Monday, August 25, 2008

Replacement action

Last week I did again two 50 km morning rides. I had planned to do a long ride (100 km +) on Sunday, but the weather wasn't favourable, and I wasn't feeling masochistic enough, so I didn't go. Instead, I ran my first half marathon. Or more precisely, according to Google Maps, the route was about 23 km long.

The exercise you get when running differs from the exercise you get when bicycling somewhat. When riding a bike, it's easy to wear yourself out totally by going too fast. Nevertheless, you can still ride for tens of kilometres even though you're nearly exhausted. Running doesn't wear you out totally just as easily, but it is harder on your leg muscles and joints.

Yesterday I was barely out of breath while and after running 20 km, but my legs, especially my left knee, began to ache considerably. I suspect that my cardiovascular and respiratory systems would permit me to run a marathon even instantly, but my legs wouldn't co-operate. Well, there's a long, dreary winter coming up, during which I'll have plenty of time to strengthen my legs. Running the Stockholm Marathon might be a good objective...

Distance: 23 km
Time: 2:20
Avg: 9.9 km/h

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bike pictures

Ok, I admit it, this blog has gotten very boring lately. Well, perhaps it's never been very interesting. Anyway, here are some pictures of my bike to cheer it up. Pictures are nice, and probably much easier to digest than the training diary that this blog essentially is.

Peugeot Aravis, 12 speeds, from late eighties (don't know the exact year). In original condition except for the tires, pedals and a few accessories.

The saddle is original too. I've just bought a newer one, we'll see if it's any more comfortable than this one, which has worked ok for me this far. And, as you can see, it's set quite high, because the frame is slightly too small for me.

The frame is made of "Reynolds 501 cromalloy", which, I suppose, is a less professional material than "Reynolds 531 professionnel", which Peugeot Aravis bikes are also known to be made of.

White components are nice, but also prone to get dirty easily. The brand of the cranks and some other components is Stronglight...

... and the derailleurs are Sachs-Huret.

I've googled hard to find any information of my bike, but there doesn't seem to be much available. The best pages I've found so far are
And, as it seems, if you google "Peugeot Aravis" today, my blog is the third result. Welcome to one of the leading information sources on Peugeot bicycles today!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Commuting via detour

Yesterday morning I took again a pleasant, yet uneventful ride to Kerava before going to work. The tarmac on Vanha Lahdentie is getting quite rough on the sides of the road. This summer, they've put new surface on the strips where car tires go, so I have to assume that they're not planning to fix the surface properly in the near future. Rats. But luckily, it gets better north of Kerava.

Although I hate to complain all the time, I must wonder about the road to Porvoo. When they've put a roughened strip on the side of the road that's supposed to wake up drivers if they drift too far right, they put it on the right side of the white line, in the middle of the strip where bicyclists should go! Why? There should be bicyclists as decision-makers in whichever instance it is dealing with these things. When I picture in my mind an official deciding on road maintenance, which I often seem to do, it's always an overweight, Volvo-driving, middle-aged bloke who hasn't ridden a bicycle in 40 years.

Ok, maybe I don't hate complaining so much. In fact, I like it somewhat. And I've got loads of complaints left. But not today, let's leave something for other blog posts...

Distance: 61.9 km
Time: 2:05
Avg: 29.5 km/h

Pro gear

On Sunday I rode again to Porvoo and back. I purchased arm and leg warmers (Campagnolo T. G. System) and of course I had to get to test drive them immediately. The weather was warm enough so that the leg warmers weren't strictly necessary, but they weren't too much either. They certainly did make me feel more aerodynamic though. The arm warmers were definitely necessary, because there was a considerable wind. There's just one thing though: the warmers are shaped to fit either left or right arm/leg, and I'm not sure if I can tell how to put them on correctly. Well, I guess I'll get it if I stare at them long enough.

I used to wonder how shops like Velosport survive, because everything they sell is dirt expensive. But I wonder no more, because now I'm one of the many who willingly carry any spare cash to shops like these whenever their limited financial resources allow. Also, I've always refused to wear clothing with big manufacturer logos on them. I'm not going to buy an Adidas shirt with my own money so I can be their walking billboard. But here I am, admitting that I would by a Campagnolo shirt, because they're cool. Even though I don't actually own any Campagnolo bike components or have any experience of them whatsoever, yet.

As for the ride itself, it went rather well, although I did not eat enough on the way. I had a pasta meal shortly before going out, then ate some energy gels and muesli bars on the way, but anyway I was short on energy at the end. I could tell because I had a crazy craving for pizza, ice cream, candy and such, besides the weak feeling, of course.

Distance: 105.9 km
Time: 3:41
Avg: 28.6 km/h

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Withdrawal symptoms

All of a sudden, autumn came and I've caught a slight cold. Lately I've exercised so much that after a four day period without exercise I already feel restless and cranky. Therefore I ran 10 km on the way to work this morning, even though I have a fluey feeling in my throat. Ahh... sweet endorphines.

Sometimes I get the impression that the unenlightened (i.e. non-exercisers) think that exercise is suffering, something painful that you have to force yourself to do, and you get a reward afterwards if you do. They don't understand that exercise already is the reward, and the good feeling and fitness is a second reward. Running is enjoyable, after you've practiced a bit. So is bicycling. Even though it is hard. Or possibly because of it.