Category Commuting
« Adventures | Main | Fatbike »

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Sunrise!

The morning commute is almost always nice, the only downside is the destination: workplace. It would be of course much nicer to continue riding.

This morning was a bliss. A spectacular sunrise. When the opportunity comes, you gotta take it!

 

 

 

 

 

And tomorrow is the day, the new bike project will be here! Expect another dose of photos here tomorrow evening...

By Toni at 18:06 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting, Photographing

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

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Chasing sunset

 

Above photo was taken this week on Monday (31st of January 2011). There hasn't been many opportunities this winter to take good sunset photos (or sunrises), but this Monday evening was very good for that. I took a lot of photos, and some of theme are here, take a look. Sunsets and sunrises are probably my favourite theme for landscape photographing. I hope I will catch a lot of more good sunsets this year...

After Monday the scenes has looked pretty much this:

January was warm. Too warm. On the other hand it could have been a lot worse. In 2007 there wasn't snow in January at all, maybe a little in the end of that month, and there were some pretty heave rainfalls.

There has been lately some predictions that the end of this winter will be very cold and could last even to the early April. Interesting to see what will happen.

Slushy conditions have not been really an issue for me, commuting has gone very well. And a very nice thing is how well the Revelate Designs bags work for grocery shopping. And small packets are easily transported with the seatpost rack:

Today's commuting featured both slush and ice:

Today I finally received a cook and cutlery set for my adventure gear, and I will test them soon:

By Toni at 23:29 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting, Gear, Photographing

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Step back

Winter has taken a little step back, as in the last two weeks the temperature has risen above zero several times and also hovered around zero. Last night a lot of stuff came down from the sky, fortunately in the right kind of form: snow. Commuting was also much better after icy nightmares.

The beauty of winter:

The latest 10 day weather forecast is a little more promising, as we should have slightly colder temperatures at a range of -5 to -16°C. However, the window is now smaller for the Ice Journey adventure.

It has been only two weeks now from the last S24O but I'm already looking for another overnighter. Hopefully it will happen in the end of this month.

By Toni at 19:33 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting, General

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ice commuting

 

The long, below 0°C winter conditions from early November 2010 halted on Sunday, and yesterday I was back to conditions that I haven't faced for over two years: ice, damn slippery ice without studded tires.

 

 

The Nokian Boazobeana tyres are great in snow and slush but horrible on ice. Back to WXC300 studded tyres for tomorrow.

I shot a couple of photos today as well.

 

 

Also finally updated the Snow overnighter report with some thoughts on gear.

By Toni at 18:41 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Snow fun

We had a couple of inches more snow again last night. Also the local snowplowers are not doing their work so well, so I decided to change the tyres of my winter bike. Nokian Hakka WXC300 studded tyres are not good in snow, but I happen to have a pair of old Nokian Boazobeana tyres that were marketed as snow tyres back in the late 90s.

A view from my normal commute. The Boazobeanas are much better in these conditions.

 

I decided to check out some of the local trails after work. The evening is setting in.

 

Snow paradise.

 

 

This trail was not rideable but it was still fun to push the bike thru the snowdrift.

 

 

I took this short video of my walk.

Some tracks of local inhabitants.

 

 

Came across to a point where some people had walked. I tried to ride here but it was impossible.

 

A look to awesome evening sky.

 

Another view from the trail.

The Boazobeana winter tyre.

My winter bike with a retro feel.

A beautiful winter evening in Paimio.

It was -14°C when I got back home. The forthcoming night would be perfect for a winter overnighter! The weather forecasts don't look so good at the moment as temperature is supposed to get closer 0°C, or even above, in the end of the week. But let's see what happens. I'm looking forward for overnighter with Peter on Wednesday-Thursday night as Thursday is a holiday.

By Toni at 20:41 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting, MTB Rides

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blizzard commute

Wow! It's almost hard to believe that we have so good start to this winter. The last winter (2009/2010) was absolutely awesome but is it possible that it will be the same also this time, or even better? It looks like it at the moment. After today's stunning blizzard the ten day forecast promises very cold weather as the night temperatures can drop even to -20°C. Early december is forecasted to be a little warmer but still well under freezing point. The start of this winter is much better than last year. All this leads to speculation of a very exciting, maybe-once-in-a-lifetime, adventure. But everything is possible and it's way too soon to be elated...

Today's commuting was again like a tiny adventure. Riding through a blizzard with excellent set of LED lights and other good gear is a fantastic experience! The very familiar milieu suddenly transforms to very exciting place. It's interesting that over the years I'm liking more and more of challenging conditions.

Also a nice suprise today was that my Nokian Hakka 300/WXC 300 tyres weren't so bad in the snow. Yes, they still sucked but not too badly. But I really hope that my forthcoming bike project will happen. In the post Some late fall things I hinted about it. So what could it be...? Fairly easy to guess. I have good hardtail mtb, cyclocross, road (+TT) and singlespeed bikes already, so yes, it will be a fat bike/floatation bike. But actually it will be much more. And more about that later...

By Toni at 20:06 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting, Gear

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Intro to winter

 

Oh yes! First snow of this winter and moderately stormy weather. Darkness of the evening and 1600 lumens on my handlebar and helmet, it was instant "micro adventure" on my commute back home.

 

 

The whole environment feels so different. I really enjoyed this today.

