The accommodation on this tour has blown our minds. When you go by car, you end up in stupid hotels that all look the same. When you go by bike, somehow you end up in every kind of strange, beautiful places.
So far we have stayed overnight, for example, in:
- former nursing home
- former school, that was renovated for hunting dog association’s happenings
- splendid villa in Turku archipelago
- open wilderness hut
- small bar’s basement
- old farm in the middle of turf production bogs
- numerous private homes
All of them have been great, and made us feel welcome. All of them have been experiences that we remember. A tourist with his lonely planet guide will never find anything like them.
The next few nights we stay in an ancient farm by Kokemäenjoki river. The ”new” main building was built in 1912. It feels like we are visiting a very old and quite rich relative. But we have all the rooms, apple trees and buildings for ourselves.
It was a long ride from Helsinki to Turku, where we slept in an apartment of our friend’s friend’s friend. He was not home but we got the keys from his friend. Very friendly.
It was a normal ride from Turku to Iniö, except that we had to cheat. Iniö is an island, and we had to take a ferry. We are getting lazy and did not get a CO2-free row boat.
Iniö concert with extremely ad hoc PA system went well. The holiday season was at its very end, but there was a good audience at the local meeting point, Cafe Leonella. The owner of the place seemed happy with the business, which made us happy also.
After the concert a local nurse asked us to play next day in an old people’s home, and of course we accepted the invitation. It was an honor to play to the seventeen inhabitants of the nursing home, and it was a challenge to speak their native Swedish to them.
After the concerts we were offered a chance to spend a few days in a beautiful villa on the island. We have enjoyed that kind of hospitality and generosity a lot during this tour. When you ride a bike and play music there seems to be a huge amount of good people around you.
So we stayed there and watched moon waning, summer ending, autumn starting. We also visited Keistiö island and saw how Finnish archipelago has changed. On the small islands there is no one living and working. The fields grow nothing, shops have closed down, harbours are empty. The archipelago has turned into a summer holiday park. This time of the year it makes us a bit sad.
A few days ago Kare’s chain decided to visit his spokes. That was too much for one of them. It was a special high-tension straight-pull spoke, and we did not have a spare. We should have, because anything high-tension and straight is susceptile to breaking.
Unluckily we were in Turku archipelago with no bike shops around. Luckily the wheel did not explode totally. So we called our service team (not really, we called our friend) and asked it (her) to send one of Kare’s spare wheels to Mynämäki, the nearest town. Kare rode there carefully, changed the wheel and send the old one back.
No really an adventure. There was not even rain.
No, summer is not over and neither is this tour. Tomorrow morning we start a long ride first to Turku and then to Iniö. It will rain in the morning, and we will probably feel miserable.
But we know that after a few kilometers we get into the groove. We still have concerts to play, roads to ride and things to do. The tour continues – a week or so.
It is more difficult to leave, because we have been adapting to normal work schedule for a while. But, hopefully, it will be easier to be away. And it was easier to pack up.
Check out the concert list for more.
About half of yesterday was included in the tour, because we took an old ship to Porvoo and only rode our bikes back. But what we made in Porvoo was full art, one could say.
We united with dancer Panu Varstala and his Trash Heroes project. Its basic idea is simple:
1. we cruise around the city with our bicycles
2. we clean up areas one by one, to make them better for dancing
3. we dance
4. we move on to our next destination
Sounds pretty much like saving the world.
Mila from Tauko Design also joined us. She is also saving the world – by designing awesome clothes from recycled textiles. Mila was hauling her pop-up shop in a bike trailer
In the ship we played two sets just for fun (and for the food). Sun, sea, smiles – the world was really hugging us.
In Porvoo we played (and cleaned up and danced) four sets on the streets, and Mila was promoting her designs.
The whole concept may sound a little hippie and high-brow, but actually it felt the most natural thing to do on a summer day in Porvoo.
