Last weekend I did my first 2 day bike trip including all luggage (tent, mattress, sleeping back) on my bike! It was awesome. Ca 200km in 2 days!
The trip took me along the coast east of Helsinki. I left on saturday morning at 9:12, blue sky, sunshine, some 18°C (or so). The weather got warmer but biking with my nice touring bike was pretty easy as there was almost no wind. It took 1 hour to reach the eastern Helsinki city border (starting in Kallio) and about 3h to Porvoo, where I had some snack and a Sider in the sun by the water. Very nice start!
As it was only lunchtime I decided to take another 50km towards Loviisa and stay at the local camping site for the night. The route became quite a bit hillier but and already some km before Porvoo there was no separate bike path any more. That meant biking on the street but especially after Porvoo there were also much less cars. More like me and my bike with only the streets and my energy level as my limits. I arrived in Loviisa around 3:30pm bought some sider for the evening and apple juice for the next morning (much better drink than water for filling up energy levels…). The Loviisa camping site I won’t recommend though. It’s awesomely placed by the water but only caravan guests can get the benefits of that. Campers instead need to stand somewhere in the back. Also the guy made me pay for electricity without asking me if I wanted any (and obviously I didn’t need electricity!), but I realized too late and had already paid. However, the bridge into the water was an awesome evening and morning spot with nice views, some sketching, some writing and lots of thinking. That’s what the trip was meant for!
Also in the evening I met a British couple that lives in Australia, is now retired and exploring Europe with their caravan about 7 month per year! What an amazing thing to do when you’re retired! And I had some Finnish practice with a woman knitting socks on the bridge as well. She was fascinated that I had come 100km in 5.5h by bike! :)
On sunday I took an a bit longer route back to Helsinki. Unfortunately the tent was completely wet and had to be unpacked and dried ones back home. However, the route on Sunday was a bit nicer, some smaller streets with less cars and nicer views into the surrounding landscape.
Some learnings from the first bike tour: pack your money to be accessible inside the left bike bag (as the bag usually leans on the other side). Take care which shorts and shoes you are wearing. I’ll still need to test a bit on those 2.
Most importantly about the tour was that it was an amazing feeling of freedom:
BIKING IS MY KIND OF FREEDOM
It’s just you, the bike, the street. Obviously second day your legs feel harder and the hills steeper. There is some learning involved on how to bike standing on a packed bike also. But it was such a great experience!
Next longer bike trip will be: Mikkeli – Puumala – Imatra – Punkaharju – Savonlinna (most probably). 4 days. 260kms It will be great!