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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Announcement!

GOOD NEWS! From July 14th 2011 this blog will serve as an archive blog only, and my blogging continues with Google Blogger at http://tonilund.blogspot.com !

So update your bookmarks, and welcome to improved blogsphere of Toni Lund!

By Toni at 16:04 | Permalink |
Category: General

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

Monday, January 03, 2011

2010 -> 2011

 

2010 is gone and we are already two days into 2011. It's time to have a little retrospective of 2010 and to see what is in the store for 2011.

It was pretty clear to me that my focus was shifting from endurance racing to bikepacking and little adventures, althought the core of my riding came from daily commuting. I'm really happy that I can ride bike on daily basis and that there are no barriers - I have done it from extreme cold to pouring rain. But the real highlights of the year were the overnighters - small adventures. There weren't many of them as I had so much other things going. The first winter overnighter in March was a real eyeopener and I was hooked.

In 2011 I'm looking for more overnighters and for a couple of slightly longer adventures. There is also a chance that I could return to 24-hour solo racing as well.

Winter overnighters and adventures will be much better with the new Marmot Never Summer sleeping bag that I got as a Christmas gift from my supportive wife, big thanks again!

And quite amazingly, it can be packed to small space:

One thing about last year was the winter that was really great, lots of snow and temperature below zero all the time. Over the years there has been a lot of talk about global warming and climate change. My opinion on this issue has been a long time that climate is a very complex system with a lot of variables and human race still knows very little about it. Current winter is even colder and snowier than last year. So what's going on? Negative Arctic oscillation index when colder and snowier winters occurs.

I'm finally to start feel fairly normal after a terrible flu in Christmas and the week after. Tomorrow I'm back to work and daily commuting and I'm going to try also some snow riding fun...

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

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, August 06, 2010

Some new gear and some little plans

After a very long silence here is finally blog update. This summer was going to be different as I've been working with a huge renovation and construction project at home. But my cycling is not forgotten, as I'm going to ride Merida MTB Finlandia and do some overnight adventures.

In the late April I decided to not do DIY frame bag as I don't have enough time and necessary skills. So I ordered a custom frame bag and a "gas tank" bag from Revelate Designs (formerly known as Epic Designs). They finally arrived today and my instant reaction was that they are absolutely brilliant!

I have also purcased some other new gear from summer sales. A strap of my Nike MTB shoe broke in the early summer so I used my old Shimano shoes for commuting. But they are pretty worn out and the left shoe's base is inclined and causes strange and bad feeling in my foot. So new budget shoes, Shimano SH-M063.

For stictly adventure purposes I found Halti Summerlite sleeping bag, Primus Mimer stove and McKinley Camper 180 Air sleeping pad.

We had a real winter and now we have had a real hot summer. The weekend forecast looks great again, closer +30°C temperature for Sunday, and Saturday/Sunday night +20°C! Seems to me that I will do an overnighter and test the new gear...

By Toni at 23:11 | Permalink |
Category: Gear, General

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Holiday report

 

 

The above photos were taken on 23rd and 24th of March. Two beautiful sunrises. The temperatures were around -10°C...-12°C. "The last breathe of winter". As I'm writing this, the spring is in full swing. A week ago it looked like it will take a long time for the snow to melt but now things look pretty good. Also, the first week of my holidays is almost over and I'm wondering why it has taken again so long for a blog or even Twitter update. But fortunately there is still over one week to go with my holidays, and here is finally something to read.

Right before my holidays started I felt that I really have to get some well deserved rest. I have not felt so tired for a long time. Now I'm starting to feel better and I'm really looking forward for a couple of longer bike rides. I did a short ride back home on Wednesday after I drove our car to service. The roads were really wet:

 

 

My plan is to ride on Sunday and maybe on Monday. Funny thing is that back in the late 90's and also the first years of the new millennium I did "an Eastern training camp", usually doing long road rides at least for four days. Nowadays I'm just happy if I can ride even one 3-4 hour ride. But, the weather forecast doesn't look too promising: rain. Just hoping that it wouldn't be so...

