Cycle Trip Through South-Eastern Finland 
Friday, 04 .August, 2006, 00:52 - English Entries, Cycling, Finland, Photographs, Travel

cycle-trip-2006
The trip

I kept a very short log of last weeks cycling trip with the camera and flickr-posting function of my mobile phone. Below you find the entries and some more pictures re-posted.

It all worked very well, also due to my bike, which at no point gave me any trouble or problems. It just stayed with me for six days and about 580 kilometers. The main reason why I ended the trip then was, that my sitting organ could just not be convinced anymore to have further contact with the saddle of the bicycle. Going further was a very tempting thought, but I was strong enough to resist it.

Road
The Road


Day 1: Tuesday, July 25th 2006 - from Helsinki via Porvoo to Loviisa

Today I started on a cycling trip towards Eastern Finland. I started at 13.00 from my home in Helsinki, with two fully loaded bags at the back of my bike.

Already last year i went by bike to Porvoo. It is a very beautiful city and they built some modern wooden buildings there since then, which really fit in very well with the old ones.

Lifeblog post Lifeblog post

I arrived in Loviisa, which is about 90 kilometers East of Helsinki, around 20.00. It's a nice town too.

Lifeblog postFor the moment i am just exhausted and tired. I have not done a longer bike trip for quite some time, so my body keeps telling me that it needs a bit more training. We'll see how the next days turn out to be.

Anyhow the route was very beautiful. I followed the kings road (road number 170) and it was not much traffic there. The temperature was quite high, around 27 degrees. But the landscape was just fascinating. Still i could not convince myself to stop and take pictures. The cycling was just too good and i could not stop. Anyhow, once you stop, sitting on the saddle again is pain (at least from a certain distance on).

The last longer cycling trip i did was in 1999, through all of Austria. Quite a while ago.


Sunset
Sunset in Loviisa


Day 2: Wednesday, July 26th 2006 - from Loviisa via Hamina to Virolahti

Hamina

Hamina is for sure one of most beautiful towns i have seen in Finland and i can only recommend visiting it. It has a lot of impressive buildings and a great seaside. I regret a bit that i did not stay there for a night.


Lifeblog post
A perfect place. A perfect moment. Close to Hamina

Lifeblog postI am very tired now and will keep this short. I went from Loviisa to Kotka and on to Hamina. After a break i went on to Virolahti, where i stay this night in a hut. Seems there are no hotels around here.

The next day, when I awoke, I layed for at least 20 minutes under both blankets and did not dare to move. It was unbelievable cold in the hut. From that on I only took hotels for the night.



Sky, Trees, Land
Sky, Trees, Land


Wooden House in Hamina, Finland
Wooden House in Hamina, Finland


Day 3: Thursday, July 27th 2006 - from Virolahti via Lapeenranta to Imatra

Unsurfaced RoadThat's what my map calls an unsurfaced bicycle road. They did not indicate that it means to push the bike instead of riding it. Did an 11km detour to see the Russian boarder. It was not visible, maybe Russia joined Schengen without me noticing it. Or the map again promised too much. Cheers :)


River close to LapeenrantaToday i followed the Via Karelia, first North to Lapeenranta and then North-East to Imatra. It was just great cycling, easy and good. The landscape was nice, but today i was more concentrated on moving on.


ImatraAfter more than 9 hours and nearly 120 kilometers i arrived in Imatra. The day was not so hot, which made it easier to cycle. Nevertheless there was a lot of wind coming from the North, but it did not manage to block me.



Cry
Seagull in Imatra


Alvar Aaltos Church of the Three Crosses (Kolmenristin Kirkko) in Imatra

Bell Tower

Even before I started the trip I had in mind to visit this building. It was maybe the only goal I had for the trip. It is located outside of Imatra, along a quiet road, sorrouned by pine trees and birches. I came there on a Friday morning and everything was absolutley silent.

