This year I've already cycled far more than I did last summer. This blog has, however, remained dormant even though I've been clocking up the kilometers. Another thing that's different from last year is that I'm also counting the total distance I've cycled in miles in addition to kilometers. The reason for that is that I'm part of 1000 miles 2 work, raising money to pay for heart operations for kids in Vietnam with congenital heart defects (CHD). I was 'recruited' for this campaign by Val Monk who started it all about a year ago and has since just bout completed her 1000 miles. Read more about Val on her blog.
At the moment I'm up to about 652 miles (1050 km) but will soon be putting my participation on hold for a week as I'm about to set out on another charity project of my own. Starting on Saturday July 7th my aim is to cycle from Turku to Nurmes, a journey of about 620 km if the measurements on online maps are anything to go by. With mE I'll be dragging my trusted BOB Yak trailer and in it I will be hauling the usual cycle-tour gear: tent, sleeping bag, camping cooker, food, tools and clothes. I'll stay at campsites where available, use CouchSurfing or Warmshowers.org in the larger towns and the odd B&B.
As in 2010 I'll be touring to raise awareness about CHD and to hopefully also inspire at least a few to donate to the Finnish Association for Heart Children and Adults. The association works to improve the lives of those who are living with congenital heart defects as well as their family members. In addition the association also supports research and education in matters related to CHD.
During the tour I'll be blogging mainly in Finnish in my tour specific blog with more frequent updates in English over on twitter. There might still be the odd blog post from the road here as well, but I'm not promising any daily digests as I've failed to deliver on that promise previously.
Here's a rough route plan for the Turku to Nurmes tour:
Yesterday I also took the trailer out for a spin as I went on a short ride to Raisio where the heart association organized an event called Good Will on Wheels. This event called for an all together different type of biker than I've usually written about on this blog as some 15 Harley Davidon riders gathered to take CHD kids for a short cruise. Unfortunately the weather was somewhat less than ideal with a cold, light drizzle keeping turnout at a minimum. Still, the kids who's parents didn't shy away from a little light rain seemed to enjoy the chance to ride on a large motorcycle.