I have a time frame

image: Ilkka Järvimäki

image: Ilkka Järvimäki

My project is now a bit closer to really take place this summer. I’ve booked flights to and from Munich in July.

The plan is to rent a car from Munich and first drive to Lake Garda for five days. Then drive north to Bolzano, then Merano and Prato allo Stelvio. I haven’t booked any accomodation yet, but I think Trafoi is a good place to lodge?

The exact dates I am in Stilfser Joch are 8.-12.7.2013. Possible climbing days are 9th, 10th and 11th of July. I hope that’s long enough time window in case of bad weather.


Rides and climbs in the Canaries


Image: Ilkka Järvimäki

I got the altitude data of my rides in the Canaries last November. I decided to blog about the rides and add links to my training data at polarpersonaltrainer.com. There you can find also my routes on a map.

Total leght of my rides was about 450 kilometers and total climb was 8 515 meters.

Here are the rides with a short summary:

First day – Lookout point

This was a test ride to make sure everything was alright with my bike. This lookout point is just outside of Playa de las Ingles and it´s a nice ride to start with.

Second day – The Dam ride and coffee at Soria

Three of us took a morning ride to near by dam. After that we all rode together to the mountain village of Soria.

San Bartholome – st. Lucia

This is a roller coaster ride. Two climbs and from st. Lucia there is a nice long moderata descent back to the coast. This is also the ride I had my first crash with a road bike.

Flat terrain ride

On this day we trained riding in a group and rolling turns and individual interwall training with high and low cadence.

The Summit tour – Pico de las Nieves

You really have to take warm clothes with you to the top. The weather changes rapidly and it can be chilly up there. So take your gilet, raincoat, arm and leg/knee warmers.

Mogan – Tauro Pass

This is the most beutiful climb I have rode in the Canaries. It´s a bit dull ride to Mogan but after that the beutiful climb begins.

Gadget fever is rising!

One should not read any magazines nor follow news about new gadgets. It´s frustrating cause you simply cannot have them all…

Previously I wrote about my problems with Polar HRM and that I regretted that I didn´t choose Garmin Edge 800. I dont´t regret anymore. There are new Garmins in the market. Edge 510 and 810.

New Garmin seems to have new community options. You can share your ride online to your friends, route planning seems to be easy with your smartphone and more.

What is the difference between a boy and a man?

The price tag on their toys 😀

Winter is still here

Week after my training camp in the Canaries my home town Helsinki was covered in snow. First there was a huge snow peak but now the snow level is quite moderate – as well as the temperature.

So what to do in this winter wonderland?

There is a bunch of all-year-round commuters who cycle to and from work every day and in every weather. They have spiked winter tires, wind stopper clothing (warm enough to reach the moon), face covers and bright head lights. I´m not going to cycle now. I´ll wait for the spring.

Cross country skiing is very traditional winter sport in Finland. I have superb opportunities to ski almost from my outdoor since the Central park is only a stone cast away. Still I don´t ski. I think this has something to do with school gym classes where you were obliged to ski.

Jogging in the winter? Yes, you can do that. You can buy a pair of winter joggers with spikes. I don´t have a pair of my own – yet. I think I should buy a pair because running is a good basic training even in the winter time.

I have a indoor trainer I can ride my own bike with. Still I haven´t used it this winter. I think it´s easier to go to spinning class. There you see friends and you have an instructor to keep you going.

So it seems that I´m stucked with BodyPump and spinnig. Quite boring don´t you think? I have to get a pair of winter joggers of my own.

Cycling Secrets

A dull evening this week at home and I was browsing Youtube videos about Passo Dello Stelvio.

I found a very good Youtube channel called Cycling-Secrets Channel.

There is a lot of animated videos giving tips how to ride safely. There is a video about hand signals, cornering safely and how to ride in a group.

I found this channel very educating especially for riders attending to their first ride in a group.

Check out the website as well.

Happy new year – short summary of the past year!

The year 2012 is almost over and we are all waiting the new year eve´s celebrations. At least I am. I have some champagne in the fridge and a party to go to! Great!

Now it´s a good time to take a look to the past and see what has happened in the year 2012.

There are a couple of sporting highlights I would like to point out. These are no superman things but important for me as a non pro athlete.

My first running event!

My first ever running event was Helsinki City Run 1/2 marathon. I ran the 21 KM in 02h 04 min. I was very happy with my time, since this was my longest run ever!

Giro d´Espoo

I attended to the Giro d´Espoo cycling event in the end of may. I was planning to attend to the average speed group of 30 or 32 km/h but a friend of mine talked me over to join the average speed group of 35 km/h. I made it! My average speed on the 111 km leg was a bit more than 35 km/h!

First triathlon!

Well, it really was not a proper triathlon. 300 meters of swimming, 10 km cycling and 3 km of running. But it was great fun!

Two weeks in the Canaries!

I spent two weeks in the Canaries doing road cycling. You can read more about those weeks from here, here and here.

Summa summarum!

I allways log my training to Heia Heia. It´s very easy to get the total summary of what have I done in the past year. I can get that same info from PPT as well, but as you might remember I was without my HRM for about six weeks this year.

My total summary for the year 2012 is:

  • 193 exercises
  • 266 hours

And they included:

  • Indoor cycling, 77 times
  • BodyPump, 51 times
  • Road cycling, 2 340 km (but I don´t believe this. I think I´m missing 150 – 200 km there)
  • Running, 230 km

Total amount of calories burned: 153492 (+ those six weeks without HRM)

Happy new year everybody!

