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OK, fellow veloroom members - as we are stuck to semi-isolation and with no races on the telly, how do we get through this? I should have been all fired up by Alex Kristoff winning his 2nd MSR by now, but looks like it isn't going to happen. I tried my high-altittude excile and x-c skiing for a while, but the place where I was hiding -  out in the outback -  sent all the city people back home claiming we would jam up their health services system when we all get infeted at the same time.

Back in the city, I can't go to the office, I need to work from home, and it is getting kind of boring on the social side. Also I notice that when spending 40+ extra hours inside my own appartment a week, I make a mess out of everything so on the improvements list for next week is more of the routine tidying up and cleaning  :-x

The bright side of it is weather, after one of the "worst" winters in Oslo for a long time, ie. it has been like winter in Bergen: cloudy, rainy and windy and cold but not so much freezing - of course with these strange times now we get almost perfect late winter weather. I call it late winter because almost every morning there is frost on the rooftops in the neighborhood, but it actually clears quite rapidly and then a sunny day with some 5 degrees celsius, with or without biting cold winds follows. It has been like that every day for a week now. Everything else beeing far from equal, it is good conditions to start my own cycling season properly. And guess what, cycling is fun and being outside helps put a smile on my face.  :cool

This week I have been heading out 3 days after work for 1-2 hour training rides, discovered a nice little hill not far from here perfect for those intervals that I will eventually hate  :angel and I am starting to find my way about the new neighboorhod with two wheels, ie, which roads give nice rides and which ones bring you home quickly, which roads to avoid because there is too much cars and diesel fumes and dust etc, and which ones are lovely.

The latter category is being filled up with some gravel/mud paths that follow "green corridors" - parks and nature reserves on the outskirts of town that link up to what people here call "marka" which is not a "field" as the meaning of that name indicates, it is forests. For todays longer ride I have challenged myself to ride all around the forests east of town - some 85 km with approx 10 km on gravel/mud. I will use my CX bike with gravel/mud friendly tires, pack some food and go slowly.   Here's my plan, for the inspiration: 

It looks steep but the altitude differences aren't that much and from my experience google maps (which RWGPS run in the background) exaggerates the finer-scale "sawtooth"  of theprofile. I will try to extract the barometric measured altitude later for comparison. And of course, in these times,  I ride alone.

Have a nice Sunday everyone  :cool
(the frost is now gone so I hope the roads are ice-free)
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  • t-72

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    I should get out earlier in the morning, I only started at approximately lunchtime and the blue sky turned into something semi-overcast - but it cold, with an average temperature of about 4 degrees on my garmin and icy winds. Patches of snow still melting in the shadows, and the gravel roads very wet and sticky due to the melting of ice under the surface.

    The winds picked up and I struggled to get any speed at all going southwards, but on the northwards part I was sailing with the wind and going much faster than I thought I could for so long distances on my CX bike with gravel/mud freindly tires. My legs were working fine until I lost my way and had to stop for navigation purposes in Lillestrøm, several times. When I got going again it felt like I had accidentally replaced my legs with some woodwork. Strong headwinds going south again didn't help.

    On my way I saw about 100 other cyclists, the fastest probably a #unox rider judging by the bike he had + his speed. All the cylicsts were alone or sometimes in pairs. I never saw anyone drafting anyone for the whole day, and that says alot about how things have changed these days, as especially going south in the first part of the lap the headwinds were so strong it would make a huge advantage to ride in a group. No one did.

    A few pictures:

    I found spring waiting for me on a steep, southfacing muddy slope (a stabilized mudslide actually):

    Norway's longest river, Glomma, discharges into the Øyeren lake and it has laid down a very large pile of sand and mud here. The town of Lillestrøm just visible in the sunlight at the far end is about 10 km away. The delta is a wildlife sanctuary and it will soon fill up with all sorts of migrating birds that fancy a rest by the waterside. Slightly later - peak snowmelt flood typically early June) almost nothing will be left above water.

    My don't freeze - gear: wool undershirt, wish I also had wool long johns but I opted for front-windproof winter cycling bibs which have a fleece-like inside, because the weather looked a lot better just before I left home. The hi-viz yellow jacket is quite windproof but doesn't breathe very well. A very important piece of equipment is the - what do you call it in english - collar liner? In Norwegian it is now just termed buff but it basically stops the cold wind from blowing in through the collar opening in the jacket. A must-have for cold days. Another important item is something warm inside the helmet. Cycling caps just doesn't work, I used a thin wool liner today but earlier this week I had a thicker wool cap because I couldn't find the liner. I wish I still hadn't found it, cause this was a bit too cold on the headwind sections today. 

    Compensation for loss of Strade Bianche?

    Apologies for the poor style in the photos but I can't really be bothered to care to much about anything when freezing except not freezing :)

    Oh, just to make sure I got the right compensation for missing Strade Bianche on the television, a touch of Tuscany for dinner?

    Take that, coronavirus, eat sterrati and die! (It's leftovers but it will do for this purpose  :D )

    Overall verdict: good way to waste a useless Sunday  :cool
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  • t-72

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    Things are going well in terms of riding, training and progress - I am regularly improving times on both small segments and longer parts of  my rides. (Benefit of moving to a new city, I am no longer pestered by statistics of my 2013 peak form up Bergen's "Salmon hill"!)

    Weather has been fine most of the time, except for the surprising element of strong winds. Surprising because the Oslo region isn't supposed to be windy, but this spring I have repeatedly felt like a hero going out just to end up as zero going back, when I realize the wind that used to be on my tail will no longer support my progress.

    Yesterday, I went for a out-and-back ride (ended up at 55 km) and just for fun I checked average speeds over a wind exposed flat section in the middle - some 4 kilometers across open fields, alittle bit up and down but not a test of the climbing ability:
    going out  34 km/h
    coming back: 21 km/h. 
    At one point (strong gust up a small speed-bump hill, I came to a total stand-still in the headwind!)

    On the plus side I do get better at keeping the balance on my bike in gusty times it feels a bit scary, but so far I keep both tires in contact with the ground.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Weather has been fine most of the time, except for the surprising element of strong winds. Surprising because the Oslo region isn't supposed to be windy
    For someone like you who used to live on the North Atlantic coast, those more 'inland' areas aren't 'windy' in comparison. But even mild winds can fool you into thinking you're on top of the world when riding out with a tailwind, only to collapse completely on the way back - as you experienced yourself.
    Always check the forecast and plan your trip accordingly. :)
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