turku

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas?

Note: This is a long post, but has loads of pictures so should be easy reading.

One of the best mornings of the week is Sunday. It's the morning when you have time to read the morning newspapers, drink you favorite coffee and have a proper breakfast. But it definitely does not look like Christmas. It's raining outside and the fact that Christmas Eve is on Tuesday feels kind of distant. But that's the way it is this year. Yesterday was another rainy ride outside, just 60 kilometers, but believe me it felt as 90. Yesterday was also the darkest day of the year, when the day here in Turku was 5 hours and 44 minutes long, with the sun setting just after 3 PM.

Grey countryside

Grey countryside

Greyscale continues

Greyscale continues

At a distance, the bike looks clean

At a distance, the bike looks clean

The office

The office

It was also the last ride for me before the Rapha Festive 500 challenge, where I need to be doing more than 80 kilometers (50 miles) a day, since I will be away on Christmas Eve. Will be some really hard days in the saddle, at least looking at the forecast now with rain, heavy winds and some degrees above zero. 

Inspirational?

Inspirational?

Rear view

Rear view

How about a smile?

How about a smile?

The darkest day of the year

The darkest day of the year

These were the last ride pictures before Christmas, and next ones will be from the Rapha Festive 500. Because it's not at all like Christmas, I had to make it feel like Christmas, so I bought myself a Christmas tree. I think I found a pretty nice one, and no, I didn't steal it. And no, I do not have a star on top of it.

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Web IMG_2781.jpg

I also bought some new coffee beans, Arabica blends. It is roasted by one of my favorite roastery, Kaffa Roastery. The Go'Kväll (Good evenin') and Tauko (Break) both have a great aroma and surely have a great taste as well. The Tauko (Break), will be travelling with me on my Rapha Festive 500 challenge as well. Figured out the name fits perfect and coffee is a must have for a cold ride.

Kaffa GoKväll and Tauko

Kaffa GoKväll and Tauko

So before I take a short break, I want to wish you all a really great Christmas. Remember to eat loads of good food and enjoy just relaxing with your family, friends and close ones.

Enjoy!

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Cyclists against unsafe city planning

Turku, the city where I live in is not known for great city planning for cyclists. It's far from safe to get around the city center with your bike. Recently the Turku municipal property corporation board voted down a proposition that would have made entering the city center both easier and safer for cyclists. The local cycling association, Turun polkupyöräilijät (Åbo cyclister) organized a demonstrative cycling event through the city center. They managed to gather around 200 cyclists (which is pretty good for a small city like Turku) for this demonstration. Unfortunately I was not able to participate, but I was there with my camera. Below you can browse through them, and if you like to have them in full size, just contact me and we'll arrange that. Enjoy!

Wrapping up the week

It's really strange to say, it's December. When did that happen? The good thing is that one of the dark rainy months has already passed and only a few to go before the outdoor season starts again (well a few..). As usual, I think pictures are nicer to browse on a Sunday evening, therefore I'll bombard you with them instead of words. I'm also planning to do something I've never done before, a real adventure. I'll tell you more about that next week, or before christmas ;)

After a long day you need to fill up your energy levels

After a long day you need to fill up your energy levels

There is no day without coffee

There is no day without coffee

Besides coffee, beer and cycling kind of goes together. Great source of vitamins. Wine should neither be forgotten.

Besides coffee, beer and cycling kind of goes together. Great source of vitamins. Wine should neither be forgotten.

First hard FTP test done this indoor season. This is when you really feel you are alive, that burning in your lungs and legs. The work for season 2014 has begun!

First hard FTP test done this indoor season. This is when you really feel you are alive, that burning in your lungs and legs. The work for season 2014 has begun!

Post workout nutrition. You should really try the Sierra Nevada Torpedo as well, superb IPA! Visit Sierra Nevada Brewery at  http://www.sierranevada.com/

Post workout nutrition. You should really try the Sierra Nevada Torpedo as well, superb IPA! Visit Sierra Nevada Brewery at http://www.sierranevada.com/

The Christmas tree has arrived and was lit up this weekend

The Christmas tree has arrived and was lit up this weekend

First signs of freezing water on the Aura river

First signs of freezing water on the Aura river

Sunday mornings, morning paper and proper breakfast. Life.

Sunday mornings, morning paper and proper breakfast. Life.

