Touringstart

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Me and a friend thought about going to the Rapha Clubhouse events in Malmö/Copenhagen this weekend but he cancelled it cause of the weather forecast. I thought of riding alone but when not finding any great places to stay and the weater seemed bad I changed my mind. Instead the plan became riding from my dad in Mullsjö to Stockholm. With a hotel stay in Norrköping after 200km of 380km in total.

Started with Henrik yesterday morning and after some headwind to Habo we got tailwind towards Jönköping. Got ruined pretty quick by a puncture for me by a big stone. Changed it quickly and then kept on in a descent tempo, a long way to go. In Jönköping we rode by Team Sportia and I got a new spare tube.

Henrik dragged me passed Kaxholmen before he turned back home. It was windy but not too much so went pretty good to Gränna. Where I took a look at Vättern and Visingsö:

Also met 4 ”real” touringriders with a lot of packing on their bikes. Kept on pedaling through Uppgränna and to Ödeshög where I had my first stop. A coke and cinnamon bun was the plan and then have a proper meal bit later. Found another tourer, on a Sequoia:

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After Ödeshög it all started, looking like this:

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Flat and big fields, and a lot of headwind. A lot of headwind. The speed went down and my legs had to push hard to even keep going. Took a lunch in Sjögestad after 140km. Then the wind never ended, got really tired after 170km and was really happy when I saw the flags of Circle K. Red Bull and Twix saved the last part 🙂

206,6km and I arrived at what made the ride a bit better:

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A great Grand Hotel and a bathtub 🙂 Map and stats from day 1: Strava. Took some time to get out for some dinner I can say 😉 But got dinner, some candy and orange juice.

A bit later I slept and this morning it was up early to get as far as possible before the rain…

The wind didn’t change so it was a hard start when I got out of Norrköping. Never found the speed and the first 63km to Nyköping kept on forever. In Nyköping the rain started and I checked the map. 1st option was to ride all the 172km home. 2nd option was to ride to Södertälje and take the train which seemed like the best option it wasn’t for the rain. 3rd option was to ride to Gnesta who was closest with a trainstation which worked with a bike.

More or less rain all the rest to Gnesta, but the legs looked more brown in the wet:

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After 110km, mostly in headwind I found the centre of good cycling and gravel, Gnesta:

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Gnesta feels like the centre of great cycling south (but close) of Stockholm. A place you will come to, pass or ride from some time. If I would get a summer house I would like it to be close to Gnesta.

Map and stats: Strava

Lessons from this: Specialized Burraburra 10liter saddlebag worked perfect, headwind sucks, it’s so much more fun to ride in a group, visa-card touring can be great, this was a nice start of something good.

S-works as it’s easy

You know people that buy a complete bike, adding pedals and bottle cages and then just ride it as it is?

I want to be like that but have my thought about different things and always ending up with changing a lot of parts. Like this week when I borrowed a Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 29 2017 and started to complain on the heavy Grid tires so even before I mounted pedals I changed to Control tires to get it a bit lighter 😉

Today I met up with Fredrich who has the same bikemodel but in size Large and he changed the bar, stem and tires so far 😉

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We rode together with Alexander and Kangas this morning. Those can ride and I had a really hard time trying to keep up. So happy for the Öhlins dampers keeping me on track when I couldn’t and the bike got better the more I tried to push it 😀

 

Behind this thoughts is my roadbike. This year I was riding Sram Force1 that worked fine in Sweden with a regular Force22 rear derailleur. But had too much problem when I mounted my Force1 rear derailleur and never got it to work smooth. Wanted to have a 11-36 cassette when I went to France but it didn’t work and I had to go with 11-32. Same on Rapha 12Hills. Found it hopeless and planned to change back to 2×11 for 2017.

