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 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
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.
I’ve been a big fan of spring classics for a while and this year I finally got a chance to ride parts of Ronde van Vlaanderen myself. April is really early in the season so the goal was just to ride leisurely and do my best in the hills. In advance I was quite apprehensive regarding my form, but everything turned out great and I had one of the best cycling trips of my life. Flandrians are true cycling fanatics and riding the famous cobbled climbs was an experience I’m not going to forget anytime soon.
Out of the cycling’s spring time classics the Ronde van Vlaanderen has always fascinated me the most. The absolute carnage of each race and the relentless course with cobbled hills is the ultimate test of rider and bike. In the autumn it felt like a good idea to start the season early by signing up to the We Ride Flanders sportive. The plan is:
- Fly to Bryssels and rent a car
- Ride the 170km version of the sportive
- Watch the race and drive to France
- Ride parts of Paris-Roubaix and practice my religion
Usually by this time of the year I would have had a chance to do at least couple of leisurely rides. This year there is still snow on the ground and I haven’t ridden on road in five months. Even my bike is currently still in pieces. I acknowledge I’m awfully ill-prepared for this cycling monument so the trip is clearly going to be an adventure of epic proportions.
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.
- Start season early with 170km Ronde Vlaanderen sportive (end of March)
- Pirkan yöpyöräily 140km sportive (night in mid-June)
- Kauhava-Kokkola ride and/or Pukkilanharju 300km brevet (July)
- Turku Touring sportive 240 or 300km (August) or Helsinki Velotour 155km in 36km/h group (End of August)
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.