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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Memories of 2011



Photo taken yesterday evening on my commute to home.

Time flies, and 2011 is closing. It's time to look back and look ahead for 2012.

2011 was a brilliant year. We had second snowy and cold winter in a row, and the year started with a very nice overnighter with Peter:



January was actually the mildest month of the whole winter. The cold weather hit again in February and I and Peter did an overnighter to Marttila:



Our dream came true at the end of February. The Ice Journey, an adventure on ice from Åland to Turku:





I have still not written the full story of this amazing adventure, but I will.

On March 21st I did the Super Full Moon overnighter:







In the gear department the pinnacle was of course the new bike, the fatbike, the dreambike, 9:Zero:7:



In the spring and summer I did nice overnighters with the new bike:











I even did one 'race' with the bike:



And more short overnighters in the fall:









The end of 2011 will certainly be not forgetten because of the very strong storms of Dagmar/Tapani and Hannu. I had plans to start my next DIY project after the Christmas but they were thrown out of the window as my home was without electricity for 62 hours.



More photos of the damage that the storms caused are HERE.

I'm also very satisfied with my bike commuting and with the 9:Zero:7 with a frame bag and pannier I have taken commuting to another level. I have proved myself that I can handle all the weather conditions that the nature throws on me. In 2012 my goal is to take even more out of it, by riding more different routes and write more about it here in the blog.

My blogging is slowly improving and the move from Thingamablog to Google Blogger was excellent choice. With the better camera, Canon PowerShot SX130 IS, my photographing has improved too. But there is still a lot to improve. Blogging is also time consuming, and in 2012 I will try to write more my thoughts with the new smartphone, Samsung Google Nexus. I'm also the Finnish correspondent of Fat-bike.com, and I hope I'm able to write some quality articles there too.

In 2012 I hope there will be monthly overnighters and two bigger adventures, one in the winter and one in the summer.

So, it's time to say big thank you. 

First of all, I want to thank my awesome family, my wife: you are always my inspiration, my best support. What you have went through with your health is overwhelming. You are a true survivor and many adventurers would pale in comparison! And my little daughter Isabell. You are an amazing girl!

Thanks to my parents, you are important part of the Team Lund.

Thanks to my wife's parents, for the ton of hard work.

Thanks to Peter Nylund. Your experience was instrumental during the Ice Journey adventure. And the overnighters together were great too.

Thanks to Jan of LBS Pyöristi, for all the help with bikes and stuff.

Thanks to Hendrik Morkel for WIR mentions, inspiration and sharing your knowledge.

And thank you all the blog readers and commenters, here and in social media! I hope you will follow my blog in 2012. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Winter solstice S12O

The start of the Christmas holidays, the winter solstice, a subzero temperature and a thin layer of snow. What could be better than a short overnighter to fantastic place that happens to be about 20 minutes from my home? Packed and ready to go:



I found this place, Alttarvaha, this fall. The irony is that it's so close to my home, and I have lived here for 6 years! The trails are really awesome there, really for my liking:









And there is couple of campfire places and this big hut:







Inside some typical careless people had already visited, and left a bunch of empty beer cans is this booze bottle:



Definitely nothing to do with outdoor enthusiasts. The good thing was that the benches were so wide that one could sleep on them:



I have slept a couple of times in the hut of Huso on the ground. Not a good idea, because inside a hut, the ground is a very cold place. Now I slept for the first part of the night relatively well. A call of nature ruined the last part, even though I didn't drink so much water before going to sleep. I was using my 3-season sleeping bag, McKinley Yukon, because I thought that it isn't so cold that I would need my winter sleeping bag, Marmot Never Summer. More about my gear in a separate blog post later. In the morning I made instant coffee:



I was testing also my new down jacket, Alpkit Filo, and smartphone Samsung Galaxy Nexus:



And then I headed home. Very nice Christmas start.

Slideshow of photos here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter solstice and the new project

After a wet and miserable weather period we had a change to slightly better yesterday. Temperature dropped to -1...-2°C and it snowed just a little. A very thin layer of snow still makes a big difference when it's the darkest time of the year, the winter solstice.





I've been commuting with 9:Zero:7 again, actually the whole time. The bad ice conditions have vanished due to warm and rainy weather.

Also, the next project, DIY studded Surly Nate tires, is going forward. I have the tires, studs and tools ready.





