Sunday, May 23, 2010

Back on the road

Supposedly this has been one of the worst hayfever seasons in many years. Actually it's birchfever, the hayfever will start in a month or so but that doesn't bother me. A week ago the birch trees exploded their pollen in to the air, all of a sudden on the first hot day after a long winter and cool spring. Everything is covered in fine green dust of the stuff. It gets everywhere, inside and out and up my nose. Here it make my immune system over react and as result I become a huge, miserably ball of snot, sneezing and itching. It's enough to make you want to go and walk around bare foot in an African toilet pit (go on... be brave. Click the link. Actually just listen to the whole wonderful hour of parasitic pleasure).

It rained hard last night; annoying as I wanted to climb today and couldn't, but at least it cleared the air a bit and the hayfever lessens a little. This morning as the puddles receded a scum of green was everywhere - a fine paste of sodden pollen.

Pollen paste...

...everywhere

Myllykoski, Nurmijärvi (watch this bridge being swung at the end of this movie)

So as the crags would all be dripping, I decided to ride instead. Against my better judgement, a smooth talking Aussie has persuaded me to ride the Kallaveden Kierros with him next week, a big bike race - or more accurately "sportive" - in Kuopio. Simon decided we were going to do the real thing - the 200 kms - and signed us up as the "ABC Team" - the Australian-British Cycling Team. "Absolute Beginners Cycling Team" would be another option, and "absolutely buggered cycling team" will probably fit best by about 150 kms. So it seemed sensible to get the road bike down from shed wall and check it still worked. It did. Now I'm just worried whether my thighs will make it over that distance!



I've been getting a few tips on riding a 200 km sportive from the good folks of UKC, but if anyone is reading this and has done something similar please leave me any tips in the comments!

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