Great Atmosphere and Magnificent Weather in Tour de Technopolis
The first Tour de Technopolis cycling event on August 23 attracted close to a hundred Technopolis customers, partners and other cycling enthusiasts.
“There’s a rumor that this entire event is due to my own passion for cycling,” Keith Silverang, CEO of Technopolis, said on opening the event. “I want to assure that this is completely true,” he laughed.
One Hundred Kilometers of Beautiful Helsinki Metropolitan Area
The start was at Technopolis’ Ruoholahti campus. From there, the route went via Lapinlahti shore and beside the Hietaranta beach to the Rowing Stadium and continued via Seurasaarentie to Tamminiemi and further to Kuusisaari, Lehtisaari and Otaniemi.
A few tires blew early on the route, but a Fincycling service car that followed the cyclists throughout the trip helped change the tires quickly. After Otaniemi, the relatively tight group found its way through Kilo and Kauniainen to the Bemböle Coffee House.
A minor regrouping was made in Bemböle, as free speed began from there! The fittest took the lead and the group divided into three or four groups, with those at the head cycling really fast and the last group consisting of cyclists more willing to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Lake Bodom and Luukki.
The first official break was at the Shell gas station in Lahnus, with a couple of people stopping for a few minutes. The next stage was a true countryside route via the open field views in Ketunkorpi and Kuonomäki to Klaukkala. There, at the farthermost point, the route turned back south, through Vantaanpuisto to Tikkurilantie and Technopolis´ Vantaa campus.
Technopolis had organized a small drinks and food station offering gherkins and bananas as well as energy bars and drinks. A respite was in place with approximately one fourth of the trip left. The weather was very warm and people were in excellent spirits and in good fit.
The last stage went via Kartanokoski and Haltiala back to Helsinki Central Park and to the hustle and bustle of the city. From the city center, the Baana pedestrian and bicycle corridor was a safe route for the cyclists back to the finish in Ruoholahti.
Enjoyment and Networking
During the break in Vantaa, we managed to ask those who cycled at a little more relaxed pace about their feelings – the leading group had already gone…
Harri Salminen from Resistentia, one of the partners of the event, praised the excellent weather and the joy of cruising. He did not take part in the competition in the leading group, even though he probably would have been fit enough for it; he rather focused on enjoying the trip. “If you want to meet new business partners in Silicon Valley, it pays to hop on a bike on a Sunday. The same trick seems to work here,” Salminen said.
Mika Salonoja from M-Files drove long sections at the same pace with Salminen, and they had time to exchange thoughts on both cycling and work. M-Files is an internationally operating IT company, and one of the fastest growing ones in Finland.
“Fortunately, not everyone here is an athlete,” Salonoja said, all sweaty. “But apparently I have a personal coach (Salminen). It seems that there are lots of interesting companies taking part. Of course we also need to be, as we are Technopolis’ clients just as they are ours.”
Erkki Aalto and Jyrki Laurikainen from Rakli (The Finnish Association of Building Owners and Construction Clients) thought that it was a pity that there was so little distance left. It had been such a nice experience. Aalto has cycled over 3,000 km on an ordinary bicycle this summer, and he had now bought a slightly faster bike to dare to join the event. Laurikainen accompanied by saying that nowadays people like to tell what kind of bicycles they have bought.
Northern strength was represented by Markku and Päivi Hintsala of Rohde & Schwartz Finland from Oulu. They, too, had made new friends and talked with others along the route. “When you cycle for an hour with someone, even a shy Finn begins to talk”, Markku Hintsala said.
The Event Exceeded Expectations
At the end of the event, lunch was packed with cyclists who seemed very satisfied. Relaxed conversation continued over plates, and it seemed that networking was underway right away.
Everyone’s trip had gone well, and the biggest problems had been punctures, which are very common in this sport. There was also a raffle among all participants at the finish line, with the prizes ranging from helmets to cycling outfits, tool kits and other accessories. Everyone shouted “YES!” when asked about their interest in taking part again next year.
Juho Suikkari of Fincycling received a lot of gratitude for the smooth service provided by him with his van. Those in need received new inner tires, energy bars, gel and drinks as they needed. The van swiftly shuttled between the different groups as necessary.
Former professional cyclist Kjell Carlström and cyclists from the Finnish National Junior Cycling Team were also there, adding speed to the event.
Pasi Hiedanpää, who has responsible for organizing the event, praised the event as a great success. Based on feedback, the participants had a good time and highly praised the event, which received almost a perfect score. (4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5).
The groups scattered to some extent, which was expected. Yet everything went smoothly and safely. There were some challenges with the route, which we will improve next year. The most important thing with the event besides cycling and physical exercise was getting to know people and forming social relationships. A tradition has been established.
The next event will be held on August 21, 2016. Welcome!