How the Altar Receives Light

One of the most impressive things I ever saw in a church is how the altar receives light. The window in the ceiling is a hole for light, that falls onto the altar. Like in some pagan places of worship, where the light fell on a specific point at the day of midsummer or midwinter.

The whole Church of Three Crosses seems to be built only to emphasize one thing: Light. Every window is different, the light has so many different sources. Most likely the light falls even during the dark and long Finnish winters through that hole in the ceiling. Imagine a cold day in February, the nights are still longer than the days and then the altar gets enlightend.

And then - the window is not straight - that makes the shadows also uneven. The shadows of the crosses look different than the crosses themselves.

I have no clue about architecture, I do not believe in God and yet I stood there and could not grasp it.

All my pictures of the Church of the Three Crosses can be found here.


Day 4: Friday, July 28th 2006 - from Imatra via Ruokolahti to Sulkava

Day 4 of my cycle trip: from imatra to sulkavaI started at 11 and took it slowly. For nearly an hour i visited the church of the three crosses in Imatra. An amazing building, one of the most impressive i have ever seen.

For more than 90 percent of todays route i say no sign of civilization, besides cars and the road. No town, no filling station, no coffee place. It was wow!

The last 35 kilometers were only hills. Never before in my life was i that happy about growing up next to the Alpes. Finally, after 107 kilometers, i arrived in Sulkava.


Towards the Sky


Day 5: Saturday, July 29th 2006 - from Sulkava via Rantasalmi to Varkaus

Cycle trip through Finland - day 5: from Sulkava via Rantasalmi to VarkausToday i was close to giving up. Shortly after Sulkava came another 12 kilometers unpaved road, my right knee started to hurt and shortly after i got a cramp in my right leg. So i decided to take a hotel in Rantasalmi. But when i arrived there, the town did not really attract me. So i took something to eat, a coffee and a beer (for muscle relaxation) and went another 45 kilometers to Varkaus. It was then again much easier than thought.

My sitting organ emits pains that i never thought possible. The easiest is to just stay on the saddle. The moment i get off it, all hell breaks loose.

The landscape today was beautiful again. I was happy that the hills got less steep. I say cows today and there was fresh cut grass - i have not seen that form of earning yet in Finland. It reminds me very much of my home.

Most of the time on the bike i was singing all kinds of songs and had conversations with me. There was nobody around. As it was saturday there were even hardly any cars. So i sang along and entertained myself.

Varkaus has the bigger building that i remember in Finland. It is this hugge factory, that you can see on the picture. It supplies the whole city with a certain sour smell. At least i assume that the smell comes from the factory. Or maybe i started smelling. :)

It was a good but also a hard day.

A nice weekend to all of you.


Industrial Building, Kuopio
Industrial Building in Kuopio


Day 6: Sunday, July 30th 2006 - from Varkaus to Kuopio

Cycling Finland - day 6 - from Varkaus to KuopioI sit at the market place of Kuopio, the sun is shining warm, after it was cloudy and fresh most of the day. When i started in Varkaus it even rained for a while. Although i only went 82 kilometers today, i felt them quite heavily. But it still was fun to just go further. At the moment i am not sure whether i will go further from here or back to Helsinki by train. At the moment the sun is the best thing.



Juha Leiviskäs Männistön Pyhän Johanneksen Kirkko, Kuopio

Männistön Pyhän Johanneksen Kirkko, Kuopio, Finland

In a way this church was the ending point of the trip. I learned from the travel guide that it exists and walked there on Monday morning. Also here the impression was overwhelming.

Organ and Colours

All my pictures from the Männistön Pyhän Johanneksen Kirkko can be found here.


Day 7: Monday, July 31st 2006

On the seventh day God rested and I decided to go back. I spent the day in Kuopio and took the train back to Helsinki in the evening. The train ride took over 5 hours and my bike and I arrived save at home around 23.00.


Kuopio Market Place
Market Place in Kuopio

All my pictures from the trip can be found here.


