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  1. #1
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    Going on my first tour (Now with pictures :-))

    Hi! In two or three days, depending on the weather, I'm setting out on my first longer trip. I am riding from my hometown Nykarleby to Turku (map, big), then around the Turku archipelago, and back home. This will be about 1000km in total, more with detours so I've planned for 1200km.


    I've been shopping for supplies all week, and I'm somewhat confident in my camping abilities. Tried cooking on my new trangia in the garden, and i have pitched a few tents in my days so that shouldn't prove too hard. I'll be taking photos en route, and will upload them to my gallery and perhaps link a few here afterwards.

    The whole set of luggage should be around 15kg, maybe a bit heavy but i like to be prepared, i carry a spare brake cable, tube, tire(used), brake pads and tools for most bolts and nuts on my bike. Also food for one day, some emergency rations and fishing equipment. Camping equip. is a tent, sleeping bag, self inflating mat and a trangia, and the necessary fuel and bowls and stuff.

    I have 2 waterproof panniers up front and a big pac on the rear rack that isn't waterproof but will carry thins that can handle some moisture, and clothes packed in plastic bags inside.

    Clothing is 2 pairs of padded cycling shorts, 3 t-shirts, a sweatshirt, long pants, 4x socks and 2 undies. I will be visiting my brother in Turku and have acces to a washing-machine there so it should be enough.

    The archipelago-route is about 150km, with ferries between islands and my brother will join me, we have rented a room along the route.

    Well, I hope I haven't forgotten any crucial equipment and I will update this at the latest when I return, but probably while in Turku too. Wish me luck :-)
    Last edited by Black Shuck; 07-28-06 at 04:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SteveA's Avatar
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    RE: First tour, Clockwise or C.C.W?

    Looks Great. Are you taking the route Clockwise or Counter-Clockwise?

    Are there bridges/roads connecting most of the islands, or will you take ferries?
    Steve A.

  3. #3
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveA
    Looks Great. Are you taking the route Clockwise or Counter-Clockwise?

    Are there bridges/roads connecting most of the islands, or will you take ferries?
    I believe we are going counter-clockwise. There are a few bridges, but most of the islands are only connected by ferries.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SteveA's Avatar
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    Re:

    I guess I missed the ferry reference in your original post.

    Have a great ride.
    Steve A.

  5. #5
    Member crazygreenbiker's Avatar
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    Wow!
    What is the weather like in Finland in July? What are the highs and lows?

    How are the roads? Are they wide enough to support a touring bike and heavy traffic? How are the Finnish drivers?

    You mentioned a Trangia stove. They are great. They do need some getting used to, so be sure to pack lots of alcohol (for the stove).

    I look forward to your posts

  6. #6
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazygreenbiker
    Wow!
    What is the weather like in Finland in July? What are the highs and lows?

    How are the roads? Are they wide enough to support a touring bike and heavy traffic? How are the Finnish drivers?

    You mentioned a Trangia stove. They are great. They do need some getting used to, so be sure to pack lots of alcohol (for the stove).

    I look forward to your posts
    The forecast looks promising enough:



    (screenshot from the Finnish Meteorological Institutes homepage )

    The roads are in good to fair condition, the shoulders are mostly wide enough for riding. Most of the drivers leave more than enough room when possible, I try to keep as far to the right as possible too.

    I have aquainted myself with the stove and I have one liter of fuel packed, and most gasstations carry it if I run out.

    I leave sometime tomorrow afternoon, and have until friday to get to Turku, so lots of idle time for camping and fishing.

  7. #7
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    I arrived in Turku today, with one day to spare and no incidents along the way. I got about 21 hours of pedal-time in, averaging 22.5km/h for the first 2½ days. I took it a bit easier today since I had to wait for my brother to get to Turku to meet me.

    I'll add photos with captions to a later post, I have some uploaded in my gallery already.

    Now I have 3 days to rest in Turku, before we tackle the archipelago.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Well done! That's a good average speed!

  9. #9
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    Well, I'm back home, since monday evening. The archipelago trip fell through and I rode home.

    All in all I had a great time, and good luck with the weather sure helped. There was a light drizzle on the first evening,
    but I had already pitched my tent and got my bags inside so nothing got wet. Otherwise the skies were almost
    clear the whole time. The wind helped a lot on day two and otherwise it was mostly light sidewinds.

    Finnish wildlife seems to have some sort of camera-detection built in, whenever I packed my camera in a bag all manners of beasts
    and birds pranced about on and above the road. I saw two Golden Eagles(Aquila Chrysaetos) chasing crows, presumeably away from a nest.
    I saw european Elk(called Moose and slightly bigger in america), White-tail Deer, something big and brown scurrying
    away from me in a hurry that might have been a brown bear, a Black Kite(Milvus migrans) and lots of rabbits and
    some red foxes.

