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A Ride in Finland: August 1994

By Markku Tuomi, 1994
Saturday, August 13, was a nice day, none too cold. The summer of Central Finland was gradually coming to an end but one could still wear shorts and other summer stuff for cycling. Clouds dotted the sky and I took my trusty Chinese rain cape along.

The preceding day I had finally laid my faithful French Patrick touring shoes to rest. Unable to find a suitable replacement pair, I had bought a pair of cheap Spanish R-100 shoes with stiff soles and real cleats.

I set out northwards out of Jyvaskyla on road 637 with light traffic at a relaxed pace. Past Laukaa I stopped in Kuusa to admire the rapids and observe boat traffic at the locks of the new canal connecting the lakes Paeijaenne and Keitele, built by Russian contractors. I also had a pleasant rest stop at the canal coffee shop where I consumed some vital energy nutrition, i.e. soda, ice cream, etc.

From there ahead on road 642 through scenic farmland, roughly following the canal route. At the junction of road 69 I turned west and enjoyed the rollercoaster hills on my way, crossing over the new bridge erected by the aforementioned Russian contractors. At the junction of highway 4 I spent some good time at a friendly gas station consuming more vital energy foods and some newspapers. Filling up my bottles, I then proceeded west on the lonely road 631 through the woods to Uurainen where I turned south on road 630 all the way back to Jyvaeskylae without seeing much human habitation.

My new shoes were a minor revelation. I could use one tooth less in the rear with no extra effort and the improved foot interface seemed to lead to more effortless pedaling at fast RPM. I wonder what clipless would feel like!

Distance was 104 km. Time and speed have evaporated from memory. Anyway, I had a nice time.