I hope you all had a great weekend. I'll upload some more stats about training, upcoming events and site updates during the upcoming month. Stay tuned!

A picture I took early Friday morning, I need to admit, there can be nice mornings in November as well..

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Have a great week!

 

 

Surviving the darkness

It's the time of the year when it's dark when you go to work in the morning and dark when you come back home in the afternoon. Especially up here in northern Europe you really need to compensate those lost sunny hours with vitamins. Today I filled my vitamin reserves with some more vitamin C, D, B and fish oil. I've decided I'll jump on the trainer tomorrow. That means cleaning up the bike properly today.

Getting home today (Turku cathedral)

Getting home today (Turku cathedral)

 

Remember the vitamins!

Racing against feeling

Tomorrow is the last race before the main goal, Tour de Helsinki September 1st. Finally I'm able to start from my hometown Turku. Myllyn Pyöräily takes place tomorrow, a 136 km race around the Turku region and the start line is only 1 km from my door, great. Last week I participated in Eteläkärjen ajot, did not go that well due to stomach issues before the race, and still I'm struggling with the same problem. Don't know what's wrong, but fueling with a stomach like this is impossible. So we'll see how tomorrow will go. 

My number tomorrow

My number tomorrow

The start is at 10 am and I'm looking to finish within 4 hours. You are able to track me live again via Endomondo. My Endomondo page you'll find here.

I'll write you more about the two races next week.  

 

A week of punctures

Just a couple of weeks ago I talked to some friends about how few punctures I've had during the last couple of years, zero in fact. Well once again, one should never talk about those things, during last week I had three punctures. Luckily I've kept a reserve of tires and tubes, but still, it is somewhat frustrating to day after day have to make a stop because of a puncture. And before, driving into bumps and sand was no problem, but now, each time there is even a headwind, I look down at the tires and check if I have a puncture or not. And this again also proves that carrying replacement kit with you all the time is crucial.

First puncture resulted in a big blast

First puncture resulted in a big blast

Fortunately it is easy to replace inner tubes

Fortunately it is easy to replace inner tubes

First puncture was caused by worn out tires, and the second and third was caused probably by too old spare-tubes. Apparently you should renew your reserves every year or so. Mine were three years old and it seems they get "old" during that time.

A day later I was back changing tubes

A day later I was back changing tubes

The weather has been perfect, at the moment I'm sitting in the train from Helsinki to Turku and waiting to get out on the bike. It's +30 degrees and almost no wind. Makes me think of Italy almost. Talking about Italy, I have a cycling trip coming up in September. I'll write more about that later, but it'll be superb, really looking forward to it! 

Waiting to get home

Waiting to get home

Enjoy the weather!

Road cycling season so far

The weather for road cycling has been superb this year. At least most of the time. I've been spending some 130 hours on the bike this year, and that's a early season record. I aim at having that figure somewhere around 250 hours. We'll see how close I'll get. Instead of writing a lot, I'll share some pictures with you both on and off the saddle.

Early season preparations setting up the bike, should be done with espresso

Early season preparations setting up the bike, should be done with espresso

Early season team-ride

Early season team-ride

During a business-trip to Stockholm I visited Bianchi Café & Cycles, my favorite café, many times. You should really pay a visit here if you're in Stockholm! Click the picture to read more about the place!

During a business-trip to Stockholm I visited Bianchi Café & Cycles, my favorite café, many times. You should really pay a visit here if you're in Stockholm! Click the picture to read more about the place!

Waiting for the flight home

Waiting for the flight home

Taking a small brake on a long Sunday-ride

Taking a small brake on a long Sunday-ride

Giving it all is sometimes pretty exhausting...

Giving it all is sometimes pretty exhausting...

Rainy rides are not that bad when you are properly equipped

Rainy rides are not that bad when you are properly equipped

Attack!

Attack!

Easy evening ride in Ruissalo

Easy evening ride in Ruissalo

Green times in Attu

Green times in Attu

Pedalare pedalare!

Pedalare pedalare!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. 'Til next time, have a good one! 

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!

Post Giro d'Espoo 2013

Giro d'Espoo 2013 is now behind. I tried to keep this post as short as possible, but you know, sometimes that's difficult. I hope you don't fall asleep or bounce back to browsing through your facebook feed, at least not straight away. I also had a cam with me during the race so there's both video and pictures from the in-race, so you'll get a picture of how it is cycling in a bunch.