Can´t wait to cycle again!

My training week is now history and I´m waiting to get on a saddle again.

I think that one week in that place (Gran Canaria) is enough, cause otherwise one would only repeat the same rides. They are beutiful thou, but enough is enough.

Total riding distance was about 450 km. Including a lot of climbing, descending and team riding exercises on flat road. Flat means usully that you are climbing or descending some 1,5% – 2,5% all the time.

On the top of Pico de las Nieves

I have to check the total climbing kilometers from a friend of mine since I don´t have an altimeter of my own. The highest point of my training week was Pico de las Nieves which is 1948 meters above the sea level. Total amount of climbing on that ride was 2 450 meters. Here is my training data of that ride.

This week I´m going to rest and do only some recovering exercises. Exercises like eating. Energy consuption levels were high and my training load (according to polarpersonaltrainer.com) is at it´s all time peak!

One thing I can recommend to all my fellow riders. ASSOS Chamois Crème.

The first crash!

Yesterday it happened. My first crash with a road bike.

I was the first rider of our group descending from the mountain village of st. Lucia (Gran Canaria) to the village of Sardinia.

Surface of the tarmac was very rough and I didn´t see what was coming when the grip of my uninflating front tire gave me a first warning.

Couple of curves after that at a moderate right hand curve I realized that I don´t have any grip in my front wheel. I tried to widen my cornering line as much as I could drifting to the outer edge of the oncoming traffics lane. My speed before the corner was more than 30 km/h.

Somehow I got control of my bike. I still had plenty of speed and I was balancing at the very edge of the tarmac. There was about 10 cm drop to the 40 cm wide gravel area before the rock wall. I dropped my bike on the gravel to slow down my speed. After a couple of meters I came to a total stop hitting the rock wall with my left arm and left side of my head. (Yes, I had my helmet on!) I also crashed my handel bar to the rock wall.

I was very lucky that nothing bad happened. I survived with some minor bruises on my left arm. There is a small dent on my helmet (we checked, threre is no structural damage in the helmet) and couple of scratches on brake levers.

I was also very lucky that there was no oncoming traffic. I don´t know what would happened if there was a car coming up the road at the same time…

One week of sweat and pain!

Yes, I´m back at the Canaries training for my goal with a group Finnish of cyclists. This is my first training camp with this group. Two of the three instructors are friends of mine and we have had some training together before this camp. It´s wonderful to meet new people with same interest in cycling.

So before I got here I had to back my Rose into my Evoc. Like I told you in my earlier blog post I had to unscrew Di2 battery back to fit the bike inside the bag. That was no big thing.

Actually it was very easy to fit the bike into the bag. I just had to remove the handlebar from the stem and fix it with velcro straps to the frame. Then I removed the pedals and lowered the seat.

There was plenty of room in the bag (and unused weight) so I packed my cycling and running shoes there with almost all of my sporting clothes. Total weight of the bag was 24,4 kg and the allowed maximum is 25 kg. Pretty nice!

We arrived here yesterday. I was at my accommodation about 3 pm. I quickly assembled my Rose and went for a short ride. I climbed about 10km out of the town to the nearest scenery look out place which is 480 meters above the sea level.

First climb is always something special. I was just thinking that I have the whole week of this ahead of me.

Today was the first real training day. We started with morning jog of little less than four kilometers at 7.30 am. After breakfast many in our group went to the Free Motion to get their rental bikes.

Three of us went for a morning ride of 30 km.

At 11.00 am we all gathered together and started our first ride together. Our goal was the village of Soria and total length of the ride was about 70 km. The village of Soria is about 650 meters above the sea level.

Weather has been excellent. Here the Meloneras temperature was above 25 (Celcius) already in the morning. Up in the mountains it was a little colder and cloudy.

On our way back we saw a big group of cyclists coming towards us. It was team Saxo Bank. They are training here at the same time.

A normal training week?

What is a normal training week?

Cycling season in Finland is not that long. Of course there are people who cycle throughout the year but I´m not one of them. Cycling is allways a physical training for me and I hardly do any commuting.

This year I drove my road bike in Finland from April to the end of August. I still have one riding week ahead in the Canaries and I´m counting days for my departure.

Short season means that I need some other excercises to keep up my condition. I´m not very keen in going to the gym to do weight lifting etc. Instead of that I do group fitness training and running. Running has always been hard for me. Still I started to run because I needed more variety in my training.

I don´t have an exact training schedule that I follow but from my online diaries in Heia Heia and Polarpersonaltrainer.com I have noticed I usually have two harder weeks followed by an easier one.

I do indoor cycling (spinning) and BodyPump. Usually I take 2-3 indoor cycling classes per week and one or two times BodyPump. That means I usually have 4-5 hours of group fitness exercises per week. On top of that I run once a week. Usually my run is apprx. 11 kilometers and it´ll take me about one hour.

Yesterday I ran 10,6 km in 57 minutes. My average speed was 05:27 min/km, which is rather nice since I wasn´t trying to run particularly fast.

Is this enough training to gain my goal – the very top of the Passo Dello Stelvio? And is there a normal training week for somebody who doesn´t plan his training professionally?

Even without a pre-planned schedule I still have noticed achievement in my physical condition. Maybe I would gain more with a PT but now I´m quite satisfied with my training.

If I´m crazy enough to sign up for a marathon I will hire a PT.