Monday, May 12, 2014

The May Sub-24...

was quite enjoyable! More about it soon.

For now, I wanted to advertise the forest route from Nuuksio to Bemböle. I returned home that way this morning, riding only a couple of kilometers on asphalt along Nuuksiontie and then the rest on well-maintained gravel paths from Solvalla through quite changing terrain. There were many short, steep hills (I needed to walk up a couple) and the overall distance is a bit longer than the direct road route, but it was seriously rewarding!

Sign posts were present at every turn and there were several maps along the route too. From Solvalla, follow signs for Pirttimäki, Oittaa and, finally, Bemböle. You won't regret it...

-- Lee.

Sub24 May, delayed by one week to accommodate everyone's schedule as much as possible, saw a good turnout of 11 people, representing England, France, Switzerland, Germany and Finland. Meeting up at the regular spot in Bemböle under mixed weather, we all took the most traveled Nupurintie before heading towards the hills of Nuuksiontie. Emile, carrying his young daughter and most of the camping gear in a trailer, deserves an award for producing a major effort dragging everything up there! Passing by "le col de l'Aigle" I could not help but sparing a thought or two of Charles' times as Sub24 charismatic leader.

Reaching Haukkalampi as intended, we realized quickly enough that the amount of outdoor enthusiasts by the fire would not allow us any spots for all our tents. Changing direction towards Mustalampi, we established our camp up a hill needing quite an effort to reach the top.

While setting up my tent some distance away from the fire I heard a big "bang" and I thought for half a second that someone was hunting in the area. Heading to the lake for a refreshing swim (early in the season the surface warms up fast, but the bottom stays bitterly cold), Emile told me his tire just exploded! Not just a regular puncture, but the whole structure of the tire apparently gave up after the last uphill. Sub24 is no stranger to puncture, but a teared up tire is definitely a first.

While pondering how Emile, Nathalie and their daughter would come back home the next day with just one bike operational, we decided to proceed to the cooking and dinner. It's a common knowledge that one thinks wiser with a full stomach. Olivier raised some eyebrows (mainly on the British side of the crowd) with his Italian dry sausage, and the debate was raging around the fire whether "everything" burns. We left off with the agreement that except water everything burns. Eventually. I hope you're happy Lee.

After dinner it was time for serious business and studying the options for Emile, Nathalie and their daughter to have a safe return home. I'll spare you the details, but we came up with the following outcome: Mounting one of Nathalie's bike tire on Emile's bike, dismounting the wheels of Nathalie's bike and attaching the frame and wheels with bungee cords to the trailer carried by Emile's bike.Later tomorrow Emile would cycle home with trailer, his daughter in it and 2 wheels attached to it, and Nathalie would take the bus carrying her bike frame. High five if you understood the whole set up. Thanks everyone involved in the rescue operation!

With the short nights of Finnish summer, one might easily forget about time, and it was 1 am before I realized it. A good night under the trees would follow, the sound of birds making for a pleasant mood.. After a very late wake up (10 am!) I noticed Robin and Lee had come home already and Christopher was just about to.

With the set up agreed the night before, a strange line of cyclists was soon to leave Nuuksio, Emile's trailer looking like a rickshaw with its wheels strapped to it. Natahlie took the bus holding her bike frame as planned, and Emile returned home safely carrying the rest of the equipment.
Sub24 has a new statement: "leave no man (nor woman) behind!"

Thank you all for the great times!

 -- Florian.