Archive for January 2007
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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Extremely busy

Finally back to blogging. I have been really busy, a lot of things going on at the moment, some of it is really exciting. I can't tell the details now but let's see how things develops in the near future.

Here is a recap of the events of the last few days.

By Toni at 1:29 | Permalink |
Category: General

Cross country skiing, almost

We have really nice winter weather at the moment. In the weekend it was a bit cold for a base endurance bike riding but I decided to try some cross country skiing nearby on Sunday. The only problem was that there was only tracks for the classic style, and I have skating skis. It was not an exercise for me really, but my wife was also skiing and enjoyed it a lot. Here are at least some nice photos...

 

 

By Toni at 1:28 | Permalink |
Category: General

Spinning

So, I was in my first ever spinning session at Raisio's Garden Gym on Friday. My cycling club Mynämäen Toverit offered a discount price for its members, and the session was reserved for us only. Basically I knew of course what the spinning session would be like, but it was still going to be something new to me. And it was. It was suprisingly nice, I liked it a lot. The program, the music and the leader of the session were great. The one hour session actually felt short compared to same duration of roller/trainer exercise at home. I think I'm going to do this more, in fact I told I'm interested in a 2 hour session...

 

The leader of the spinning session. There were mirrors everywhere so it was easy to observe your own performance.

 

Immo raging.

 

Kimmo at the end of the session. In the background his father who is 67 years old!

By Toni at 1:17 | Permalink |
Category: General

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Review of the situation

First of all, I have a flu. It didn't went away, althought I felt monday ok. No fever but it is irritating. It means no training before Friday, hopefully I'm ok then.

And now we have this:

Actually it can be a lot of fun to ride in the snow with a mountain bike, and without the flu I might have rode tonight a short loop.

By Toni at 20:20 | Permalink |
Category: General

Monday, January 22, 2007

Big improvement for bike room

 

Finally purchased today an air compressor. Much needed device for bike room, construction etc. I like tubeless tires, so this is really a must for inflating them. I made also DIY tire inflator for presta valves.

 

 

I just replaced the car valve head with a presta valve head, it works great!

After the small symptoms of flu I feel ok again. Now it's quite cold outside, and will be for a couple of days as far as weather forecast is concerned. This means I will limit outdoor training. On Friday I'm heading for my very first spinning session, and hopefully next weekend I will take longer rides, outdoors.

By Toni at 23:28 | Permalink |
Category: General

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Not really sick, but...

 

This is strange. I don't feel sick but I'm not 100% healthy either. There has been just a little rough feeling in my throat and I have coughed only a couple of times. But if I ride tomorrow 4 hours in -6 Celcius conditions I think it could get a lot worse, so I have to be cautious. If I have time to get my bike room organized I will probably ride on rollers at the evening, or I will take the rollers in the apartment and ride there.

So, I've been drinking a lot of Earl Grey tea with honey and some Ketorin Hot (in the picture) and it has helped.

In the meantime I have updated a lot of my PC software, and also found the trial version of the new Polar ProTrainer 5 professional training software. The good news is that it works also with older S-series monitors, like mine S710i! Great!

If you are interested in winter ultra endurance biking, you should probably check this out: Iditarod Trail Invitational, 350 or 1100 miles in Alaska!

By Toni at 2:47 | Permalink |
Category: General

Friday, January 19, 2007

Winter is finally here?

 

The weather has been really variable for the last few days, but now it seems that we have "normal" winter weather for a week. I will try to ride 4 hours on Sunday, depends how I feel then. I have a little cold at the moment but nothing too serious. The graveyard shift (nice word isn't it?) went fairly well for me, I have had a lot worse shifts in the past.

Yesterday I washed my cyclocross and "slush" bikes, so they are both ready for cleaner conditions. Actually I would prefer the weather to stay more wintry because then you don't need to wash your bikes so often.

Busy weekend ahead because I have a lot of things to do at home. The bike room is still a mess, maybe I get cleaned it this time?

BTW, I'm a snooker fan, and there's the SAGA Insurance Masters tournament going on, coverage is on Eurosport.

FYI, the larger and original photos can be now viewed in the photo gallery.

By Toni at 19:41 | Permalink |
Category: General

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Slippery and dark

Woke at 14:15 (slept about 6 hours) and went to ride with cyclocross bike at 16:15. Really nice weather, some degrees above zero. Rode at "cruise control" pace, just to keep legs happy and spinning. The small side roads were deadly slippery! But on the other hand there were lots of sanding, lots of noise from sand grinding on fenders.

Almost total darkness at 1h40mins as my light batteries ran out of power. I was using Cat Eye HL-200 with four AA batteries. No good. 2:02:44 riding time, about 45 km, not sure because I had wrong wheel setting for bike computer.

 

Ice, really slippery.

