Archive for May 2007
« June 2007 | Main | April 2007 »

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Difficulty of acceptance

Well, it is really difficult at the moment for me to accept the fact that I'm not going to LEVI24. I'm still trying to find a way to go there and do the race. But, it seems to me that as difficult as it is, I have to let it go. I have also a fear that this could be the only time this event will be organized in Levi. But, if not, the dream is still alive...

Kangasala 24h is still coming and I will be even more determined for that one for sure! You might wonder if these 24-hour races are an obsession for me. I don't think they are, but LEVI24 would have been a really special one because of the midnight sun and the sceneries of Lapland's wilderness. Chris Eatough sums it up greatly in the movie 24 Solo: "There's something that happens when you're out there racing for 24 hours. It's hard to describe. But you come face to face with your very soul. There's no hiding in a 24-hour mountain-bike race."

On the other hand, Rich "Dicky" Dillen has just written in his blog about his 24-hour racing career and that now there's is simply nothing to accomplish for him, very interesting reading indeed.

Racing 24 hours solo for the first time is really an eye opener. You don't know what to expect, you don't know if you can pull it off... it is a journey to unknown. I did it for the first time last year with Kangasala 24h. I made some mistakes, and it wasn't 100% effort, even thought I was close to it. Now, the goal is that 100% and to see if I can do it...

Now that I have more time, I will write the story of my Kangasala 24h 2006 race... stay tuned...

By Toni at 15:29 | Permalink |
Category: General

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Stuff for sale / Myytävänä

For citizens in Finland...

Oikealle kohdassa MAIN löytyy nyt kohta "Tori", myynnissä mm. maantiealurunko, kiekkoja ja maastokeula.

I have added also some new links in the Products section and a new section Links. More to come later...

By Toni at 21:12 | Permalink |
Category: General

Injury update

Yesterday (Monday) I went for an x-ray in Turku (Mehiläinen) and after that had a doctor appointment to check things out. The good news is that nothing is broken, and the wound doesn't look too bad. I got a recipe for antibiotics and an infection painkiller. And if it heals well, technically I could participate in LEVI24. The stitches will be taken out on June 11th. But, before then, I can't ride, and there is simply too little time to prepare for a 24-hour solo race. Two weeks off the bike means that my body gets a wrong signal - it will think that it is just time to rest and doesn't expect to race for 24 hours straight. In a right situation I would keep my motor running by riding relatively short rides. So in that sense there is no reason to do the race. My goal was to do a 100% effort there and it won't happen...

Instead, I'm now looking for Tahko MTB 120 km mountain bike event on June 30th. This event has been back of my mind for a long time, and if stars are aligned right I might be ready for that one.

Some other racing news: I'm not taking a license for this year, so there won't be any national road time trial races for me this year.

I've been surfing the net a lot and found some good tips to make your bike silent if you have annoying noise problems. Check this out. I really can't stand a bike that isn't as silent as possible...

By Toni at 13:34 | Permalink |
Category: General

Monday, May 28, 2007

Drama

Finnish version first, for the first time... ENGLISH VERSION ADDED, SCROLL DOWN...

Aloitetaan omalla kielellä ensimmäistä kertaa. Sunnuntaina oli tarkoitus ajaa pitkähkö mtb-lenkki osana valmistautumista LEVI24-kilpailua varten. Lenkki alkoikin kohtuullisesti, keli varsin lämmin ja aurinkoinen. Hiekkahelmen alueelle päästyäni onnistuin kuitenkin kaatumaan käännyttyäni liian nopeasti hiekkatien ja polun risteyksessä. Tästä selvisin pintanaarmuin, mutta valitettavasti lisää oli tulossa. Noin tunnin ajon jälkeen olin Paimion Polun ehkä kovimmassa ja teknisesti vaativammassa nousussa. Olen ajanut tämän yleensä alamäkenä toiseen suuntaan mutta viime aikoina olen ajanut ylämäkeen haastattetta hakien. Jossain puolivälissä mäkeä kaaduin oikealle puolelle tällä seurauksella:

Jalka osui johonkin terävään kantoon tai kiveen, haava on lähemmäs 8 cm leveä ja niin syvä että näin sääriluuni! Verenvuoto hiljeni kun puristin jalkaa mutta eräät alueen asukit, muurahaiset, kiinnostuivat jalastani liiankin kanssa. Soitin hätänumeroon, mutta ongelmaksi tuli minun paikallistaminen. Oli vähän vaikeaa selittää kivuissa ja tuskissaan missä tarkalleen olen. Kyseiseen paikkaan kun ei muistaakseni ole mitään sellaista tienhaaraa jossa olisi nimikylttiä, ja lisäksi olin aika syvällä metsikössä/pöpelikössä. Onneksi vastasuunnasta tuli juoksija vastaan joka meni ambulanssia vastaan! Suuret kiitokset hänelle! Ensiavulla kesti n.30 min saavuttaa minut hälytyksestä.

