Sunday, September 4, 2011

Paimio's Revenge V6

'You are nothing without the Revenge!'. That's a slogan that was originally from the Montezuma's Revenge, 'the planet's toughest 24 hour solo mountain bike race', located in Colorado, USA. That race has not been organized in years and it seems more like it will only stay in the history of mountain biking. It was back in 2006 when I fell love with 24 hour solo racing, and I also found the very nice trails of Paimio where I have lived from the end of 2005. Although the trails are like 'a walk in the park' compared to Montezuma's, the overall route is physically fairly tough in the Southwest Finland standards, with a nice amount of climbs and highest point approximately at 100 m above sealevel. There are also a couple of hike-a-bike sections and for me it somehow have a feeling of the Revenge. Back in 2006 I of course was more thinking about 24 hour racing and I felt that this course would make a really tough 24 hour race. So, the Paimio's Revenge was born. I knew that there are a lot of mountain biking enthusiasts in Turku area, and the most of them are part of the grassroots group called 'MTB-Turku'. I invited them for the first time in the fall of 2006 (7th October 2006) and we were five riders taking part. It was very wet and it rained slightly at one point.

2007: after the 'moisture' of 2006, I decided to have our ride in the late summer, 18th August. 11 riders, and a new additional route of 'Rivonmäki'.

2008: 17th August. Again 11 riders and the same route.

2009: 12th September. A big step forward. Jan, my friend and the master behind Paimio's LBS Pyöristi and I set a goal in 2008 that we would merge the trails of Paimio and Sauvo. We worked hard for this project in 2009 and for our delight we found passage trails between Paimio and Sauvo. But, the name of Revenge started to get too much meaning. Both I and Jan got sick with a flu. I recovered enough but Jan was too sick to ride. Still the ride was successful in great weather with again 11 participants. And for me, this was the year of singlespeed, great fun!

2010: 24th of October. Yeah, the toughest Revenge of all! A very late date meant hard conditions. It rained all the time and temperature was only a couple of degrees above zero! At the same time we had a record of 15 riders! Closer to end Jan's rear derailleur broke. It's the Revenge!

2011: here we go again. The date was set to 3rd September. Very VERY wet conditions were in hand as the August saw some record rainfall here in Paimio and Sauvo. The name of Revenge really seems to be perfect for this event. Like in 2009, both I and Jan were again sick with a slight flu, fortunately this time it wasn't so bad that it would have prevented us from riding.

This time we were a smaller group of seven riders, but one rider came all the way from Helsinki! The weather was looking good, the morning temperature was +11°C and cloudy, the afternoon should see some sun and temp closer to +18°C.

In the beginning:

The first break at the 'Pauhojanmäki'. 

You can see to Turku from here if the sky is clear:

Endomondo Sports Tracker's logged data claims that the highest point was at 112 m above sealevel. I'm not so sure about Endomondo+Samsung Galaxy 5 measure of elevation, because last year FRWD recorded H-point of 90 m at a different place. Anyway, Pauhojanmäki is a high place and one of the many highlights on the route.

So, the weather conditions were nice this time. Trail conditions were wet and slippery at some places but that was good fun, especially with my 907. Was this all too easy? No no, this is Revenge. This time we had to deal with LOTS of deer flies. Those little bastards are very irritating.

The next stop was at Sauvo's Kirveskallio:

Nice views also here:

PaH from Helsinki:

Aki from MTB-Turku took some very nice photos:

Believe me, I was at a lot happier state than the look of my face in the photo shows:

After this Jan put us thru the most technically demanding section of the route. Big vertical drops. If you are a little nuts, this a place for you. I'm not a very skilled rider. I can usually handle rocky and rooty singletrack fairly well, but this a little too much for me. I admire the folks who can do this kind of stuff. I also didn't want to break anything of my darling 907, so my riding here sucked.

One slightly disappointing thing were the forest works that have been done along the route. Fortunately these sections were short:

The worst forest work section is on the return passage trail between Sauvo and Paimio. We wandered a little there this time and did some serious bushwhacking. Instant adventure! Unfortunately no photos...

Back in Paimio, and happy guys:


The slideshow of photos is HERE:

Huge thanks to all of the riders, it was great again! Me and Jan will continue to work with this group ride event and we are hoping for even better route for 2012. And, I really would like to do the Nightrevenge with high-powered lights this fall. If you are interested, drop me a message!