What a great way to start holidays! I happen to have some extra free days off from work. After Christmas I will start working with this project.

The weather is forecasted to stay this way till tomorrow morning, so now is a brilliant opportunity for a short overnighter.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thunder and freeze

In the previous post Extreme commuting? I wrote about my disappointment of the weather so far this winter. On the other hand, two previous winters were absolutely awesome, and it's just reality that in Scandinavia the weather and climate is very volatile. The weather so far has been in fact very interesting. In the end of November we had a couple of powerful storms. In the night before Independence Day (Dec 6th) it snowed just a little. On Dec 7th we had thunder! After that we received more snow, and then on Dec 9th nice blizzard. And then came warmer weather with rains. Yesterday on my way back home from work, guess what we had again? Thunder!  I have to say that I like this. The weather is certainly not boring! Today I took some photos on my way home.







The most and the worst of ice has melted away, and I've been riding with the 9:Zero:7. But I managed to fall today in a stupid place with slow speed (so no damage). Temperature dropped to near 0°C and some black ice had formed in some places. I think I will finally commute tomorrow with the cyclocross bike and studded tires. The weather forecast looks a little better too:



But as we have seen, the weather has been very unpredictable. Interesting times...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Extreme commuting?

Last Thursday and Friday we got snow. Then the temperature rise slightly over 0°C, and we had some rainfall. Last night the temperature drop to -3°C. Today it again rise above 0°C, and more rain... that is typical winter in Southern Finland. You will probably imagine what it means for road conditions...





I really miss the winters 2009/2010 and 2010/2011. Someone would probably say that a harsh winter with lots of snow and bitter cold temperatures somewhere between -20°C ... -30°C is too much for bike commuting. I say no, it's much better than this. Now it's definitely too warm, the stuff comes in wrong kind of from from the sky, and the roads are pure icy hell. Can it be worse than this? Actually it can, if snow plowers won't plow the slush away and all that stuff freezes. This is extreme.



I was commuting today again with my 907, of course. It was definitely a good test to ride on ice with 3.8" Larrys. It went ok, but I rode extremely cautiously.

Of course there is a solution for this, studded tires. They help a lot, but even with them you have to be cautious.

I now have full coverage fenders, which by the way work really well and are pretty silent, but there are not studded fat tires in the market. There are people putting studs themselves, and now there is also a very good tire for that purpose, Surly Nate 3.8". So, another DIY projects is certainly looming for me.







In the meantime I will put studded tires for my cyclocross commuter and ride with it, and I'll be back with 907 when the road conditions improve. On the other hand, there is still some snow left so it's really tempting to ride my forest trail version of commute route with a fatbike.

The weather forecasts looks like this at the moment:



I was hoping for a third hard winter in a row, as has happened a couple of times before, but I'm not really suprised that it's not going to happen this winter. The end of December is forecasted to be mild as well. I'm still expecting colder periods in January and/or February, and overall it's interesting to see how this winter will turn out after all. However, the probability of good ice winter in the Baltic Sea is very slim, even if January and February would turn out really cold. There is simply not enough time them to freeze properly. It would require truly record coldness for the Baltic Sea area. This means probably a goodbye for Ice Journey II, a return trip from Turku to Åland and back, on ice. I really hope that we don't have to wait for 7-10 years for next hard winter, though.

But, there is always the but. We have a B plan with Peter. If the proper winter is not happening here, it usually still happens slightly more north. The B plan is great, and it's possible, and I hope it happens. More about that later...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fat Fender Project Part 3

It's sunday, and the seven day drying time is over. Time to make the mounting hardware and put all together.











The front fender with the mounting hardware, 316 g.



The rear fender:



Two screws and bolts missed from that one, the real weight is 478 g.

After plenty of drilling, bending, riveting and screwing, MK2 is ready:





















Pretty time consuming project after all, but I hope it's worth it. The paint won't probably last very well as I didn't grind the surface of aluminum plate before painting. There are already a couple of scratches. If the fenders look too bad after the winter, I will probably do a new set of fenders and powder coat them.

There is not a lot of room in the chainstays of 2011 9:Zero:7 frame, so on slush and heavy snow conditions the rear fender could be clogged, but this shouldn't be an issue when doing regular commuting.

The fenders appear very firm, thanks to many attachment points. The MK1 was a little flimsy and noisy, so it's interesting to see if these are more silent.

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