Dreaming of a Campagnolo Record group with hydraulic brakes but it seems to be far away and would be expensive. 2nd thought was Rotor Uno. Hydraulic brakes and gears which seemed really cool and would be released now in January. But would be really expensive that too…

3rd thought is to keep it simple, focus on the riding and to change chain in time. Rode 7000km on my Force1 group without doing anything with the brakes except adjust them when I changed wheels. Flawless and the brakes felt like a dream with super modulation. Now every road disc brakes got Direct Mount which my Tarmac doesn’t have. Found a couple of old Sram Red22 hydraulic shifters at work and stopped thinking.

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I will change the red color on them but that’s it. Fit and forget. My tarmac is the bike I’ve ridden the most in my life and it got a special place in my heart. Thought about selling it and change to something new but can’t of any better bike in the longterm so unless I get a super offer I will keep it. Really fun bike that keeps the roadriding enjoyable.

Rapha 12 Hills

The weekends trio, Damian, Magnus and me went down to Mullsjö on friday. Slept at the best place (my dad’s house) and got ready for the Saturdays Rapha 12 Hills. All on Specialized Tarmac of course and me and Magnus matching in Glassigt kit 😀

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Rapha 12 Hills is a ”race” around Jönköping by La Lepre Stanca and Rapha with 12 climbs riding in teams of  2 and stamps on top of every climb. You can do them in which order you like but we did it in the recommended order and original route with one shortcut and one detour that almost went as fast as the recommended.

Many rider that rode out from Spira in the masterstart including Hagen who took some of the pictures riding just after me:

It all started with a long gravelclimb where I had to step of my bike a little because it was so much people all over the road. Except that it felt good and me and Magnus pushed on well down to Huskvarna and got some company by a few others. Rode a bit wrong in Huskvarna but didn’t loose much until we got back and headed to the second climb. A gravelclimb that was really steep and I thought about getting the power forward and keep the grip of my 26mm Specialized S-Works Turbo tires. Rode alone in front of our group so was easy to see the right lines. On the way down from their I had an average of 70,6km/h for a 1km, fast bike 😀

Then it was time for Norra Klevaliden. A climb with an average of 16% the way we did it. I’ve done it many times before but was long time ago and not with a single 46T chainring in front. Felt massive and 46-28 was hard, went all over the road to make it easier in the end but did make it without stepping of. stamped and waited for the rest of the group:

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Me and Magnus continued towards Kaxholmen and found Philip and a couple of other guys from Malmö. Rode up to Gestra together which is a really nice but straight climb with a magnifique view:

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The 5 of us rode together down to Huskvarna and met a lot of riders on the way down, pretty cool. We rode pretty easy but with good pace, 40km/h in average down to Huskvarna and a little over 30km/h through Jönköping along the beach 🙂 Felt awesome to ride with ok pace and with nice people. Rode up Prinseryd that was easier than I remember and then to Ebbarp. That climb was hard, straight and hard. And met Ricky from Rapha on top:

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Great pacing towards the next climb:

The last one before the lunch/coffee break was long but knew about it and not so steep. Felt good and I could keep a steady pace with one guy on my wheel that missed the view 😉

No pictures from the coffee break but we took it easy and when rolling out with got a lot of company and was around 20 guys traversing to Bottnaryd and Mulseryd. Fredrik from Sumo took a great turn at 40km/h and we dropped more that half of the group, including his teammate so he dropped to his teammate 😉 Also dropped the Musetteguys there.

6(?) riders left and the pace was good and everyone took their turns, some more than others. Fredrik and some others came back to us and at Mulseryd we was a good group coming up to Emil and Peter who took a short lunchbreak.

A long climb or uphill to Mulseryd which I hate in a way, feel too weak to ride hard uphill for 8km. Back down it went better and Magnus pushed on well. He may not be as strong as me uphill but stronger on flats and downhill, great partner.

And we hit the gravel again and a gravelclimb I missed, tried to take it easy and didn’t go with Emil on his ”attack”. Stamped and waited for the rest before we sat of to Taberg and the climb I had been afraid of since Klevaliden.

Great work in our group and the speed was good.

Then it came, the climb. Is said to be 7% for 1,2km but when it gets steep the last half of it I was ready to step of my bike many times and walk up. It was super hard when the gradient went over 20% but I did it, all exhausted. 691Watt average according to Strava, 170 in average heart beat so going on power.

