again show you something else than food:

The view from the "office" (watching Biathlon on the laptop to the left)

The view from the "office" (watching Biathlon on the laptop to the left)

Being first one at the office has its glory

Being first one at the office has its glory

Just a couple of days and it's weekend again!

Sunday, so where's the sun?

Looking out the window, it still doesn't look like we would be a month from getting out with our bikes. Actually that doesn't worry me too much. Training indoors on my trainer is not half as bad as the previous years, so make it a month and a half and I'm not worried at all ;) A week has gone again and this week included some progress at the gym, added on some weights as the power training phase approaches. Otherwise I've been eating and making some nice workouts on the trainer. Next week will end the last base training plan, and Sunday will include a FTP progress test before stepping into the first power build phase. Really looking forward to do that test. Meanwhile I'll enjoy the rest of the day watching Biathlon and rocking on that trainer.

Celebrating Runeberg

Celebrating Runeberg

Laskiaispulla, Italian coffee and Ice Hockey

Laskiaispulla, Italian coffee and Ice Hockey

I realized I didn't eat junk-food in a looong time, so I needed to try it out. Good? Yes.

I realized I didn't eat junk-food in a looong time, so I needed to try it out. Good? Yes.

Saturday night snack and TV

Saturday night snack and TV

I realized this site is starting to look like a food blog.. Really looking forward to hammer those pedals again!

I realized this site is starting to look like a food blog.. Really looking forward to hammer those pedals again!

Oh, it's snowing again.. Enjoy your Sunday!

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Weekend routines

Just awesome to be back in business (training) after a period of snuffles and crappy feeling. Now a week into daily training routines and it all feels superb. And tomorrow I'll have the first FTP test that will illustrate the progress made so far. It's a pity I had a 4 week break in the middle of the training, it will surely have an effect on the FTP test. But still, I'm pretty hopeful about the outcome. I hope I'm able to add at least + 5 watts to my FTP. I'll let you know how it went when I'm done with it, and also enlighten a little bit how the training actually looks like and how it's all done.

Morning gym

Morning gym

Post workout food

Post workout food

Nothing better than a proper meal with fruits, eggs, sausages, vegetables, freshly pressed orange juice and Italian coffee.

Nothing better than a proper meal with fruits, eggs, sausages, vegetables, freshly pressed orange juice and Italian coffee.

I also received new pedals, the Look Keo Blade (Carbon), and used them now for a week. Really snappy and stable pedals, a big upgrade from my old pedals. I'll write more about them when I've been able to test them outdoors as well.

Look Keo Blade (Carbon) pedals

Look Keo Blade (Carbon) pedals

Enjoy the weekend!

Going green

For one who loves food, Christmas can be a heaven. It's often not easy to resist something you're offered just once a year. So because I know I will be eating a lot of fatty (yummy) food during a couple of days, I've been adding more green stuff on my plate than usually. And I might stick to that even after Christmas.

Your body will thank you for adding that green stuff on the plate

I also found this neat video on velonews, from Haute Route 2012. It's a 7 day 7 stage cyclosportive across the Alps/Pyrenees, and is one of the things I want to do before my days on the bike are over. It is said to be the toughest cyclosportive in the world.

Enjoy your Saturday evening!

A day in an amateur cyclist's life

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?

A proper breakfast, something you often wouldn't have time to have. But critical, especially if you have a day in the saddle

A cyclist is nothing without coffee

This is when you know it's off season

So instead of going out for a ride you head for the local gym

Did I mention coffee already? Italian coffee

After workout (not pint) shake

Never forget about food. A snack every now and then keeps you going. And yes I do eat  a lot of pasta (especially during summer), but I didn't want to make pasta just to show you a picture of pasta.

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...

Enjoy!