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Group Skates Discussions about night skates, organized skate tours, skating party weekends, and similar group social skating events.

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Old February 4th, 2007, 08:48 AM   #1
panuworld
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Arrow FinLine 2007 skating event in Finland

Hello everybody,

The route for the annual FinLine skating event has been published on the Street Gliders' site today. The event will start on Monday 2nd of July and finish on Saturday July 7th. During those six days, you are very welcome to join us to skate about 413 km (257 miles) in the most beautiful lake district of Finland at your own speed, with no hurry.

The registration period has not yet started. It will be announced on the Street Gliders' site at www.katukiitajat.fi/english/finline soon.

Get ready!
-- Panu

PS. With personal experience of 14 FinLines, I have to say that this is an event you do not want to miss. Really, it is not a race, it is just skating for fun in small groups at your own speed!
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Old February 4th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #2
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FinLine is a special and unique event and I encourage every skater to participate at least once in their lifetime. Finland has breathtakingly beautiful scenery and the skaters of Katukiitajat are a friendly and delightful group. For those unsure about their ability to skate 80 kilometers (50 miles) a day for 5 days, I believe it is always possible to ride in one of the support vehicles for part of the distance. Panu can confirm, but I'm pretty sure that is true.

I think 2007 will be the 16th annual FinLine. Here are Katukiitajat's photos from last year's event: FinLine 2006 Photos

- Kathie

Last edited by Kathie Fry; February 5th, 2007 at 02:27 PM.
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Old February 5th, 2007, 06:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathie Fry View Post
For those unsure about their ability to skate 80 kilometers (50 miles) a day for 5 days, I believe it is always possible to ride in one of the support vehicles for part of the distance.
Yes, you are correct, and it is a not shame. Usually only a few skaters skate the whole distance completely. We have had a full-size coach as our support vehicle. It will allow you to quit skating whenever the bus reaches you. It also provides good room from changing your clothes or skates when you need. - Or for sleeping after a long night (for those few who like to party during the trip).

I have already written draft information pages for this year's event and they will be published as soon as they have been checked by the others. I'll inform about that here, too. Please wait...
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Old February 5th, 2007, 10:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panuworld View Post
. - Or for sleeping after a long night (for those few who like to party during the trip). .
Party ? Went there last year - no party! I rode almostthe hole distance - in spite of the rain and wind - wich is always present in Finland

O.K . without kidding.... it was really a wonderfull experience.
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Old February 12th, 2007, 06:09 AM   #5
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Exclamation FinLine 2007 registration period starts on Thursday Feb 15th

Hello everybody, more information on the coming FinLine 2007 event is now available on Street Gliders' web site at www.katukiitajat.fi/english/finline. The registration period starts on Thursday Feb 15th. Book early to avoid disappointment!


(Images linked on the SkateLog Forum with permission.)


Remember, you do not need to be a pro speed skater to be able to skate 413 km. If you can skate 70 km in a day at your own speed without any problems, then you are just the correct person for FinLine. And as Kathie said, the bus is always waiting for you to quit whenever you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janneman View Post
in spite of the rain and wind - wich is always present in Finland
...in parts near the Arctic Ocean. According to my experience, on regular FinLines the average weather is usually much better. This is, anyway, my subjective opinion. On 2005, there was no rain at all, even any short showers in the evening.

For the lack of parties last summer: I need again to blame the Ocean. The expected number of parties in the wilderness of Lapland was zero. On FinLine 2007, it is slightly larger. However, there are no big cities this year but small villages, farms, and lakes; so do not expect that partying will be a big part of FinLine 2007, too. (Instead, I hope that Kati is going to take her beach volley ball with her again this time...)

Last edited by Kathie Fry; February 12th, 2007 at 12:46 PM.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 03:40 PM   #6
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Default FinLine 2007 route is now available for Google Earth

One of the experienced FinLine skaters, Pekka M., has drawn the FinLine 2007 route for Google Earth. Now you can the see lakes we promised , and the beautiful Pulkkilanharju ridge between Asikkala and Luhanka. The route is available for downloading on http://www.katukiitajat.fi/english/f...2007/route.htm (direct link: http://www.katukiitajat.fi/tiedotus/...007/fl2007.kmz).

BTW. We have received already a lot of registrations. Nice to see you everybody in July!

Last edited by panuworld; February 18th, 2007 at 05:53 PM.
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Old June 14th, 2007, 04:44 PM   #7
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Exclamation Some places freed for FinLine 2007

A few places have been freed for FinLine 2007. Contact finline@katukiitajat.fi immediately to check if you can fit in. After that, enter your details on www.katukiitajat.fi/english/finline/register.htm and pay the registration fee to register yourself.