The downhill was nice and Tabergsdalen is very easy. Up Georgslid I had done before. Knew it was steep but not so long. But it was way steeper in the beginning than I remember, like a wall. Came up, almost cramped on the way but was okey. Waited for Magnus and then we rolled easy to Jönköping. Took a wrong turn as I used my head instead of watching my GPS 😉 Lost so much time so the others got just ahead of us and we were back together.

The last climb felt easy and was happy to make them all. Back down to Jönköping city and full speed over the bridge to Spira. We did it and I was in the best team (if you ask me). We didn’t win but we had a great day in the saddle.

Todays favorite gear and highest average for an kilometer.

DSC_1146 And my awesome Tarmac. Some may say the Tarmac is just boring allround, some would say 40mm high wheels is nothing. I would say the Tarmac is the funniest bike I’ve ever ridden and the Roval CLX40 makes the ride feel like cheating. Rolling so well with great comfort.

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Love this type of rides. Asphalt and gravel on a racebike. With lovely people with racing taking not too serious. And hopefully more pictures from this to share soon 🙂

Map and stats how I destroyed my legs: Strava

Tarmac Pros and Cons

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Some of you maybe saw when I tried to sell my bike. No interest and I’m happy about it. My S-Works Tarmac Disc is THE bike. It got the thing people talking about that Colnago has, ride quality. Sure, it’s an S-Works and the best allround roadbike Specialized ever produced but there are more advanced bike out there.

Thought about it this morning when switching wheels, chainring and cassette. Thought about the smile on my face when descending in France, about when I chased down the first group at Saltsjö-Duvnäs, about when pushing for KOM up Skurubacken, or just skidding on all gravelroads.

I ❤ it!

Pro:

  • The extras are after switching from my Tune hubs to these Roval CLX40 the bike went faster and rolled so much better, ceramic speed makes a difference.
  • When standing up and riding with Viktor on his Madone and hearing the rims touch the brakes I was thankful for my discs and stiff wheels.

Con:

  • After switching from my Oval Garbaruk 46t chainring to a round Force 1 50t chainring I had problems pedaling. Oval rules! Even after 34min I felt it was something wrong.

Next time thinking of switching this bike out I will just get a new pair of wheels, or change to Campagnolo. The only bike I can imagine would be better is the McLaren Tarmac 🙂

Vätternrundan with She Rides

If you say to any Swede that you cycle you will get the question: Have you ridden Vätternrundan? A huge amateur ”race” around Swedens 2nd biggest lake and 297km long.

Now I’ve done it!

And I had a fun time. Rode with She Rides Sub10 (under 10h) and there are some amazing people there who always spread joy. After riding a lot this year it was an easy ride which made it easier to just enjoy.

And to be able to take some pictures while riding 😉 here in Bankeryd:

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Finished like this 😉

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Before the start at the house we stayed at, 5.30 and started 6.02 which was a perfect time (just like a Le Peloton)

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In Kaxholmen where I usually get dropped but even created gaps while taking it easy today:

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Up in Kaxholmen:

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Was a bit wet in beginning but Peter was happy:

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Our 1st stop in Fagerhult:

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The best support. My dad came with coffee and cinnamon rolls, awesome ❤

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Jessica and Lotta in Karlsborg:

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The strong Mattias in Karlsborg:

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Me and the group in Karlsborg 😀

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Me and Peter leading the group after too many kilometers on boring roads we finally found some good ones 😀

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Smaller road without traffic 🙂

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Our awesome group after finishing my longest ride:

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Hopefully no one got angry about me talking about ice cream for 297km. My Café du Cycliste did it’s job too and I felt good all day on my Specialized S-Works Toupe saddle 🙂 Good power transfer without hurting my feets with Specialized S-Works Sub6 shoes. Aero and fast with my Specialized S-Works Evade helmet with my lovely Oakley Jawbreakers.

