It is Thursday so here are few unedited videos of your truly cycling in Gran Canaria. The first two videos riding down GC-200 (close to Tasarte and Veneguera) is probably the best downhill riding I’ve ever done on road. Although the magazines always praise the smooth roads in Canary islands on the videos you can clearly see cracks on the roads. Despite the risks involved it was much more fun that coming down constant switchbacks on Serenity (GC-605) for example. Coming down from Pico de Nieves in rain and cold was not much fun either.
Riding up to Roque Nublo (GC-600) From Ayacata was probably the hardest uphill I’ve ever done and you get the sense of the gradients involved in the last video below. You can see the beginning of Serenity climb at the end of second video, but in all honesty that wasn’t too bad. I have a video of riding up Soria still somewhere, but this time I will spare you from the slow torture of shaky videos of me weaving uphill. This time it will just be the noise rattle and wind that will annoy you. Feel free to put on some good background music… Continue reading
Even though I’m still not all that serious about cycling I have found it a good idea to plan ahead a little bit. The upcoming events help me motivate myself during the long off-season.
So next year the idea is to up the ante a bit. No official goal for distance, but 5k would be great and I would still consider 3k a good accomplishment. If the local hipsters are up to it I will surely attend their track races and fixed-gear crits.
For a number of years now I have dreamed about extending the summer by arranging an off-season training camp for myself. This November I finally managed to persuade “la familia” to join me for a trip to Puerto de Mogan in Gran Canaria. This was going to be my first real to chance to tackle mountains so I was bit apprehensive. In the end everything worked out more or less like I had envisioned. The village was nice, the mountains challenging and everybody is willing to do it again next year. Continue reading
I spent another season churning away. It wasn’t the warmest of summers, but there were plenty of sunny days to still achieve noticeable tan lines. In addition I managed:
- Riding 3500km / 194 hours (excluding commutes)
- Pirkan klassikko sportive in good company
- Rode from Karstula to Kauhava on my route to Lappland
- 6th place in Hellsinki fixed gear crit race
- 33km/h group at Helsinki Velotour sportive
All in all it was another successful season with the sport I love. I spent lot of time on the saddle, but cycling did not start to feel like a chore. Plenty of variety (gravel, long, short, fast, slow) kept things interesting. To save the best for last I still have the training camp coming up in Gran Canaria. Continue reading
The old wisdom is you can only improve something you can measure. I had the opportunity to measure myself at the HULA ergometer lab last year. I got lot of fancy charts on lactates and CO2 levels, but the main recommendation was that I should be riding more light endurance training (under 135bpm) instead of constant Strava segment induced intervals.
The three key metrics were the following:
- Aerobic threshold (AeT) 130W 127bpm
- Anaerobic threshold (AnT/LT) 210W 170bpm
- VO2max 292W
Essentially the key take-away was that I can ride little over 200W for extended periods without worry as AnT translates to FTP pretty well. I was bit disappointed in the numbers, but it is good to know the baseline. Knowing you are going too easy or hard is important especially on longer hills or doing time trials. I don’t do much of either so it is more a question of pacing myself in right training zones. Continue reading
In May we spent a week traveling around Scotland in a campervan. The scenery was amazing and we drove almost 1400km. I did not bring along my road 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. Thanks Claire!
- 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 Skye Adventure. Thanks Sarah and John!
- Driving up Bealach na Ba road to Applecross
We also did some of the must-see spots like Eilean donan castle and Loch Ness, 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.
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.
I 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.
So 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
After 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