Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Beach Barbecue

It was a sunny weekend so what to do? How about a beach barbecue?

On the way to the beach I saw some cyclists I hadn't seen before: a five year old with his dad and brother, and a four year old with kiddie wheels with her mom. Of course I'm guessing their ages but I'm pretty sure they were new cyclists. Warm weather (above freezing in the sun) and mostly ice free bikeways meant that there was a lot of people about. Some were skating on the ice of the sea:

although there were some rough spots on the ice. The bright areas in the picture above are smooth ice created by frozen water, and the darker areas

is uneven ice aka frozen slosh. There were some cracks in the ice where the water gets on the ice, so it is not all due to the melting process. And I guess the ships going by will splash some water on the ice, too.

And I also saw some people sitting by the docks, something that doesn't happen when it's cold or windy but it wasn't either. The sun was up, people! (11 hours 52 minutes today ;-)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Sleeting moment

A nice little layer of sleet/snow covering the bikeways... is that clear asphalt or rutted ice under my wheels?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Exciting and blah!

I've got two different photos taken while riding. The first was taken a few weeks ago, early February. There had been some fresh snow, about 30 cm, which is quite a lot for one snowfall around here. The snow was powdery and dry, which meant the strong winds whipped it about and made nice snow "dunes". Although the snow drifts can be a hazard to the unwary. If half the lane is filled with snow, the thick drift can 'pull' the car deeper and you'll get stuck, or maybe you just lose control and spin the car. Well, with bikes that's less of a problem.

Anyhow, here's a nice lid of snow and the powder snow flying. The road is a small rural farm road. The snow banks are not man-high, I was kneeling a bit. :-P
Looks like a photo! :)

And here's a mundane, everyday bikeway. Nothing spectacular about that.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

School yard in Tyrnävä

Here's what a School yard in Finland might look like in the winter:

picture by Koivuneva/Kaleva
That picture above makes me wonder if there's enough gritting or too much? Bikes like sand, potkukelkkas (kick sleds) do not. Obviously the sleds are 'in' at the moment. I did sometimes go to school with kicksled when I was a kid, too, bot that was ages ago. Walk, bike, kicksled or ski. (Skiing is the easiest way to transport skis to the school for the gym class. :-)

And here's a link to related story in the local newspaper Newspaper Kaleva story with a video of kids arriving at school.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Think positive!

Since the beginning of the year 2015 it has been legal to ride a bicycle without any lights! Yes, really! It's true! Now it is enough to have a headlight or some other light strapped onto the rider, when before the light had to be attached TO THE BIKE. That means I've lost dozens of chances to feel smug and superior to those headlight wearing lawbreakers.

What's left? The lightless ninjas, of course. But the ninjas just are so lame, they don't give me enough satisfaction. Thank god there are still some people with red lights on front, so I can think to myself 'tut tut, are you riding backwards?'

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ice removal

It's not enough to remove the snow! Well, it would be if the first vehicle on the street would be the snow plow tractor or truck also equipped with magical snow sucker to get the last flake off the ground.

But they're not. The snow gets packed into ice under the wheels (and feet) and each time it snows the ice layers get thicker and thicker. And this packing happens only where the wheels run, leaving the other areas of the street unpacked. And those unpacked areas are easy to move by plow, wind and later in the spring, by melting. Which means there will be little hills of ice and everybody will be trying to stay on top of the hills and not fall.

Today I met a big ice scraper scraping the ice hills off the street. It was followed by a wheel loader clearing the driveways. Shoveling the ice chips is not fun! They're much heavier than powder snow. :-)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Here's where the clip started

The clip in the previous post started from top of an overpass. The road below is a bit dug in, but the bridge still gives a nice boost going downhill!

I started wondering how the drivers below will like piles of snow and chunks of ice raining down on them when the snow plows clean the overpass, as there almost certainly will be some going trough the railing... then I noticed the "chicken wire" behind the railing in the upper picture. Ok, one inch pieces of ice are not so dangerous.

There's still some room to plow more snow to the side before you need to get a wheel loader (or a tractor with a front loader) to remove it.