Tour Hivernal update #2

12.2.2015 15.36.04


Étape / Stage 6 - From Livarot to Deauville

Next day begun with the first snowy view: during the night it was cold and some snow came down, but the frozen trees and fields to white wonderland made the morning really memorable. Unfortunately by the noon the warm sunshine melted the white stuff and the ride form Livarot via Lisieux and Pont l’Eveque to  Deauville had only some snow visible in places, where Sun didn’t reach. 

Livarot will be departure town of the stage 7 of Tour de France 2015, and the area was already now decorated with bikes and texts welcoming tour to city that is famous for it’s cheese.

As I was in region of Calvados, I popped in to a Chateau Breuil for some chopping, before stopping in Lisieux for remembering 2011, when I was there following the final sprint (tight race btw Edvald Boasson Hagen, Matthew Goss & Thor Hushovd) of the Tour 2011. It was colder and less crowded now.

And then, finally before the sunset, I reached Deauville, famous beach city of Normandy and summer destination of Parisian jetset. It’s also known for the American Film Festival, but I didn’t see any movie stars there – but the famous beach booths named after the stars and directors.

  

Étape / Stage 7 - Le Havre and Étretat

The ride on the next day started with a friendly greeting to Aki Kaurismäki, Finnish director who did some years ago a beautiful movie in the city that game also a name to this film: Le Havre. In the Kaurismäki world the people are lonely and landscapes realistic, empty and quiet. So the ride started from the port of Le Havre and continued along the coast to Étretat, small village famous for the cliffs like on the other side of the Channel.

Weather was now cloudy with occasional rain, hail and snow – just like it has to be in Kaurismäki movies. Therefore the ride was memorable - especially when I ended down to beach under the cliffs near a German bunker from the 2nd World War.

 

Étape / Stage 8 - Roubaix

A classic: Paris-Roubaix with the cobble stones. It has to be included in the Tour Hivernal, also because the stages 3 and 4 of this year’s Tour de France will run on the small country roads that shake the fillings our from your teeth. 

No, cobble stones are not nice to ride. No, it wasn’t very clean riding. Yes, it was still worth of riding and I’d like to do it again. And yes, I was really muddy - like the bike - after the 80 km touring in cold winter weather with sunshine and snow showers. 

By the way, long streaks of the traditional Paris-Roubaix route is clearly marked and the area has also other nice cycling routes for short and long rides. Only disadvantage is that signs, usually clear and frequent, miss in some vital places and therefore it’s better to carry a map (or smartphone).

Asiasanat:

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Tour Hivernal is on

12.2.2015 14.09.35

Étape / Stage 1 - Bordeaux

It was a wet start for the Tour Hivernal! After weeks of sunny days in Bordeaux, the sky was grey and water came down almost continuously during the ride from Bordeaux city centre to Sauveterre de Guyane about 50 km away.

An old train line from the sea to the wine area up on the hills has been turned into a bike road, wonderful to ride uphill passing the ancient train stations that serve now as tourist offices, bars or private houses. 

Luckily some holes in clouds gave a little bit of sunshine. The ride ended slightly prematurely because the bike path was being renovated - and even with cyclo-cross capable Sibbo, it was impossible to go on. 

Anyway, the nice ride ended to the Cyvea bike shop - a local Pelago dealer - for the last adjustments to the bike before the tour ”really” started.

 

Étape / Stage 2 - Ile de Ré

In the summer this island reaching to the Atlantic ocean from La Rochelle is a paradise for the cyclists: nice roads, flat country, sunshine, beaches, little villages and distance up to 30 km from the light house in the furthermost point of the island to the bridge connecting mainland. 

During the winter the island was empty and only some locals were visible with few tourists possibly coming from La Rochelle. But as the roads were all mine and weather was very nice (but quite cold and windy), Ile de Ré can be a very attractive destination also now in February.

 

Étape / Stage 3 - From Vannes to Plumelec

Next summer the Tour’s first team time trial (stage 8) will take place in Brittany from the city of Vannes to Plumelec, a small village about 30 km uphill from the coast. 

I rode the stage in freezing wind and sunshine, and found out that it is just perfect for time trialing: first the road goes up, then swings up and down, left and right, until it ends with quite long ascent to the finish line. It will be fast and wonderful to follow either on TV or on site.

 

Étape / Stage 4 - Carnac 

On the 2nd of February, I did two short rides in two Brittany’s top tourist attractions. First was Carnac, prehistoric site with about 3500 stones, menhirs, placed in fields spreading out in the forest for the total length of about four kilometres.

In the summer the fields are closed and stones are visible only from the dedicated observation points, but now I could wander (and ride) around and in the middle of stones almost alone. Amazing, really amazing!


Étape / Stage 5 - Mont Saint-Michel

Mont St-Michel is active also in winter, but much less than in summer. Therefore around the road running from the mainland to the old monastery island was under works, but it was possible to ride along it. It was a low tide and the sea was far away, but it didn’t really matter as now the access road is open also during the high tide. 

I have never been to Mont St-Michel, and even if I was expecting a tourist trap, it was a Disneyland full of Japanese tourists. I did an U-turn and came back. 

By the way, even if it's possible to ride to the island to see very unique views, riding or carrying a bike in the city is very hard. The city has small inclined roads (full of people) and stairs. So, it’s better to lock the bike and leave it outside in the dedicated parking places.


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Spring events

9.2.2015 9.52.13

The spring season is at our doorstep and we're presenting our new bicycle models and products in several exhibitions and smaller events around Europe in the coming months. The list will get updated as we go, but here's a few dates and locations we've locked in.

The London Bike Show (Feb 12th to 15th).

GoExpo Helsinki (March 6th to 8th)

Berliner Fahrradschau (March 20th to 22nd)

Helsinki Pelago Store Event  (April 12th)

Turku Store Event at Velotema (April 12th)

Tallinn Simple Sessions (April 18th to 19th)

Stockholm Store Event at Gamla Stan Cykel (April 25th)

Copenhagen Store Event (April 25th)

Spin London (May 8th to 10th)

Oslo Store Event at Dapper (May 16th)

 

Come and meet us if you're around!

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