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Monday, August 10, 2015

The Last Chance of the Summer

After ITI I was busy with training for Levi24 (race report still to come) and with everyday working duties. The last overnighter was with my friends to celebrate my ITI finish in late March/early April. This summer has been very rainy so there hasn't been many opportunities for a photogenic overnighter. Last week the weather forecasts were looking fairly promising, but still some rain for Saturday. On Friday morning there wasn't rain in the forecast anymore, but I wanted to play safe and planned an overnighter for Friday evening - Saturday morning.

Time is really not on my side these days, so I really had to force it to happen. I wanted to go to Kimito Island's 'secret paradise shore' where me and Peter had a very nice overnighter last summer. My fairly late ending at work meant that I had to drive by car closer to the destination, with my bike and gear of course, so I could enjoy the sunset.

On the move in Dragsfjärd:

Getting closer to the destination:

Almost there, just in time for the sunset!

There was a swan family but no people. Perfect, because I really wanted to be alone, in peace.

There were some dark clouds in the horizon but fortunately they were moving fairly fast:

I chose my older 9:ZERO:7 fatbike because the race machine is in 29+ mode without any bikepacking gear.

It's a beautiful shore:

The swans:

The sunset was stunning!

I made a cup of hot tea and enjoyed the peaceful evening:

In the night, I woke for a bit of rain. I slept long as there was no rush in the morning:


Small flowers in lichen:

For a perfect morning, I made some special coffee from Denali Mountain Dark Roast Coffee which I purchased from Anchorage during the ITI trip:

More views of the shore:

Packed and on the move:

The forests have lots of blueberries this summer. I stopped to eat some:

The trail out from the shore:

Back on the small road to Dragsfjärd:

It was a very nice overnighter, and I'm really happy I made it happen. Summer is soon over. I'm of course hoping for a short autumn and long, cold and snowy winter!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New member of the family

As the saying goes, the correct number of bikes for bicycle enthusiast is n+1. I have already seven bikes in my carage, and two old frames (mtb and road). I have been lusting over a new cyclocross bike with disc brakes for many years. After all, my Ridley Crossbow is from 2003 and is outdated in today's standards. More importantly, many of the parts are pretty worn out, especially the rear rim that is literally very close to explode.

Recently I started a new work as a professional bike mechanic, so it was very convenient to start looking for a new cyclocross bike. It's a bike that I ride a lot on my commutes. But for a new bike I wanted full bikepacking capabilities, like rack and fender mounts, and an ability to use Porcelain Rocket MSA handlebar pack. Kona has Rove and Rove Al in it's freerange platform. I was initially looking for the more affordable aluminium version, Rove Al. But my size, 53cm, has a number of wrong things: crankarm lenght 170mm when it should be 172,5mm, stem lenght 80mm vs. 90mm, Shimano Claris 8-speed components and the aluminum fork is allegedly very hard. And the grey color is not nearly as beautiful as the deep purple of the steel Rove. It didn't take long time to change my mind.

A photo bomb of 30 shots here, sorry for some repeating but this bike looks so great!

The first ride was my morning commute on Saturday. I was completely blown away! This bike is so, so comfortable to ride and it is still very fast. Steel is real! It beats Ridley Crossbow by a huge margin. I rode a steel road bike for a couple of seasons in the late 90s, so I had forgotten how great frame material steel is. My current road bike, carbon Ridley Excalibur, is very nice but this bike is more comfortable. There is no point to compare it to my 9:ZERO:7 fatbikes as these bikes are so different.

I did a gravel grinding ride on Sunday with my brother and another commute on Tuesday. Those rides confirmed that this bike is almost magical! I'm very impressed with the accuracy of the SRAM Apex groupset with X9 rear derailleur. And the Clement Xplor'r MSO tires rolls surprisingly well. I'm really looking forward to great commuting and some occasional bikepacking trips with it.


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