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Around Kehä I 
Sunday, 07 .May, 2006, 14:23 - English Entries, Cycling, Finland, Helsinki, Technology

Helsinki, Finland The last two weeks were so sunny and beautiful in Helsinki that it was not possible to spend more time than really needed in front of the computer. A month ago it was still all ice and grey here and now the sun is already hesitating till 22.00 until it vanishes for a few hours and the birch trees in the backyard are green.

Yesterday I took my bike and went just around Kehä I. There is a bike route along that ring road and I can only recommend you to try it out on your own. The signs on the way will not help you much and I got lost several times, but it is possible to find your way through. Anyhow, getting lost is a good way of training Finnish swear words – so it all has a deeper meaning.

I still do not manage to make direct links to Google Earth, so I only have the below bad picutre of the trip. The Google Earth kml file as well as the gpx data file unfortunately only open as XML in the browser and not directly in Google Earth (they do from other websites, but not for my own - hmmm). If any of the readers knows how to avoid that, I would be greateful for a hint.

kehae-i-trip

I will be away from Helsinki now for one and a half week. First for a meeting to Southern France and the with my children in Southern Germany. Hope those who stay here keep the sunny weather up and running.
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Lake Espoo and Espoonlahti - or: the Elk Trip 
Monday, 20 .June, 2005, 19:41 - English Entries, Helsinki, Finland, Cycling

I did some smallar cycling trips during the last days, but today I wanted to see more of Espoo, so I started West. You can see the trip from the map below.


The Elk trip

It took me quite long to go through Läppävaara, Kilo and Kauniainen. The map that I use is very good for that region, but there are too many streets and so I had to stop every few minutes and find out which way to go. Still it was beautiful to go there, especially as long parts of the journey went through wood and green.

Close to Bemböle is a big street crossing - it must be a festival for highways. There is also a Kahvila (Cafe) close to the crossing, but somehow it manages that to give you a quiet atmosphere, even when sitting outside, eating a sandwich and drinking a beer, as I did.

After that break I went around Lake Espoo, which I did not see too much of. The road went through the woods and gave me the joy of hills nearly all the way - which was really fun. Besides trees there are also golf courses in that area. Most likely they breed them there and lots of people with "handicaps" too. That is not an insult! A handicap means something different in Golf-language, but don't ask me what. I know some golfers, they are good people and I always wonder how they could end up with that sport.


Lake Espoo

There is a little beach at Oittaa and they also have a Kahvila there, which I can very much recommend. I took half a liter of water, coffee and a chees cake and did not believe the lady when she said "Kolme E-uro" (that's three Euro). It was really true. Ok, the chees cake was not too big, but it was good. Besides that the beach is small and there are only normal people and children - nobody tries to show off. I sat on a wooden terrass in the sun and planned the next moves.

Down to Espoon Keskus where I lost my way, as the merciless map shows. But only for a few minutes, then back on track to the Southern part of Espoo. Shortly after Espoon Keskus is a large park area that is worth seeing. Most of it is wood, there are some lakes and meadows with violet flowers, of which I do not know the name (did not even make a picture ... stupid me).


Smaller Lakes on the way

I followed the indications to Espoonlahti, which I should not have done. They lead me to the town center of Espoonlahti and not to the sea. Also this is obvious from the map, as I drove one part twice from West to East (see lower left corner). But I finally made it to the shore. The whole are there reminded me of Tegernsee, a place close to my home town. A lot of not-so-poor people seem to live there, which one can see from the houses and the ships. If you go there, you will understand them - it is again beautiful.

Somehow I feel like I have to apologize for only seeing and talking about beautiful things. Please wait until Winter, then you will read other content here.


In Tapiola

The way back was easy after some food ("Mega Dog" - the Fin-Esso version of a hot dog, don't forget to stress the first syllable of Mega - it is not Meeeega it is _Me_ga) and ice tea it was just like rolling home.

