Finland

Text by Martti KuoppaPhotos by Antti Huotari

Martti Kuoppa, no handed deathtruck on the pedal.

Finland: What does it say to you? Probably not much, so let me tell you about the country where I live. Finland is one of the biggest countries in Europe, but it has one of the smallest populations. Almost everyone has a cell phone¿even seven-year-old kids¿which is good because people can reach each other easily. Finland is a very safe place to live. There are no ghettos, earthquakes, or tornadoes, and there are no people carrying machine guns and killing innocent people¿there are only wanna-be gangstas. All the men in Finland have to go into the Army for at least six months, or you can do Civil Service (hospital, libraries, zoos, etc.) for 13 months.

If you go to Northern Finland in the Summer, it stays daylight all night long, so if you’re hardcore you can ride for 24 hours straight! In Southern Finland, where I live, it gets dark for only about five or six hours each night in the Summer. Winter is really hard here. The weather gets rainy in October, and the snow comes in November and doesn’t stop until March or April. Now our indoor skatepark has closed, so I don’t know where we’re going to ride this winter.

Kimmo Haakana, junkyard on the pedal.

The riding scene here is kind of small. There’s about 10-15 street riders in Helsinki (the capital) and about six flatlanders besides myself. There are some really good rails and stairs downtown, and a cool skatepark about 20 minutes away. I know there are more riders all over Finland, but I have never seen them.

This didn’t get printed in Ride but since Martti took the time to write it out we thought that we would let you see it.

The Ten Dumbest Questions About Finland

1. Do people get tans in Finland?

2. Does it snow all-year-round?

3. Did you come to the US by train?

4. Do you have televisions?

5. Do you have pizza?

6. Do the people live in igloos?

7. What do you do for fun?

8. Are there polar bears walking the streets?

9. Why don’t you use a fork when you eat?

10. Is Finland part of Russia?