15 July 2012

Cycling trip to Porvoo

July 2012

Did a quick cycling trip to the city of Porvoo (Borgå). Some years back used to do this every summer but there's some time of my recent cycling visit.

The plan was to follow Ring Road 1, its bicycle lane to catch Itäkeskus, the east end of the Ring Road 1, and then to ride along the old Porvoo road to the final destination, the Old Town of Porvoo. Returning route would be almost the same with some additional route when leaving the Old Town.

There's a short story written below along the photos as things appeared to me while riding (all photos taken with iPhone, most of them on the fly. However, some editing done in Lightroom, hope not too much).

Here's GPS recorded route, 130km altogether (view in a larger map):

Started the trip from Myyrmaki Sports Park, at the Football Hall. It was about the time to kick off the trip:

Was wearing a short sleeve cycling jersey. It was mostly cloudy and very windy, soon felt a bit cold and put Pearl Izumi's very thin long sleeve jacket. Had also Pearl Izumi's overshoes (had SPD based Sidi's cycling shoes):

Wind was quite strong, side and tail along the way towards Porvoo. Roads were empty, like here near Kannelmaki suburb of Helsinki, near Ring Road 1:

After crossing highway no 3 saw a city rabbit:

At Maununneva, still by Ring Road 1,  there was still loads of snow, at least 10m high, stored during  last winter:

At Pukinmaki by Ring Road 1, speeded up to pass quickly this place:

At Myllypuro, a squirrel played with me a while but was too shy of a camera:

City cycling is OK until you'd like to ride in higher speed. In most of the junctions, cyclists are not treated equally. There's about 5cm sharp bump in most of them. For democracy, please make them for cars, too:

Passed 25km and started to ride along the old Porvoo road, or actually on a bicycle lane. Once you came to more rural area, you started to see some distinctive signs, to me this was one of them:

Along the route to Porvoo, there are a few old Manors. They are in splendid conditions and offer all sort of things for public, though all of them are in private ownership. Östersundom Gård was one of them:

It was good to notice you were out of Helsinki, too:

Porvoo has great heritage in cycling. The oldest cycling competition in Finland, Porvoon Ajot, a classic cycling race has been ridden 84 times. On the old Porvoo road one used to meet lots of bicyclists.  I saw about a hundred riders on my way to/from Porvoo. This gentleman looked like an old racer, with good riding technique:

In the greater Helsinki area, there are three kayaking specialised stores. One of the them, Bear & Water, perhaps the best one, is nowadays located in Sipoo (I've carried there loads of Euros during years):

Very near the kayaking store, there's a new suburb under construction, called Sipoonranta:

And it's about the same place where you see the sea for the first time:

Road was quite straight having small hills every now and then:

These roads were not only reserved for cyclists:

And the ads started to be bigger and bigger:

First crossing of the highway no 7:

Next it was my turn to bypass some cyclists:

There were more and more signs of the real rural area, which looked super fine:

Crossing Sipoo River:

When the cycling lane ended I came across to some traffic:

And soon I was riding on the road, the real road cycling:

These are ugly but they ensure we can happily chat via mobiles:

This is an old Swedish speaking region. Some, or perhaps most, Swedish names are much more familiar than their Finnish names, Sköldvik to be one example:

The scenery was on its best as I was approaching Porvoo:

Shuttle buses drive between Porvoo and Helsinki:

Before Mustijoki river, highway no 7 is seen close again:

And there was another sign for a Manor:

Crossed highway no 7 again:

A splendid Haikko Manor reminded me an old Komissaario Palmu film:

Distinctive sign to scare birds, perhaps:

On the final km's the road became harsh:

Some years back when arriving at Porvoo from Helsinki, the west side of Porvoo River looked ugly. Nowadays there's a whole new suburb built in there, which had bicycle lanes, too:

... and houses in there looked nice, too:

Finally on the walking bridge crossing the Porvoo River:

Time to get a lunch in the old town of Porvoo. I have my favourite places in Porvoo. Hanna-Maria's was certainly one of them:

... time for a laxsoppa!

... and reading some local news from the local newspaper:

After lunch had a quick look on old streets. Too much tourists there so escaped there quickly:

But first needed some chocolate, and this shop I've never missed:

Almost forgot, there's another thing I do while visiting Porvoo, ice cream:

Spotted a nice looking cafe with a bicycle parking space:

Riding on old cobbled streets was not on my to-do list:

Then some sightseeing photos before returning:

Decided to circle back to old Porvoo road by following first Porvoo river, then to take a short ride on old King's Road before joining to the returning route.

There was some electricity in the air:

City area of Porvoo ended there:

This road guided to Kiiala Gård, a magnificent Manor (go visit there in early December):

Roads were enjoyable to ride:

... but soon some things along the road interrupted the ride very often, wild strawberries, lots of them:

At Saxby village saw some horses:

Then on the old King's Road:

Time to take a speedy self-portrait:

When reaching peak of small hills, you never knew what was waiting for you on the other side:

Then back on the old Porvoo road and enjoying the rural scenery:

Then suddenly, only few km's before ending the trip there was some BLOOD:

I did fell down while riding one twisted junction a bit too fast. Landed hard on tarmac with my wrist doing first touchdown and then another hard touchdown with my jaw.  Sat down there a minute to wait was something broken and then continued to ride, slowly at this time.

While writing this, my wrist is quite black and slightly swollen. There's some physical scars here and there, too (not to mention mental ones). That's life.

Anyway, cycling tour to Porvoo was again very nice and highly recommended to anyone who's fancy of cycling.


  1. As I read your posting I was about to write "so nice" but seeing the end it doesn't feel right.

    Anyway, I have ridden the Porvoon Ajot for about 3 or 4 times, really wasn't my type of a race. But Porvoo is really beautiful place indeed.

    1. Then you certainly know all about road rash ;)

    2. Oh yes, I have hit the tarmac for a couple of times, but actually not in Porvoo. The race was the fastest I can remember, I struggled to stay with the main group and never finished the race with main group...

  2. This just proves that riding on roads is dangerous, which is why mainly strive to ride offroad.

    Otherwise it looked to be a really nice summer day.

    1. Yeah, at least more soft landing :) I did exercise it also on offroad when I used ride a lot with a mountain bike some years back. Too much speed compared to skills available.

      Overall, it was a nice summer day. Thanks!