Before I took the bike out of the cellar I was not aware how green Helsinki and Espoo are, although I lived in Espoo for a while and was aware that it is more a collection of settlements with forests and meadows inbetween than a real city. As there are so many recreation areas there are never too many people at one place. It is quite easy to find a smaller lake where you can sit alone for a while. After that while it seems strange that only several hundred meters away are the two biggest cities of Finland.

Now look a the outline of the trip. It looks like an elk or a reindeer. That was not my intention, but somehow my subconcious must have take part in that.


Anybody interested in cycling there together?

One more thing on the mega dog. The guy who gave it to me asked "do you want also the spicy sauce" and usually I say no, but this time I tried it. Daring. The he asked if I want the normal or the spicy sausage and I went for the spicy one as well. Very Daring. The effect was zero. The Finish version of Spicy not only leaves your stomach lining intact (German: Magenschleimhaut), it also does not jump on your tongue. It is the silent (spicy) way of this country.


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To Porvoo and somehow back 
Sunday, 22 .May, 2005, 18:59 - English Entries, Finland, Cycling, Photographs

Yesterday, on Saturday the twenty-first of May 2005, I fixed my bicycle and did a first one-hour round in Helsinki. I went from Töölö, where I live, to Lauttasaari and back via Ruholahti. Somewhere along the beach between Hietaniemi and Meritalli I took a break, gave the evening sun a chance to shine on me and ate an apple. The world can be such a nice place.

Today when I woke up I knew that I would go furhter than just around Helsinki. I took out some maps and looked and thought and decided to go towards the east. For three years I have had no training with the bike, therefore I was not sure how long and far I could go, but I knew that Porvoo would be the furthest. At 12:30 everything was prepared, my sunglasses jumped into my face and I went down and found the day much more hot than expected. Ok, that's acceptable - back to the flat, exchaning long jeans with short bicycle trousers. Perfect and off we go.

Content of my little bag, that can be fixed to the handlebars (German: Lenker) – in order of priority:

The famous bag I was king of that road

It is not easy finding your way of Helsinki with a bike, even if you have the outdoor map that you can get at every tourist information. Helsinki has very good cycle paths, but most of them show you only the next hop and not some bigger destination. So you can read "Pasila 1.5 km", but if you never have been there beofre you would like to know if it is in direction of Kulosaari or not. Ok, that's part of the adventure, I agree and Helsinki has enough good looking inhabitants that are worth stopping and asking for direction, even if you maybe already know your way.

I went through Pasila to Kulosaari, further to Itakeskus and then along Itaväylä. The cycle paths there are very good and it is not problem to go quite fast without killing to many pedestrians that all run around with boxes of twelve beer Lapin Kulta or Koff beer cans and sometimes also a folding chair.

A typical wooden house - somewhere on the way to Provoo take me down to my boat on the river

Road 170 took me further and further away from Helsinki, the sun was shining and I knew I would not need the sweater that I brought with me. Soon I found out that Finns are very modest when they talk about their countrie. They say it is nothing special, but it is very beautiful. But they also say they do not have any hills or mountains in the south. Ha ha. You might not care about the ascents when you drive a car, but when you are on a bike you feel them in your legs and after some time also in your arms (always grab the handlebars tight when going up a hill) and finally in your butt. But of course that was why I was here – destination exhaustion was calling for me and I followed its siren-like sing sang.

Also I learnt that a valley is not only the thing between two hills, it is also the place inbetween forests. You immediately notice you are entering a valley when the wind blows from the south. In my case it came only from the side, most of the time and it was bearable. But wind can be a bad companion on such trips. Anyhow, there is always the next forest visible in front of you when you go through Finland. In fact they do not have several forests, they only have one – the whole country is covered with it. At least this is how it looks from the air.

entering Porvoo area Speed Limit, also applies to bicycles

After 25 or so kilometers I felt a little exhausted, but at that point more than half of the road to Porvoo lay already behind me – it was only logical that nothing would hold me back from going there. The road was esy to drive, the directions were excellent, the sun was hot, my mood was perfect.

