Archive for March 2011
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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Commuting photos

The new frame and parts of my new bike project are finally on the way, and they probably arrive early in the next week. I just looked the latest weather forecast and there is still a small chance for snow crust riding next week, because temperature should drop below zero. On the other hand, rain is forecasted for the weekend and if it is severe, the snow crust will probably vanish. But everything is still possible...

Actually I tried the snow crust in this morning's commute, and it worked with my ordinary mountain bike and Nokian WXC300 tires. But I didn't ride for long because the front chainrings of my bike are really worn out and the chain easily jumps over. It's a very good thing that I will have the new bike with a fresh crankset.

Naturally I'm very excited about the new bike, and I can tell that it will be the first one in Finland! And that of course means that it won't be a Pugsley!

Meanwhile, here are some photos I have taken during my regular bike commutes. The more I have been photographing with the new camera, the more I like it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Toni at 17:10 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting, Photographing

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Super full moon overnighter

Well, the nature provided an outstanding stage for a local overnighter here in Paimio. A super full moon and partly clear skies. It even snowed before the Saturday evening. The night temperature was forecasted around -5°C. So I had a plan: take a lot of photos of the super full moon with the new camera and to find the lean-to of Hevonpää this time, the same thing I tried a month ago.

I left home around 22PM. I followed the 'script' like the last time...

 

 

 

I continued riding but only for a short distance as more awesomeness was just around the corner...

 

 

 

 

My timing for photographing these was just right. Shortly after this more clouds filled the sky and I continued towards Hevonpää.

This time I found the right fork in the road.

 

The start of the small forest road was promising...

..but quite soon started the thick snowdrifts. Not suprising, I was expecting this. Someone had been here with snowshoes. I followed the tracks as I supposed that they would lead to the lean-to.

But they didn't. Instead I had to do really hard work, the route of the tracks followed some really tough terrain. In many places I was climbing like a mountain goat. Still quite fun though...

I checked my position with GPS. I wasn't far away from the lean-to but the clock was closer to 1AM so I decided to camp to a snowdrift.

I slept fairly well. In the morning, about 6AM, I opened my eyes. It was cloudy so I decided to sleep more, as there wasn't spectacular sunrise to be seen.

Closer to 8AM I woke again and started the usual breakfast antics.

Time to move again...

Pretty soon the snowshoe tracks lead to a small road.

And heading to home in a glorious sunshine...

This was a very nice overnighter, the best part was undoubtly the start with the super full moon. I will probably do an overnighter to the lean-to of Hevonpää when all the snow has melted as it much easier to find the place and the trails are rideable.

More photos can be seen in this slideshow.

By Toni at 15:44 | Permalink |
Category: Adventures, Photographing

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New camera... and the new bike project!

 

I've been using Olympus µTough-8000 camera for over a year. It's not a bad camera but the image quality is not so good you would expect for a 12MP camera, and it doesn't have manual controls. Last week I saw a commercial in a newspaper. Citymarket happened to have their "Mammoth market" days, and they were selling Canon PowerShot SX130 IS for a real bargain price. It has pretty good reviews on the net, like here and here. So I went and purchased it. The camera's best features are a very good image quality, 12x zoom, HD 720p video and manual controls. Much better night/low light photos should be now possible with a tripod. I've been testing the camera every day and I'm pretty impressed with it. Here are some shots taken during todays commute back home.

 

 

The new bike project: this has been in my mind for a couple of years and it's finally taking place. I revealed in the post Blizzard commute that it will be a fat bike. But what kind of fat bike? At first I was thinking about a poor man's choice: wider 40mm rims with a tyre as wide as possible to fit my current winter bike. But that would be a compromise, actually too much of a compromise. It has been said for countless times that it is not even close to true fat bike. So next choice is of course some of the true fat bikes that are currently available: Surly Pugsley, Fatback, Sandman and 9:ZERO:7. Mine will be one of them, but only the frame. All usable parts from the current winter bike will be transferred to the new frame, plus there will be of course a new wheelset+tires and a couple of new components. Teasing will last for only a couple of weeks, as I received email that my frame and parts will be shipped soon. Meanwhile, my website colors are now updated with the color theme of my new bike, black and red...

By Toni at 20:33 | Permalink |
Category: Gear, Photographing

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Ice Journey 2011 - Brief write-up

We did it.

This winter started well, but January was fairly warm and it seemed that our dream will not happen. Well, the cold weather came back in February and suddenly we were on the ice of Baltic Sea.

My friend Peter has already an excellent story how it happened. I will write a long story later, as I have returned to busy everyday life and I had already other plans before the trip.

All in all, this trip really proved to be an adventure of the lifetime. These kind of opportunities are really rare. Things didn't go as we planned but it resulted in even more epic and challenging adventure than we imagined. We had to push ourselves really hard, we had to improvise, we had to make the right decisions. But everything went well and proved that we had prepared for this in the right way.

Big thanks to Peter for doing great work for getting information about the routes and figuring out all the maps, and everything else. There is no doubt that we have a same kind of passion for adventures!

And very very big thanks to my wife for her support and understanding for a crazy man! You are always my inspiration because what you have went through!

Here are some of the photos taken during the trip, and a slideshow, more to come when I write the full story. Enjoy!

By Toni at 8:25 | Permalink |
Category: Adventures