In the past two weeks I was in Finland, thinking: ‘When the snow doesn’t come to me, I will go to the snow instead!’ That wasn’t the main reason though. I needed to travel to Finland as a speaker at the International Winter Cycling Congress 2020 which was held in Joensuu, the capital of North Karelia. This city, a 450 kilometre long train ride from Helsinki (where there was no snow), was an excellent location to brush up my skills for cycling in the snow. I will make a post and a video of the conference days and the pre-conference meeting with cycle tour in Helsinki, but since I only got back last Sunday I had no time to do that yet.
To give you an appetizer I did make two videos of the ride from my apartment to the venue where the Winter Cycling Congress was held. Since there are fans of the 360 videos and people who rather see ordinary videos, I made a video for each of those groups. They are two different rides on two different times and locations.
My ride in Joensu as a 360 video.
The same ride (on a different day and time) as an ordinary video.
16 thoughts on “Cycling in the Finnish snow”
Ah so beautiful and peaceful. One thing I miss from North America is those precious quiet periods after it has snowed 🙂
Am feeling cold:) Mark
Which camera do use to shoot 360* films
I wrote a post about that camera: here it is.
Great stuff! I did a Winter in Norway and found it’s dependent on the volumes of traffic. Country towns don’t have enough people to compact the snow to polished hard ice, but Oslo itself was sheer murder.
Thank you for this post. Best town for biking in Finland is Oulu! Here is one of my winter biking posts:
Winter biking 3
Have a good day!
Thank you for sharing your video.
Viewed this with my hands in an ice bucket to get the full effect. Only joking, but i guess the temperature was well below 0 deg C?
Mostly around minus 7 degrees, yes. I will get into that more in the next post about the Winter Cycling Congress.
It looks like a beautiful town, with beautiful riding conditions in your pictures and video.
Those look like very good studded tires. The first ones I bought, and the best ones I’ve owned, were made in Finland by Nokia.
Although I rode through 20 winters in Canada without studded tires, I wouldn’t choose to be without them now that I know how well they work. In my area there are many thaws and many re-freezes each winter, so there are many patches of ice and sometimes in surprising places. However, they do cause extra rolling resistance so they make biking a little slower. In winter especially, that’s OK with me.
I noticed some extra resistance, but even snow alone already causes that. I think the extra resistance from the studs isn’t too bad. I agree that the advantages they offer outweigh that small disadvantage. In the Dutch situation that would be different. We have too few snow days.
Very interesting. I almost never cycle in ice or snow, but now, after reading your comment, I would not have believed that snow tyres would help, but now I am a believer.
The “small metal spikes” on the tyre are called “studs” in English.
I know these bicycle tyres from my time in Oslo, Norway, where I lived for almost 3 years.
I can buy these tyres in my home town here in The Netherlands too. These tyres are expensive. But, oddly enough, not more expensive in The Netherlands than they are/were in Oslo.
There is no use for these tyres in The Netherlands. With possible 2 exceptions. One, cycling on frozen lakes/channels. Two, cycling on heavily snowed on roads in the hills in the east or South (Limburg). Meaning, in practice they are never needed in The Netherlands.
PS These tyres are less comfortable to ride with on clear asphalt.
I know they are, I just felt the need to describe the tyres here, not use that word. I did cycle on totally cleaned areas with them. Noisy, but not impossible.