Saturday, May 31, 2008


Today I went out looking for a bike rack for my car, because I need to take my bike with me on summer vacation. I don't have a trailer hitch in my car, so basically I have two alternatives:
1) buy a trailer hitch and a suitable bike rack
2) buy a roof rack and and a suitable bike rack.

I'd estimate that alternative #1 would cost minimum 150 € (assembly not included). Alternative #2 might be slightly less, but I can't tell yet, because my car is old and the stores I went to didn't have suitable roof racks for it. I'll have to go to a local parts store next week and ask if it's even possible to find a roof rack for my 1989 vintage automobile.

What's up with the fact that there are about umpteen different ways roof racks are installed in cars? Haven't they heard about standardization? I'd assume that roof racks were a lot cheaper, if there weren't a different model for each car. Not to mention the countless man-hours and frustration spent investigating roof rack catalogues that could be saved for something else, like bicycling. Many old cars actually have a nearly universal system for mounting roof racks: water gutters at the sides of the roof. But not my car, and apparently, all new cars.

I'm beginning to think that I'll probably have to transport my bike the budget way: disassemble it and stuff the parts to the trunk and cabin. It will not be easy, because the car will be filled with other stuff anyway. But it could work, if I wrap the chain and other dirty parts in plastic and tape them up.

Friday, May 30, 2008

An introduction

I'm a bicycling enthusiast. Road bicycling, that is. However, I have two major problems with my hobby at the moment. First, at the moment, I can't afford to use large sums of money on it. And, man, road bicycling is an expensive sport. Second, I rarely seem to have time to actually ride the bike. I don't even know if I qualify as a real cyclist, because I don't ride thousands of kilometres in a year (not to mention during a short Finnish summer). Perhaps I'm more of a Sunday cyclist. And kind of a lazy one at that.

However, just a couple of days ago, I did register for Tour de Helsinki, an amateur cycling event, held in September 2008. So now I have an incentive to practice a bit and get into shape enough to be able to ride 140 km in the autumn. Also, as I'm publicly declaring myself a cyclist here in this blog, I guess I have to try and live up to it somehow. I'll get right to it. Tomorrow. I'm a bit tired right now, and I have to prepare dinner for my family. Yeah, excuses, pathetic, I know.

Anyway, here's a picture of my bike (well, not actually, but the same model).

It's a Peugeot Aravis from 1988 (as far as I know). It's a real budget bike, and actually, it was free, as I received it as a graduation gift in 2004. Of course my vintage bike can't compete with 3000 € carbon fiber high tech racers, at least in the image department, but it's fast enough for me, at the moment.

So, look forward to reports on bicycle rides and (cheap) equipment, and not too rarely either, I hope.