Sunday, December 11, 2011

Planned misery

I was still feeling some laziness after a flu a week ago. Most of the symptoms had already passed, so I wanted to go out and do at least something. Going out for a run or any other form of real training was out of the question, but a short overnighter seemed like a good idea. Originally I intended to go on Friday evening, since that would have provided a good opportunity to experience some real misery, with a blizzard that turned to hard wind and rain in the evening. However, I was too tired for that and decided a good night's sleep would do me good.

I felt a lot better on Saturday and the forecast still contained some amount of misery, so I decided to go.

After a bit of Christmas glühwein (glögi/glögg) and traditional gingerbread with the family, I started riding. I planned to ride for 2-3 hours. The weather was better than forecasted, with very little rain.

The trails were very wet and I soon noticed that my feet were getting wet fast. Strange, the Shimano MW81 winter cycling shoes should keep the water out a little better.

The Pomponrahka boardwalks would have been easier with a fatbike, since at some places there was quite a bit of half-packed snow on them. For the most part, the Fargo with the studded Nokian Extreme 29x2.1 tires was the right choice, though.

Falling down from the boardwalk was not tempting...

A little later the cloud cover thinned enough for the full moon to become visible. Shame this did not happen some five hours earlier during the total lunar eclipse.

More boardwalk.

I continued riding and a little over ten o'clock in the evening I made camp. By now my feet were very wet and cold. Some Christmas decorations would have been cool, with a Christmas spruce just outside the tent.

Moon light.

I went to sleep a little before midnight. The moon provided a some light.

Around 8:20 in the morning I got up after a fairly good night's sleep. With the sunrise at 9:25 and total length of the day under six hours one can sleep in a little. The morning naturally starts with a good cup of coffee. Zoegas Dark Temptation was a pleasant surprise. It is not as dark as the coffee I usually drink, but the taste was good.

When I put the shoes on in the morning, the mystery with my cold feet was solved. By mistake, I had taken my summer cycling shoes instead. Both are black Shimano shoes, but the summer shoes are a little bit cold in temperatures around freezing.

I was ready to go a little before sunrise.

The Nokian Extreme 29x2.1 studded tires work well in these conditions. There were some spots of blank ice, where the studs were necessary. In many places there was also was a little slush on top of ice or the ground, and the relatively narrow tires with the very coarse tread pattern just cuts through the slush and provides grip towards the surface underneath. Fat tires do not work in these conditions, since they just float on top of it, without anything to work against.

Still some spots with snow on.

An edible mushroom (Wood Hedgehog) in December. Quite rare.

Some last leaves.

I was home again at 11:30 after a nice little outing. The misery was missing. Maybe I'll have better luck next time.


  1. Great photos as always. I didn't do any overnighter this weekend. Maybe I should have went on Friday evening but just didn't want to go into that sleet/rainfall.

  2. Always as inspiring! :) thanks for the really good documentation of your outings.
    I'm not as hard biker as you or Toni are, but I do enjoy going out for an overnight from time to time, so if ever you miss some company... :)
    Greetings from Rauma!

  3. Once again so fabulous!!! You must have heard about GoProHero2 Full HD camera.
    I just got mine. So far no special experiencies of using it but what I´ve seen from others the results should be promising.
    First real occasion at Kilpisjärvi 04/2012. I think it would be very suitable for your idea of ligth packing and photographing.
    You are so good photographer so you could get a lot of out off it.
    Still no snow at Porvoo and 10-day forecasts predict the same gray and wet conditions to be continue until Christmas.
    Thus no winter biking so far. I´ve brand new Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pros waiting to be changed to my Specialized Comp Carbon 29.
    We´ll see will it happen during Christmas...
    BR Pia

  4. Thanks Walyo and Pia.

    I've been very close to buying the GoPro Hero2 camera two times already, but managed hold off for now.

  5. Nice! I love your concept of going out for an overnighter...a solitary break. Like going to the Monastary of Nature!!
    Looks like your winter is like ours this year, reluctant to get going. We have had 2~3 large snow storms, but then weather turns mild again and it all melts within a week!

  6. Jeez, that boardwalk looks LETHAL! Good skills.