The ride brought me all the way through one of the bigger mainly Swedish speaking regions of Finland. All the signs show first the Swedish name of the locations and below it the Finish name. Unfortunately I was not able to talk to anybody in Swedish, as nobody could keep up with my speed.

There were other cyclists of course. I could not stand that any of them was in front of me, most of them were only Sundy cyclers, i.e. an easy piece of cake. I did not even need to speed up to make them feel miserable by passing by. Nothing could stop me. A filling station came up – I bought two 0.33 liter bottles of water and a snickers, my body said "thanks a lot" and I told him that it was a pleasure.

I never saw one More than half (of the way there)

Altough from a certain point on there was no cycle path anymore and I had to go on the main street it was all not a problem. The speed restriction on the road is 80 km per hour and most of the Finns stick to that, as it is written on these round signs that are placed next to the road. Finnish people do not obey rules, they just live them. Germans obey them and then they feel miserable from all the heavy obeying and just break them and say thinks like "Scheiss drauf" or pretend to just this time cross the traffic light when it switches to red. Finns do not have to think or do such things – they do not even believe in the rules, they just follow them and it is all easy and cool. Why would one like to break them? Why would they be here, if they would not be good? Right – it's a very lovely attitude, as long as the rules are simple and people here are pretty smart: they know when the rules turn against them. So don't worry.

You can guess that every car that breaks the speed limit has either a foreigner or a swedish speaking Finn as a driver. There were only few anyhow and although I tried, I did not manage to go over 80 km/h. Only close to.

Porvoo And again Provoo - it is really worth a visit

Around 15:30 (for those of you not familiar with the way how some people in Europe measure time, this is 3:30 pm – it can easily be calculated: 15:30 – 12 = 3:30 – always good to know such things, isn't it?) I arrived in Provoo, a little exhausted but very happy and I sat down by the river and made some pictures with my mobile phone and sent some messages to people who I thought would never believe that I went that far by bike. After a short break I looked at the maps again and as my mood was good, I decided to go back not the same way as I came. That was the beginning of the more interesting part of the journey.

Boat on Porvoo river The wooden houses of Provoo

The map showed the eastern kings road (Itäisen Kuninkaantie as it obviously is called in Finish language – you pronunce it as it is written, letter by letter and you stress the first syllable. Try it. Yes, it really sounds that way.), which goes north of road 170. The sun was shining, the river was flowing, I ate an apple, drunk most of my water and then went on my bike again.

The road to Kiala Entering Kiala

Already leaving Porvoo in the right direction was a major problem. The map showed Kiala as the next bigger town, but there were no signs towards it. An elder couple finally told me how to go there, but even with their help I was not sure whether I was right. The feeling of insecurity came by, sat on my carrier (German: Gepäckträger) and dangeld its legs. But who cares, the sun was shining (did I mention that already?) and after few minutes I found the alley that the couple talked of and entered in Kiala – a beautiful village with some big farms and a huge villa on the top of a hill.

The Villa in Kiala ...and one of the farms

Leaving Kiala brought me to the railroad tracks and the map told me not to follow them. So I followed the country lane quite a while south, a little bit longer and further into the wide and colorful fields around Kiala, until I reached a dead end. Smiling about my inability to find the right way I rode back and found shortly afterwards what I thought to be the trail that was in the map. Well, I drove several times into directions which were not the right ones and finally I gave up and decided to follow just the railroad tracks – the map showed that the kings road anyhow later on would go along them and so that was for sure save. For sure.

There was no asphalt on the trail along the said railroads and there were some bumps. Then these bumps invited all their family and I went through the finish miniature of Grand Canyon – my bike started vibrating at an uncomfortable frequency and I was sure that if I lost the way I would never meet anybody around to ask for help. I lost the way shortly after, when the trail went away from the railroad and I reached the next dead end – a big wooden house with three cars in front of it. They must have built these cars there on their own, because it is impossible that they ever made it along the railroad trail.Two guys were playing a ball game in front of the house and they told me to cross the railroads, I would reach the main street there. I thanked and praised them, crossed the railroad and went on.

