Considering the amazing off-season sales that went on this spring one could think the golden age of buying cheap chinese carbon direct is long gone. To an extend the notion is true. Players like PlanetX and Canyon did offer great deals this spring. It is very difficult to beat an offer of a complete carbon bike with SRAM Force groupset for 1200€ considering you get a full warranty and support.
What you can’t get buying a ready-made bike is the full custom experience. There is something strangely satisfying in building up a bike yourself. Sometimes you can also recycle parts from an old steed. The second hand market for bike parts works great on the internet. For example if you are willing to stick to 10-speed drive train for few more years there are some excellent bargains to be found.
The real question is what the next big thing (electronic shifting, power meter or something else) is you can not ride a bike without and when can you source direct?
Doing something together with the locals has always been high in my list of priorities on my travels. Bicycle sportives are great since you have a chance to interact with lot of like-minded people. The common goal ensures there is a great sense on camaraderie even among strangers. Continue reading
By this time last year I had already ridden my first short training rides on the road. It seems spring is running late this year with continuous wet weather instead of the more seasonally correct dry roads and constant sunshine. Of course it is early days and the thing to remember is that there is lots of fun to be had even if the weather is not all that great. The local cyclo-cross series VPCX had its final season ending event and despite the dismal weather in the morning the day turned out pretty awesome. I think I even saw a glimpse of the sun.
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.
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.
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
While the rest of the world is churning away their Festive 500 miles we are enjoying the best possible skiing weather. I don’t have cross-country skis, but a single-speed 29er will do the trick. Some warm drink and freshly baked donut at the half-way hut crowned the ride. Maybe there should be a Festive 50 for us up north?
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.
The odd dry day.
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.
Winter seems to have arrived and for the following five months cycling will be pretty much limited to commuting. It is a good time to look back on how the plans worked out this year. Some pretty audicious goals were set for the season and not all of the goals were reached. In the end what mattered the most got done. Continue reading
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.