Dangerously organic!

Hi all,

I had been thinking about a bike trip that would take more than a day for a couple of summers. This summer seemed to open up an opportunity to do so. So I decided to ride from Helsinki, my current home town, to my place of birth, Joensuu.

The shortest route between these two cities is around 480kms. But since those roads have quite a heavy traffic they didn't suit my purposes of seeing the beautiful nature on the way. So the plan for the route was drawn via smaller country roads, mostly paved / tarmac roads, since i was going to use my road bike for the trip.

So, after some calling around and checking out if my friends on the way were home or not I came up with a five day plan. Four stay overs and five riding days for a approx. 580km trip.

First day took me 150km north from Helsinki, with avg.spd. of 23km/h. Second one was bit easier, for 125km with 25km/h avg.spd. Third day took me through some really beautiful scenery, even though the day was rough since part of the trip was on gravel road and the whole day was pretty hilly. And I had some headwind also. The three first nights i stayed in some farm b&b's and camping area cabins. Fourth day I had some bad luck in the form of heavy rain and winds, that ate some of my humour, but the day took me 121km further to a friend's cottage in Kitee. Some mushroom sauce from forrest mushrooms picked up an hour earlier, new potatoes, sauna and good conversations - excellent evening. Last day I had only 61km to ride, and it was a fast one. 2 and half hours.

Some photos: here

To sum it up, it would have been faster and cheaper by plane. But to see the nature, meet new people, it is priceless.

Cheers, pete

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Comment by pete korhonen on August 7, 2009 at 1:43pm
Hi Michael,

Just a little correction to the route map:

Leg 1: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3051517
Leg 2: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3074960
Leg 3: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3074970
Leg 4: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3074992
Leg 5: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3075001

The bike was quite ok, the only problem I had was that I had too much pressure on my hands, due to too long quill stem and quite heavy backbag (Ortlieb Track 27, about 10kgs). So mainly because of this I have some numbness on my right palm / fingers at the moment. I didn't suffer a single flat tire. I only adjusted the handlebar for better position to ride from the brake handles.

My back didn't give me any problems, neither did my legs or behind. The 100km a day seems ok for me,
considering that some days I could have rode longer and on some days (due to the wind or rain) a shorter leg would've been nicer.

The wild mushrooms are commonly used and picked up every autumn in Finland. I.e. "Boletus edulis", "Cantharellus cibarius" and "Hydnum repandum" are extremely tasty and easily recognized. Information about the wild fungi in Finland can be found in http://sienet.luontonetti.com/en/
Comment by Michael Levin on August 7, 2009 at 12:28pm
Beautiful photos, Pete. Here's the route:

View Larger Map How were you able to identify the mushrooms? Michael "Mycol" Stevens is a botonist here at Zoobird. I've always wanted to learn enough about muchrooms in the wild to be able to pick edible ones. The bike is looking great. Was the backpack all you took? Was it hard traveling 100Km plus every day? Were there any mechanical problems? How well does the geometry of the bike fit you? Did your back hurt? Is your normal riding position on the lower bars or the upper part?


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