    The trangia stove was a life-saver, cooking on it is very simple and it's reasonably light and compact. I made something called "Outdoor Meal"
    made by a swedish foodstuffs-maker called Blå Band, some nudle soup bags, instant coffee and bought some microwaveable soups and
    sausages and such in shops along the road. Tried to catch some fish a lake I camped by outside of Lavia, no luck.

    I met a nice tourer from Helsinki in Juonikylä, who had done over 400km on a 5-speed and with minimal camping equipment.

    Went by lake Kyöliö(Where the farmer Lalli is said to have slain Bishop Henry of Sweden in 1155, the municipality symbol depicts a bishops hat
    and an axe (http://www.ngw.nl/int/fin/k/images/koylio.jpg)), and lake Pyhäjärvi where I camped the third night.

    Coming into Turku I met 3 tourers, first a cool german guy who had come via Denmark and Sweden to visit a friend, saw another guy in a stoplight
    and we exchanged quick greetings, then just after I met up with my brother we met an older, bearded gentleman with lots of packing and a Bob YAK.
    He smiled when I told him I'd been out for 3½ days, he had been going for 3½ weeks :-). Rode a little bit on the outskirts of Turku on my first day there,
    then went out pipe-shopping and got myself a nice new churchwarden(long stemmed pipe) and some tobacco. Went to a pub later on and saw a cople playng acoustic versions
    of pop and rock songs, and doing it pretty well.

    I swapped the "normal" handles on my bike for rubbery grips, and got a set of ergonomical barends too. I like the extra
    hand positions it gave me.

    On the way back i camped in the woods outside of Laitila, then rented a small cabin in a campsite in Kristiinankaupunki,
    I figured I was worth it after 11 hours in the saddle. Met a very nice californian now living in Helsinki who tours
    a bit every summer. We got a sixpack and talked bikes and touring for a few hours while the sun set.

    After getting groceries in kristiinankaupunki, i broke my chain while mounting the bike. Took me a while to find a replacement,
    and none of the shopps I saw selling bikes had a chaintool :-o

    But with a lot of friendly help and sevice we got the chain off(only one of the sideplaes of a link had come loose)
    and mounted a new chain with a pair of pliers and a hammer. Big thanks to J at Kone Ollila in Kristiinankaupunki.

    The cassette, or rather, the fifth blade was so worn the chain skipped a lot. It was, of course the gear of choise for cruising, so it took a while
    for me to adjust.


    The last day was the hardest, long, long straight stretches of road and a few bigger hills. But I knew I could make it home
    and I enjoyed the ride anyway.

    I really got a new interest in seeing more of my own country, and being disconnected from the rest of the world for a while was awsome.
    I kept my phone swithced off for most of the time, sent and recieved text messages during longer brakes and in the evenings.

    The "Everymans Right" http://www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?...d=49256&lan=EN is great, basically you can camp anywhere, cook and swim
    and wander as long as you don't disturb anyone.

    In numbers; Day one: 109km, 5 hours, got to Seinäjoki. Day two: 155km, 7 hours, got to Lavia. Day three: 112km, 5 hours, got to Säkylä. Day four: 75km, to Turku.

    Going home only took 2½ days, started in the afternoon from Turku, got about 67km and pitched my tent in a nice little clearing. Day two i did 197km in 11 hours, got to Kristiinankaupunki. Day three I kept pedalling until I got home att 23.00 after fighting a headwind all day, my average was somewhere around 18-19 km/h.



    In pictures:

    The beach oputside Lavia where I camped, lovely place.



    The guy I met in Juonikylä



    Myself in Juonikylä



    Sunset on lake Pyhäjärvi






    Horrible straight, nice downhill though



    A cool tourer i met at the campsite in Kristiinankaupunki


  10. #10
    just over the next hill cruzMOKS's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. Finland looks and sounds like a wonderful place to tour.
    It is great to hear of your success on your first tour.
    I hope to go on my first tour in the next few months.
    Enjoy the ride.
    Bianchi Volpe 2006; Fuji Tahoe 1990

  11. #11
    Junior Member giantour's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. I have enjoyed reading your adventures and looking at your pics. Looks like it was a wonderful trip.


    Benjamin

  12. #12
    Dar
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    Another thanks. It's nice to hear others adventures. I've just purchased my first tour bike(I have been into mountain biking for a few years, and want to mix it up a bit) I'm very exicted and reading your post makes me more anxious to get everything and head out of town. Pictures are great as well.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Lovely pics and great story. Nice to hear about somewhere I haven't heard a lot about!

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