Pystyin ambulanssimiehistön avulla hitaasti kävelemään ambulanssille, joten vaikutti ainakin siltä että mitään ei ole poikki tai edes murtunut.

Haava ommeltiin viidellä tikillä Paimion terveyskeskuksessa. Ongelmana oli kuitenkin saada haava puhdistettua kunnolla. Tulehdusriski on nyt todella suuri, sain kuitenkin jäykkäkouristusrokotteen.

Kotiin päästyäni kivut olivat lähes sietämättömät ja astuminen jalalla todella hankalaa. Onneksi kotoa löytyy sauvat ja vahvoja särkylääkkeitä.

Tikit ovat jalassa kaksi viikkoa ja päivystävän lääkärin mukaan kovaa rasitusta jalka kestäisi mahdollisesti vasta neljän viikon päästä. LEVI24, joka oli suuri unelma tälle vuodelle, jää ajamatta. Kilpailun alkamispäivä, 16.6, on vielä syntymäpäiväni, joten unelma kirjaimellisesti murskaantui. Pettymys on valtava mutta elämä on joskus tällaista. Olen tähän asti ollut onnekas kun olen välttynyt loukkaantumisilta, mutta maastopyöräily, ja pyöräily yleensäkin, on laji jossa on omat riskinsä. Tällainen tilanne on tullut ehkä liiankin tutuksi viime vuosina, sillä vaimoni loukkaantui ratsastusonnettomuudessa huomattavasti pahemmin. Siksi en pidä mitään itsestäänselvyytenä, ja asiat näkee eri perspektiivissä.

Menen tänään uudestaan lääkärin vastaanotolle ja jalka mahdollisesti vielä kuvataan. Jos mitään pahempaa ei ilmene niin kesää ja kilpailuja on vielä tulossa ja Kangasala 24h on täysin mahdollinen...

...viime vuoden Kangasala 24h-kilpailussa 12-tunnin ajon jälkeen mietin jopa keskeyttämistä, mutta mietin että 24 tuntia on loppujen lopuksi lyhyt aika. Loukkaantumisen kanssa taistelu on paljon pidempi ja kovempi taistelu kuin 24-tunnin maastopyöräilykilpailu...

ENGLISH VERSION:

The pics tells pretty much what happened to me during the mtb ride on Sunday. After one hour of saddle time I fell on a steep technical uphill and hit my leg/shin to something hard and sharp, probably a rock or a stump. This was actually the second time I fell - the first time happened about 20-30 minutes earlier in a place where was loose sand. So, this was really not my day. The rescue workers had difficulties to locate me, but I was fortunate that one runner came from opposite direction and went to find the ambulance. Thanks for him, I'm really grateful! They reached me after 30 minutes of the emergency call. I was able to walk slowly with support to the ambulance, so that was a sign that nothing was broken. I got five stitches in the local health care center. The doctor and the nurse had difficulties to clean the wound properly, so there was a high risk of infection.

When I arrived home the pain was almost untolerable. I was worried that there is something else wrong, but the pain calmed down after I took some painkillers.

The stitches will be taken away after two weeks. The wound is in a place that is stretchy, so it means that I can't ride bike for two weeks. It means also that I can't ride the dream of this year, LEVI24. This is a huge disappointment, but life goes on. Last year during the Kangasala 24h race I was almost done after 12 hours and I thought about dropping out of the race. But then I thought about my wife who was seriously injured in a horse riding accident. I thought that it is a much bigger fight with injuries than it is to ride 24-hours straight your mountain bike...

More to come...

By Toni at 8:51 | Permalink |
Edited on: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 11:59
Category: General

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Active recovery

 

After work I decided to go to the swimming pool of Paimio, Solina, with my wife and do some water walking, using a water belt. This is excellent active recovery. I tried this last summer and it really helps when your muscles are tight. This is something I should do once every week...

The facilities in Solina are great. There is a couple of water massage points, a hot tub, a sauna and even a condition room. At home this evening I was really tired. Interesting to see how my legs feel tomorrow...

BTW: I've been doing the usual bike commuting throughout the week, and it has been pretty hard at work...

By Toni at 23:06 | Permalink |
Category: General

Start of the racing season

Wednesday marked finally the start of the racing season for me. I participated in a local 10 km road time trial in Lieto, Ilmarinen. After the long road ride on Sunday I knew that I wasn't recovered for this but it was interesting to see how much it would hurt my legs... and I can tell you that it hurt a lot! The weather was pretty nice, sunny, a little windy and temps somewhere +13...+15 C. My time was 16 mins 32 secs, full results here.

My time trial bike Ridley Cheetah ready for action.

Local riders gathering in the start area.

