maanantai 25. huhtikuuta 2016

Auta autoilijaa harjoittelemaan pidempää pinnaa

Kaimani yllätti vastaamalla lukijakysymykseen liikennesääntöjen vastaisesti, arjen käytäntöjä ja turvallisuutta painottaen.

Teknologiapuolella on puhuttu ilmiöstä nimeltä disruptiivinen innovaatio. Uber, AirBnB... Maailma ja ihmisten tarpeet muuttuvat nopeasti, ja lainsäätäjä tulee perässä. Koska #digitalisaatio.

Onko Eskon vastaus ja esimerkiksi työnantajani tarkoituksellisen yltiöliberaali tekijänoikeustulkinta esimerkkejä tämän uuden toimintamallin leviämisestä yleiseksi yhteiskunnalliseksi toimintamalliksi? Tai ehkä se on vain vanhan ajan reilua kansalaisaktivismia, tolkun politiikkaa. Tarpeellista ja arvostettavaa joka tapauksessa.

Niin, pyöräilyasiaan. Tieliikennelainsäädäntöä ollaan uudistamassa. Oltu jo vuosia puuhaamassa sen ympärillä, katso vaikka tekstini vuodelta 2013 Pyöräteitä on vähennettävä tai Kaupunkifillarin samaa asiaa käsittelevä blogaus vuodelta 2014.

Lainsäätäjä, herätys. Usko Eskoa!

keskiviikko 20. huhtikuuta 2016

Nautinnon kaksi puolta

Matkamuistotakissa Hämeenlinnaan.
Firenzen jälkeen on tullut istuttua satulassa kotimaassakin. Sinä aikana on tullut maisteltua pyöräilynautinnon kahta erilaista puolta.

Tänään kävin Hämeenlinnassa junalla. Pikkusiirtymät kaupunkifillarilla. Tulin hyvälle tuulelle jo heti ensi metreillä, kun otin pyörän ja ajoin Tikkurilan asemalle. Hämeenlinnassa jatkoin asemalta kokoushotelliin. Huomattavasti mukavampaa kuin ajaa koko reissu autolla tai ottaa bussi junan jatkoksi. Hyötyliikuntaa, josta tulee hyvä fiilis!

Eilinen harrastajaporukan maantielenkki Vantaankoskelta Nurmijärvelle ja siitä länteen tarjosi setin sitä endorfiinia, jonka vain urheilu antaa: fyysisten ja psyykkisten rajojen löytämisen ja ehkä ylittämisenkin kautta tulevaa minäpystyvyyden buustia. Neljä vapaan vauhdin kiripätkää teki lenkistä intervallitreenin. Niinpä sainkin sykkeet aivan maksimiin saakka Metsäkyläntiellä tultaessa Palojoelle. Enkä turhaan, sillä Strava merkkasi minulle pätkän KOMin.

Myös viime viikolla kävin Hämeenlinnassa pyörällä, sillä kertaa koko matkan edestakaisin. Se reissu yhdisti oivallisesti hyötyliikunnan ja urheilun. 111 kilometriä suuntaansa oli hiukan yläkanttiin tässä vaiheessa kevättä, mutta eipä kunto kasva, ellei koko ajan haasta itseään tekemään hiukan enemmän tai tehokkaammin. Suosittelen tietä 290 paitsi reitin, niin varsinkin Hikiän Ajomiehen vuoksi.

lauantai 9. huhtikuuta 2016

Recommended bike shops in Florence

I visited two bike shops in Florence and I can recommend both.

Tuscany Cycle
Via Ghibellina 133

I rented my bike from Tuscany Cycle. They've got various kinds of biciclette, and prior to my trip we agreed on a road Bianchi with Shimano 105 group set for 40€/day. Doing business with them by email was easy.

At the shop I noticed that their Bianchi is too small, but they corrected the mishap elegantly by adjusting me a Colnago C50 instead. A very pleasant surprise, particularly as the wheels were Mavic Cosmic Carbone.

As i knew my bike measurements it didn't take long to fix the bici. Changing SPD-SL pedals, turning the stem upside down to the ordinary lower angle, etc... friendly and skillful service, nothing to complain about.

Their price for a Bianchi with a 105 group set is 40€ / day. I paid 20 € in advance. Keep in mind that they want to have your passport or a big deposit sum as a means to ensure that you'll bring the bike back.

Tuscany Cycle arrange organized rides in the Chianti region. It seems those are quite leisurely. Check them out if you prefer to do it in modo disinvolto.

PS. Thanks for the tip to the nice ristorante, it was well worth too!

Florence by Bike
Via San Zanobi 54/R

You recognize The-Bike-Shop wherever you are. In Helsinki it is Velosport. In Florence, it is Florence By Bike.

