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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Event Report: Pirkka Cycling 2010


Photo: An awesome view from the route of Pirkka Cycling 2010.

This report comes a little late but my life is currently, and will be for this summer, very busy, but in a good way.

For this year I wasn't really planning for a 24-hour solo race or any other big event. LEVI24 was on my mind but it didn't fit with my other plans. Kangasala 24h is not taking place this year. I have still not done Tahko MTB but even that event is not going to happen with me this year. Fortunately there is always something, and so I decided to ride Pirkka Cycling, for a third time. Previous years were 2006 and 2008. Logistically this is also pretty easy, despite the early morning start of 7:00. Logistics were also really easy and great this time, as my friend Peter came from Turku to Paimio with his car and we travelled together to Tampere.

Peter had registered to the 34 km/h average speed group. When I registered to the event all the speed groups were full. Not really a problem because I wanted to take everything for the 47 eur registration fee. Pirkka Cycling is known for the good food and drink service, I did the same in 2008. This year I went even further as I had empty bottles in the start. No need to get own sports drinks as Pirkka offers as much you want to drink.

The weather in the morning was ominous. It rained throughout the travel from Turku but the rain ended in Tampere. The roads were partially wet for the first two hours but after that they were dry and the weather was really nice! I rode the first 1.5 hours with a larger group and riding was really easy cruising. After the first service point I lost contact with the group and rode for some time alone. Before the classic Komi meat-potato-soup service point I was joined with a local guy and chatted with him. After Komi I rode again alone but was joined with the same guy in the SP of Kuru. That was a very good thing because I felt really tired at the 4-4.5 hour mark. We rode the rest of the event together and chatted a lot. Really nice bloke, this is one of the great things of Pirkka and other cycling events: meet like-minded people and have a great day in the saddle.

Easy riding:

Nice roads:

The service point of Komi:


A slideshow with more photos is here.

All in all, a great day! 210 km and 7h37mins. Thanks to Peter for the logistics!

By Toni at 0:00 | Permalink |
Category: 2010 Race Reports, Training

Friday, April 09, 2010

A cyclocross ride


Distance: 40.31 km
Time: 1h51mins
Heart rate: 119/161 bpm (avg./max.)

After checking a little nervously the rain radar, I dediced to do a 1-2 hour ride with the cyclocross bike. Like the above parorama shot shows, there is not much snow left, and it is tempting to head out to the trails, but looking the forests more carefully it seems that it's worth to wait a little longer.

Nice ride today as I managed to ride before the rain started. Took some nice shots. Landscapes are my favourites and I'm practising to take good panorama shots.

Decided to not ride this "river"...:

Another view of the ever so nice valleys of Paimio:

I rode one gravel road that I haven't ridden before. As I stopped to take more photos I heard the sounds of cranes. A big flock of cranes was right above me!

The gravel road was really nice, twisting and hilly:

I have a few days left of holiday and will probably ride on Sunday, and maybe head out to those local trails. 

By Toni at 18:56 | Permalink |
Category: Training

Sunday, February 14, 2010

One day in winter paradise

Distance: 109 km
Time: 6h15 min (total time almost 8h including all the stops)
Heart rate: 134 bpm avg./165 bpm max.
Elevation: 980 m

As the ÅÅ24ÖÖ ride (an iceroad ride from Turku to Åland Island) wasn't going to happen this year because of the too thin ice conditions, I planned a longer winter ride in the Paimio-Kemiö area, and asked Yeti to come with me. The route includes a cross of Halinkonlahti between Lappdal and Rajalahti, if the ice seems safe enough. The route is partially familiar to me but this time the goal was to avoid big roads and ride on the small roads as much as possible.

We started a little over 8 o'clock from Paimio. It was -18C when I left home, really cold, and also humid! Fortunately the pogies just arrived for this ride.

I was using CamelBak H.A.W.G hydradtion pack with insulated winter hose but it freezed very soon (I forgot to blow the water out from the hose). On Yöntiläntie, near Hajala, I tried to take first photos with my new camera (battery fully charged) but the camera reported that battery is empty! I put the camera in my jacket's back pocket and hoped that it would help. And yes, for the rest of the ride the camera worked flawlessly.

Yeti and his Salsa Fargo.


In Kokkila, there is a ferry to Angelniemi. Fortunately there was also a hole in the ice swimming club open with a warm dressing room. There I was able to melt my frozen drinking system.

But the drinking system freezed again later. Yeti gave me one of his bottles, big thanks to him.

The Kokkila ferry.

On the Kemiö island there were some really awesome forest roads, like these.

Also one hike-a-bike section.

In Lappdal, there were marks from other people on the ice, and also other people on the ice. We decided to cross the bay.

The rest of the ride back to Paimio included a lot more fantastic small roads, but riding felt really hard. This was probably the hardest winter ride I have ever done. At times, it felt brutal, but yes, this is paradise! Back home it was -8C. I took a sauna and ate a big plate of spaghetti with meat sauce. Now I feel great, maybe a little tired.

Thanks again to Yeti for the great ride, there is great report on his blog, check it out.

By Toni at 17:28 | Permalink |
Category: Adventures, Training