With personal experience of fourteen FinLines I expect that there is no good reason to skip FinLine 2007!
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Old July 15th, 2007, 02:44 PM   #8
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Default Finline 2007

Here goes for my Finline 2007 report - please bear in mind I won't be minutely picking apart the itinerary and delving into every detail of the ride (and what a ride it was), for I much prefer to actually get out a condensed write up than let the clock tick this task into oblivion.

To reiterate, the main site of Street Gliders Finland is: http://www.katukiitajat.fi/index.htm
and the English Finline page can be found here: http://www.katukiitajat.fi/english/finline/

Pics of the trek are up for your inspection too: http://www.katukiitajat.fi/english/f...lbum/index.htm

For those unfamiliar with the event or turning over the question of participation in their minds, let me lose a few explanatory words. Finline is a weeklong skate organized every year since 1992 by a hardy bunch of enthusiasts on their own time and energy, with the route constantly changing, and covering something like 30 to 60 miles a day. Oh, did I mention it passes through Finland?

If you can skate 50 miles, you can do this. Overnight stops are usually in hotels, your baggage is trundling along on the tour bus that follows wherever the master planner has decreed, and going to a relaxing after skate sauna is the local religion! I missed out on that, but more about my own experience later.

Honesty does, however, compel me to raise a flag of caution: the roads in Finland can be rough at times (at best you will be muttering something unprintable sooner or later), and the hills on one day turned into a daunting test of most everyone's resolve. You need to think of what material is necessary in case of rain, and yes, the bus did provide a comforting retreat from time to time.

Finnish is an indeciferable language, but you'll get by on English, and it's really worth the effort if you like long distance skates in good company.

Right.

Wout from the Netherlands had this to say too: "450 k and 200 meters of tape". It was rough. There was a point where I wished I hadn't come. Would I miss the memories? It depends on what I do with them, actually. This is where the personal part begins, by the way!

This year had, for a long time, not been kind to my skating addiction, and I wasn't all too sure if I would make it to any long distance skate, or race in Switzerland, for that matter. Obviously, matters improved. The idea of trundling about a distant and slightly exotic nordic country slowly insinuated itself into my brain, and I was delighted to discover that last year's Rando Des Dunes speedgroup consisting of Tommy from Sweden, Xavier from France, and myself would be reconstituted at least spiritually (Xavier actually made it just in time from Le Mans - he personally scouted the whole 400 km RDD through western France last year).

Upon arrival in Helsinki, I met up with the Netherlands contingent of SkateFresh fame, a whole gaggle of Russians, the two representatives from Sweden, two from Germany, as well as our Finnish hosts. Little did we know what was in store for us when we boarded the bus for Valimaa on the Finnish / Russian border...

What do you expect when you embark on a skating week like this? Never mind vacation! According to Bart, we are people who need punishment from time to time. I'd rather talk about putting in the effort, but maybe he has a point (gulp). Of course, you meet old friends and hopefully make some new ones (I'll be working on that one), and to me, it is also a unique chance to really examine technique. There's nothing like a few nice, long skates when it comes to getting feedback from minute adustments, and simply getting into the glide.
Exchanging painformation and comparing debilities can also be comforting!

Is this where I finally get to the skate part? Did I mention that wonderful garlic Restaurant that goes by selfsame name in Helsinki? Do all Finnish women have somewhat diminutive noses? Yes. Now I did. Close - how boring would that be?

Let's do the hard one first. On the fourth day, Panu had planned a panoramic skate of about 100 km through Finland's lake country - the beguiling picture is what actually got me hooked to join up in the first place. I rolled in a speedy group with Bart, Pieter, Veronique and Xavier at first (did I forget someone?), and we covered quite some ground, hopping from island to island, munching on crackers, bananas and cucumbers supplied from the bus during breaks, and keeping up a great pace.

Unfortunately for me, I coulnd't keep up - the group would go on to some rip roaring downhills though (small wonder when Pieter, a former downhill championship skater, was up front). By this time, I had had one whole night sans sleep and was not feeling up to it. I am not used to loosing my sense of balance, and let me tell you, it's frightening.

I latched on to a group taking it easy, and we started to get into never ending hilly delights! The joy was indescribable when we faced the umpteenth hill, and our whoops were heard from afar! You didn't forget that this was a 100 km skate now, did you? Kinda like our own private A2A (Speedy, please don't try... it's just a bit out of the way).

