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Story time: Heritage of wastelands

This time my ride took me 100 kilometres of country side gravel roads deep into the forests via old fire roads. In autumn forests are not so dense and I like to think that it's the time of year forests reveals their secrets for the ones willing to look. No traffic, just gravelI was able to ride all by myself. Not a single car went by, not a single person was seen. There's something beautiful in riding small gravel roads that go through dense forests. The sound of the tyres rolling on a gravel road is kind of peaceful and meditative. Add some autumn breeze and colourful leaves falling of from the trees and you can easily loose yourself there. It's what riding gravel is all about. Sensations, adventure and discovery.

Do you ever think about the roads you're riding on? Why they were built? How old they are? Surprisingly many roads go back in history for hundreds of years. Many roads used to be just a small tracks or carriage roads.
Revealing secretsI was around 40 kilometre…

Story time: Time's no more

For a while I've had this strange urge to visit a small town called Sammaljoki. I have no idea why. I decided to ride there as it made a nice 200km roundtrip.It was a great ride. Beautiful country side, colors of autumn and nearly empty roads.Theater of imaginationAfter around 30 kilometres I saw a small signpost saying something about an outdoor theater. I ride past the sign, but after couple of minutes I decided to turn around and go see what that sign was all about.
There was a beautiful theater by a lake. I went to the top of the grandstand to sit there awhile. View was amazing, leaves where falling of from the trees as autumn starts to take over the land. There was a scent of old leaves in the air. It was completely silent. Almost like time ceased to exist.

I probably lost at least 30 minutes just by listening that nothingness. Shed that wasMy route took me to an seemingly old and bumpy gravel road. The road was surrounded by fields and very high rocks. Forest on top of those ro…

Story time: Path less travelled

It's been awhile since my last blog post. I've been busy with life, family etc. However, this time I have something different. Long distance mountain biking adventure!Recently I bought a new bike. It's a hardtail mountain bike. It fits 27.5" plus size tyres (2.8") so it's more than capable of beating some dirt. If you want to know the bike in more detail, check my bicycles page.I rode 160 kilometres of old abandoned forest service roads and single tracks through beautiful landscapes in southern Finland.Sounds of silenceForests are never silent. They whisper stories non-stop. You just need to be there, with an open heart and listen. It's the most beautiful music one can hear. Creaks of dead pine trees, wind howling, squirrels climbing, jumping and throwing pine cones. Occasionally you may hear a fox making funny noises or an elk making terrifying, almost spooky sounds.
One of the old service roads I was riding went through a very dark forest. It felt like …

What bicycle tyres for long distance riding?

First of you need to know what size of tyres your bike will fit. I will talk about 700x28c road bicycle tyres as that's what I use on my road bike. Although most of the tyres I use can be found on different sizes too.
I find 28c tyres pretty good. They can handle some gravel roads OK while they are nice to ride on paved roads, which I prefer.

Durability vs low rolling resistance?For long distance riding I personally think that durability is more important than low rolling resistance. As I gain a lot of kilometers per month I don't want to be buying new tyres every other month. Usually good quality tyre will last around 2000-4000 kilometers depending on riders weight, condition of the roads and whatnot.
However, even though I want durability rather than low rolling resistance I will always try to use tyres that have the best from the both worlds. I usually look up some reviews, check the weight of the tyres and make up my mind based on the reviews. Also, grip is something to keep …

Review: Campagnolo Khamsin C17 G3 wheelset

First of all, this is not a paid review. I bought these wheels with my own money.
I've used a lot of different wheels over the years. Recently I bought a Campagnolo Khamsin wheelset with Shimano freehub. Although I've ridden these wheels only around 200 kilometers I have to say that they are very good. Campagnolo wheels are always hand built which is a rare thing in this price range. When a wheel is built by hand they will stay true longer and spokes are in correct tension, equally.

Although these wheels are not the lightest (around 1900 grams) they accelerate well. Khamsins inner width is 17 millimeters which is, again for this price range, very good. They work very well for 25c to 32c tyres. Personally, I like to use 28c tyres.
Khamsin wheelset comes rim taped installed (very well installed) and with quick release skewers. SpokesSpokes are round spokes and the rear wheel is laced what Campagnolo calls Mega G3 lacing. I truly believe it makes the wheel more stable and strong. It …

Story time: Breeze of history

Yesterday I went for a ride that ended up being 188 kilometers. Somewhat by accident it turned out to be an adventure back in time. Ride took me 8 hours and 30 minutes of moving time. Around 11 hours and 30 minutes total.

The first stop was planned and located at an old church that was built in early 16th century. Even though I'm not a religious person by any means, this church was really beautiful in it's own right. Just makes you wonder how much work it must have been to built that and to carry all those stones. All without cars and the help of electricity.

Key to happiness?Weather stayed good most of the time, there were couple of strong showers during the day. While riding on quiet countryside roads I noticed an abandoned buiding, it used to be a small grocery store. I can imagine how this place was full of life back in the day people doing their thing day by day. Nowadays everyone moving into the big cities, countryside is slowly dying as less and less young people are stay…

Bicycle Maintenance: Basics

Bicycles are very durable little machines. However, like any mechanical thing, they do need some maintenance sometimes.
If you ride a lot of kilometers per year, maintaining your bicycle is even more important. Even more so in long distance riding. You wouldn't want something to break when you're 300 kilometers from home.

How do I maintain my bicycles?
I ride two bicycles, a fixed gear bike for work commuting  (32km per day) and for running errands. Another bicycle I own is for long distance riding, I tend to ride three to four long distance trips every month.
For the every day bicycle, maintenance is very minimal and easy. Fixed gear bikes are very durable as they don't have much that can go wrong very easily. I keep the chain lubricated and clean. I keep the bike reasonably clean overall. Periodically I check that the chain is not streched too much and that chainring and sprocket are not worn too much. They are easy and cheap to replace. On my fixed gear bicycle I have a fro…