I'm in the midst of finalizing my preparation for my bike tour next week. On Monday morning I will set out to complete a project that's been several months in the making. The SOVA-tour will be a five day adventure from Turku to Punkaharju, during which I will blog and tweet from the road. The main body of this reporting will be in Finnish, and posted in my tour specific blog. Not to neglect this, my main cycling blog, too much, I'm hoping to post a couple of brief reports here as well. At the very least I will take the time to compile a post-tour write-up when I'm home again.
Embedded below are the planned daily stages, courtesy of bikemap.net. Based on Google Maps, bikemap.net and it's sister sites for other sports offer a great mapping and route planning tool. I've always enjoyed pouring over maps and dreaming away wanting to visit different places. With digital maps combined with efficient routing tools, it's very easy to see how far 100 km or so a day actually gets you.
Before I get to the maps, I would like to take the time to thank a few companies and businesses for helping me make this tour a reality. Things started to fall apart on Tuesday morning when I noticed that my BOB Yak trailer had been stolen from its place in the common bike shelter in my building. Distraught I called the sole Finnish importer, Kareisen pyöräkorjaamo, to check if they had any in storage. There weren't any available, and the prospect of getting any more this week were uncertain to say the least. None the less, I would be contacted as soon as any showed up, with the promise to overnight a trailer to Turku should any arrive on time. On Thursday I received a phone call saying no new trailers had yet been delivered, but that there actually was a bike shop in Turku that also carried the trailers. I rushed over to Next Bike and true enough, they had a BOB Yak in the shelf, straight out of the box. Since I had already made my police report and filed a claim with my insurance company, I elected to buy the new trailer there and then. By now it was almost lunch time, and after lunch I got a text message saying my new trailer had been assembled and was ready to be picked up.
I've since taken the trailer out for a shakedown, and had my bike given some professional TLC at Visan polkupyörähuolto. Dropping just about everything he was doing, Visa swapped my brake pads and a gear shift cable, opened and reassembled the bottom bracket and retuned the gears. With my bike feeling as good as new within hours after dropping it off, I was more than happy to pay the reasonable fee instead of making a mess of my self and only getting half the job done.
Day 1: Turku - Tammela.
Day 2: Tammela - Asikkalan kk.
Day 3: Asikkalan kk - Mäntyharju.
Day 4: Mäntyharju - Ryhälä.
Day 5: Ryhälä - Punkaharju.