Monday, August 6, 2012

Wet ride to...

Bylandet Väransby

Especially arranged for The Beast's visiting sister (who is, incidently, distinctly unbeastly) and friend, the Finnish summer deposited all of its wrath upon us on sub-24 Friday. To add insult to injury, the expected 20-something kilometre ride to Bylandet turned out to be more like 40 (from Bemböle)! Strangely enough though, 40 kilometres in the pouring rain didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits too much, not even when we discovered that we had been misled by the VisitEspoo website and that there are actually no cooking shelters on Bylandet.

We discovered this when we interrupted the dinner of a rather charming Swedish-speaking family enjoying a weekend away at their summerhouse. The sight of first two, then three, then five, dripping-wet foreigners on their doorstep was not even close to upsetting their stylish demeanours. After consulting map, phone, iPad, and a couple of telephone calls to neighbours, we were pointed in the direction of Väransby - which I would provide a link to if one existed. It might be wrongly named as Bylandet on the website, or it might be a different place entirely, but I can highly recommend the place. Several cooking shelters over quite a large area, an excellent sandy beach, as well as flat, grassy camping areas - easily enough for even busiest sunny Friday evening. Which it wasn't. 
The usual sub-24 activities still took place though - a swim and a warm fire, some ridiculous wood-chopping and even more ridiculous eating was undertaken (cod liver pate?!)
About the bikes, I have to say that Claire and Alice did amazingly well on bikes that looked a little on the large side for them. Tim's fixie looked even more attractive with added mud (as did his bottom). The Beast's old Helkama managed to hold up despite a dodgy seat-stay. And heavily-loaded rack and Robin's beautiful old British Raleigh... continued to be of constant interest.

This is the only picture here with any effect - thanks, Tim. The others that look blurred and hazy... it was wet.

The ride home was a bit more enjoyable but it did rain a bit. When we split up for some riders to end their journey by train, the sun actually started to shine. No one got a picture of that, though.

I'll add a better group picture when I get one.

So, next month triathlon? Or maybe not, what if the water is cold? We still have some excitement for The Hanko Dynamo (see below) if only we can find a date in the next few weeks that appeals. Please comment below or send an email to if you have any interest in coming. Or any other suggestions, for that matter.

Until next time, keep your bicycles neat and tidy...