But the thing that worked flawless, begged for attacks and felt good all day as it never had too big bottles is my Specialized S-Works Tarmac disc! Fast and fun without any problems:

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I love to just step on a bike and feel like home. Feel that everything is right and don’t worry about that something will break or not be enough. Or loosing grip in the wet like I did see one guy do in front of me in Bankeryd. Specialized S-Works Turbo tires are just awesome 😀

Big Thanks to Jessica who’s got She Rides and to Noor who was todays leader. 

Ending with map and stats: Strava

Le Peloton #97

It is so much in your mind about cycling. A friend of mine said I easy would manage under 8h on Vätternrundan 300km this weekend with my shape. I’m not sure and going under 10h.

Johan and Magnus came to Peloton in their new kit today, guess if they where ready to show off?

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Not as many as a sunny Wednesday, people maybe resting for Vätternrundan this weekend?

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The ride itself was a bit of an organized chaos. My legs felt like shit up to Nacka Forum and I thought when I should drop. We got some redlights and 3(!) tractors to pass that slowed us down a bit. I tried to do my best with the thoughts of not having to close to many gaps, to always have someone behind me, not sprint past Nils and to keep the wheel of Michael.

It was hard, really hard, we almost crashed with one not leaving enough space in a corner but we all stayed on wheels and I was in the first group all the way to the end. Some people may say I’m in good shape and can’t deny it but there are people who are in shape I never will be in. But as I’m a human I found the easy solutions to keep the losses to a minimum. I say I’m not an Aerofan but when I love to optimize I also love to reduce drag to go as fast as possible and just to keep up.

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Specialized S-Works Evade helmet saves 56 seconds over Prevail

Specialized S-Works Evade GC Skinsuit saves 96 seconds over regular bibs and race fit jersey

Specialized S-Works Sub6 with Warp Sleeve is the most aero shoes Specialized developed and maybe the best aeroshoes that are UCIlegal.

Roval CLX64 is more aero than a Zipp 404 Firecrest

Specialized S-Works Turbo is the 2nd fastest tire in the world.

Marginal Gains Sky says, the Aero Advantage says Specialized. Placebo others maybe say. Pushing limits, being able to ride fast without intervals I say 😉 Like dope but legal and without hurting my body 😀

Map and stats: Strava

Älgö the double

This past weekend I talked with Isabelle about training and about the difference in our lives. We both love cycling but she always ride with a purpose. I don’t, I just ride because I like it. She is faster than me but that’s not what matters for me now.

I love racing, love to be a part of a cycling club that work for racing even though I’m not so active, love to watch and follow races and see people develop.

This week I had a plan with my riding as I’m riding 300km Vätternrundan on Saturday which is the biggest cycling thing in Sweden with over 20000 starters and many Sub groups all from 15h down to under 7h. It’s not a race but the biggest goal in many cyclists life.

My plan was to ride Älgö Deluxe this morning, Le Peloton tomorrow and then rest except just transporting myself to work and home. So started this day with Älgö Deluxe:

Found a great picture of the different clubs. Stockholm CK, CK Valhall, Fredrikshof and SUMO riders all together:

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Felt easy on the way there and felt good sitting on wheel. But when I went in front my heart rate went to the sky without any legpower. Got dropped just before Älgö together with Jürg and we rode the rest together. Seems like the other ones went fast with KOM’s and such things. I had an average of 35km/h so maybe I did have some legpower. Stats: Strava

So after work my plan was just to go home. Then it changed to go to Storkällan GP with Magnus and Simon. Rode there and then I got a tempting message and changed my mind. Instead of watch the race there alone I went for an easy spin to Älgö with the most beautiful riders of Rocket Racing Team:

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Ended with ice cream on Södermalm and a late arrival at home with 69km instead of 10 😉

Stats: Strava

Le Peloton #96

It’s been a hard but short cycling week this week. Cafériding monday like you maybe already read about. And yesterday it was time for Älgö Deluxe with a KOM to me on the complete route 😉

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Sumostyle for me and Emil and it was a great group of riders 🙂

36,2km/h average for an hour in the sun 🙂

So this morning it was strange when the speed was high and the heart rate low going to Urban Deli. I was thinking my legs feel like crap and thought of group 3. But it felt too good so changed my plan to ride with group 1 for as long as possible and take a shortcut if I got dropped.

