All photos can be found in this Facebook album too, feel free to tag yourself and share.
All photos can be found in this Facebook album too, feel free to tag yourself and share.
I’ve been in Helsinki just over three weeks now and have done a whole load of riding, so much in fact that my poor arse threw in the towel and I got saddle sores.
On the whole living here is great, I have very few complaints, riding is also a pleasure for the most part. Here are a few thoughts on my experiences so far…
They are everywhere, in fact people don’t really ride on the road here. A few days ago there was an old guy going nuts and shouting at a roadie who was on the road, my girlfriend told me that he was angry because the government had spent millions on the cycle lanes and the rogue lycra lout wasn’t even using them, haha.
Nearly all pavements are split in two so that pedestrians and cyclists can go about their business with a minimum of fuss and from what I’ve seen it works pretty well. Getting from A-B is easy and you don’t have to worry about cars, though I am missing the excitement of riding with traffic.
CROSSING THE ROAD
Everyone here waits for the green man, it is idiotic and it really frustrates me. There is no reason why an adult with good sight should wait for a green light when there are no approaching cars anywhere.
In the UK people tend to cross when the time is right, obviously some use the crossing and will always wait for the green man but generally common sense prevails and negotiating even the busiest road is done without the assistance of lights and beeps. Not so here, I only see a tiny fraction of people crossing at will and I assume that these people are foreigners like me.
If there are kids waiting then I will wait because I don’t want to encourage them to run across the road willy nillilly (I also wait in the UK) but for the most part I just use my eyes and go whenever I’m ready, much to the disgust of the locals.
This issue is exacerbated for me because like I said above cyclists go with the flow of pedestrians and not with the flow of traffic so even though you don’t have cars to contend with you have to stop every two minutes for the bloody green man!
No matter where you want to go here you will inevitably pass through some woodland and/or cross a lake, the entire place is like a nature reserve. Well maintained multi use paths follow alongside bodies of water and through forests seamlessly connecting roads. Riding here really is a sensory pleasure, it’s unlike any other city I have ridden in.
The centre of Helsinki is pretty built up but the lack of trees is more than compensated for with stunning architecture and water. The suburbs are incredibly beautiful and birds fly around in flocks without worrying too much about us humans. I know it sounds cliched but at all times you are surrounded by flora and fauna in Finland, I love it!
I’ve only explored a very tiny percentage of what is right on my doorstep and now that autumn is closing in at a frankly alarming rate I need to take in as much as I can before winter arrives and slows me down.
Here’s a cool video about the messenger scene in Copenhagen, Denmark featuring interviews with some of the guys as well as day-to-day and event footage.
Nice to see Pave, one of Helsinki’s two messengers in there.
Who’s heard the new Shellac album? I’m really into it, it’s way better than Excellent Italian Greyhound and continues with the killer album title roll they are on – Dude Incredible.
Here’s a live version of Riding Bikes, Todd plays a mean drum!
Last night I went along to my first event here in Helsinki, there are weekly get-togethers and regular alleycat races – last night was the Keskaricup 2014.
There was a really decent turnout and it was nice to finally put some faces to online profile pictures from Instagram, the Yksivaihde forum and the Facebook Page. I’m sure I will have forgotten all your names by the next time we meet but bear with me, all your names are ‘weird’ ;-)
Here are a load of crappy iPhone photos, you can tag yourselves in the Facebook album…
So, in a nutshell here’s the story…
– Met a girl
– Fell in love
– Girl goes home to Finland
– Ty moves to Finland
A lot of people have told me that I am ‘brave’ for selling almost everything I own, packing up my bikes and clothes and moving to a country where I don’t speak the language. Personally I feel like staying in the UK would be braver, this country has gone to the dogs.
Here’s a few things I’m excited about…
– Being with my girl, she’s the best!
– Living more closely with nature
– The fixed gear scene in Helsinki
– The skate scene in Helsinki
– Not being milked and abused by the government
– The unknown
And some things that are slightly worrying…
– Being vegan (no ingredients are in English)
– Choosing a new skate shop (more on that here)
– Finding work
I’m really looking forward to living somewhere with a decent riding scene, I’ve been riding alone for the last few years and it’s just not that much fun. It’ll also provide me with a hell of a lot of content for this blog again which is awesome!
