Sunday, October 7, 2012

Porkkala, 6.10.2012

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...


  1. That looked spectacular! Did you mark a minute silence at THE spot? ;-) How many of you were there? I spot some new faces...

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  3. Thanks everyone specially Jakub for the lights, will return them to Dima soon. Apologies for the hasty exit/return, reckoned I had to use what little light there was to cover the bit on the peninusular off the tarmac. I missed a turn and ended up in Tolsa train station instead of Kirkkonumi which wasnt too bad. Hope to join you guys again. ~ Bahram

  4. Yes, we stopped at THE spot where I actually took a picture of Dima explaining with big gestures the whole story. Your pictures are really nice Lee, it makes me want to take a "real" camera on these trips again. I love the autumn colors, I think Southern Finland doesn't have to be ashamed of Lapland. Fantastic sunset also, it's now Dave's profile picture on Facebook :D On top of that, setting a new record for number of nationalities promises a great future for Sub24s. Can't wait for November already.

  5. What a wonderful trip it was. I just made it as a sub 24 though (23h40 min). I would like to raise my water bottle to the bike of Jakub (and Jakub), 30 years old (the bike) and still making the trip to Porkkala! Looking forward for the next.

  6. thanks for the trip guys..
    if somebody wants to hang out, go for a beer, an adventure,... just let me know or look me up on facebook..
    otherwise.. i see you next month!


  7. Thanks for the sisu prize, i'll be showing it off for long time to come. As for superpowers I'm excited myself, hope to discover what exactly are they next time - hopefully something from the A list...

    It was really great, I'm real happy I met Florian by chance and got recruited. It gave me real boost of energy and I'm also eagerly waiting for November edition.

    I think I'll also use one photo for my facebook account, hope that's ok.

    Good to hear you made it back to civilization Bahram.