We needed to wake up quite early to get from Turku to Espoo in time. That time was 5.50am. Due to "whatever that thing in my knee was", I slept poorly, waking up every now and then to check how the knee felt. I managed to pour in some porridge and bread in me and 7.30 am the bike was in the car and we were traveling towards Espoo. Before packing the bike in, I took a short ride with the bike to feel how the knee felt while cycling. It didn't feel good at all.

7:30 am, ready to go

7:30 am, ready to go

Nervous we arrived to Espoo well before the start. We got our stuff from the organizers and went back to the car to prepare. Not only was I nervous because of my knee, but also because of the wind. I'd say it was around 10 m/s and winds gusting up to 15 m/s. Having probably many beginners in the group, these heavy wind conditions could be a dangerous thing to have. The only thought at this point was to be able to finish the race.

My number today

My number today

It was sunny though, and when we lined up for the start, I'd taken a short warm-up, and the knee felt a bit better. Hope started crawling upon me. It was again nice to see that cycling brings so many people together, and in a country like Finland where the public opinion is that you shouldn't talk to strangers, those barriers were all of a sudden removed. Had a nice talk with other cyclists and the mood was  good.

Bike ready for racing

Bike ready for racing

We, ready to race

We, ready to race

Cyclists lining up

Cyclists lining up

This picture might give you an idea of the wind...

This picture might give you an idea of the wind...

10 minutes before start

10 minutes before start

And then we rolled. The start was somewhat hectic as usual, but all in all the first kilometers went pretty okay. But the wind. I already felt we were in for a  pretty tough 3 hours in the saddle today.  

Passing the start/finish gate

Passing the start/finish gate

First unfortunate to have a puncture in the first 10km

First unfortunate to have a puncture in the first 10km

111 km is not that long a race, and in just a couple of hours we were well on our way to approach the finish. Passing 70 km we had some rain, but for me that was only a nice "refreshing" shower. The knee had functioned pretty ok, but I could feel the legs were already a bit tired. As usual, even if I had started in the front of the group I again found myself at the back of the group. And every 2-5km there were some gaps I had to close down when the cyclists in front of me were not able to follow the pace anymore. A bit frustrating situation. The idea is to ride in two lines, but in the very beginning people who for some reason think the will finish earlier at the front of the group will pass you who follow this principle of riding in two lines. They pass you on both left and right, making it sometimes pretty dangerous. And at some point, these cyclists find out the pace is too high and the fall behind. And this is where the "close down the gaps" begin.

Here's a visualization of a gap taking shape

Here's a visualization of a gap taking shape

The heavy wind made it extra difficult, especially when the wind was blowing from the side. Cycling in 50+km/h in some sections and suddenly getting a blast of wind from the side easily throws you 1-2 meters sideways. Fortunately I managed to hold on and avoided crashing. There was 3 small crashes in the bunch during the whole race. Those were all in uphill sections and caused by stupidity. The big picture though was pretty clean riding.

This is what causes problems, never do like this when you can not be sure there are no cars coming. And anyhow when you're riding in a pacegroup, you win nothing by taking the left lane.

This is what causes problems, never do like this when you can not be sure there are no cars coming. And anyhow when you're riding in a pacegroup, you win nothing by taking the left lane.

First almost crash

First almost crash

The problems seemed to build up towards the end

The problems seemed to build up towards the end

Same section just moments later

Same section just moments later

I knew there was a big hill at the 100km mark. Legs were slightly tired but I felt the effect of having that number on my back. When we got to the bottom of that climb I got out of the saddle and from the back of the bunch I got to the front, and kept on attacking. I was joined by a couple of other cyclists and together we kept a pretty good pace. The last 10 km are mostly downhill, only 3 hills to pass. I did the job in those climbs, otherwise the other guys kept the pace high. I was really enjoying cycling! My legs felt really good, I was able to follow all sprints easily and felt strong. I also tried to cheer the others to try to hang in. In the last km I still felt strong, and took the lead. Shouted out to the others to follow and made an increase in pace. Unfortunately the others were not able to follow, but still they had almost the same final time as I did. Breakaway groups are the best thing in cycling, and having a strong group is so motivating. There are no words to explain that.   

At the bottom of the hill where I made the attack. The front of the pacegroup is already at the top of the hill.