I have also played a lot of "head games" with myself about what events I can do this summer. I will do my decisions soon, and it looks like this year will be kind of "off year", as I have to concentrate on other things, but there could be still something nice. Stay tuned...

By Toni at 1:10 | Permalink |
Category: General

Saturday, February 13, 2010

3in1

I have always had hobbies. Music (piano lessons and much more), stamp collecting, photography, computers, besides cycling also a little of other sports. Many of those are still my hobbies but I'm not so active with them because of many other things in my life. But I'm very grateful to my parents and wife that I have had so good opportunities to pursue all these hobbies. And these hobbies tells a lot about me. With hobbies I have been always very ambitious and passionate and I can express myself very well with them.

When I was in school my dream work was to be a journalist. I was a trainee in Turun Sanomat when we had a so called TET (familiarizing with working life). Other things happened in my life and my profession is totally something else. But with this cycling blog I have found a way to actually pursue my dream. This is a lot like journalism.

So, as I like a lot of photographing (landscapes are my favourites), I purchased a new camera:

 

As the title says, my goal is to combine three of my hobbies: cycling, photography and blogging/journalism.

The bike pogies finally arrived yesterday and they seem really great:

 

 

I will be testing them tomorrow as I'm going to do a great winter ride with Yeti.

By Toni at 15:48 | Permalink |
Category: Gear, General

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

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Adventures

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!

By Toni at 0:52 | Permalink |
Category: General

Thursday, January 07, 2010

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.

By Toni at 23:02 | Permalink |
Category: General

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!

By Toni at 13:35 | Permalink |
Edited on: Thursday, January 07, 2010 22:46
Category: General

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Lights and morning "commuting"

I couldn't resist to try it this morning. I have a little flu but it's dark in the mornings and the route is so awesome.

So, I have the old Sigma Sport Mirage set with 5W+10W and the new Mirage Evo with 5W+10W and one additional 10W (Evo X) for helmet.

Ridiculous setup, isn't it? The front is heavy with all those batteries and changes riding quite alot. I could take the bottle holder away and move the batteries there, but this is only a temporary setup. What about the lightning? Well, now I can see even something. During Kangasala 24h I had only 5W on the handlebar (plus occasionally Cat Eye backup light) and 10W on the helmet. But still, the lightning power is suprisingly poor.

Otherwise today's morning commute went well and it is really fun. This is definitely big step in training. Why I figured out this only now? Probably because I didn't believe that I have the will power to stand up from the bed so early. But yes I can.

LATE EDIT: ordered the LED4 lights from Lumicycle on Tuesday evening, and off from work the rest of the week because of the flu.

By Toni at 17:11 | Permalink |
Edited on: Wednesday, September 09, 2009 13:48
Category: General

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Plenty of thoughts

It has been now a full week after Kangasala 24h and I have done some rethinking about the race. After all, it wasn't a real suprise that I had those problems with the lights and difficult conditions. I knew that with Sigma Sport Mirage Evo lights it was like bringing a knife to a gunfight. So, I'm already looking for new lights and this time they will be much much better. At the moment, the lights from Lumicycle (LED3 system) is a strong canditate. Before that I will be using the old Mirages, putting all of them (two 5W and three 10W) to use. A short report of that in the coming week...

Despite of the slight disappointment of Kangasala 24h, this year has been a good year as far my cycling goes. LEVI24 was a huge success, and the improvements with the course of Paimio's Revenge is another great thing. But at the same time this year has been very hard. A full time work, home and family and this pretty insane cycling hobby is a tough combination. It's time to make some changes and I'm starting with my bike commuting. I have really good opportunities to ride it differently. A longer course with a lot of singletrack is very close to my home and I did a test ride today. It takes about 45-50 minutes, as the road-only takes normally 20-25 minutes. Now, doing this in the morning and dark will be great training as the trails have also lots of slippery roots and rocks. Generally I will be riding it with the singlespeed, like I did it today, because that bike is easy and fast to service in the autumn/winter time.