 

A beautiful evening in Paimio.

 

Wrong light choice today.

 

Are you hungry? :-)

Got Polar newsletter to my inbox today, check the really nice presentation for their new product.

There will be fewer updates to my blog at some point because I will be very busy at times.

By Toni at 21:20 | Permalink |
Category: General

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Change of training plans

I'm not going to commute by bike today, decided to do that later. Problem is that the distance is a lot longer by bike. By car it is about 43 km, but I must ride a different route by bike, and it's probably closer to 50 km. It takes a little over two hours, or otherwise I have to really hammer my bike. Not a brilliant idea at the moment. The weather forecast seems nice for tomorrow, so I will try to ride 2 hours then.

I have now added a photo gallery, (link also found in my sidebar), there are really great photos from last years Kangasala 24h!

There's also webpage for Kona Bike Park Levi, now I'm just waiting for details of LEVI24 Kona G24 Global Series -race.

By Toni at 21:43 | Permalink |
Category: General

Race news

Yesterday the race director of Kangasala 24h confirmed the dates for the event, 10th and 11th of August 2007, from 7 PM to 7 PM! Last year it was contested 25th and 26th of August, so this is nice change. Now it's time to plan the complete racing schedule for this year.

Time to go to sleep...

By Toni at 8:45 | Permalink |
Category: General

Monday, January 15, 2007

Top 24-Hour stuff

There is really interesting movie coming out this spring, click the picture, there's new trailer of the movie.

24 Solo  

Light & Motion 2006 24 Hour WSC coverage here.

VeloNews' great article of 2006 24 Hour Worlds here.

And podcast interview of the winner Craig Gordon.

The nightshift week at work has started pretty well for me, hope it stays that way. Over and out.

By Toni at 20:46 | Permalink |
Category: General

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Singlespeed needed

Today I had to postpone the training ride to afternoon because of some family things, meaning that road conditions would be pretty horrible, as we had a major snowfall, which later changed to rain. Fortunately the rain stopped, but I was determined to ride whatever the weather was. I decided to ride with my "worst"/slush bike, see the photo above. But there were problems...

After the very first minutes of the ride the chain started to jump over the cogs. Damn! Not that this was suprising because it is very common with these kind of conditions, but it started so fast. I tried to change gears rapidly to solve the problem but it didn't help, the chain was all over the place. I'm using a road cassette with this bike, a mtb cassette could work better. I rode back to home because it was absolutely impossible to ride properly with the bike (22 minutes of riding at this point). As for emergency, I installed Biltema's "crank claw", it is supposed to keep your cassette cleaner of mud, snow etc. I bought it years ago but haven't used it before.

 

 

Installing the crank claw wasn't exactly "plug-and-play", I had to enlarge the axis hole of the claw with 5 mm drill. After that it went easily thru the quick release. I did a test with the gears, no problems, but the claw touched the cogs just a little. The claw is made from plastic, so I wasn't too worried that it would damage the cassette. Back to saddle. Did it help? A little, it didn't eliminate hopping completely, but I was able to ride. The road conditions were partially really slushy. 1:49:28 saddle time, 38.16 km and average speed 20.92 km/h. Slow, but mostly because of the conditions. I was reasonably well recovered from yesterday's ride.

One another note I did today was the rolling of the tires. With this bike I'm using Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106 studded tires. With cyclocross bike I use Nokian Hakkapeliitta W240 front and W106 back. It feels like the W106 rolls much better, riding with CC/W240 feels fairly heavy at times, especially on uphills.

So, a singlespeed would be ideal for these conditions, but purchasing another bike is a no-go at the moment and infact I'm planning for full suspension for 2008. A better idea is to avoid the worst conditions by riding indoors with rollers or trainer.

The nightshift starts 23:00. I still consider to commute by bike Tuesday evening and back to home Wednesday morning, let's see how the weeks starts. First two nights goes with adapting to another rhythm. And no garlic, maybe a little blood. ;-)

By Toni at 20:17 | Permalink |
Category: General

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Base endurance ride(?)

4:02:37, 89.91 km, average speed 22.23 km/h, max speed 46.6 km/h, alone with cyclocross bike. Decided to ride 4 hours today because it could be worse weather on Sunday, and that night shift at work is coming, starting Sunday evening. Goal was to ride at base endurance level. The distance and the speed is irrelevant at the moment. What matters is the duration and the effectiviness of the ride. I was targeting for an average hr of 140-145, based on my feelings and not following the HRM. I was suprised that the average hr was 152, max 179! It didn't feel like that, althought I was really motivated today. My legs felt heavy at the 3 hour mark but somewhere near 3h40mins they felt better.

The weather was nice, cloudy but no snowfall, a little windy. Here is a photo summary of the ride:

Today's training tool

Today's training tool.