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Not as many as usual today as the weather forecast showed rain. A couple of really fast guys and many who didn’t take turns made the speed go up and down. It felt ok going to Fisksätra with my bike acting like I want it 🙂

Going down back I had to chase Emil first with ”wrong” riders around me, way too strong so I didn’t have anything to do there. Kept up good with the group but without possibility to do any work up to Nacka Forum, did a short turn down to Sickla before almost getting dropped at Hästhagen. Worst place on the route for me, always suffer a lot there. But I hanged on over Hellas and sat in the rubberband tail to Älta getting a PR. Passed some before Storkällan and managed to hang on okey over the climb there. Dropped but managed to get up again in the tailwind on the flat and the road passed Flaten felt pretty good. Rode smart and thought that if I should get dropped it would be on the last straight.

Got a good wheel on the last straight and sat in 2nd position passed the place where I crashed some weeks ago. Dropped a couple of more place in the sprint but it didn’t matter so much to me. Did what I could and really happy to be able to sit with the 1st group all the way. Or Grupetto maybe as Jonas and Adam dropped us and rode the last part alone, really strong riders.

Map and stats: Strava

No rain on the ride but while we ate breakfast it started. Was really cold and wet going to work afterwards:

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Now I won’t ride anything more this week but hopefully some nice updates here. As I’m going to Albstadt with the Swedish Women Junior Road National Team to Albstadt, Germany for a stage race. Really looking forward to it and hope it will bring good results and develop Women cycling more 😀

Le Peloton #87

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A little snow in the air and cold temperature made me turn by work and shift to thicker gloves. Not as many today with the weather that looks better on picture than it was. Started in the 1st group and while it wasn’t the best cooperation the speed was high enough for me. Was on todays edge but could hang on and was in front sometimes too. An average of 28,1km/h on the Strava segment felt ok too, even with a misshappening on the road to Älta. A guy braked and turned a little so the rider behind him put his front wheel in the bike in front. No crash but didn’t sound good hearing it some guys behind me and the pace got low to see if everyone was on their wheels.

After we finished the hard part we rode on the cycling path and I maybe shouldn’t have done that. Was a big hole that was much deeper than I thought without a single sign and saw the deep too late. Smashed my front wheel on the edge but had air in my tires afterwards, impressive. For some hundred meters until my rear tire felt a bit soft, the flat was there on my new tubular tire. Stopped and tried to fix it with my Pit Stop but couldn’t get anything inside. Stepped up and rode with a flat, it was a tubular after all and it worked better than I thought. Rode with a flat rear tire to work and planned to make a fast switch and continue to Le Mond for breakfast. Had to change rotor and cassette but went pretty fast. Out on my bike again and coming just around the corner and my front wheel was leaking too. A bit upset I turned around and changed that wheel too…

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Great wheels but flat tires and I need to glue on something else 😦 Maybe shouldn’t have wrote about the tubular advantage as it ended in my most expensive ride so far.

Deluxe and the tubular advantage

We have been riding back and forth to Älgö some morning in a good tempo. Today we did a longer ride and rode to Vissvass a bit south. More climbs, more speed and record with 4 riders. Great morning:

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I wasn’t fastest but was fun and the new Swede Amir showed us how the young rides 😉

Ended with a better breakfast at Vivels and celebrated the end of an era:

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As I don’t train proper, as I don’t have fast genes and as I ride with fast people I do whatever I can do to go faster. Today I changed from the springwheels to my tubulars. Roval CLX40 with Vittoria Corsa SC/CX tires and saved some weight:

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Finished the gluing and the bike is 6,52kg 😀 Will change rear derailleur when the new one arrives and ordered som lighter discs and a lighter stem. Awesome bike that made my commute home really nice:

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So now let’s hope I can go faster on tomorrows Le Peloton…