Thursday, May 2, 2013

Back on bikes

Winter coming to an end (who said finally?), Sub24 switched from skis to bikes on the last outing. Seven commited cyclists braving the light drizzle and rather chilly winds found themselves in the regular meeting point in Bemböle, heading west on the familiar road of Nupurintie. 

Let's go! Olivier taking the lead from Bemböle.

Passing by Brobackantie (where's Brokeback mountain???) leading to Haukkkalampi, Nuuksio National Park, all continued westwards towards Veikkola, taking the same road as the last trip to Stenbacka last November, in broad daylight this time.

Jorge all thumbs up on his custom made road bike

Riders ready for wet conditions

The weather slowly becoming lighter and drier would encourage us to go forward, the picture of the sauna waiting for us and the cosy old farm turned to full comfort outdoor cottage warming our hearts already.

Once in Veikkola, a straight turn northbound under the sun would make a great occasion for a group picture. Passing by a few lakes (still frozen), quickly after entering Vihti municipality we reached the old farm of Stenbacka, 20 kilometers from Bemböle. For those coming from Helsinki, it was no less than 4 municipalities crossed by the brave two wheelers, a (modest) record for Sub24: Helsinki, Espoo, Kirkkonummi, Vihti.

Happy faces under the sun 

Arrival at the farm, featuring Robin's beautiful Raleigh

After some candies offered by Lee upon arrival, Olivier and Lee would quickly warm the sauna where the seven of us would soon be sitting. A great stove and roaring fire would make for a great löyly, and the conveniently located stream behind would refresh the cooking bodies rather nicely. 

The detached wooden sauna

Gentle rapids fueled by the melting snow

Is there any better feeling than a dip in the icy waters after a hot sauna?

Taking away the winter fur. Temperature below 2°C. 

After nearly 2 hours of this treatment we all continued the evening inside the cottage for dinner and a comfortable gathering by the fire. The tradition of luxury items well respected would see a display of real treats: kangaroo jerky from Australia, Swiss fondue, chestnut cream, chocolate cake... The most attentive people might even have seen a bottle of Jallu turning around at some point...

A relaxing Friday nigtht

Under the candle light...

A bit after midnight we called it a night and slowly made it to our sleeping bags. A refreshing couple of hours later, breakfast, light cleaning and packing, came the time to take the decision of the road back to the Finnish capital. Instead on going back the same way we came yesterday, we agreed on following Kurjolammentie across Nuuksio National Park to reach Kattila, and ultimately Nuuksiontie, along Pitkäjärvi, a familiar road for regular Sub24ers. Jorge's thin tires would cope very well on the wet gravel roads, despite the good amount of snow left here and there.

Soon ready to hit the road!

Somewhere in the heart of Nuuksio. Few remains of the past winter left.

Fancy a swim?

Young, wild, and free!

Enjoying the ride on the new cycling track from Solvalla

Few kilometers more and Bemböle would be in sight. All in all, a great start of the cycling-camping season, in full comfort, warming up for the joys of summer still ahead.

Complete map of the route taken below:


  1. It was a nice surprise to bump into Florian and Jorge on their way back to Helsinki. I hope you all had great 2013 "TRUE" sub24 opening:) I'm going to Korea on next Friday so I won't get to join you during the summer but I will still be cycling in the peninsula!

    P.S. - I'm sorry Chris that I haven't called you after the Easter. Your number on my hand was erased! Maybe we could still see again on September?
    P.P.S. - Olivier! What happened to you? Did you give up studying Finnish after all you have done till now? Anyway good to see you and your gf :p

  2. “A great stove and roaring fire would make for a great löyly…” – It sure is! I’m sure after being outside the cold for too long, the heat of the sauna will relax and warm your cold bodies. And yes, taking a dip after being exposed to the heat of sauna feels good, but do not take a dip immediately. Let your body temperature cool off for several minutes. Sudden changes in temperature can be damaging to your body.


  3. Nothing like a good steam after a long day’s riding. Although that stream looks awfully cold, even after a sauna session. But I guess it beats trying to roll in the snow. Heh.

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