I need to find a screen printing workshop in Helsinki for me to keep printing tees, posters and some other stuff I’ve got in mind, until I do I suppose the shop will be on hold a bit.
Getting rid of all my stuff feels great. Imagine a life where all you own is bikes, clothes, shoes and a few gadgets. No books, no DVDs, no CDs; no accumulated shit that you haven’t used in years.
I honestly can’t wait to get on the plane next week and leave the UK behind, I hate this place and in Finland I feel like I may have actually found the place I should have been my whole life.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed it’s been very quiet around here for a couple of weeks and that’s because I’ve been in Finland, yes I could have blogged from there but sometimes it’s nice to not be tethered to ones computer 24/7.
As I’ve mentioned previously I have a very lovely Finnish girlfriend, during the trip we spent some time in Tampere with her friends, Lieksa with her family and Helsinki on our own.
Finland is INCREDIBLY beautiful and so different from the UK in pretty much every way imaginable. The country is around 1.4x the size of the UK but is 70% woodland and 10% lakes, we drove for around 7 hours from Lieksa to Helsinki and most of that was through woodland, it really is quite something. A country that is 80% trees and water can only be special, then when you take into account that there are only 5.5 million people in Finland (compared to 65 million here) you can start to get an idea of how quiet and peaceful it is there.
I didn’t take a huge amount of photos and many that I did take aren’t worth boring you with but here are some…
Trees, water and one of the country’s top agility dogs – Huru Hercules. As well as dogs Finland is home to elk, bears, lynx, wolves and wolverines but unfortunately I didn’t see any of those!
We went white water rafting, the rapids were particularly tame due to the recent 30+ temperatures there but we had a great time anyway.
My first Finnish sunset, in Tampere. The evening light there is pretty different from here, it’s far more intense.
This was more like what we see here except that I was on my girlfriend’s dad’s boat and having a boat in Finland isn’t reserved for odd middle aged well-to-do people in stupid ‘sailing clothes’. In Finland everyone lives like a millionaire and enjoys nature without the government getting in the way trying to control where they can go.
Another particularly magical sunset, so sue me.
I know what you’re thinking – “Tell us about the bloody saunas!”…
– EVERYONE has a sauna.
– I went in one for the first time, it was “only” 70 degrees and I found it to be very very hot indeed.
– Yes, I was naked.
– And yes, it was most embarrassing.
Well, that was a snapshot of the first half of my trip in Tampere and Lieksa. Stay tuned for the skinny on my time in Helsinki and a little bit of news.
Oh, and thanks to everyone that ordered stuff whilst I was away, I’ll be shipping it out to you by the weekend!
Correct me if I’m wrong but I think Arto Saari is the only skater from Finland to really crack the big time but I’d be very surprised if people would even remember that Arto guy after a while if Jaakko Ojanen moved out to the States.
This 2013 video of Jaakko is a banger filled to the brim with so much shredding that offices all over the world have been trying to find out how they can hire him to deal with their sensitive documents.
The over crook flip out midway through is fucking ridiculous.
Well this really is something, some dumbass drives in front of him, he hits the bonnet, front flips and lands on his feet unscathed!
Someone should give him a job in the circus with skills like this, crazy.
I hope some CCTV footage surfaces…
Today Fred Perry has launched The Bradley Wiggins Collection AW14, it features the same impeccable styling and quality that we have come to expect from the pair and stays true to the original idea of wanting to create clothing that is based on cycling heritage but not for racing in.
“This Autumn Winter ‘14 The Bradley Wiggins collection sees both new and reworked favourites offered in vintage inspired patterns and colours. Hints to his love of 60s style can be found in slim-cut turtle knits and retro sports track jackets. The pique shirts, cut longer in the body and sleeves than the main collection shirts allude to vintage cycling jerseys.
In the collection, a mix of classic inspired colour combinations take influence from cycling jerseys and pieces from the Fred Perry archive. Regal blue and rich mahogany are paired up with ivy green and dark navy and greys in combination with checkerboard cuffs and knits. Throughout the collection the Bradley Champion Stripe plays a central role.”
A second drop in September will add a range of pieces with checkerboard detailing, which I’m sure is a nod to Wiggo’s hero, Tom Simpson. I like it.
The collection is available today at fredperry.com/men/bradley-wiggins