At the bottom of the hill where I made the attack. The front of the pacegroup is already at the top of the hill.

At the top of the same hill I've passed the front and was chasing down a breakaway

At the top of the same hill I've passed the front and was chasing down a breakaway

A moment later there was another hill, and I managed to pass the breakaway and started chasing the next group that would then be the breakaway that kept 'til the end

A moment later there was another hill, and I managed to pass the breakaway and started chasing the next group that would then be the breakaway that kept 'til the end

This guy, I assume his number was 625, was super strong and made a huge effort!

This guy, I assume his number was 625, was super strong and made a huge effort!

I arrived to finish with a time that was 4 minutes "worse" than last year. I was not disappointed, quite the opposite. The last 10 km was super strong riding, the time was worse because the group could not keep the pace quite as high as last year due to the heavy winds. 

Crossing the finish line

Crossing the finish line

At the finish we chatted with the "breakaway" guys and everyone was all smiles, me included. I also received a big thank you from a guy that was riding in the same start group. He had been riding behind me almost all the way, and thanked me for a steady and safe riding, that made his journey much more pleasant. It's always really nice to get this kind of feedback, and made me even more pleased with my race. It usually is hectic with braking and sprinting in a big group, but you can always minimize this by looking over the shoulder of the guy in front of you. By doing this you know what is happening and this minimizes sudden braking and situations usually does not come as surprises when you know what's happening in the group a couple of rows in front of you.  

At the finish, I also had some time to chat with Alexander Stubb. A great person who also enjoys cycling a lot. Always cheerful and happy to talk with you even if he would be busy (even if I had a Samsung to take this picture with, and not a Nokia).  

At the finish with Alexander Stubb. He had beaten my time, again.

At the finish with Alexander Stubb. He had beaten my time, again.

I waited at the finish for my friend to arrive, and during that time the muscles had cooled down and I could feel the pain in my knee, back and hip. I had probably unconsciously been careful with my knee while cycling, and hence probably did not ride in the best possible position. But that didn't matter at that point, I had finished, I didn't crash and it had once again been a superb race!

Klaus arriving

Klaus arriving

Recovery snack

Recovery snack

And here's a 20 minute video from the last 10 km and the breakaway (available in HD):

So if you ever doubt taking part in any cycling event, read this post again and just do it!

 

Hope you managed to stay awake all the way 'til the end.  

 

Have a good one! 

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!

 

Food 'n wood

The Restaurant Day is a one-day "carnival" when people around the world can set up a restaurant, café or a bar for a day. This event took place last Saturday, and we decided to include one of these places to our cycling route.

Click to open the official siteThe place we went to served pancakes, both sweet and salty and home made rhubarb-juice. The weather was awesome and loads of people had found their way to the same place, a beautiful farm just outside of Turku.

The place was called Kuralan kylämäki (click picture to open the finnish website)The MenuThe girls were really busyOn the farm they also had some kind of experience stuff, you could try shooting with bows and crossbows.

The guys training......before they headed for war. Had a good laugh, for me it looked like a scene from Lord of The Rings with bowmen heading for Mordor!

Strawberry jam, meringue and whipped cream!Last week i got my hands on one of these:

Click to open official websiteMyKnoaky is a small piece of Oak-wood that is designed by a Professional cyclist, Andreas Klier. MyKnoaky is a part of the plant-for-the-planet project. Read more about the neat idea on the official website:http://myknoaky.com/

You can find this piece of wood on many bikes in the pro-pelotonThe story behind MyKnoakyI planted a tree!

I'm also glad to see the summer has arrived to Finland. Yesterday was the first really warm day, +28 degrees and no wind, a perfect day for riding a bike!

A calm seaTaking the ferry to AttuA refreshing dive into the seaSummery landscapesTeam Garmin was also out for a rideWho really needs winter?!Attu bridgeKlaus enjoying his new chocolate-cappucino energy gelI'll be back with more details for the Giro d'Espoo this week!

 

Meanwhile, enjoy the summer!

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!

Up and Cycling!

