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
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.
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.
So 2016 was more or less the same than the years before. For 2017 I thought I would mix things up a little bit.
- Ronde Vlaanderen 130-180km (early April)
- 2nd Pirkan Pyöräily (mid June)
- Helsinki Velotour 150km in 33km/h group (late August)
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
It is new year again and this year I will become officially old. I will be turning 40 and become eligible for senior sports. The good thing about cycling is that you regularly see old geezers still managing to keep up with the bunch, show panache and even fight for the win. So there is still hope and I have no intention of giving up on my ever broadening plan of becoming a real cyclist one day. For this season I’m looking forward to overcoming strenuous physical challenges on newly built bikes. Continue reading
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.