Saturday, January 30, 2010
As you can see, I have updated the look of my blog. The old all-gray background felt really boring and Twitter/Facebook gadgets were messy. As a "new" partner there is also the logo of my favourite local bike shop Pyöristi. There is also a new version (1.5.1) of the blog software that I use, Thingamablog. The banner photo will be changed too, as soon as a new photo will be taken.
Over the past two weeks there has been conflicting local news about the possible iceroads in the archipelago of Turku, as one news said it could be possible. But the latest news in Turun Sanomat says that there won't be any iceroads this winter, as the ice is too thin and there is too much insulating snow above ice. As an alternative I have been planning for a substitute ice adventure from Paimio to Kemiö, but it has snowed even more so that is not so likely either. One option would be to ride the normal Archipelago looproad like in the summer time. Some kind of long winter ride or even small adventure would be very nice as my bike commuting has lately been pretty monotonous.
I have been also waiting for the bike pogies from Trail's Edge Outdoors. I received an email yesterday that they have been finally shipped to me. It takes probably 1-2 weeks. I'm really looking forward for them as my hands were really suffering during commutes last week with -20C temperatures.
Sometimes I'm dreaming about a very long (2-3 weeks) bike adventures, but look at this, really unbeliavable!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
The great thing about bicycling is that you have so many choices: road, mtb in many forms, bmx, commuting etc. When I started a more serious cycling in 1996/1997 I would not have believed what I have achieved in 13 years. And there is still a lot I can achieve, and there are still a lot of things that I haven't tried. So what's next? Adventures and bikepacking. This has been in my mind for a long time and this year will be a beginning for it - the feeling of freedom will leap to another level.
One reason to finally to do some bikepacking this year is the great blog of Yeti that I've been following, and his brilliant winter biking idea. This winter has been cold so far, and if it continues like this and there will be enough ice and an official ice road on the sea between Turku and Åland Islands, the goal is to ride from Turku to Åland! Very very exciting. This would be like a mini version of Iditarod Trail Invitational or "a poor man's north pole expedition"! There are several options: Turku-Åland and back to with ship, or vice versa, or my dream: Paimio-Åland-Paimio with camping on the ice! But, all this is very preliminary and it's too early to say if it happens or not, but if it does, we are talking about late February or early March.
In the gear department I'm already almost ready. Recently I ordered bike pogies from Trail's Edge Outdoors, and they are shipped on Monday. I have a decent sleeping bag (McKinley Yukon), with a thermal suit and bivibag it should be enough if temperature doesn't get below -7C...-10C. And that is of course something I will test before the adventure. And on Friday I purchased from Pyöristi this:
AIM accessories carrier for seatpost.
And of course, there is a lot of planning to do for an adventure of this kind, logistics, schedules, gear...
After the winter I hope I can do a couple of small, overnight adventures nearby, like to Paimio's Huso, Sauvo, Kimito Island, Meri-Teijo and Kuhankuono. One thing is very sure: I'm super excited!
Thursday, January 07, 2010
My plan for 2010 is to not have a real plan. One thing I learned in 2009. However, I have some things in my mind that I hope I can do:
- Kangasala 24H solo. I want to return there, I have some unfinished business with those Kangasala "nightmare-slippery-roots-and-rocks".
- MTB-Lohja 24H. Nice event, maybe solo?
- Tahko MTB 120. Finally, it would be nice to do this race/event.
- Paimio's Revenge, also by night!
- Eteläkärjen ajot, the best road motion cycling event in South Finland.
- Finlandia MTB.
- Some local road time trials.
LEVI24 would be of course really nice but it's too much if I want to go to Tahko.
Financially it seems to me that 2010 won't be easy so I have to keep gear updates/upgrades etc. to the minimum.
Friday, January 01, 2010
Fin de décennie - A decade in Review
When I started this blog I had a plan to write a review of the year every New Year, but for some reason (too busy, too lazy?) it hasn't happened. This New Year it isn't only a new year, it's also a new decade. So, I thought that it would be convenient to write a review of my decade, and there are many great reasons to do that. Lately my most favourite music track has been Jean Michel Jarre's Calypso Part 3 - Fin de siècle, and althought it isn't an end of the century, this track brilliantly sets the tone for my decade.
This blog is about my cycling recreation, which is also a way of life for me, but it's hard to write only a review of my cycling decade, becase the decade was so remarkable in so many ways.
1999/2000. The Millennium New Year. I met my future wife. A complete change to my life. My "serious" cycling started in 1996/1997. In 2000 I was in good shape and concentrated in road cycling as in 1997-1999. Best performance was probably the National Championship Time Trial (44 km) . I was last but my average heart rate was 181 bpm and avg. speed around 40 km/h. A permanent work in Raisio.
2001. New home (but an old building) and marriage. Now my life wasn't only about the bike. A complete break from racing, but lots of bike commuting in the summer, so I was in good shape.
2002-2004. Return to road racing, mostly local time trials. Did really good 10 km time trials despite my training was pretty minimal. Also more mountain biking and return to Finlandia MTB which was to be my annual race/event. Cyclocross and TT bikes.
2005. A shock year. In spring a very good Eastern training camp but after that a serious accident and injury for my wife. Returned to motion cycling events in the end of August in poor form. A new home in Paimio and a new start for almost everything in the end of the year. One time was awake for almost 33 hours because of the home project. After that I started to think about my possibilites to do a 24-hour solo race.
2006. A new carbon road bike and a brilliant year with motion cycling events Pirkka Cycling, Eteläkärjen ajot and Lapland Marathon. And, my very first 24-hour mtb solo race in Kangasala 24h with the 3rd place (very very close to 2nd). My eyes were opened and I found my thing. First Paimio's Revenge.
2007. A new permanent work in Paimio. An epic 24-hour race in LEVI24 (2nd place), and also a disappointing Kangasala 24h. XT upgrade.
2008. The born of our first baby, girl Isabell. No Kangasala 24h because of illness.
2009. Return to LEVI24 with my best 24-hour solo performance, officially 320 km and 3rd place. And again disappointing Kangasala 24h. Paimio's Revenge major update. Singlespeed!