As the autumn sets in many Nordic cyclists opt for indoor training instead of venturing out into the darkness or muddy CX races. The gloomy months would of course be a good to time to recover, but it would also be a great chance to instill some variety into training. Previous years to keep myself in shape I have played ice-hockey and gone climbing always when time allows. This year I managed to fracture my wrist ice-skating early in September. Five weeks off the bike and ban on all other exercise is starting to result to severe weight gain. I’m over-eating to compensate for aches and consequently loosing all results from summer of cycling. The worst part is doing nothing much is awfully boring. I need my fix of regular exercise!
Yesterday was a new bike day (NBD). Winter is coming, but I bought myself a second-hand White RR Aero Killer with Shimano 11-speed drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes. Basically it is a no-name chinese frame with decent kit. I’m not a big fan of the awfully long hoods and white bar tape, but this thing sure is fast. I’m tempted to upgrade it to Di2 or eTap, but let’s see if I can get the mechanic 105 setup just right and how I get on with the hoods if I change to an even shorter stem.
When I wrote the earlier post on season 2018 we were in the middle of an unprecedented heat wave. I had been riding in record amounts, but exhaustion was already starting to kick in. By mid August I reached my goal of 3000km for the season and I was already contempt with that. I kept riding to keep fit for season ending sportive, but now I’m happy to pack it in. It wasn’t a disaster year, but not really a total slam dunk either. There were many good moments and that is what counts. Continue reading
After last year’s solid performance I dared to sign up to the sportive‘s fastest group. Still before the event I was pretty apprehensive how I would manage. Everything doesn’t always turn up as expected and this time was no exception. Basically things turned sour already the day before. I went to oil my chains and found the rear tyre flat. That was not what I would have hoped for after the weather forecast had just turned better and flu symptoms were almost gone. Still all I could do was to change the inner tube and try my luck the next morning. Continue reading
I already thought chinese carbon frames are totally out of fashion, but what goes around comes around. After gravel bikes were the “must-have” trend aerodynamic disc brake bikes are now the latest craze. Slowly but surely the market is responding to the demand. There are several models available from chinese carbon frame manufacturers that can alleviate the itch of buying a Venge, a Foil or a Propel. Some things have clearly changed since the golden years of cheap chinese carbon fiber and worth noting about the latest developments. Continue reading
I signed-up for the Helsinki Velotour sportive’s fastest leaded group and I’m seriously worried I’m in over my head. I’m still hoping I can keep myself protected in the group and tag along at least until half-way. If everything goes amazingly well I just might make it to the finish. Keeping with the group would require an incredible feat on my part so I need a plan on how to tackle the beast. I would love to end the season in style. Continue reading
It is still summer, but the short nordic road cycling season is eventually starting to near its end. After the trip to Belgium and a 200km brevet pretty early in the spring I had plenty of early season prep. The hockey playing seems to have transferred over quite well and it hasn’t hurt that I weight 5kg less than usually after the winter. There were couple of rainy weeks, but mostly weather has been amazing. So, at least so far, things have turned out alright with healthy mix of riding both on gravel and tarmac. Continue reading
I started road cycling on a steel Bianchi and while carbon fiber frames are light I still missed the shock absorbing quality of metal. Carbon fiber is great at filtering the smaller amplitude road buzz, but our local roads are full of potholes and cracks. Titanium and stainless steel do not suffer from the same corrosion problems as vintage steel had so it was just a matter of time I would bite the bait. A year ago Planet-X had their regular periodic sale on their titanium cyclocross frame Pickenflick I could not resist any longer. Continue reading
I ordered a custom carbon fiber wheelset from a smaller chinese vendor last year. The wheels were delivered in the heart of winter 2017 so I have now ridden a whole season with them. The initial impressions were good. The wheels are more or less like I had specified, rims have staid straight and there are no obvious signs of major problems. I ended up having the wheels rebuilt as the alloy nipples keep cracking. Nevertheless I have been quite pleased with my purchase. The wheels look fast and perform well without breaking the bank. Continue reading
Living up in Northern Europe my only contact with professional road cycling is from television. Pretty much the only race that gets any attention in the news here is Tour de France. With stages taking place during work hours and Team Sky’s boring dominance I haven’t found TdF worth the pricey Eurosport channel. I have found the one day races much more interesting and luckily there are plenty of streams from abroad to choose from. Of all the races my personal favourite is Ronde van Vlaanderen. This spring I had a chance to experience the madness roadside.