Sunday, September 05, 2010
The Tour de Helsinki 2010
Yesterday I rode the Tour de Helsinki, a 140 km (actually 145 according to my computer) sportive that circumnavigates the Greater Helsinki area. I rode once again with Aussie Simon, my trusty compadre from our earlier cycling adventure doing the Kallaveden Kierros early this summer. The TdH was on something of a different scale with over 1700 taking part. We lined up for the start in 32 kmph group which was about midfield and it was pretty cool to see cyclists stretching as far as I could see up the street in front of me, and the same behind me.
The first 11 or so kms was easy as we were lead out by the police in a massive convoy through Espoo, a TV helicopter hovering above. Once the ride got going we found sticking in the peleton of our speed group pretty easy and we were cruising along at a good rate. Our group stormed straight past the first drink and food point about 40 kms in. I was pretty well stocked up in my pockets with snacks and had 2 ltrs of drink on my bike so was happy to keep riding, but Simon wanted to stop at the next service point to grab some food and use the loo.
We crossed the finish line just a few minutes after the 5 hour mark, although our bike computers – that stop when your bike stops, i.e. at the drinks stations – registered 4.57. And it was fun in a painful sort of way. Next year, I’ll get in one of the speed groups and stick with it – riding in the pack is just so much easier than being out on your own.