It was great to ride home in the cool August night. The summer is nearing its end, but that is very ok with us.
Today it’s back to basics. We ride to Mäntsälä, play in a local small festival and ride back.
Nimittäin viiden keikan kiertue Taiteiden yönä Helsingissä. Autolla ei olisi onnistunut, niin tukossa oli kaupunki.
Oli hektistä mutta hienoa.
Galleria Midorissa Jokke Laivuori soitti Couperiniä ja Brahmsia peräkkäin sekä muuta lohtumusiikkia. Viulisti Kaisa Kallinen fiittasi. Tupa oli ihan täynnä ja ovi kävi jatkuvasti, ulkokaide täyttyi fillareista.
Sitten otimme varaslähdön Kansalaistorin päälavalle ja vedimme pari tehokasta kappaletta. Kiertuekaravaani seurasi myöhemmin ja asettui viinipiknikille.
Vähitellen oli pakko irtautua Teurastamolle. Oskalan Hannu oli virittänyt setin valmiiksi konttikasan kattolavalle, ja jumalauta kun oli upea soittaa, kun jalkojen alla velloi väkeä ehkä pari tuhatta. Koko punavihreä kupla oli tullut Food Marketin antimia nauttimaan ja joutui samalla kansanmusiikin uhriksi.
Sitten KuuKuu-kahvilaan. Ilkka roudasi kuormapyörällään sekä violonen että jouhikon, ja risteytti niitä tiivistunnelmaisesti. Hannu oli tehnyt PA:n valmiiksi, mutta keikan jälkeen se siirrettiin saakelin nopeasti kuormapyöriin ja Bryggerihin.
Siellä Pauli Halme jo odotteli, ja viihdytti baarikansaa fingerstyle-kitaroinnilla. Oli kova.
Ja viimein PA:n roudaus varastoon ja hidas siirtymä Haamupyörälle. Alasen Timo oli roudannut selloaan koko päivän, ja otti sen esiin. Karavaani kohdisti ledivalot valkoiseen fillariin, ja Bach soi. Kaikki paikalla olleet ovat pyöräilleet paljon ja turvallisesti. Oli sopivaa uhrata musiikkia ja läsnäoloa menehtyneelle pyöräilijätoverille.
Next thursday we will do this: Ride around Helsinki and play with friends. Not bad.
Hope you can join us. It is all free and fun and good for you!
Today we have to split. Emilia continues to Joutsa for a violin training camp with Suvi Oskala. Then they play a concert in Mäntyharju.
Kare has to take car and pick up our cats from Suolahti and go back to Helsinki to work. That is not fun.
Emilia’s bike setup looks aerodynamic, uh?
When we meet people on the road they usually start talking about the Finnish summer that has been unusually cold and wet. Well, Finnish summer usually is cold and wet, but this summer has been a bit worse than usual.
From our point of view it does not matter. We are riding from one place to another, not trying to take sunbaths. The temperature has been comfortable for riding and there has been only three days of continuous rain.
Yesterday was the first hot, sunny day of the tour, and it took time to adapt. We felt lazy. Luckily it was only 168 km ride, so we had time to let ourselves feel lazy.
Now we are in Ilmajoki, which looks like a nice and wealthy little village in the middle of flatlands of southern Ostrobothnia. The local festival Spelit is deeply rooted to the soil and people. The area is full of groups of middle aged people playing together. Some of them may hopefully even end up listening to our concert.
We have been on a holiday in Keuruu for a week or so. Well, Emilia has been doing a music video for her band Suo and Kare has been doing some maintenance work at his parents’ summer apartment.
We have not given interviews, updated social media, ridden our bicycles or played the violin. And that’s what we needed. This tour has not been a holiday, even though it may have looked like a nice bike tour in Finnish summer.
But now we are getting restless. There is still work to do on this tour. Today we played a little, and tomorrow we will ride a long way to Ilmajoki.