Wintertime love

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In addition to the short commute to work I haven’t done much cycling lately. I have just been feeling tired and had too much to do. Last weekend I had some time so I tried mountain biking in the winter for the first time. Now I’m kicking myself why I haven’t tried it before. During the summer the woods here are full of roots. Same paths with trampled snow however are the best single-track I have ridden. It is slippery at places, but snow studs keep you upright as long as you have enough momentum going. It gives you confidence to know there is a 30cm snow cushion to catch if you were to fall.

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Winter time winds blow, cold the season. Psyched to ride I’m hoping to be. Fallen ill, is that the reason? Keeping spinning is warming me.

Season goals 2015

WP_20141225_002 It has slowly dawned on me 2015 I should not promise too much as far as cycling goes. With the new job and renovations at the apartment building there will be enough of other challenges. The only real goal is to enjoy myself outdoors and challenge myself on some epic adventures.

As far as mileage goes I don’t care, but I have to do 1000km before the trip to Sweden. Anyways I hope I get to ride twice a week and on the track a few times. Regular exercise is a good stress reliever after all. To mix things up some fixed-gear criterium races would be nice. In addition participating in some randonneur type events should be fairly easy to arrange. Continue reading

Training for season 2015

My riding has improved season after season, but during the short Nordic summer you can only get so far. It is pretty apparent that hard work is required also off-season in order to accomplish results. In the end it is no use training hard for three months then slack off for six just to have to start building from scratch. I would like to take my cycling to another level, but I’m lacking both in physical endurance and power. Some steps need to be taken and this is my plan for the long dark winter.

dry day

The odd dry day.

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Review: cheap LED-lamps

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Finland is a grim place in winter. The whole period from October to February is dark and cold. Until we get some snow good lights are essential for safe commuting. The new lights based on high-efficienct light-emitting diodes are game changers. Bicycle lights still have a tendency to break easily or get stolen so I’ve experimented with some cheap alternatives to well-known vendors. As always it seems you get what you pay for.

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Veni, vidi, vici

L’Eroica vintage cycling event took place October’s first weekend in Tuscany, Italy. The village of Gaiole is tucked in between lush hills of Chianti and provides a beautiful backdrop for an epic cycling adventure. I had signed up for the 135km route and despite some hard ships along the way managed to pull it off. Whatever distance you ride you need to be prepared for some heroics as the name of the event suggests.

Strada bianchi

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Tuscany – here I come

L’Eroica vintage sportive is approaching fast. Reading about epic accounts on the event it is slowly dawning on me that I’m in for a real challenge. Originally the idea was to leisurely stroll around some strade bianche, the famous white roads of Chianti. When the event was six months away riding 137km did not sound too far fetched an idea. Apparently hills in Tuscany are brutal and it will be pretty much impossible to draft behind others on gravel. The only thing working for me at the moment is that I got a proper sized bike. My 55cm Tunturi Professional (fabricated by Paletti no less) should be a good fit. Now I just need to get myself and the bike to Gaiole.

Frame By Paletti, full Shimano 600 Arabesque groupset

Frame By Paletti, full Shimano 600 Arabesque groupset

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Spec season kick-off

Uphill slog

With the road cycling season ending in a disappointment this month’s physical exercise has mostly involved playing soccer. Even though we have had some fun rides with the kid it seems the only way to really get excited about cycling again is to start dreaming about a new bike. Good engineer starts with a requirement specification so I’ve tried to gather my thoughts. The way it is now I think only a good set of carbon wheels and a power meter can cure the gloom. Continue reading

Third time unlucky

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It is horrible feeling when you realize all the training you have done all summer is going down the drain. That happened to me this weekend as I suffered a puncture 100km into the Tour de Helsinki sportive. Of course you got to be thankful to have made it safe to the goal line, but there is no joy when your season goal is in ruins. To be perfectly honest my preparations did no go exactly as planned so I guess you just have to take it as it comes. Continue reading