Spring, the long waited season has been showing signs already for a month in southern Finland, but ever once in a while, after periods of sun and somewhat warmish days there has been signs of winter as well. But at least now it looks like the temperatures will stay above +0 degrees throughout the night and day. We actually managed to take a ride as early as 11th of March, almost a month earlier than last year, but as mentioned we had several setbacks after that. So nothing more than a couple of soaky chilly rides so far, but hopefully the following weeks will provide us with the weather that would support us getting some miles in our legs. At least so far, riding outside, has taken more on my legs than on my lungs, so the legs really need those miles. I will post some more pictures from those rides next week.

Today we had one of the first finnish spring-classics in Turku, TS-kortteliajot. This race is ridden along the river Aura, crossing it and making it an about 1,2km circular route that is ridden 50 times around. 

Our national road cycling champion, Kjell Carlström couldn't participate due to flu, but he was following the race and we had change to meet him and discuss the race and also about his future career. I really hope to still one day see him in the professional peloton. 

Kjell Carlström discussing the race outcomeThe weather was pretty good, sunshine with some western winds, which meant a headwind on the finish line. The riders began pretty easy, some smaller attacks that were caught up pretty fast. The first serious attack was made by Kimmo Kananen but as the peloton realized a threat they slowly caught up this two man breakaway just a couple of laps later. The real breakaway was launched at halfway the race, a strong 8 man group including among other a couple of TWD länken riders and one Velocitor rider who rode pretty strong as well. This breakaway was strong enough to almost catch the peloton, and for the first time in history the peloton had to be taken out of the race before the end. With some 10 laps to go, the breakaway split up and four riders was now battling for the win. During the last lap it soon became only three riders, and a moment later Samuel Pökälä came first in the sprint for the win, winning the race.

The 8 man breakawayThe group worked well togetherKimmo Kananen tried his legs out on the greatest bike in the peloton, the Bianchi OltreThe peloton tried to catch the breakaway, with Turun Urheiluliitto in the frontTurun Urheiluliitto tried to work together but they were not strong enough this timeThe rest of the peloton followingSome riders were not that lucky, here a puncture halfway the raceTWD länken working hard in the front of the breakaway (Aku Silvénius and Samuel Pökälä)And Jesse Virtanen making the most to catch up the breakaway together with Mika SimolaPeloton (notice the Bianchi Oltre)Samuel Pökälä celebratingPodium celebrationsThe new Cervelo S5 that is said to be the fastest road bike out there. Didn't win today though, but looks like a fast one.

Hope you all survived it 'til here, I'll be back with more stories and photos from our own rides later next week. I hope you all have taken out your bikes already, no matter carbon or steel.

 

Ciao!

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!

Pre-race Antibiotics

One week from now, September the 4th will again be the main goal for this cycling season. Tour de Helsinki, a 140km "race" that gathers some 2000 cyclists. The training so far has been quite alright, but this week, just 12 days before the race, I got a temperature which then developed into infection in both ears and throat. I was prescribed antibiotics on Thursday 10 days prior to the race, and now 7 days before the race, the temperature is gone as well as the sore throat, but the infection seems to be stubborn when it comes to my ears. The doctor told me on Thursday, that I'm not able to race in 10 days... 

Instead of electrolytes, I'll be having these

This struck me. So I've been training the whole summer for a race and now all of a sudden someone tells me I can't participate? Well my first thought was that everything was over, I could sell my bike and start playing Playstation instead. But a few hours later, my despair turned into hopefullnes. Maybe I could participate anyway. Maybe I'll get well soon and even have some time to recover. Ofcourse I know it's impossible to reach the same results, but doing even a decent job would be fair enough for me at this point. 

I also started thinking about next year, why do one participate in only one race during the summer, especially one this late, when the influenzas are harassing the population, the probability of getting sick is pretty high. Well there is no answer, maybe next year I will, maybe not, but something to think about, especially if after all I couldn't participate in Tour de Helsinki this year. I'll probably get back to the topic Tour de Helsinki during the "race-week". 

Staying at home, I also had time to make something out of the manymany hours of video I've been shooting during the past month. And there's more to come next week. Here's what I made today, hope you enjoy it! (if possible, watch it in HD)

 

Ciao!

 

Tours and summers passing by

So, almost a month passed by, we saw the Tour de France get a new winner, I did cycle 300km and now, it seems like autumn is approaching Finland. 

