Thursday, September 10, 2009

TdH 2009 pic

Here's a picture of yours truly and a bunch of fellow 32 km/h group members from TdH 2009 (reproduced with kind permission of the photographer). I'm in the front, wearing the same Kraftwerk jersey as I did last year. It's a tradition already. BTW, the guy at the finish line checking the race numbers, the same guy who did it last year, remembered to compliment my jersey this year too.

Also note that the two guys riding behind me have exactly the same shoe protectors as myself!

For TdH 2010, I'm hoping to recruit 3 guys of about the same size as me, who'll also ride Trek Madones, wear matching Kraftwerk jerseys and other identical apparel. We'll ride in perfect sync and be called Team Kraftwerk. I'll also rig an mp3 player and speakers to my bike so we can have "Tour de France Soundtracks" playing on repeat all the way through.

Ok, I'll stop daydreaming publicly now. But now that I've invented this fantasy, I'll probably dream about it each night.

Tour de Helsinki 2009

TdH 2009 took place last Sunday. This year it wasn't such a big event for me, as I've really not had time to ride the bike this summer. It was fun, but it felt a bit like "been there, done that". I didn't have any ambitious goals, I knew that I can do it (unlike last year), my friends didn't make it this year either, so I just went with the 32 km/h group all the way. My time improved some 8 minutes from last year. Not much, but this time I got off much easier. I wasn't even exhausted at the finish line. My derrière and the soles of my feet took the heaviest strain, because the group did the whole 140 km in one sitting. I suppose my shoes don't fit perfectly, because in the end my soles felt like they were in flames.

This time I had enough experience from mass events to distinguish possible dangers of riding in a group. I could tell that some riders were making things harder for others by not riding in a clean double line. I didn't like riding behind one guy who rode without hands each time he drank from his bottle. I was irritated by riders who overtook others when they should have slowed down along with the group. Last year, I just went along, blissfully unaware of the nuances of riding in a large group. Now I'm beginning to pick up on the etiquette.

What I'd really like to do, is to practice properly next summer, and then aim for the 4 h group in TdH 2010. I'm in a good condition now. If I can maintain it over the winter, my goal shouldn't be too far-fetched. I just have a slight feeling that I won't be able to concentrate on bicycling next summer either, as other matters will be more important in the family...