 

A view from my new bike commute route.

The goal is to ride this once a week, sometimes maybe twice. I feel I'm very lucky that I have these opportunities. The trails of the new course are really fantastic and fun!

There are going to be some other changes as well but I will write more about them some other time.

All eyes are now on the weatherman as Paimio's Revenge is next Saturday...

By Toni at 14:35 | Permalink |
Category: General

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

IV PAIMIO'S REVENGE 12.9.2009

Fourth Edition of Paimio's Revenge, the traditional mountain bike group ride in Paimio, takes place 12th September 2009, starting 10:00 from Paimio's Sportspark.

We finally test rode almost the entire course and it is fantastic! (Pretty fast recovery from Kangasala 24h too...)

Preliminary data:

Lenght: 40 km
Riding time: 3h12min
Ascent: 510 m

Here is the file for Google Earth:

http://www.elisanet.fi/tonilund/paimiosrevenge/Paimios_Revenge_2009_reitti.kml 
By Toni at 21:45 | Permalink |
Category: General

Thursday, July 23, 2009

SS upgrades

 

Yes, it happened today. Surly Instigator fork and Blackspire Downhill 94/32 chainring.

The bike looks great to me, AND it is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC TO RIDE!! I rode yesterday a techical trail with the old setup and the same trail today with the new setup. One word: AWESOME. I was anticipating a good improvement but the Instigator fork and the change of head tube angle and wheelbase are much better than I expected. Can't wait to ride the course of Paimio's Revenge with it!

Big thanks to Jan of Pyöristi to make this happen.

By Toni at 19:38 | Permalink |
Category: General

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Single Speed Fever

It was destined to happen. Maybe I read too much the blog of Team Dicky in the past. I was well aware of the hype of single speed. And my friend Jan (Pyöristi) rides a SS. And two MTB-Turku guys rode full rigid SSs at the MTB-Lohja 24h. And, and, and...

Maybe the last straw is our project with Jan, improving the route of Paimio's Revenge. We have been riding on very demanding terrain and my XT rear derailleur was constantly in danger. With single speed one can ride in bad conditions suprisingly well. But, the idea of SS has been in my mind for a long time. I knew that I could build one because there were enough stuff left from other bike projects. It was time to resurrect the old "slush bike".

 

Maybe one reason why I didn't build this earlier was the fact that this frame (Oria 7020 aluminum, BTW) has slightly short top tube for a cross-country frame, althought the effective top tube lenght is 56.5 cm. But finally, it's here.

It was clear to me that this bike will be full rigid, because I already have two hardtails with front suspension. The bike is very much retro, which I like a lot. Most of the components are pre-2000. Cranks are 1998 Shimano Deore LX converted to single speed. Wheels are Mavic SUP 117 with Shimano XTR hubs. Brakes are Promax V-brakes, levers SRAM 9.0. Handlebar is FSA riser, originally 66 cm, shortened to 62 cm.

The first ride impession: WOW! This is really funny bike to ride. And the biggest suprise is that I can ride better in technical terrain. The efficiency on ascents is supreme. The gear ratio is 32X17 at the moment and I it seems to be fine for me at least now.

There will be however two upgrades right away. The fork will be replaced with Surly Instigator, and it will change the head tube angle to much better. Also, LX cranks will be fitted with Blackspire Epic 32 tooth chainring and original 42 big ring will be removed.

Of course I have more upgrade plans for this bike. Magura Julie hp for a front brake and HS33 for a rear brake and new wheels. But they have to wait for some time.

LATE EDIT: I'm really excited about this. Riding single-speed is a blast. It's both technically and physically very challenging. I have always lacked in the power departement but this will certainly change it.

By Toni at 18:33 | Permalink |
Edited on: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 22:17
Category: General

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Recovery update

Back to work and day-to-day routines this week. Did a 2 hour recovery road ride with Simone. Legs didn't feel too good as I did some unusual work at home. Bike commuting seems to be helpful for recovery but I need to be careful for another two weeks because it takes long time to fully recover from a 24-hour solo race.

