Small hands on hoods

The three important contact points to a road bike are saddle, pedals and brake hoods. Different styles of saddles and crank lengths are easily available and switching between them is fairly simple mechanics job. With road bike brake hoods there is not so much variety. You need to have correct size to be able to ride, change gears and especially brake safely. The brake lever and gear selector can be hard to reach and diameter needs to be comfortable to ride comfortably on hoods. Continue reading

Elvis has left the building

I’ve told you about my good friend Frank earlier. A week ago I received the sad news that he has passed away. He battled for a good year and a half before his health inevitably deteriorated. He was tested in ways no human should have to suffer. The incredible thing is he stayed positive despite all the hardships that were thrown his way. While it was all very sad I can only be inspired by that unrelenting attitude. The sad fact is that he always was a much better man than I can ever be. I’m just amazed how with all the pain he kept reaching out to people and actively making a positive impact on others’ lives.

Continue reading

On the archipelago trail

One of the iconic cycling routes in Finland is a loop around the beautiful archipelago around the west coast city of Turku. The full “Saariston rengastie” route is around 220km long, but there is also a shorter version (“pieni rengastie”) and both can be ridden in a day. I had been meaning to do the long one, but chickened out and ended up riding the short version in the beginning of August.

Continue reading

What you measure matters

This year I have not tracked my riding distance, but instead decided to concentrate on time spent doing any sporting activities in the name of fun. The goal for this year is 365h. The graph above depicts hours spent doing any sports with 2021 in green and orange is 2020. Last year I made it to 300h and the result this far is close to 250h. Really happy with that and I have not even counted hiking, playing soccer with my son or my refound hobby skateboarding

It feels like I have done so much more than just cycling all the time. Still outside riding mileage is surprisingly close to what the status was last year. This year the virtual riding was replaced to large extent by nordic skiing and ice hockey outdoors. I have to admit in the past I have played floorball and basketball that I have not marked in any way so the statistics are not totally accurate. Still I think the graph shows that I have managed to raise the number of hours exactly like I planned.

Life goals: Cycling edition

The yearly plans tend to be passed on from year to another so maybe I should just create a checklist for the rest of my life and make it a sticky post just so that I remember.

  1. Ride the full Archipelago Trail route
  2. Ride north from Kauhava following the river to the sea
  3. 300km brevet to Pukkilanharju
  4. Climb Sa Calobra and ride to Formentor in Mallorca
  5. Ride up to Lapland via Oulu and Rovaniemi
  6. Climbs in the Alps (Col de Galibier, Col de la Madeleine,
    Col de l’Iseran, Alpe d’Huez)
  7. Climbs in the Pyrenee (Col d’Aubisque, Col du Tourmalet, Hautacam, Superbagnères, Col de Peyresourde)
  8. Climbs in the Dolomites (Stelvio, Passo Lavaredo, Passo di Gavia, Passo Giau)
  9. 4th and 5th VätternRundan
  10. Retro Ronde in Belgium or Nuovo Eroica in Chianti

Who knows if I ever get to do these, but it is good to have some concrete things in mind. Some more philosophical look on the life goals outside of cycling will be done separately.

Review: Wahoo RFLKT+

I’ve been riding with a phone in my pocket for a few years now. Initially I was using the Strava app, but after they removed the ant+ functionality I moved to Wahoo Fitness. The solution has been working fine for a while. I don’t really need routing so the only thing that I was missing was a screen to show my power meter numbers. My eyesight has gotten poorer so I mounting the phone onto the Garmin mount was no longer cutting it. I did not want to buy a bike computer or a navigator so when I came across Wahoo Rflkt+ it sounded like a great concept. Basically it is just a dumb screen that connects to an app on your phone. All was looking great, but apparently the power functionality is not working.

Continue reading

Ten years of Cicli Chinarello

It seems that time flies. It was already 12 years ago I got hooked on road cycling. After riding couple of times on my mountain bike to the cottage it was clear I needed another bike for the road. Initially I was more interested in vintage racers and my first true road bike was a 1980s Bianchi 748. I think rode like 150km on old Russian silk tubular tires during that first year. The second year I rode 500km, but the frame was way too big for me and gluing tubulars was a hazzle. So I started researching other economical options for purchasing a road bike. That is essentially why I ran into chinese carbon fiber frames and how this blog was born.

Continue reading

Review: Foakley Light Packet

I have a bad habit of breaking or just plain losing my sunglasses. The problem is especially highlighted when I ride my bike. I either drop them riding or leave them somewhere when I stop. Couple of years back I thought I would give cheap chinese alternatives a chance. The models available on the merchant sites are either generic designs or copies of brand name products. While I really think it is lame to straight-up copy products I could not resist trying Thawbrakers. I used them a lot, but when the new model called Light Packet came out I had to try them.

Continue reading

New winter activity

It seems like when a finnish male comes to a certain age he is going to pick-up cross-country skiing. In all honesty for a long time I felt skiing was a stuck-up sport I would not like to associate myself with. My previous experience is from the army 25 years ago, but I guess time did its work. Last week I popped into a shop and bought a pair of cross-country skis on sale. Now I’ve tried it couple of times and its allure is actually very similar to cycling. You get to search new tracks and there is the thrill of the speed bombing down the hills. I feel little out of control at times, but it has been a lot of fun to reconnect with something from the past. As a kid we were forced to ski in school every year, but these days we do not have enough snow every year.

Love to do 2021

I have been writing to-do lists for the past seasons and more often than not I have failed to accomplish most things in those lists. I don’t really mind the individual failures as long as I have managed to keep things challenging enough to be fun. So far everything has worked out quite okay, but just to be clear this time I will formulate the list as things I would love to do.

The only real goals for season 2021 are to ensure variety to keep things fun and keep active to have enough exercise.

  • One hour of exercise or other activity per day
  • Ride a metric century with my boy
  • Ride a 300km brevet or a multi-day adventure like the archipelago route

In practice the daily exercise can be riding indoors, ice hockey, basketball or any other sport. Doing that longer epic ride with son is going to take all day so if we finish with 70 or 80km that is just fine. 100 is just a number and there is no need to push it. I will try to ride regularly anyways and start the season early. This time I want to try keep myself warm and comfy with some new tricks. No need for new bikes for me, but the boy and wife might need some new MTB builds.

So yeah, So far I have almost 15 hours in 12 days. Let’s keep that up!