The same thing is possible again on next Monday, in Piikkiö, Hepojoki. My plan is to do the last long exercises before LEVI24 next weekend, so there is not a big chance to do well. Actually, I should probably do it Kerkove-style but I have to admit that I like time trialing more with my road TT bike...

Now it's really time to get some active recovery, somehow, and try to stretch my concrete-like legs...

By Toni at 22:40 | Permalink |
Category: General

Monday, May 21, 2007

They came today...

 

 

 

Brand-X XC Lightweight DB7005 17" frame and Park Tool Home Mechanic PCS-10 Repair Stand. More photos later as the project goes on...

By Toni at 23:16 | Permalink |
Category: General

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Survival on the bike

First of all, on Saturday I rode only about 2.5 hours with the mtb (2:31:31, 50.55 km, 20.02 km/h, max. 47.0 km/h). I had some technical problems (annoying sound) with the seatpost of the mtb but was able to fix it.

Sunday: five weeks ago I did a long ride, 5:52 / 160.5 km, so it has been a long time since good endurance ride. My old friend Seppo visited me on Friday and we decided to ride 3-3.5 hours together, as he would continue to home by himself. The weather was nice on Sunday morning and the forecast predicted a warm day, possibly +18 C temperature. This spring the wind has been the enemy number one with the cyclists, and it was to be the same today. For the first three hours we rode mainly with a tailwind, so we had a good speed and legs weren't hurting too much. But, my legs were stiff and tired from the start, for some reason I wasn't recovered. I was hoping that they would "open up" but that was not the case. After three hours we were in Mustio and I decided to turn around and ride to Fiskars-Pohja-Perniö-Kemiö-Paimio. Not a brilliant idea because it was time to start the fight with the headwind. On the another hand, a shorter route would also mean a headwind, but I wanted to do a long ride today...

In Fiskars I purchased a banana, a chocolate bar and a 0,5 l water bottle. I was pretty good in the energy department, but my legs were really ripped. On some uphills my speed was barely 15 km/h and my legs were screaming! It really hurt.

When I finally arrived to Tammisaari-Salo highway I had a tailwind and things got a little easier. In fact, I was cruising at 35-40 km/h in the Perniö-Salo region, despite my legs. That tells how hard the wind was. The last 12 km of the ride I had again partial headwind, but I was just gritting my teeth. Stats: 7:25:30, 199.3 km, 26.8 km/h, max. 58.2 km/h, hr. 128/163 bpm, ascent 1445 m.

This ride was pure survival on the bike. With the legs I had I shouldn't ride this long, but I'm happy I was able to pull it off. This was also a GREAT MENTAL exercise. A 24-hour mtb solo race is even harder, but I just hope that I have better legs in the races...

 

Seppo with his Ridley Orion.

 

Another shot of Seppo's rig...

 

A nice name for a street: "Wheelmaker's street", or "Bike maker's street".

By Toni at 23:51 | Permalink |
Edited on: Monday, May 21, 2007 19:52
Category: General

Friday, May 18, 2007

Good signs

On Wednesday I decided to do a ride after work with mtb, it has been a long time since I last did a good exercise after work. The weather was sunny but windy. Headed to the great local trails of Paimio Hiekkahelmi. After I got warmed up my riding started to feel suprisingly good. I rode some technical hard climbs well and my legs felt strong despite the day at work. This is a good sign, I was worried that my form isn't so good after that illness but things looks better now. Actually at the 1 hour mark it felt so good that I started to feel the rush of adrenaline and I could have spent the whole evening in the saddle.

Somewhere near the half hour mark I was a little lost in the woods. I was checking if I could find some new trails but I wasn't too succesful. It happens often that a good, promising singletrack ends and that's it.

 

Heading to Hiekkahelmi.

 

Some great singletrack...

 

Looks promising!

 

But the trail ends here.

Some stats:

Tuesday commuting: 0:41:28, 19.06 km, 27.60 km/h, max. 46.4 km/h.
Wednesday morning commute: 0:22:40, 9.48 km, 25.15 km/h, max. 42.4 km/h.
MTB ride after work: 1:20:59, 22.73 km, 16.84 km/h, max. 40.2 km/h.
Commute back to home: 0:21:16, 9.61 km, 27.16 km/h, max. 44.0 km/h.

The weekends weather looks really good, plan is to do a hard long mtb ride on Saturday and long road ride on Sunday.

By Toni at 0:10 | Permalink |
Category: General

Monday, May 14, 2007

24 Solo

Today, when I arrived home from work, there was a nice suprise in our mailbox.

24 Solo  

I ordered the DVD directly from Gripped Films, click the above picture to go there. I was apparently lucky because it's currently sold out, but there is another set of DVDs available June 1st.

Of course I watched it this afternoon and it is amazing and awesome! I highly recommend it to anyone interested in endurance mountain biking and 24 hour racing.

