winter

Winter Cycling Season Opened

The first snow has landed in Turku, and I guess it's here to stay. So it was time to gear up my 29er and head out. -1 degrees and light snowfall, almost perfect conditions for a short ride outdoors and a welcomed change for riding the trainer indoors. 

Pre-ride coffee

Pre-ride coffee

Today's ride

Today's ride

Roadblocks are for cars

Roadblocks are for cars

Silent roads

Silent roads

Got home just before it was really dark

Got home just before it was really dark

To be honest, that was really fun. Maybe winter is not that bad after all!? Now some hot mulled wine and something good to eat.

 

Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday Spinning

Finally getting those harder intervals in my schedule. Today I had my first FTP test for the winter season. I had forgotten how hard those are. 

Pedalare!

Pedalare!

There's nothing better than a Friday post workout chilling with ice-hockey on TV and Sauna.

Total relaxation

Total relaxation

Now I'm off to Sauna. I'll get back to you with more pictures and stories during the weekend.

 

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!

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!

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!

Winterclassics

Finland, being cold and dark is not always the best place for cycling. Instead we have to organize other activities, such as ice hockey. Last Saturday, 4th of February the reigning champions (HIFK) in the finnish top hockey league, SM-Liiga organized a great outdoor event, Talviklassikko (finnish equivalent for the NHL Winter Classic). Despite cold weather (-17 degrees celcius), the Helsinki Olympic Stadium gathered around 30 000 fans to watch this game between the two hockey teams from Helsinki. 

The weather was mostly good

We even got some snowBut the crowd didn't care

Simultaneously, there was a cycling event in Helsinki, the Winter Tweed Run -Helsinki. It was, as the Talviklassikko organized for the second time in Helsinki. This event gathers people with classic vintage bikes and Tweed clothes. This awesome event was joined by a great photographer, Krista Keltanen, who shared some really neat pictures from the ride! Check out her blog here!

Picture from kristakeltanenblog.comPicture from kristakeltanenblog.comPicture from kristakeltanenblog.com

Great to see these kind of events taking place even in Finland!

Here's a video from the same event in Stockholm in 2011

Tweed Run Stockholm 2011 from Kristoffer Hilmersson on Vimeo.

 

 

Ciao!

Turning the lights on

Took the coldest ride this year just yesterday. 90km in +7 degrees and some rainshowers made the ride feel really cold, and at some point it felt like the legs were dispatched from my body. Also the darkness falls pretty quickly, already at 7pm it is dark, just a few months ago the sun didn't set before 11pm. But still, I guess this wins sitting on a trainer inside. So keeping in mind one needs to sit and suffer inside the whole long finnish winter, maybe the cold weather isn't that bad after all...

 

click to open GarminConnect

dirty job

 

The forecast tells me the temperatures will drop below 0 degrees celcius this weekend (during nighttime). Let's hope it won't snow!

And just to rub it in my face, the weather for Ancona, or probably anywhere in Italy...

 

Have a good one!