18 September 2011

Autumn activities

Sep 2011

Been quite busy this autumn doing various outdoor activities. Mostly interested in cycling, but done some barefoot running, too. Don't know why but have done very little paddling this autumn.

The weather's been really nice in southern Finland. Still day temperatures are about +18C, bringing the sun visible almost every day.  Nature shows itself currently in beautiful colors offering exciting and motivating environment to do some outdoor activities.

I'll describe here in few words about cycling, paddling and running that I've done recently. I wish to do still some hiking trips this autumn, as well as sit in a kayak before the sea gets icy.

One cannot live through autumn doing outdoor activities without wondering how nature changes. Here are some evidence of it:

Yellow and Red in pairs

Passing water

Dead of leaf

A path to somewhere

Someone's not giving up

A mysterious path

The best one can do

Two dots

Blooming's peak over

About cycling
Since returning back to work after summer holiday, decided to commute by bicycle. Got more excited about cycling and signed in Tour de Helsinki, a 140km bike race. It was my very first attend. Haven't done such distances, neither cycled in groups.

Weather was nearly +20C, with 2000 others started the race slowly. Riding really close a rider ahead of you brought huge advantage, it was so much lighter to ride there, but leaving a meter or two gap riding became heavier. Don't remember so much about the route as concentration took some extra effort.  Planned to take lots of photos while riding but couldn't take a one!

Rode the race just under 5 hours. Was quite satisfied about it. As a first timer, the experience was really good, enjoyable day on a bike.

The route stored by GPS (View Larger Map), rode clockwise:

Blazing Saddles, eager to press pedals

About Paddling
Have done only few padding trips this autumn, mostly in Espoo archipelago. However, got my 1000th km of the season, which was the target. Surely some trips should still be done, especially if weather will stay in comfortable level.

Here's one typical route done a week ago (View Larger Map):

Holy Crap! Mice broke my PFD's both pockets and ate energy bars

With all their pride

Too much to carry with

A railroad from the next Harry Potter film?

Creepy creatures

If only Gallen-Kallela would know ...

Who says Helsinki beaches are not in use?

Look at 'the boats' on the right

Something's surely missing?

1000th paddling kilometer came this year in south of Lauttasaari island

About running
Very recently, have become really addicted to barefoot running. Have now two such shoes, Vibram FiveFingers KSO and Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200. Former I've used on sandy roads and latter on soft paths and on trail in forests (I should actually do a gear review of my running shoe arsenal?).

After a little bit of running behind decided to sign in Pääkaupunkijuoksu, a traditional half distance marathon race, which takes place in the Central Park of Helsinki, usually in mid September. Did this race last time 25 years ago!

Such a distance was a bit headache to me with barefoot shoes, as I hadn't run any long distances, just above 10km or so. However, a couple of test runs within a week gave me confidence to give it a try. Decided to wear Bare-Grips.

Again, weather was nice, about +16C or more and partly sunny. With some 2000 others enjoyed the Sunday race.  Took some energy drink at every filling station, keeping about 5min/km pace. Reached the finish line, spending about 1h 52mins on the route.

My feet felt excellent after the race. Bare-Grips did a good job! Next time a bit more courage and will do it with FiveFingers (saw two runners on the route who ran on FiveFingers).

Here's the race route (started and ended at Pirkkola, View Larger Map):

Nordic Waling Event before the race