Trip report: Scotland

IMG_0555In May we spent a week traveling around Scotland in a campervan. The scenery was amazing and we drove almost 1400km. I did not take my bike, but after seeing how the locals drive and how the road shoulders are almost non-existent I don’t really mind.

Some of the highlights of our trip:

  • Climbed Arthur’s seat in Edinburgh
  • Seafari wildlife tour to Corryvreckan
  • Seafood stand on the Oban pier
  • Hired a downhill bike and rode the Red Giant trail on Ben Nevis range
  • Coasteering adventure in Skye with Sarah and John
  • Riding up Bealach na Ba road to Applecross

We also did some of the must-see spots like Eilean donan castle and hike up to Old man Torr, but my experience is that they necessarily were not worth the time. The best time we had wondering on the secluded beaches and taking the less beaten track in general. Next time I want to walk up some Munros and maybe attend a closed-roads cyclo sportive.

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One bike to rule them all

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I bought a Planet-X Pickenflick titanium frame to replace the crashed RT-90. The idea was to build one bike to rule them all. I have now few hundred kilometers under my belt and the bike seems to be performing well. TRP brakes (Hy/RD and Spyre) have worked well. Even with 28mm tyres the cheap chinese carbon wheels do bring aero benefits that are truly noticeable, especially at higher speeds. I keep smashing personal records on Strava despite just having a single 38t oval chain ring up front. Good results could be due to carry over from playing hockey all winter, but I can’t blame the bike either.

Hockey and cycling

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I picked up ice hockey again year ago and it is such an amazing fast-paced sport. The 1,5 hours in the ring really flies by and you are absolutely drenched in sweat afterwards. The next few days your thighs are burning and you sure know you have really worked out. Now from cycling point of view hockey makes lot of sense as it is a great lower body workout and improves your balance.
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Reality check

munkkikoski-004I had big plans for 2017, but I hurt myself ice skating month and a half ago. I was literally on the sofa for two weeks and out of sporting action for a month. My right leg has visibly shriveled during that time. I went for the very first pleasure ride yesterday and took it easy. Still the hurt leg was sore and aching afterwards. I truly dread the first time I will see the left-right leg balance numbers from my power meter. The spring is coming soon and trip to Belgium had to be cancelled, but hopefully I can recover during the summer.

Carbon wheels from China

img_0113I have been riding alloy wheels on my chinese carbon fiber bikes. Many others started their venture into chinese carbon fiber via wheels instead. Now that I moved to a titanium frame I thought it would time to check out what wheels are available. While hand-built option is tempting at least the following vendors offer ready made wheels:

In the past I have steered away from vendors on auction and chinese e-commerce sites. Having had good experiences with cheaper seat post purchases this time I went ahead took a gamble on a pair of wheels from a lesser known vendor. Time will tell whether this decision proves smart or one of the poorer ones. Continue reading

Plans for 2017

TdH preli 011So 2016 was more or less the same than the years before. For 2017 I thought I would mix things up a little bit.

So to keep up there has to be plenty of off-season training in the spring and start on the road early. In addition I will try to ride plenty on the track (incl. Velorution) and fixed-gear crit (Hellsinki crit cup). Continue reading

VCLS-like seatposts

Canyon came up with VCLS seat post to soften the ride on harsh roads. Chinese carbon fiber manufacturers have been quick to copy the concept. The idea is great and the posts look great. The downside is that under a fat bloke (86-92kg) like me the seat post has the tendency to slip and tilt the saddle. The situation can be handled only with generous application of carbon paste and quite a bit of torque. The problem is of course that you would not really like to crack the fragile carbon by over-tightening the clamp bolt.

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Scare of my life

sumu-004I have this platform so I thought I would share something I have found affects lot of folks in the reader demographic. Big C, cancer, is the dreaded disease that affects us MAMILs here and abroad. Realizing your life can be cut short is the worst feeling in the world, but it is also an eye opener. All I can say is it is worth enjoying every day of your life and not postpone doing those epic rides you’ve been planning on. At the same time it is movember again and now would be a great time to go get yourself PSA baseline tested.

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NBD: Pickenflick custom build

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I finally got the new bike in riding condition and baptized it in mud . There are still some issues with seat post slipping, squealing rear brake and I need to tune the front derailleur. Other than that the bike is a joy to ride and I’m looking forward to riding lot of cyclocross and even on the road with this baby. I reckon this could finally be the “father-to-son” bike that outlives me. Continue reading

Season 2016 wrap-up

lenkki-004After the responsibility-fullfilled 2015 I had big hopes for 2016 as far as cycling goes. In the end I did manage to do quite a bit.

  • Riding 2500km (excluding commutes)
  • Giro d’Espoo in 32km/h group (fixed)
  • Vättern rundan close to 10h (not 9h)
  • Riding to Uimastadion and back with my 6-year old son
  • 6th place in Velorution track omnium competition
  • Participated in Hellsinki fixed-gear crit race (not last)

I woved I would go on a spending spree and this year I got no less than three new bikes (track, road and cx) and a set of watt cranks. Continue reading