Sunday, December 8, 2013

Independence Day, Global Fatbike Day and the State of the Winter

On December 6th in 1917, the parliament of the Grand Duchy of Finland, an autonomous part of the Russian Empire, accepted a Declaration of Independence made by the Senate of Finland two days earlier. Since then Finland has remained an independent republic. This has not been easy, at first being a neighbour to the less-than-benevolent Sovjet Union and now the Russian Federation, which currently tries to increase its influence in the world. Between 1939 and 1945 Finland defended itself at great cost in no less than three wars, two times against the Sovjet Union and finally driving the Germans out, a condition of the armistice. It could have been worse. South of the Gulf of Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were "liberated" by the Sovjet Union and had to endure 45 years of occupation and oppression, before finally regaining their liberty after the Sovjet Union fell.

Well, that was the mandatory history lesson and a little background to why the Independence Day is important in Finland. In the beginning of the week the weather forecast looked quite good, with a good amount of snow and cold temperatures. The realized weather was a disappointment, though. I did still go on a ride, but didn't find the slow snowfall that slowly turned to rain very inspiring.

On Saturday December 7th was the Global Fatbike Day. I haven't checked out who started this, but it is a good reason to do a relaxed group ride. Eleven fatbikes and a few fatbike wannabees started at eleven in the morning. This was probably a little more than one third of the fatbike population in the Turku region. The going was rather slow, due to the amount of riders and occasionally difficult conditions.

This was a relaxed ride and after a little more than two hours, it was time for a break with something to eat.

I went with real coffee and toasted sandwhiches.

After the break was over, I soon ran out of time and had to head straight home. It was a nice ride, though.

The Sunday had a little colder weather and everything was dryer. I went out for a nice three hour ride.

And the state of the winter? It doesn't look good.

The following few days should be cold, but after that the temperature will rise again. Not good. I really would like the winter start for real now.

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