Saturday, November 21, 2015

First snow in Stenbacka

As past experience has taught us to expect, the November ride to Stenbacka was cold, dark and the drizzle turned slowly to sleet and then to snow. It was therefore a delight to see Stenbacka made welcoming by lit candles in the yard. We were quick to feel comfortable in this beautiful house full of the memories of several generations.
Soon the fire was roaring mightily in the sauna stove, water was heating and our bodies and souls started to relax and opened gradually after the ride. We threw merrily löyly and let the steam fill up the sauna. As one can expect from cyclist buddies, the discussion revolved about the substance of love and happiness, about social equality and the possibility to enjoy vanilla ice cream and crisps. The latter matter found us deeply divided and no one moved from their initial position. I guess I will have to try one of these nights. The stream was waiting for our overheated bodies and played its role beyond expectations: we came out of it fresh to the bone marrow. 
We moved on to celebrate pikkujoulu in front of the fire, cooking couscous, pasta, tortellini and roasting sausages. All was enjoyed with beer, glögi and tea. Many dessert courses were served such as sheep cheese with Colombian goyava jam, chocolate and pipparkakku. You can easily imagine the blissful state of mind of the tired riders with full belly.
I woke up surrounded by deep quietness. The regular breathing of the sleeping cyclists, light filling up the room and snow all around the house. The first snow of the year for me, which gave me the energy to start the day.
We started to ride back in the enchanting forest loaded with snow. I dare to say that never the world was this beautiful. Apparently, Helsinki city dwellers have missed the snow completely since there was no trace of it out of the forest.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Stenbacka, Friday 20th November

Sub-24's traditional trip to Stenbacka is this Friday!

Sauna and a proper roof over your head, a nice bit of cycling and some good company. Come to Bemböle Shell petrol station at 17:30, bring a bicycle capable of 20km, some slippers and 15e donation for the Espoo Adventurers who are allowing us to use their facilities.

Some info here. Please comment or ask silly questions below. Any cyclists are welcome...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

September times

Hello all,

Long overdue report of last Sub24 outing, towards Saarilampi (relocation from Oravankolo).

A 4 cyclists party, consisting of Robin, Olivier, Tuisku and Florian met at the usual gas station on the last Friday of September. Enjoying the best cycling conditions possible at this time of the year, the 22 km ride to Saarilampi passed like a breeze and it was just around dusk when the all arrived at the campsite, populated already by a group of scouts (quiet ones if you can believe it!).

Setting tent, hammock and tarps, the dinner happen to be under a light drizzle that escalated to full shower by the time darkness set in. Nothing however could dampen their mood as it was Olivier's birthday and a chocolate cake (and whipped cream!) made for an excellent luxury item. Thanks to the cook!

Lighted up by a full moon, a peaceful night followed by a misty morning led to a breakfast with leftover cake. As the sun peeked through the clouds ans chased the mist away, they all came back to Helsinki through Veikkola ready to tackle the weekend. And to do it again next month!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

A lonely escape

Sub24 this month was a one man affair. 

Combining Lee's sickness, my late arrival and no one in sight at the usual meeting point last Friday, I settled for a lonely ride and camp to the woods.

Unsure of how to feel (apart definitely sorry for Lee's absence), it seems the weather did not know what to think either, with passing rain showers under an otherwise sunny sky.  

From Bemböle, a quick jaunt to Pirttimäki rolled down easy before turning left to very familiar forest tracks, taken by countless Sub24 riders over the last five years, including once during a memorable wintery Sub24. Nothing much as changed since my last visit in the area, and I first wanted to check if the Sulalampi cabin removed two years ago would have been rebuilt. Alas, a single outdoor table and benches is all there is left of the impressive facilities there once were. However Sulalampi pond was as beautiful as ever under the setting sun.

Feeling reluctant to push the bike across single tracks to reach Urja, I decided to take it easy and stop the ride in Hynkänlampi, on top of the cliff overlooking the lake from the west: 24 km, 1h11' of cycling from home.

Still early, I set up my hammock and cooked some pesto pasta, emptying my gas canister in the process. Cookies and no tea would be my breakfast due to the lack of fuel and my overall laziness in starting a fire. Watching the stars lighting up the sky one by one after the sunset and it was soon time to welcome the night and a good sleep. A good eleven hours later on, feeling refreshed and ready to tackled the day I quickly packed my things and went on back to Bemböle. 

As we did not get that many warm and sunny days I could not end this Sub24 with a short ride home: and hop I went down to Espoon Keskuspuisto, Kivenlahti, Soukka, Suvisaaristo, all the coast back to Otaniemi, and ultimately, Haaga. 70 km, 3h30' of peaceful riding and great sceneries.

Overall a very nice Sub24 on my side, but these things are always better shared...

- Florian (or as some might say, "the Beast")

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sub-24 August 28th

Comments and suggestions are welcome, but... I suggest a trip to one of the more out-of.the-way camping spots in Nuuksio this month.

After meeting at Bemböle Shell petrol station at 17.30, we can get straight onto the gravely forest trails and ride for an hour or two over the hills to a nice (hopefully uninhabited) campsite with an open fire. Beware, we might need to walk our bikes the last kilometre.

In case of torrential rain or an obsession with asphalt, these plans can change - comment below, please. But Bemböle at 17:30 is a definite. See you there...

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Hanko Hop

The 2015 edition of the Hanko Hop took place last night...