Day 2: Tammela - Asikkala

Last night I was way too sleepy to write a full post for day 2. I barely managed to stay awake to post in Finnish over on http://sovatour.blogspot.com. Here's then a short recap of at least how the day ended.

I had a decent but long day on the road. With over 6 hours in the saddle combined with some uncertainty as to where I was going to spend the night it started to wear me down at the end.

There aren't any proper campsites in all of Asikkala and as I rolled into town I caught an intense shower of cold rain. Soaking wet, and getting cold fast, I quickly made a reservation for a cabin and soon found myself in a hot sauna. Well rested I now look forward to another day on the bike. The sun is out so it should be a good one. I already have accomodation booked in Mäntyharju for tonight.


Yesterday: 128,32 km, 6h10m00s, 20,94 km/h avg, 52,8 km/ max.
Tour total: 233,26 km.


Day 1: Turku - Tammela

Today was the first stage of my tour from Turku to Punkaharju. I had a great day on the bike and besides a 20 minute light rain I can't think of anything that didn't go according to plan.

The Venesilta camping here in Tammela is really nice, and I had a lengthy chat with my neighbours while sitting next to the fire in the photo. The view of the lake is really something special, and my tent is less than 10 meters from the shoreline.

It's now time to turn in and get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow I'll be riding some 120 km from Tammela to Asikkala.


Today: 104,94 km, 4h55m18s, 21,50 km/h avg, 44,2 km/h max
Tour total: 104,94 km.


Tour preparation

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.

Bike route 392738 - powered by Bikemap

Day 2: Tammela - Asikkalan kk.

Bike route 392748 - powered by Bikemap

Day 3: Asikkalan kk - Mäntyharju.

Bike route 392754 - powered by Bikemap

Day 4: Mäntyharju - Ryhälä.

Bike route 392761 - powered by Bikemap

Day 5: Ryhälä - Punkaharju.

Bike route 392772 - powered by Bikemap


On the road again..

Yesterday I went out on my first road bike ride of the year. With an ambient temperature of around 10°C and the sunshine making it feel even warmer I was determined to go out for a spin. This year I'm starting from an even lower level of fitness than last year, even though I did go ice skating a few times during winter. I've got some decent incentive, however, as I'm planning to cycle-tour from Turku to Punkaharju in the middle of June (more on that later).

As I was preparing for my ride I noticed that the batteries in both my Sigma bike computer and my FRWD sports computer were flat. I then resorted to logging my performance with Nokia Sports Tracker istead. It works well enough, and while it in a way felt liberating not to stare at a speedometer the entire time I think I prefer to have a display in front of me over the phone in my jersey pocket.

There's still a lot of sand and gravel on most bike paths in the area, with only a narrow clean line near the middle along most of my route yesterday. Hopefully they will be cleaned soon, as it did detract from the enjoyment of being out on the bike again. The sand also decreases the amount of grip offered by 23 mm racing tyres to dangerous levels. At one point I hade to slow down almost to a crawl to negotiate a turn without wiping out.

Roadie season premiere: 18.8 km, 51min3sec, 22.1 km/h avg, 43.8 km/h max.