My last post was about cycling 300km, and sure I did manage, and yes I did make a short movie about it (you'll find the vid further down). It was tough, not tough in a way that my body couldn't handle it, it was mentally really tough. Going alone for 11 hours and the last 100km just felt I would never get home. My garmin seemed to be stuck on 200km. But later on, when I got back on well known roads in the last 60km I felt I could really speed up a little, and actually had same kind a pace I usually have riding on these roads. The same evening my back hurt a little, but the only thing that lasted longer than one evening, was the red stripes in my face (who could ever think the sun would follow my left cheek all the way...), and sure my workmates were there to remind me I had probably forgot the sunscreen.. All in all, a great ride, great weather and a great achievement. But honestly, I wouldn't do it again, not alone. But now I at least know I'm able to survive Vätternrundan. You'll find the training data HERE.

This took me through the 300kmAnd this is what I rodeKemiönsaari at 50km

Strömma Kanal at 70 kmDuring the ride I had to make 3 stops, just to strech the legs and get some energy (beside those energy bars..)

Enjoying pulla and coffee at Tammisaari ( at 115km)Pizzaroll and coffee in Fagervik (at 145km)

Fagervik at 145km
Pasta in Virkkala (at 175km)

And the short video from the different sections of the ride:

 

July of course was also the time to watch the Tour, and it actually was pretty exciting this year, and I was glad to see Cadel Evans take the overall win. He had been fighting so many years to finally get there!

Enjoying the Tour

Besides this, I cycled another 1000km in July, making the total for this year some 3000km. I'm almost halfway to the goal, which at this point is far away, but I'm still sure I'm gonna make it. In one month we'll also be attending a cycling event, Tour de Helsinki. I'll give a heads up and some more photos from our rides in July in the next update, soon. 

 

A dopo!

Enjoying Summer in HD

If you ever wonder where to put your money, invest them in cycling. Nothing beats a delivery of several cardboard boxes filled with cycling stuff! This is what was delivered to me just a couple of days ago:

 

I was really pleased with that camelbak hydration pack (3l), really comfortable and will be a good thing to have on those longer rides. I also got the GoPro HD Hero helmet cam, and was really pleased with it (scroll down for video), even though the plastic mounts are not the best I've seen, actually one part broke down just after 2h...

Breakaway by LampreEnjoying the view while waiting for the ferry

Good excuse for a small brakeWho needs winter.. seriously?!Attu bridgeNothing beats this snack!

Last but not least, a 15 min video from the sunny ride to Attu, hope you like it (watch it in HD if possible).

 

 

 

Over and out!

 

Closing up the gap

The goal set up in the beginning of the year (7000km) has now been reduced with some 2000km. So there is still 5000km to ride, and hopefully most of those kilometres can be done during the warm period. After some knee-problems I'm hopeful of getting on some longer rides soon, and also being able to ride one 300km ride this month. The route would look somewhat like this:

 

More about this ride later on..

July means the beginning of the Tour de France, and we've already seen two great stages! Today's team time trial was won by Team Garmin-Cervelo, which means the Norwegian world champion, Thor Hushovd took the yellow jersey! 

Team Leopard-Trek warming upThor Hushovd (cyclingnews.com)Enjoying the TTT

We also got a new road cycling national champion today, Kjell Carlström! He rode in a breakaway and was able to break free from that group in the latter part of the race, and won by over one minute! Congrats Kellu!

Kjell Carlström, Finnish national road race champ 2011

 

The weather in June has been timewise pretty good, even if I haven't been able to make those longer rides due to some long days at work and some earlier mentioned knee-problems. But these rides have shown that even though Finland is not Italy, we can still have some spectacular views here too.

 

Klaus in aero-position

Riding in the archipelago usually means taking a ferry

Cleaning the bikesClean-ClaraFirst longer ride resulted some 155kmCycling can sometimes be ugly and dirty...


+30 degrees

 

 

Enjoy the summer!

Turku Air Show 2011

A couple of weeks ago Turun Lentokerho organized a great air show here in Turku. So instead of bikes this time some planes for you.

NH-90

DC-3

A-10C

UAV Ranger

Fouga Magister

Boeing F-18C Hornet

Lockheed F-16AM

Lockheed F-16AMMidnight HawksMidnight Hawks

 USAF ThunderbirdsUSAF ThunderbirdsUSAF ThunderbirdsUSAF ThunderbirdsUSAF ThunderbirdsUSAF ThunderbirdsUSAF ThunderbirdsUSAF ThunderbirdsUSAF Thunderbirds

 

Over and Out