Archive for June 2008
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

33

33? What's that? Is it 33 hours next, 24 hours isn't enough for me...?

Actually why not, but 33 is my age now. My birthday was on Monday, 16th of June. Damn, I'm getting older!

Last year I celebrated it by riding Levi24, this year I just did a nice evening ride on the trails of Paimio's Hiekkahelmi.

 

A sweet singletrack.

 

A beautiful sunset.

Riding in the evening is really great. When I hit the singletrack I started to feel the rush of adrenaline...

Today it was really rainy day. I did some shopping, purchased Thule RideOn bike carrier. Should help the logistics a lot in the future. Also found this on huge sale:

 

Nice looking helmet, only 14,90€! It's good to have more than one helmet. In 24-hour racing it's always better if you have almost everything more than one.

Also, I'm looking for another wheelset. And hoping for drier weather conditions...

By Toni at 0:43 | Permalink |
Category: General

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nearby riding

 

It has been a long time since I last ride with my mtb, so decided to do that in the afternoon. Actually the above photo is taken very close to my home. That singletrack is only 600 metres long but it is really nice. It was already raining, just a small drizzle, so I just rode nearby. It has rained now everyday (but not the whole day) for a week, so hopefully there will be better weather soon, and more mountain biking.

The small drizzle changed to real rain in the evening. Just like a year ago at Levi. As writing this, this years Levi24 race has been underway for 13 hours. The weather conditions seems to be much better this year. Like last year, you can follow the race from the perspective of the Kona team at the blog of Kona Russ. These guys knows how to have fun in 24-hour races! Great stuff!

It would be so nice to be over there... and I really hope that I will be there in 2009.

Speaking of event riding, there is also a "night" version for Pirkka Cycling, called Pirkka Nightcycling on the shorter 134 km route. (13th and 14th of June this year). If gas price wouldn't be so high I would have ridden that one too.

By Toni at 1:18 | Permalink |
Category: General

Monday, June 09, 2008

Event Report: 31st Pirkka Cycling 2008

What a day in the saddle!

Prior to this event I had mixed feelings, because I'm really unfit. I have ridden only a couple of base endurance rides this spring. I have done a decent amount of bike commuting but that doesn't help for a long event like this one. On the other hand I have had the burning desire inside me to participate in this event as the route is so great and beautiful, and despite of my form, to suffer a little bit. So, my goal was to survive 210 km (route a little different from previous years) and to test how the food and drink service would work.

As usual, I was awake late on Saturday and slept only a few hours. Woke at about 3.40 in the night. Left home at 4.30, arrived in Tampere at 6.20. My start time was 7.04. Hmm, this is almost like in a 24-hour race! The weather was looking good. Sunny but also windy.

After start I was looking for a group with suitable speed, and I rode for the first hour in a nice group. But when we hit the first longer hills I had to leave the group because I knew that I would be in trouble if I would continue with that speed. We weren't riding that fast but I knew that my poor form and the other half of the event would not be a such good idea. After the first hour the wind was really hard and was mostly headwind. That hurt. But there was also the first service point at 47 km. Only raisins and all the drinks. Not too bad because this was just the beginning.

Ok, after this the problem was that I was riding alone. I decided to ride with a moderate speed and see if someone would come up behind or at least find some companion in the next service point at 65 km mark. Well, the supply of the service was good, with a banana, chocolate bars and the drinks, and I left the sp with some riders, but couldn't hold the speed in the next longer hill. I was alone again. Then a couple of riders came up behind me and I rode with them to next sp at 87 km. Thanks to them because I had the first feelings that this wouldn't work today at all and I should probably quit. But, the sp in Komi is classic with their meat-potato-soup. There was also blueberry soup, bread and salt cucumber and the usual drinks. No problems in the energy department.

The next section to sp at 114 km I rode completely alone. But I found the will to continue and survive. After 114 km sp I joined two riders and rode with them about 20 kms. Their speed was a bit slow but it was good for me because I saved some energy for the tough parts to come. Picked up the pace a little bit to the next sp at 142 km: a chocolate bar and some coffee and drinks. I continued with a better speed and joined two riders and chatted with them. The other was actually ultra distance road cyclist! Rode with them to next sp at 159 km, where were bread with salt cucumber, blueberry soup, chocolate bar and drinks. We continued together to next sp at 175 km and also after that for a while but I felt so good that I rode to the finish alone with a fairly good speed.

The statistics of the day: riding time 7:44:53.0, distance 210.9 km, avg. speed 27.2 km/h, heart rate avg. 136/max. 176 bpm, sum of ascent 1630 m. In 2006 avg. speed was 30.3 km/h but I was in a much better shape back then. This was probably my best performance in such a bad form, the other was in 2005 when I rode Myllyn Pyöräily after disastrous summer. But in the same time this is the one of the reasons why I like cycling. You can do something even if you are not fit. It is also a mental game. You just have to make a decision in your head, to continue no matter how much you suffer.

Thanks for organizers for a great event, the food and drink service was good again!

Also, what a great way to start my summer vacation!

A view from the route. Beautiful.

From the start/finish area.

Too tired to lift that medal?

By Toni at 16:26 | Permalink |
Category: 2008 Race Reports

Sunday, June 01, 2008

An update

Time to bring this blog alive again, although don't know how long for.

There is maybe too many things going on in my life at the moment but I think I'm ok with all of this. I have been a father for a little baby girl for a little over a month now, and I have to say this has been fantastic period of time so far. Cycling is a little bit in the background at the moment but this will gradually change.

So what are my plans? I can tell that I'm not racing Levi24 this year, as our baby is too young for that kind of travelling. But I'm going to "race" Kangasala 24h. Racing 24-hours straight doesn't sound possible for me at the moment but there is still three months to the event so anything is still possible. My biggest dream is to win myself, and the biggest rival is inside me. I don't care much about a podium place anymore. The greatest thing about 24-hour racing is the adrenaline rush you get from it and the atmosphere of the events.

There are also some other events I will take part this summer. Last week I got this in the mail:

 

Yes, Pirkan Pyöräily / Pirkka Cycling on 8th of June. A classic road motion cycling event in Finland. I rode this for the first time in 2006 and missed it last year because of Levi24. I will be riding the long 217 km event again. It's only a week away and I'm not in form but I'm sure it will be a nice day in the saddle with all the good food service.

After Pirkka there will be a long break and during this time I hope to do some long training rides. Event riding will return in August. On 10th of August I will head to Tammisaari for Eteläkärjen ajot / Sydspets Rundan. A motion cycling event again on road. Did this also in 2006 (and 2003-2005) and missed it last year because of Kangasala 24h. In the end of August there are Finlandia MTB and Myllyn Pyöraily. These three events will be a good preparation for Kangasala 24h. There is really no reason to do more events as gas price is so high and is probably getting higher as holiday season goes on.

I have also some long term cycling dreams. Some year I would like to ride Vätternrundan in Sweden, as it is the biggest cycling event in the world. Another dream is to ride in Italy. Actually I rode there in 1998 with my father and rode Monte di Carpegna which was in this years Giro d'Italia. What a fantastic course this year! The event I'm looking for in Italy is Granfondo Nove Colli. But only time will tell when these will (if they will) happen.

And of course now I'm looking for this :

Riding with a child trailer will start next spring.

Tomorrow the objective is to get up early and commute by bike.

By Toni at 23:24 | Permalink |
Category: General