The weather has been fantastic. Sunny and temperatures at 25-28 Celcius, maybe a little too hot at nights.

Planning also to check out the local trails with Jan of Pyöristi and do a ride with child trailer and Isabell.

By Toni at 15:53 | Permalink |
Category: General

Thursday, June 11, 2009

LEVI24 - Here we go!

Summer holidays started last Friday, and that is good because I have been really busy with the preparations for the travel to Levi and LEVI24 race. But things are going quite well. I got a last minute problem with my primary race bike - a spring in the air side of Manitou Skareb fork was broken but Foxcomp Turku miraculously fixed it!

The last two weeks has gone well and I feel confident for the race. The last two days shows again how important role the logistics play in a race of this magnitude. This will be also a holiday travel. We are going to be in Levi for a couple of days after the race. If I find an internet connection I try to send a twitter update after the race. Blog write-up probably on Friday 19th of June.

The weather looks much better than in 2007, althought it looks like it will rain on Sunday, but at least it will be much warmer.

But whatever the weather will be, it will be a showdown of will power!

By Toni at 0:34 | Permalink |
Category: General

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The season starts...

To my suprise this year is turning to be an exciting one. Lately I have been thinking that I am a bit crazy to try to do the same I did in 2007 - ride two 24-hour solo races, LEVI24 and Kangasala 24h. Well, now I am going ride three of them, althought the latest one won't be a solo race. I will join the team of Pyöristi at MTB-Lohja 24h next weekend. For those who doesn't already know, this is not a race, it is a charity event. But it is the first 24-hour mtb event in Finland and this is also the first time for me.

Actually I have been thinking for a long time that some day I want to ride 24-hour event in a team. This will be a new experience for me and I'm pretty excited about it.

The rest of the season will include of course those two other 24-hour races, and my favourite motion cycling events, Eteläkärjen ajot (road) and Finlandia MTB. I was also thinking about Pirkka Cycling but it is again only a week from LEVI24.

Bike commuting has been BLISTERING lately! I did a record time for the 9.5 km route back home on Monday, 17m07s. Old record was close to 17m30s-17m40s. BUT, today I really put a hard effort and the records is now 15m45s! Surely I had a tailwind on my back but not all the time. My commute records have been ridden with my cyclocross bike.

And the Saturday evening (16th of May) was unforgettable. Jean Michel Jarre played awesome concert in Helsinki Hartwall Arena!

By Toni at 20:38 | Permalink |
Category: General

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Super Monday

Well, my three week vacation is over and for some reason I didn't write an update - but, I did have time to join Twitter and add my messages to be shown on my blog. I have to say that I like it. It's fast and suits my busy lifestyle. I just have to figure out a cheap way to use it with my mobile phone.

My holidays were great. Althought this is a blog about my recreational cycling, I can't help myself to write about something else. I'm really proud to be a father of our little girl Isabell and I had great time with her during the holidays. On Eastern I rode three 3 hour road rides. Pretty happy with that althought I was looking for 4-5 hour rides. Yesterday I rode 3h45mins / 97 km with my friend Simone. Couldn't have done it without him. It was windy again and my body was tired after all the household chores. Here is a photo recap of the ride.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Simone for a great ride and photos!

I also finally ordered a child bike trailer and it arrived today.

Burley has a new model for this year, the Solo ST. This is really great stuff, it works as a stroller right away.

 

Really easy installation - can't wait to ride with it and Isabell!!

Also, a pair of new tires, Continental Mountain King 2.2 UST, for the primary racing bike.

 

To complete this super Monday I received three bars of very good Swiss chocolate, by Frey.

 

My recipe for a better day: a bike ride, Swiss chocolate and some good music. The world feels a lot better after those things.

I try to keep twittering and write some occasional blog posts during this summer.

By Toni at 0:24 | Permalink |
Category: General