Usual commute stats: 0:41:28, 19.06 km, 27.60 km/h, max. 46.4 km/h.

By Toni at 21:16 | Permalink |
Category: General

Breaking the silence

Yeah, it has been too silent in this blog, apologies for that. Time to pick up the pace, I'm definitely getting over the illness and back to "normal things".

What's happening...?

Commuting/training/recovery:

Tuesday: 0:42:10, 18.99 km, 27.04 km/h, max. 47.3 km/h.
Wedenesday: 0:41:51, 19.14 km, 27.47 km/h, max. 45.9 km/h
Thrusday: day off from work and training
Friday: 0:43:49, 19.25 km, 26.37 km/h, max. 42.3 km/h.
Saturday: rest day/household chores.

So, today it was time to do a road ride. I've been tired after illness and my legs have been exceptionally sore. I didn't know really what to except but today's ride was a disappointment. The weather was nice, a little windy but not too bad. I wasn't going to do a long ride but just to test my legs. The first hour and 15 mins I wasn't simply going anywhere, and for some reason it felt that I was fighting with a headwind for the whole ride. My route was Paimio-Vaskio-Halikko-Teijo-Kemiö. There was only a couple of times when I felt slightly good. My conclusion is that my form has been compromised because of the illness, but the damage is not too big. I need to concentrate on sleeping more and better, try to do a couple of extra rides after work and do a BIG next weekend.

Stats: 2:48:58.6, 75.1 km, 26.7 km/h, 139/176 bpm. A poor avg. speed, this time of the year I should hammer at 28-29 km/h.

Very busy times ahead. The backup bike's frame is on it's way, with some other stuff, more 24-hour race planning, logistics, more household chores... and I try to report on regular basis in this blog what's going on...

By Toni at 0:21 | Permalink |
Category: General

Monday, May 07, 2007

Difficulties over (hopefully)

Here is a recap of the last few days. On Friday I was really sick. I had almost lost my voice and I had a terrible headache. I was just two hours at work, went to work health care and then home. Commuting really slowly (0:54:41, 21.20 km, 23.28 km/h, max. 45.2 km/h). Rested pretty much the rest of the day. Saturday was also just an another recovery day from illness. Sunday was a little better, no training but I took care of some household chores.

As writing of this, it's Monday and I feel that I'm getting over this persistent illness. I did my usual commuting (0:41:43, 18.64 km, 26.82 km/h, max. 52.3 km/h) and was the full 8 hours at work. It looks like I might to try to do a 1-1.5 hour exercise with mountain bike on Wednesday or Thursday.

A couple of things I'm looking for: I ordered the 24 Solo DVD, it has received great reviews and just can't wait to see it!

My 24 hour race planning is going ahead. My backup bike project will probably have this frame:

I will stole the parts from the slush/commute bike. Say, born in Laihia? :-)

It has been a long time since I did a long ride, hopefully it will happen next weekend...

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

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Getting nowhere

Well, this flu I have seems to be a tough one. It's not serious but a very frustating, the symptoms are small but they are there and I can't deny it. I'm ok enough to work but not ok to do high intensity cycling workouts. Today was supposed to be the start of my racing season with a local Velotema-Cup mtb race, in Piikkiö. It would have been a short race with maximal effort. And that is not a good idea when you are even slightly ill. For Finnish speakers, READ THIS.

It is called a heart muscle infection, and you can get it if you do hard exercises during illness. The risk of getting it is not very high, but the risk exist. Lately I have been under a lot of stress and been more tired, so I thought that why would I want to take the risk and jeopardize the whole season? After all, it's just a small race and I'm focusing on two 24-hour races. And nothing is more important than your health, I think.

The reason that I'm not getting better is probably because of the general workload at the moment. The next weekend is important, I have to be cautious. If I'm not ok I will limit my training.

Commuting:

Wednesday: 0:51:38, 20.49 km, 23.81 km/h, max. 43.0 km/h.
Thursday (today): 0:43:07, 19.04 km, 26.50 km/h, max. 43.8. km/h.

It seems also that we have the windiest spring in the South Finland. The wind was really hard again yesterday, but it has been finally calmer today. This morning it was also very cold, about -4 Celcius!

In the blogsphere there is plenty of interesting reading, like this by Dicky. The movie 24 Solo is also now out and available on DVD, read the great review here.

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

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Getting better

A quick update today. I'm not 100% ok but not sick either. I did a road ride today, but not a long one. Only 3 hours with Simone. The good thing is that I felt surprisingly good during the ride. We did several sprints and my legs responded fairly well. Stats: 3:00:39, 82.3 km, 27.3 km/h, hr. 143/177 bpm. I just hope that I will be 100% soon and I can do the important long rides in the near future.

Thursday marks the start of the racing season for me, more about that later...

By Toni at 23:20 | Permalink |
Category: General