I need a travel bag!

Since I´m planning to go to the Canaries next month I needed to buy a bike travel bag of my own. It is possible to rent one for 50€ per week from Helsinki. The one I rented in 2011 was a big hard case I was not comfortable with.

I started to look for a soft case with good enough protection for airtraveling. I read a lot of articles and blogs on the Internet. I checked ads from magazines and I talked with my friends. Funny thing is that there are two categories of cyclists: soft case and hard case people 🙂

I have my reasons why I chose to go with a soft case: Ease of handling and lack of storage space.

From what I´ve read and talked with my friends it was quite clear that what I wanted was an EVOC Bike Travel Bag. It´s a soft case, has strong enough protection for air travel, fits to a small space when empty and looks nice.

Back to the world of online shopping!

I know that a good travel bag doesn´t come cheap. The price for a new EVOC was from 340 € to 400 €. The cheapest price was not in an online shop. It was at a local dealer in Espoo (Sellon Pyörä), but they didn´t have any in stock at the moment.

Some serious googling and I ran into an ad in an online marketplace. Somebody was selling the 2011 model of an Evoc only for 100€. It had been in use only twice. It was a bargain – or so I thought.

I have to admit that I was a little suspicious about this second hand case I was about to buy. The seller convinced me that everything was OK, and that I could return the bag if I was not pleased with its condition. When I received my bag via parcel service I was a happy man. There were only a few marks on it that showed it had been in use. For a second hand EVOC it´s mint! Thank you Esa!

I also ordered a road bike adapter from CRC.

I haven´t tried to pack my Rose into the bag yet, but I think I´m going to do it next week.

What I just realized is that I have to unscrew the Di2 battery case from my bike to fit it in the bag.

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Gran Canaria on February 2012

Last February I spent one week cycling in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. Gran Canaria is well known among cyclist around Europe as a winter training location.

This was my first real holiday on bike but not the last.

Before I started to do cycling I thought that Canaries in winter are only for elderly people and golffers. Well, it is. But there was more to it. As I started to talk with other cyclist in Finland and read discussion boards about winter cycling, I found out that Canaries was an ideal place for my winter holiday.

At the time I didn´t have a roadbike of my own so I needed to rent one. Luckily there is a couple of bike rentals at Play del Ingles to choose from. I asked some advice from a friend of mine who recomended Free Motion for me.

Free Motion turned out to be a very good choice for me. I rented a brand new Cannondale Super Six with Ultegra Di2 and Ksyrium Elite wheelset. That´s the same groupset and wheelset I have on my Rose Xeon RS.

Free Motion has wide range of cycles to choose from. They are in co-operation with Cannondale and all the bikes were new. You can of course rent a mountain bike as well.

Free Motion also arranges pre-scheduled guided tours you can attend to. This is a very good option for a first timer in the Canaries since you really don´t know where to go and how hard each climb is. I bought a package which included bike rent and five quided tours.

Every morning multinational group of cyclists was divided into two groups: fast and even faster. I chose the fast group. I was not the fastest or the slowest climber, but the even faster group would have been too fast for me – I think.

I have booked my next trip to the Canaries in November. I can´t wait to get there again. November in Finland is cold and dark so a week of sun, warmth and cycling is a great spirit lifter!

Third chance to Polar – is this device going to last?

Couple of weeks ago I wrote about problems I have had with my Polar RCX5. I have to say that I was getting very frustrated and really thought that I´ll change my HRM brand.

Polar customer service contacted me and asked me to send Websync`s log file and soft boot my HRM. After soft boot there was no difference on the HRM´s function so Polar sent me another RCX5 to replace the broken one.

The new one works just fine. It paired with my G5 GPS and there is no problems with Websync. I also made new profiles for Bodypump and Spinning and customized my cycling view. So at the moment I´m quite happy with my HRM.

It took about a week from Polar to reply to my message and altogether about two weeks to get the broken RCX5 replaced with another one. This is something I think Polar should be faster in. Two weeks is not a long time but this wasn´t the first time in my case. Within a year I have been without my HRM for about 6-7 weeks.

I give all the points to the customercare representative (Jaana) who was in contact with me. She was very helpful and everything went smoothly after she took my case.

This may sound odd but hopefully I don´t have to contact her again 🙂