By Toni at 21:35 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Some late fall things

 

I have been doing most of my fall commutes with the commuter mtb/winter adventure bike, like on Mondday, but I decided on Monday night that it's time for the cyclocross bike on Tuesday. Although cyclocross bike with fenders is good choice for bad weather conditions, I have saved it more for summer use. In the morning it was really foggy, but in the afternoon it was kind of 'standard fall grey' and I took a couple of photos.

It's always a little funny feeling to ride with the cyclocross bike after a long break - the bike feels pretty light and fast.

I was already planning to do Wednesday morning commute with the singlespeed and via the trail route, but it seems that it will be slightly rainy so I will do that probably on Thursday. This is kind of 'a special commuting week', almost everyday with a different bike.

Tonight I did a small upgrade for my primary bike. After I started using riser handlebars with the winter commuter and singlespeed, I felt that the flat bar of my primary bike is a little too narrow and lacking comfort. So I found PRO Riser15 low-riser bar from Pyöristi.

Before:

After:

The old flat bar was only 56cm wide, the new low-riser is 60cm wide. Wider bars offers better control on technical trails, but low-riser keeps it also aggressive for marathon and 24-hour racing.

On Friday evening I will be heading out for an overnighter with Yeti and Jan. Destination is new to us, includes a lean-to and is not far away - getting excited!

And speaking of exciting things, I have a new bike project on the horizon! If all stars will be aligned right, this could happen in the spring of next year. But what kind of bike? Let's say that very much adventure, very much fun... stay tuned.

By Toni at 22:20 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting, Gear, General

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring frost!

A very stunning morning today. Not really unusual but doesn't happen too often.

 

 

The bad news is that I'm sick with flu (still did the usual bike commute and took these photos). There were preliminary plans for an overnighter at Marttila with Yeti but fortunately he also cancelled his adventure plan and we will try this later...

By Toni at 22:39 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Commute trails are back!

Finally today back to my commute trails in the afternoon! Almost all snow has melted, and some of the trails were suprisingly dry. Of course there were also some wet spots and even one place with snow. But very fun to ride with the singlespeed.

 

 

 

 

 

By Toni at 21:54 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring in the air

 

Photo: A landscape view from my home, 17.3.2010 19:26.

The daily commuting is getting a little more challenging as temperatures hovers above and below 0°C. During last week the bike roads were really slushy, like in the photo below:

 

Now if that kind of stuff freezes during the night, you have probably the worst possible conditions in the next morning. For my "disappointment" this road was later cleared, althought maybe it's also better for me that I have fairly easy conditions in the mornings when I'm usually in a hurry.

When the conditions are slushy and wet in the afternoons, and icy in the mornings, it's better to have full fenders, disc brakes and studded tires. I have full fenders on my multi-purpose bike but it has tubeless wheelset/tires, and singlespeed doesn't have full fenders but it has normal rims with studded tires. I could install studded tires with inner tubes by removing tubeless valves but usually the valves are not airtight after removal. They are also pretty expensive so it's better to have a separate disc-brake wheelset for the multi-purpose bike. But then again, even a budget wheelset is too expensive for me at the moment, so what can I do? Fortunately I have old rim brake wheelset originally from Wheeler, and I decided to convert it to disc-brake wheelset with Jan the Pyöristi. The hubs are Shimano SLX and discs centerlock Shimano Deore.

 

 

 

First ride with these on the Monday morning, and conditions will be icy!

On Saturday I found a couple of cheap items for my adventure gear. KingCamp compression pillow (5,95€) and KingCamp fastening belts (4,95€).

 

Only one week of work and then it's the long waited winter holiday of two weeks! I have a lot of household chores to do, but I hope I can do a couple of longer rides and my plan is also to read two books: Alex Hibbert's The Long Haul and Jill Homer's Ghost Trails.

By Toni at 16:00 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting, Gear

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday commute in photos

Took a little different route back home today and here are the results...

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Toni at 20:27 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Commuting limits?

 

Photo: Commuting view, the morning of 4.3.2010.

I've been commuting by bike from 2007 almost every day, and I've been thinking if there is any kind of limit that would prevent me from commuting. Winters are usually the hardest if it's very cold (-20C or more). A lot of snow without snow clearers work can be also a factor, or if the roads are extremely icy. This winter there have been a lot of cold weather and also a lot of snow. My conclusion? No limits. My winter riding gear is now better with the bike pogies so I think I can commute even if the temperature drops to -30C, and here in South Finland it is very rare. But I have to admit that daily commuting is possible as the lenght is only 9,5 km and takes about 30 minutes. Maybe 20 km / 1 hour would be manageable but after that the time would be limiting factor. To my old work place it was well over 40 km. Daily that would be simply too much.

Actually the road conditions have been fairly easy this winter, as the temperature stayed below freezing from the end of December to late February, and snow clearers did their job pretty well. A couple of times I have had to ride thru a lot of snow but I like it when it's challenging. March is usually the worst when the roads are icy, and usually the ice is uneven.

 

Photo: Rugged bike road, 3.3.2010.

 

Photo: Beautiful Friday afternoon, 5.3.2010.

Here is a list of my usual winter riding clothes when it's very cold:

Last week I followed the 2010 Iditarod Trail Invitational, and also Mike Curiak is doing his awesome self-supported adventure.

BTW: as the Haloscan commenting system is closing down, I'm trying to convert the old comments to IntenseDebate.

By Toni at 11:42 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting, Gear

Saturday, January 30, 2010

New look

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!

By Toni at 22:08 | Permalink |
Category: Adventures, Commuting, Gear, General