Around and around..

The photo to the right is the view from the top floor of our building. The velodrome (Wikipedia) just sits there, taunting me, right across the street. This Wednesday there was a local track meet, with 500m, 1000m and Keirin races. As I wasn't doing much else, I walked over and took a few snaps instead. I'd been planning to have a go at it myself with my roadie ever since I moved here together with my girlfriend over three weeks ago. Finally, this morning I got my act together and headed out there.

The Turku velodrome (Wiki, Finnish) is a 333,33 meter outdoor circuit where the Finnish track championships have been held quite a few times. The last time I'd ridden on it was in 2006, if I'm not mistaken. Today I had the track to myself, but since I still haven't ridden much at all this year, I decided to take it really easy. In total I did about 60 laps, 20 km, including a couple with one foot unclipped. I really liked how the freedom from having to worry about traffic and other road hazards allowed me to concentrate of my riding style and position on the bike. Before heading home I went for a short spin to Lauste, a quaint suburb to the southeast.

After I got back home again and had had some bacon and eggs, Maija and I headed to Ajopyörä so that she could buy a pair of single-sided SPD pedals and matching shoes. She's been commuting to work, through sleet and snow even, but now I might just be able to lure her with me on even longer rides in the countryside.


Morning ride: 32.17 km, 1h14min24sec, 25.94 kmh avg, 44.6 kmh max.


Author Vision '06 stolen!

I got an sms last night from my girlfriend. My MTB, my Author Vision '06, has been stolen from in front of our building in Turku while I've been on the ship. It was locked with both an, albeit somewhat flimsy, Basta wire lock and a Kryptonite U-lock. Dammit, why can't people just respect the property of others?

Besides from what's obvious from the pictures, it's a 19" frame, there was a Sigma Cuberider mount on the saddle post, a damaged Sigma Evo+EvoX T-bone on the stem and some damage to the gear indicator cover on the left gear levers.

Of course, it's only a bike, and when the insurance company won't cover it's full value, it's only money. Still, I just can't fathom the concept of someone stealing a bike. Oh well, off to the police station..


XT dual-control

Today I got my new '07 Shimano ST-M760 XT dual-control brake/shift levers for my MTB. I managed to damage my left lever on the bike back in september last year, while it was just about brand new. The old one still works, but I've been looking around for a decent deal on a replacement ever since. I thought long and hard about waiting until I could afford disc brakes, but there's just no room in the budget for that right now.

I'm on the ship again, working til the 14th. So it'll be over a week until I'll get to try out the new levers for real. Then I guess I'll have to take it easy for a while and accept that there probably is a learning curve to using STI off road.

On the 15th I'm joining MTB-Turku for the annual visit to Luolavuoren koulu (link in Finnish). The PTA there hosts a schoolyard event and we're invited to show the kids the joy of cycling. Last year I went on my road bike, and after a fair amout of encouragement I had a go at a small ramp. This year I think I'll stick to the MTB..


First road club ride 2008

Last night I was on my first roadie club ride of the season. Once again, due to construction work, the route has been changed this year. And, once again, Kaharinvuori just east of Rusko proved too much for me at the speed the chain gang was going. It's not a big hill, not even by local standards. Still it's steep enough for me to drop well behind the others this time of year.

Cruising down hill again on the far side I noticed one of the other riders had waited for me. On the flat he helped me keep a pace that would let ut catch up with the gang again. Before we could do that, though, we were overtaken by two cars which in turn couldn't pass the rest of pack. More traffic in Moisio caused the gap to inrease even further. I was in no shape to go any faster, so my companion asked if I was ok with him joining the gang now well ahead of us.

I was down, but not out. I decided that I wasn't dressed in lycra for nothing, and continued along the route alone. Actually I wasn't 100% sure I was going the right way, having lost line of sight to the chain gang. But then, while still on Paattistentie, near Auvaismäki, I saw them again heading south on Auvaismäentie. I knew the area from before, having passed through on a solo ride a couple of years ago. I really should explore these parts of Turku some more, it's great cycling country.

All in all I ended up doing two laps of the Moisio - Auvaismäki - Maaria circuit at my own pace before heading home again. Not too shabby, as this was only my second outing on the roadie this year.


club ride: 62,36 km, 2h26m4s, 25,62 kmh avg, 45,6 kmh max


Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery

Check out Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery, a bicycle web comic. It's hilarious and details the everyday adventures of avid commuter / bike shop worker Yehuda and his co-workers.

Yesterday I was out on my second ever mtb club ride. MTB-Turku (Finnish) holds weekly rides for beginners like me and last night I felt more like trying out the forest instead of the road. I've actually only been on one roadie ride so far this year, but I've ridden my mtb around town all winter. My first off road club ride was back in september last year..

Meeting up at Prisma Itäharju, nine riders set out towards Littoinen by way Pääskyvuori, Varissuo (Kalttasuo), Järvelä and Tehtaanmäki. The return trip had us riding through Paaskunta, Rientola and Lauste. Near the starting point, as Pave led the remainder of the group up Laukkavuori, I announced I'd had enough and headed home.

It's been fairly dry for a few days, but there were still quite a few muddy spots here and there. The terrain surrounding Turku is perhaps more suited for enduro and trail riding, not xc cruising which would perhaps be more my cup of tea. Most of the other riders were out on full suspension bikes, I can only remember seeing one other hard tail.

  • ~2 hours of riding, short breaks
  • 2 over-the-bars expriences
  • loads of fun