On Sunday I had a dress rehearsal for TdH, which is next Sunday. I rode the route counterclockwise about halfway through, then turned back and returned via Vanha Lahdentie. There were several other cyclists and groups of cyclists also riding the route, undoubtedly rehearsing for TdH as well. The countryside scenery in Sipoo is very nice indeed. Why haven't I ridden the route before? There were several harvesters on the road, behind one of which I was stuck for a while, going at about 20 km/h. The road was often littered with dirt, or possibly cow dung, but that should not matter too much, unless you happen to land in it face first.
My wife imposed a strict four hour time limit for my ride, which I exceeded by half an hour. I might as well have ridden the whole route through, as the trip would have been only 15 km longer, but I didn't want to risk getting yelled at too much. Note to self: learn to negotiate looser schedules with the wife.
The wind was blowing from the north, which was okay, because returning back south was light, even though going north was ridiculously hard at times. The weather wasn't too warm either and some kind of a wind resistant vest or jacket would have been appropriate. When I stopped to eat twice, I got really cold in just a couple of minutes of standing still. Note to self: check out if you can find a windproof jacket at a budget price before next Sunday.
I think I've learned the two essential lessons that must be learned when riding long distances:
a) don't ride faster than your resources allow
b) eat often enough.
If I can remember these things, everything should go well on TdH. I guess I'll aim for the 30 km/h group, because I seem to be able to go the distance at about 28 km/h solo, and they keep telling me that it's easier to ride in a group. Unless the weather conditions prove to be ridiculous, i.e. raining s**t and a force 10 gale, in which case I'll opt for the 28 km/h group. Exciting!
Distance: 124.6 km
Avg: 28.9 km/h