Commuting: Screw the shoulder, back on the road

The weather looks good, but it can surprise you this time of the year

This should be another rest week for me and the shoulder, but during last weekend in Hanko we had the opportunity to go riding and naturally we had to take it. Since I survived single tracks and several hours of forests, I thought I could muster the energy to ride to work as well. The first thing I noticed Monday morning was this weird white layer on top of the grass, the roofs and pretty much everything. Then I slowly crawled towards the kitchen to take a look at the temperature meter and surely enough, it was below zero.

Still, a cyclist doesn’t really care about the weather, so I geared up with layers upon layers as I got ready to ride. It takes a surprisingly long time to get ready with stuff like overshoes and such. Turned out that I actually managed to overdress, but with my new jacket and winter bibs (which we’re reviewing during the weekend) it wasn’t like a steam box.

Speaking of steam boxes, one of the best things in Finland and probably the only reason we’re still in this frozen country is the sauna. There’s nothing better than coming home from a long ride in freezing temperatures, usually with torrential rain and idiots trying to drive over you, into a warm sauna.

The weather has been quite peculiar in the last few days. October in Finland might be anything: A few years back we had an Indian summer and 20+ Celcius degrees temperatures, while another year we have several inches of snow on the ground. Yesterday morning the headwind was blowing 13 meters per second, making my time 17 minutes worse than usual and it felt like I was cycling in pudding.

Merida reviews coming next week! Can you see the rails in this photo?

It’s also getting pretty dark in here and as the weather cools and the streets empty, people and cars pay even less attention to cyclists. I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t have lights or reflectors or anything the make them visible. That’s why I ordered a new 900 lumen Bat-light to make me more noticeable and to see the other people as well. So, finally, our light review that’s been requested several times will get done properly.

In other news, we still have a lot of posts coming from our last week’s trip, including three reviews from Merida’s 2011 range that come out on Monday (road bikes, cyclo cross bikes and 29ers!).  We’ll also talk about thoroughly tested cold weather clothing and many more things. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

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By Markus Sandelin

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.