I was really missing blasting along, by the way - just as I had suspected, going slow was a slog. A subgroup of Roland (the funniest Swede I've met), Wout (the Man in Pink, er, Magenta, who looks fast just standing still), and I labored to fulfill our destiny, and at one point, I was ready to hang in the towel. I remember that ghastly little hill towards the end pretty well, and actually had to start slaloming up to abuse an alternate set of muscles (Roland was quite perplexed, I recall).

We did make it. Some faces reflected the hardships, while a select few still bore a passing resemblence to your habitual homo sapiens.

I'll be smoothly seguing into the more delightful parts of Finline, but hitting the post button first.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 08:47 AM   #9
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An absorbing read, SeJoWa. Glad you made it back! Sounds fun.

Rods

P.S. Why is everyone wearing red t-shirts? Were they supplied? Was this compulsory? The Red Brigade marches on...
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Old July 16th, 2007, 01:17 PM   #10
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Thanks Rods, glad you like it! You did put your finger with remarkable precision on a shall we say slightly contentious issue. The custom T-shirts, which are handed out during many a long distance skating event, were also meant to provide a good photo op for the press - we had some newspaper and radio coverage of Finline. Obviously, many of ous did not wear them all the time - in fact, I donned SkateLog garb on Independence Day. Cotton is really less than ideal once you start to sweat.

Alrighty, I left off the tale yesterday for an impromptu Sunday BBQ with the hardest part of Finline behind us. And though I write about ailments and delights from a personal perspective, do keep in mind that many had their own battles to fight - you'll never get such a diverse bunch of skaters (there, I finally used the magic word again) together who are all in pristine condition, devouring the miles as they pop up over the horizon. On the other hand, observing those who do is fantastic!

We usually bunked two to a hotel room (kudos once more to Dirk, as even the best of friends can find this problematic over any length of time), but for our well deserved rest Katie Koota, who was absent this time around, had selected a wonderful vacation village on one of the innumerable lake's shores - precisely what I had hoped for when inscribing.

We formed groups and dispersed to plunk our gear down in the well appointed little wooden houses, revelled in hot showers, a nice buffet supper, sauna, relaxing, and especially important after such a strenuous day, some spirited rowing about on the lake. It's really fun to make the oars skim just so over the water, and punishment for dipping too low is quite jarring! Vatto! A sport has actually developed in Finland around the old practise of rowing Sunday churchgoers around the myriad islands in small wooden boats, and we had a practising expert on the matter along for the ride too.

Daylight and dark in Finland do not follow established habits, as you might know, and I spent the better part of two hours till midnight on the jetty watching the sun fade away and drinking in all the music I had missed during our exertions - it would have been a tad dangerous to sink into my own bubble in the state we'd been in and some roads we navigated. Jessica posted a while ago that "Breathe" by Anna Nalick once kicked in at an opportune moment, and that song had been buzzing around in my head a lot - in any case, getting back to the house I found myself to be the last man standing.

Day five turned into a great one for me, which is why I've selected these two to write up! Breakfast during the trip was always enjoyable, and the rice topped pierogy as well as Finnish porridge prepared with rolled rye had especially cought my fancy. Alas, one last hurdle of my own making was left to overcome. You'd think I had left reasonably well prepared for Finline, and yet the frames were adjusted in a way that made me merrily pronate - and my right knee had really begun to hurt. We started skating amid a date with rain that began pouring down in such copious amounts that shelter became the ordre du jour. This was my make or break time - I knew that if I couldn't position my frames better, I'd be hitting the bus pretty soon.

Anyway, I finally got it right enough to keep blasting along in the speedy group of the day before, the rain went on to bother another place, and can you say skating is so much fun? It was tremendously rewarding working on my moves mile after mile, swooping down hills in silent prayer, and making the pavement fly by under our wheels.

You get to see an abundance of skating styles on an outing like this, but mark this down as the first time I could actually attempt to fall into cadence (power and form willing, that is) - the low countries do produce some outstanding skaters. And that's the thing about skating - such a delicious way of cutting the air. In my mind, we did indeed spout flames from our wheels akin to the graphic on the Finnish Street Gliders emblem.

I'm out of time for closing remarks, and frankly this is as nice a way to hit the post button as I can imagine. Wrapup and credits in my last post - our Finnish organizers deserve a special acknowledgement.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 03:12 PM   #11
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SoJoWa, Thank you for sharing your FinLine skate with the SLF members. I'll never be able to do the skate personally, but it was a most interesting journal and photo link for me, a flatland heat and humidity central Florida skater. I do hope to do some touring skates like FinLine before my bearings get too old and rusty. Many thanks!

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