Tour de Technopolis is a mixture of exercise, fun and socializing. The cycling event was organized for the second time on Sunday August 21, 2016 and it managed to attract 110 cycling enthusiasts.
This year’s race started at Technopolis Otaniemi, the route then went on to Technopolis Aviapolis in Vantaa and through northern parts of Espoo back to Otaniemi; the total journey was 100 kilometers.
It’s All About Having Fun!
In his welcoming speech, Keith Silverang, CEO of Technopolis, reminded participants that Tour de Technopolis is a unique event and is arranged purely for fun. “It’s not a competition,” he said.
It was not, however, simply a leisurely Sunday ride as most of the participants are fit and experienced cyclists. They were divided into four groups, where recreational group kept their speed at the average of 26-28 km/hour, the fitness group at 28-30 km/hour and the fast group at over 30 km/hour. Due to the large number of participants, a fifth group was added: those faster than the fast.
The obvious leader of the fast group was Kjell ‘Kellu’ Carlström, who is one of the most successful cyclists in Finland and a multiple winner of the Finnish championship in road cycling. He was a professional from 2002 to 2011 and successfully competed in the Tour de France three times. Nobody questioned Kellu’s authority to set the pace.
Taking Part Every Time
Päivi and Markku Hintsala live in Oulu but they have taken part in Tour de Technopolis “every time” as they joked. The journey from Oulu to Helsinki took eight hours. They had already participated in the Helsinki City Triathlon on the day before, where Markku won his group.
“We had a fitness-filled weekend in the great atmosphere of southern Finland,” the Hintsalas said. “We have to thank Technopolis for arranging such beautiful weather.”
More Relaxing When the Clock Is Not Ticking
Harri Salminen from the coaching company Resistentia was the navigator of the fast group. The suitable speed was set at 32 km/hour, and the others in the group seemed happy with this.
“You have to take it easy on slopes and use your energy evenly,” was Salminen’s advice. “You also have to be careful with food and drink as this is quite a strenuous journey. You need to eat something before the race and keep drinking throughout the tour.”
Pasi Pajunen from the Naval Academy rode in the fitness group led by Keith Silverang. He thought that 100 kilometers “was just nice and relaxing” as the clock was not ticking.
“When you hear people chatting behind you, you know that the speed is right,” said Pajunen. He also said that the event was extremely well organized. “Like a much bigger event.”
A Racing Bike on Auction
After the race, participants could enjoy a light lunch and refresh themselves in the sauna. The events during the race were eagerly discussed over lunch.
One of the highlights of the event was a charity auction where Keith Silverang sold his Team Rynkeby Bianchi, which he rode from Helsinki to Paris as a member of Team Rynkeby Espoo in an annual Nordic charity event; money is raised for children with cancer and their families. All proceeds from Silverang’s bike were donated to Sylva ry.
The successful bid of 700 euros for the bike was made by Aleksandra Vasilevska. “Today I rode a hybrid bike, but I’ve been thinking about buying a better bike,” said Vasilevska. “I always cycle to work anyway. My friend told me that this would be an ideal bike for me so I went for it. I’m sure I’ll be cycling even more often now.”