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Showing posts from 2020

Story time: Two worlds

 This time my gravel ride took me fairly deep into forest. The ride was only around 60 kilometres long, but most of it was ridden in very small forest roads deep in the wilderness. Weather was cold and very damp. I started thinking that I should find some place to make a campfire. I kind of knew that this area had lean-to shelters here and there. Wisdom of age While riding deeper and deeper into the forest I saw group of big stones and rocks. It looked interesting. It looked wild. It reminded me how young mankind really is compared to these stones thrown around by ice sheet thousands and thousands years ago. We should never forget how bloody small and young we are. Mankind must respect things older than itself. Left behind I left my bicycle for a while and went exploring the forest around the stones. I had a feeling I might find something interesting and I truly did. There was an old campsite. Just wondering what's the story behind it? There are no visible trails leading to it. No

Story time: Heritage of wastelands

 This time my ride took me 100 kilometres of country side gravel roads deep into the forests via old fire roads. In autumn forests are not so dense and I like to think that it's the time of year forests reveals their secrets for the ones willing to look. No traffic, just gravel I was able to ride all by myself. Not a single car went by, not a single person was seen. There's something beautiful in riding small gravel roads that go through dense forests. The sound of the tyres rolling on a gravel road is kind of peaceful and meditative. Add some autumn breeze and colourful leaves falling of from the trees and you can easily loose yourself there. It's what riding gravel is all about. Sensations, adventure and discovery. Do you ever think about the roads you're riding on? Why they were built? How old they are? Surprisingly many roads go back in history for hundreds of years. Many roads used to be just a small tracks or carriage roads. Revealing secrets I was around 40 kilom

Story time: Time's no more

For a while I've had this strange urge to visit a small town called Sammaljoki. I have no idea why. I decided to ride there as it made a nice 200km roundtrip. It was a great ride. Beautiful country side, colors of autumn and nearly empty roads. Theater of imagination After around 30 kilometres I saw a small signpost saying something about an outdoor theater. I ride past the sign, but after couple of minutes I decided to turn around and go see what that sign was all about. There was a beautiful theater by a lake. I went to the top of the grandstand to sit there awhile. View was amazing, leaves where falling of from the trees as autumn starts to take over the land. There was a scent of old leaves in the air. It was completely silent. Almost like time ceased to exist. I probably lost at least 30 minutes just by listening that nothingness. Shed that was My route took me to an seemingly old and bumpy gravel road. The road was surrounded by fields and very high rocks. Forest on top of th

Story time: Path less travelled

 It's been awhile since my last blog post. I've been busy with life, family etc. However, this time I have something different. Long distance mountain biking adventure! Recently I bought a new bike. It's a hardtail mountain bike. It fits 27.5" plus size tyres (2.8") so it's more than capable of beating some dirt. If you want to know the bike in more detail, check my bicycles page. I rode 160 kilometres of old abandoned forest service roads and single tracks through beautiful landscapes in southern Finland. Sounds of silence Forests are never silent. They whisper stories non-stop. You just need to be there, with an open heart and listen. It's the most beautiful music one can hear. Creaks of dead pine trees, wind howling, squirrels climbing, jumping and throwing pine cones. Occasionally you may hear a fox making funny noises or an elk making terrifying, almost spooky sounds. One of the old service roads I was riding went through a very dark forest. It felt l

What bicycle tyres for long distance riding?

First of you need to know what size of tyres your bike will fit. I will talk about 700x28c road bicycle tyres as that's what I use on my road bike. Although most of the tyres I use can be found on different sizes too. I find 28c tyres pretty good. They can handle some gravel roads OK while they are nice to ride on paved roads, which I prefer. Sometimes punctures can't be avoided Durability vs low rolling resistance? For long distance riding I personally think that durability is more important than low rolling resistance. As I gain a lot of kilometers per month I don't want to be buying new tyres every other month. Usually good quality tyre will last around 2000-4000 kilometers depending on riders weight, condition of the roads and whatnot. However, even though I want durability rather than low rolling resistance I will always try to use tyres that have the best from the both worlds. I usually look up some reviews, check the weight of the tyres and make up my mind based on t

Review: Campagnolo Khamsin C17 G3 wheelset

First of all, this is not a paid review. I bought these wheels with my own money. I've used a lot of different wheels over the years. Recently I bought a Campagnolo Khamsin wheelset with Shimano freehub. Although I've ridden these wheels only around 200 kilometers I have to say that they are very good. Campagnolo wheels are always hand built which is a rare thing in this price range. When a wheel is built by hand they will stay true longer and spokes are in correct tension, equally. My road bicycle with Khamsin wheelset Although these wheels are not the lightest (around 1900 grams) they accelerate well. Khamsins inner width is 17 millimeters which is, again for this price range, very good. They work very well for 25c to 32c tyres. Personally, I like to use 28c tyres. Khamsin wheelset comes rim taped installed (very well installed) and with quick release skewers. Spokes Spokes are round spokes and the rear wheel is laced what Campagnolo calls Mega G3 lacing. I truly believe it m

Story time: Breeze of history

Yesterday I went for a ride that ended up being 188 kilometers. Somewhat by accident it turned out to be an adventure back in time. Ride took me 8 hours and 30 minutes of moving time. Around 11 hours and 30 minutes total. Old renovated boathouse The first stop was planned and located at an old church that was built in early 16th century. Even though I'm not a religious person by any means, this church was really beautiful in it's own right. Just makes you wonder how much work it must have been to built that and to carry all those stones. All without cars and the help of electricity. 16th century church Key to happiness? Weather stayed good most of the time, there were couple of strong showers during the day. While riding on quiet countryside roads I noticed an abandoned buiding, it used to be a small grocery store. I can imagine how this place was full of life back in the day people doing their thing day by day. Nowadays everyone moving into the big cities, countryside is slowl

Bicycle Maintenance: Basics

Bicycles are very durable little machines. However, like any mechanical thing, they do need some maintenance sometimes. If you ride a lot of kilometers per year, maintaining your bicycle is even more important. Even more so in long distance riding. You wouldn't want something to break when you're 300 kilometers from home. How do I maintain my bicycles? I ride two bicycles, a fixed gear bike for work commuting  (32km per day) and for running errands. Another bicycle I own is for long distance riding, I tend to ride three to four long distance trips every month. For the every day bicycle, maintenance is very minimal and easy. Fixed gear bikes are very durable as they don't have much that can go wrong very easily. I keep the chain lubricated and clean. I keep the bike reasonably clean overall. Periodically I check that the chain is not streched too much and that chainring and sprocket are not worn too much. They are easy and cheap to replace. On my fixed gear bicycle I have a

How to find motivation for cycling

It might be sometimes hard to get motivated to go for a ride. It's all fine when you start because usually you have a lot of roads to see and routes to ride. After riding these same routes for multiple times they might become boring. Especially if the rides are not very long distance ones. Roads can get boring However, I have some tips on how I keep things meaningful. Fortunately, on long distance riding it's possible to vary the routes in multiple ways to make them more interesting. However it does not matter how long you're going to ride, you'll have to leave from your home and ride all those familiar roads for sometime until you find something new. How do I keep things interesting? Usually I try to find (using a map) some beautiful places to go and see. They can be beautiful views, old caves, churches, bridges or something like "what's the smallest town where I could ride to?". Possibilities are endless really. Of course it's also possible to take a