From the beginning of the ride.

Some nice scenery.

Really nice roads in the back country of Sauvo.

Just great, isn't it?

What's there? Looks like a really nice singletrack! Gotta ride that someday!

Gravel. Word.

The heart rate data of today's ride. 

By Toni at 18:29 | Permalink |
Category: General

Friday, January 12, 2007

Weekend ahead!

Yes, it's Friday and weekend starts. Plenty of things to do. I'm planning for longer rides, at least in the range of 4 hours. On the New Years Eve I rode 3h15mins and felt good. Hopefully the weather is good. The weather forecast isn't too promising, snow for Saturday and maybe the same for Sunday. But hey, that's better than rain, and who cares, it could be bad weather in a 24-hour race, you never know...

I have also a lot to do with this blog. I got interested in blogging mostly because of the great blogs in the US, and thought that I could try to practise my not-so-good-English. The very first bike blog I read was Jeff Kerkove. A great guy, inspirational. The great thing with blogging is that you can share your experiences and give valuable information about your training, products you use and so on. Jeff does this really nicely, great work. There are plenty of more great blogs, like Team Dicky/Rich Dillen. Just great reading and hilarious!

Also time to clean that bike room. I'm a guy who likes to collect all kind of things, but obviously I must get rid off of certain things...

By Toni at 18:38 | Permalink |
Category: General

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Back in training

 

1:03:24 and 24.91 km this evening with mountain bike. Good enough after a workday, and it has been a long time that I've been training after work. With Polar S710i my average heart rate was 142 and max 179. That max came from trying to ride one hill hard. Riding the hill didn't feel too good but otherwise it was a good ride. At this point there's really no point of doing 2-3 hours after work. I will concentrate in endurance on the weekends.

It wasn't as dark as in the picture, it was taken with Nokia 5500 Sport mobile phone. I was riding with Sigma Sport Mirage lights, good enough for these kind of rides and works also well on 24-hour races. It was nice to ride in dry conditions, it was about -2 C.

Speaking of training, with 3-shift work it becomes really tricky, but on the other hand it fits well in 24-hour concept. Next week is night shift at work, and I'm thinking of commute by bike. Distance to work is about 45 km. Bad idea? Maybe, but it could work in the middle of the week for one occassion, and it's tempting to try it.

I have also some plans to do a little strenght training, cross country skiing in the ski tunnel Paippi and water running in the swimming pool of Paimio.

By Toni at 19:48 | Permalink |
Category: General

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Some work to do...

 

That's how my bike and training room look like. I've been busy but it's time to clean it. As you can see, at the moment there is no room for training.

I'm also busy with this blog. Recap of 2006 and info about my bikes is coming up and also a finnish version of this blog. Stay tuned!

By Toni at 21:57 | Permalink |
Category: General

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Master Plan for 2007

It's evening after day shift in work. Outside it is completely dark, it rains heavily and it's windy. Time for another training ride? Hmm, not this time.

Weather has been pretty much the same, it has rained a lot this "winter". If the same thing goes on for January and February I have to ride in the rain, as awful it is. But I have some other plans too, it won't be so bad. It's also time to ride on rollers and trainer.

There are really two goals for me in 2007, two 24-hour mtb solo races. After Kangasala 24h last year I decided to try again next year and improve. But then came news about another 24-hour race in Finland. There would be a Kona Global 24-Hour Series race in Lapland, Levi. This will be exciting. The event date is 16th and 17th of June. Levi is located 160 km above Arctic Circle, so this means that it will be midnight sun and racers won't need lights! So, the primary objective is LEVI24 and after that Kangasala 24h. As for preparation I will participate in some marathon mtb races and road motion cycling events, like 30th Pirkka Cycling.

For Finnish speakers, this is old news but there was an article about me in a local newspaper Kunnallislehti (15.9.2006).

By Toni at 21:31 | Permalink |
Category: General

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sunday MTB ride in Paimio

Well, here we go. My first post to my first, new blog.

This 06/07 winter is really unbeliavable. On Saturday and Sunday I rode mtb, mostly offroad. A part of the loop included parts of the Paimio's Revenge course. I also discovered the red marked "Rivonmäen reitti". There is just fantastic singletrack and also a quite technical rock section, it's a must in this years edition of the Revenge for sure.

Approx. 2 hours for Saturday and 2.5 hours for Sunday. Weather was cloudy on Sunday but it was just great. Very gloomy, partly for the reason that it was afternoon, but it was a strange feeling because it didn't feel like January at all!

Here's some photos of the rides.

 

January 7th 2007 in Paimio, South Finland. A new kind of winter.

Nice singletrack from the Paimio's Revenge course.

By Toni at 22:22 | Permalink |
Edited on: Monday, January 08, 2007 22:55
Category: General