Thursday, September 10, 2009

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...

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