It looks modest and small-scale from the street, but the shop continues further inwards and expands sideways and is actually quite big.

There's everything from Brooks saddles and singlespeed bikes to carbon racers, as well as jerseys and other gear. What a place to get some souvenirs!

I bought a set of Tuscany bibs & jersey, and l'Italia short sleeve jersey plus a jacket. The Chianti Classico riding cap was given to me for free as my 50th birthday present.

FBB rents bikes too. For road cycling they offer Wilier GTS for 46 € / day. As it has basic Shimano wheels, even the medium size bike weighs about 9 kg. If you can get a C50 with carbon wheels for 40€, it's a no-brainer to turn to Tuscany Cycle. Then again, most likely I have been exceptionally lucky.

torstai 7. huhtikuuta 2016

Firenze and Toscana: roads and hills made for cycling

If you want to both ride and see the picturesque town of Florence, you have to plan your days carefully. Luckily it is a compact city, so it's possible to do some 2–3 hour riding and still spend most of the day sightseeing the marvels of the Florentine renaissance of Northern Italy.

I did only three morning rides, but found some ideas worth sharing. The next post will be about the bike shops and rentals I visited.

Fiesole: two very different caterings 

First and foremost: the road to Fiesole and northwards to Olmo and beyond is interesting and easy to reach from the city. Just follow the bus 7 route from Piazzale San Marco.

5% uphill at the memorial of UCI Mondiale 2013 looks mild.
The climb from San Domenico to Fiesole is very famous among local road cyclists. On Sunday morning I encountered at least a hundred other road cyclists doing the Fiesole climb, both local and tourist group rides taking place.

The fame is not only because of the highly recommendable road, but also of its recent history. There are still painted names like Sagan and Formolo visible on the tarmac, as the UCI road world championships were here in 2013.

The climb is only 4.5 km and 5-6% steep (see this onboard video for vital stats). So, it might be a good idea to do it a couple of times, either right away, or as the last treat before cruising back to the city as I did on both mornings when returning southwards.

As it is a rather steady climb, 8% maximum, it's nice even if you've got 53-39 in front and 11-25 in rear like my Colnago C50.

17% looks a bit different.
If you want to find pain quickly, you'll find it waiting very near. 2–3 km after Fiesole turn North-East towards Villa San Clemente.

The wall-steep parts are short, and with the right setup possibly not anything to write home about. But for me and particularly with 39-25 as the shortest, sections reaching 19% were almost impossible. I had to repeat myself "Use the force, Luke!"

On one 16% climb a mountain bike rider came behind and stayed by my side for a while. Beating only 90% HRmax, I was able to discuss with him. He was heading to the forest paths along the ridge.

The reason I didn't feel beaten when he accelerated again and left me in the dust was that he had just brought his new e-assisted bike from Germany.

On the second morning I took the bigger SP54 towards Montereggi and Olmo (not related to Olmo Biciclette). The moderately undulating hills and easy, rideable curves offer a pleasant ride. Scenery is nice and air is clean. Tarmac is in good condition and the traffic is light.

The road ascends some 100–150 metres along the 10 km or so to Olmo. After the crossing just North of Olmo it is downhill no matter where you head at: back the same road (like I did), the valley road SS302 to Florence or, some more riding North to Borgo San Lorenzo and Lago di Bilancino.

What a wonderful feeling it is to ride fast! Even a modest negative gradient helps a lot. Be careful, though – the cars drive fast too. Even though people in Tuscany seem to be well aware of cyclists and give way politely, not all the rides end happily.

South: the Chianti region

Every morning I left at 6.30 and took 2–3 hours for riding. In the beginning of April it was only 12 degrees and a bit dim in that early hour, but as soon as the sun arose, it was warmer. Traffic-wise it was a sane time to ride in and out of the city.

Both rides towards Fiesole were lovely. The third towards South was a mixed bag.

Piazzale Michelangelo.
It's only 100 metres up from the Arno river along Viale Michelangelo to the Piazzale Michelangelo to watch the sunrise. After that, Viale Galileo and Viale Macchiavelli offer a fine winding road down.

I think it'd be better to turn left after Viale Galileo, in the crossing where the sign says "Siena". Now Viale Macchiavelli took me back to the busy city.

Thus it ended up being more a relaxed off-training day ride than anything else. Maybe that was a smart move after all, as I felt all the daytime walking all over Filorence and Pisa in my legs.

If you are doing longer, like whole-day rides, the Chianti region South to Florence must be a great place. Most of the local granfondos seem to be ridden there.

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Next post will share ideas on where to rent a road bike and where to find all the absolutely necessary gear.