The main road also had no asphalt but less bumps. And it had not signs either. So I followed my instinct and decided to go West, because that was were Helsinki should still be. With a Bob Dylan song on my lips (Isis, oh Isis) I road on along and came to a collection of houses that were distributed into the open space by a random number generator. They were all beautiful and I road on. Now the street made a curve, but a smaller path went on straight along the railroads. Not having learnt anything, I kept my railroad fixation and went straight. Straight into the next dead end. Back on the guaranteed asphalt free road I looked out for somebody to ask.

The houses I rode by had all cars in front of them, but the people had either not moved in or were sitting inside, worshipping the air condition. During that phase of the journey the feeling of insecurity tipped again on my shoulder and asked whether I would like some water. Yeh, for sure mate. But the water in the bottle was nearly gone. That was maybe also the moment when I thought that the sun could dim down a bit.

There was another small path to the West, I followed it and what I found was of course a dead end and a very funny looking broken car, of which I decided to take a picture. I took the picutre whilst riding my bike of course - anything else would have been weak and unefficient. The front wheel of my bicycle came across a pile of sand that I had not seen. There was not much to do - my phone was still in my hand, the other hand trying to steer the bike, the front wheel was blocked by the sand and based on these circumstances it seems natural that I got off across the handlebars.

Last picture before falling

Things going through my mind while falling:

  • Scheisse
  • Will I break my arm?
  • I should wear a helmet
  • I should have stayed at home
  • My keys, my keys
  • How should I get back?

I lay there, cursing in different languages. As that surprisingly did not help I came up after a while to investigate the details of my luck. I have to admit, I was really lucky. My right elbow was bleeding a little bit and the skin on the hands was greased. Nothing worth mentioning. But at that moment I did not feel happy about the fact that my bike still was working properly and that I could ride it without any problem. Some items had fallen out of the bag and I collected them in order of their priority, starting with my notebook. While taking up my stuff from the ground, a thing, which was originally meant to become a feather duster but turned out to be a dog during a genetic engineering experiment, showed up and barked at me. I barked back. It looked at me with a certain amount of surprise and stayed that way until I left. Most likely it is still there and tries to come up with a single thought.

It took me several more trials until I gave up on the main road and just drove back until I reached some asphalt. In fact, I came out only few meters from the place where I left Kiala an hour before. My mood went not directly to the skies when I noticed that. Soon I saw a sign that told me that Sipoo was only 25 kilometers to my right. That town was on my way and I turned right, letting a cycling couple go first that came from the other direction and also wanted to go there. I would anyhow pass by them in some minutes. They were not very fast. The road went up a small hill and I heared a strang noise. It took me a while until I noticed that it was just my breath. It would be a lie to say that the couple slowly put some distance between them and me – they just drove off and away, left me more and more behind them, feeling as if I was hiking, not cycling.

Signs indicated that the next town, named Hinthaara, was eight kilometers away. Good, there I would get some water, something to eat and I could also clean my wounds. The first four kilometers took long, the next four even longer and then I found out that Hinthaara was not a town but just a ... a ... "§%/"%"§$%. It did not even have a filling station, at least none that would have been placed next to the main road. They hide their filling stations in Hinthaara. They have plenty of them, but they hide them in order to kill poor German cyclers.

Sipoo was only twelve kilometers away. My tongue was bigger than my right hand, my lips were dry as a well in the Sahara desert and my thoughts circeld around some essential issues about this day and why I ever wanted to go to Porvoo. I made a stop, kicked the feeling of insecurity from the carrier and killed it shortly behind Hinthaara. It was a good feeling to do so, but some minutes later my brain searched again for all the songs that I knew, that talked about water. Laurie Andersons "Muddy River" was my all time favourite on the road to Sipoo.

