Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pikkujoulu

HUOM: Friday November 2nd ride information below

In the manner of the Finns that we know and love, sub-24 Helsinki will be holding a traditional pikkujoulu Christmas party...

Along with the drinking and the relaxing of inhibitions promoted by our neighbours at this time of year, sub-24 will offer an adventurous twist. Last year our cycling went underwater. This year, our hearts and muscles will strain upwards!

Andy, one of our sub-24 virgins last month, happens to be both a qualified climbing instructor as well as a sports centre guru based in Tapanila. He has offered to open up his wall for us and provide the space and advice necessary to make us all climb as high as our constitutions allow. No experience is necessary but a freer hand will be given to the experienced.

Once we're well and truly knackered, we can hopefully head to sauna and then on to a restaurant for stretching and meditation.

The rough cost will be 20e per person.

On the right-hand side, you can vote for when is a good night for you. Hopefully this is enough notice and we will find a weekend free that suits most of us. Please vote for every weekend that you are free and as soon as the vote closes, Andy will confirm the date for us...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Brrrrrr....

The cold and wet make me think of... Sub-24!

At least this Friday, whatever the weather throws at us, we have a dry place to sleep and a hot sauna to warm our frozen toes.

As mentioned before, Olivier is part of a mysterious outdoorsy club which has a cottage in Veikkola. He has arranged for us to sleep at this cottage on Friday night.


Some practical details from the man himself:

Address: Lamminpääntie, 02880 Veikkola.
No shoes inside->take some warm socks or slippers.
Sauna->take towel
Sleeping bag->quite warm. The place will be quite cold.
15 euro in cash please.
Early departure in the morning.
There is a kitchen and gas and a fireplace.
No running water though but a stream nearby.


Sounds lovely; a 15 km night ride and a sauna to look forward to!

My own timetable will find me at Bemböle Shell service station at 18:00, I'm afraid. If anyone wants to go earlier to light the sauna, please feel free. I'll make up for my late arrival by bringing beer in the space usually taken up by my tent.

Use the comments section below to arrange an earlier rendezvous or to ask any questions that you might have. Also, some people prefer Facebook.

I said this before, but...

I'll post again in a couple of days about a potential sub-24 pikkujoulu Christmas party and we can talk about it on Friday.

See you then!





Sunday, October 7, 2012

Porkkala, 6.10.2012


video

An astonishingly good turn-out saw 9 bicyclists ride to the Porkkala peninsula in southern Kirkkonummi last Saturday. Although not too warm, the rain left us alone and it's fair to say that the autumn colours alone made the trip worthwhile.

A combine harvester
Kirkkonummi train station
Riders representing Great Britain, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland and Australia rode from Bemböle along Kuninkaantie to Kirkkonummi train station where riders representing France, Russia and Iran joined the peloton.

 

Ruska in southern Finland may not have the colours of the north but it looked pretty good to us. And it wasn't freezing cold. From Kirkkonummi station, the roads travelling southwards are excellent for riding and there weren't too many cars to bother us either. Our pace was constant but not too fast - around 17 km/h; the final distance from Bemböle was just over 40 km and around 25 km from Kirkkonummi.


The final couple of kilometres on the peninsula were more for walking than riding but the pay-off was worth it: an amazing sunset. The wind and the waves were the strongest that I have ever seen in Finland, and it certainly added to the feeling of getting away from the city - we were really in the wilds! Somewhat surprisingly, Bahram got back on his squeaky old Kona and rode home. In the dark. Hopefully your sore throat is better now?


The rest of us got settled in the remaining daylight, fighting against the wind to put up tents and light the fire. Discovering the fresh water well to be contaminated with salt water was a bit of a blow - especially at morning coffee time, but everyone had brought something good to drink anyway.


The lack of light pollution so close to the big city is amazing. The photo below shows all the stars and satellites and even the Milky Way. See?

 
Nick showed us how you don't really need poles to make a tent, while Dries and Andy reminded us that even tents can be optional. The volume of the wind (and waves) was surprising for those of us used to triple glazed windows but after some well-earned sleep, the views in the light of the morning were excellent - Porkkala is a really amazing place!


The fact that the rain held off for the ride home was a nice touch by the weather gods, thanks for that. We rolled back to Kirkkonummi and went our separate ways there - the train inviting a couple more riders than the previous day. The sisu prize has to go to Jakub on his old one-speed city bike. His weekend was probably a hundred kilometres and I didn't hear him complain. Actually, the picture below seems to show he has some hidden powers.




Old bikes make friends with each other
Bicycles really like trains

With the addition of a couple of new riders, I'm really looking forward to next month's ride to Olivier's cabin (I know it's not really yours). More details will follow, but for now I'll just mention the distance - around 15 km by road from Bemböle, more through the forest if we can find a good route.

I'll post again in a couple of days about our December edition and/or pikkujoulu Christmas party, so don't be a stranger...