The results are in and it is now official. I have now participated in my very first cycling event. It took me 4 hours and 14 minutes to finish the Giro d’Espoo sportive – almost 1,5 hours after the winner, but just as happy. I thought it would be time to wrap-up and write a short summary of the event. There are always some things to improve on, but all in all I’m very content with my decision to participate.
On the day of the 2012 Giro d’Espoo the weather was absolutely brilliant (Clear skies, 20C and minimal wind). I had arranged to ride along with my brother-in-law. We decided to join the 26 km/h group and it probably wasn’t a bad move. We didn’t want to run the risk of running into a wall halfway and we were there to have fun. Both of us were smiling at the finish line so our most critical mission was most certainly accomplished.
Looking back I think we could have joined one of the faster groups and still made it through in fair shape. I had plenty of energy left with 10km to go so I really attacked the Jorvi hill and managed to pass some of the other participants racing to the finish. I ended up with a little over 26km/h average for the whole of 111km which isn’t all that great so I have been left with a craving for more and real chance of improving the next time.
The event was organized for the first time so some of the arrangements were not perfect. I hope there will be some improvement by next year. My biggest complaint was that food and drink was not always available for the whole group. The route was quite bumpy (potholes, speed bumps etc.) and there were quite a few dangerous incidents with cars trying to pass the peloton. Riding in a group resulted in some hairy situations as people lost their momentum riding up the hills or were passing on the wrong lane. On one occasion a huge lorry almost killed a cyclist riding on the left side.
The roads were quite bad though the course and finally I hit a big pothole on the Veikkola straight. A loud carbon cracking noise really shook me up, but I kept on going since the bike seemed to hold up. Following the rear wheel of the rider on front you have very little chance to react if no signs are given. After getting home with 133km under my belt I did not have energy to really do a proper checkup. Couple of days later I had look and it seems the frame has held up. So all in all, I was left yearning for more so I already booked my next sportive for mid-September.