Here a city starts (you need the sign, else you do not notice) Blurry picutre of a church

During these twelve kilometers I remembered, that this was not the first and also not the worst time I was in such a situation on my bike. Still I was not excusing to a higher power – in which I do not believe when I am not running dry while cycling – for my miserable life. Maybe I got older, wiser and harder. But that was unlikely, besides the age related part.

At last I reached Sipoo, which was not indicated as Sipoo anymore from a certain point on, but as Nikkilä. That is very helpful for somebody who lives there and does not find his way home in the middle of the night. For the rest of mankind, especially for creatures like me, it was just breathtaking. I came to crossroads where I had to decide whether I go to Korsoo, Nikkilä or Tamptadingsdabumsda – all of them I could not find on my map. My map showed Sipoo. The streets were carrying cars, but nobody was there whom I could ask. Ah yes, the sun was shining. In deep delirium I finally found Nikkilä on the map and went there.

There was no sign that this is a city. I became doubtful. Would they have a filling station? There was a hill and I became anxious. Would this terrible ascent kill me? What about my loved ones? I crossed the hill and saw several supermarkets dancing some hundred meters away and in the middle of them stood an Esso filling station, waving towards me, tears in its eyes about my visit. I could not just go by – I had to make a stop.

A liter of Lähdevesi and a Tupla later I could no resist and ordered a coffee, two Twix and a Snickers. The supermarkets stopped dancing. The sun shifted some clouds between her (the sun is female in German – I always thought of her as female. Hope I made my point clear here) and a fresh wind came up. A refreshing wind. There was a sign to Helsinki. I kissed aunt Esso good-bye, jumped on the saddle, sang a great song with an impressive voice to celebrate this day and cycled towards the last 35 kilometers of my little trip. It was 19:00 (that's seven pm) by then. Nothing could stop me anymore.

Besides the combination of my map and the cycle route indications of Helsinki. I must have been literally everywhere between Sipoo, Vantaa and Espoo without ever finding a clear signal that told me: This is the way to Helsinki Keskus. I followed main roads, but the cycle paths went away from them – I told them not to, but they were ignorant. I gave them names, they just led me further away from my flat. I asked taxi drivers and they said "you have to go right" but never got more clear on this issue. There was so much right all along the way that I just could not decide which right was right. I asked beautiful females and they told me to ask somebody else. I smiled at them and they walked away. Then I found another bicycle rider and he was able to show me on the map where I was. Somewhere Norteast of Itäkeskus. He told me how to get through a park and it all worked out.

and tomorrow Lahti ... but I have to work on Monday

I passed by Itäkeskus and went on and there was a hill and I switched the gears and then something moaned and before I could recognize the voice of my bike, my back wheel already blocked. As I was slow I this time did not need to go off via the front of the bike.

My bicycle is around six years old. I took me all over souther Bavaria, we had a ten day trip through Austria and I also showed him a little bit of Espoo, when I still lived there. And now, after this little excursion to Porvoo, the gear switcher on the back wheel broke. It was not the chain – it was the gear switcher who decided to break into two parts. Right in the middle. Dissident! Self-centred miserable object! Monstrosity of an ill Engineers mind! Malicious incarnation of a erroneous blueprint! Oh my lovely, my beloved bike. The back wheel was destroyed.

I leaned over it and smiled. This whole day was too good for being angry about a broken bike. I took it, went to the next taxi stand and arrived home around 22:00 (now you should be able to calculate the pm-time on your own).

Lessons learnt:

  • never trust a map that makes you think the way is easy to find
  • if you want to know the way, ask somebody with a bike
  • no asphalt - no go
  • civilization is most missed when absent
  • never trust a smiling taxi driver - he does not lie, but what does that mean?
  • if you are in doubt which way to go, follow the bigger road
  • take the complicated way when going there, not when going back

That's all. I'll soon let you know how it got fixed again.


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