Tagesarchiv: 17. Dezember 2010

35.000 HITS

I just checked that we have almost achieved 35.000 hits on the Clustrmap counter. Which is much, much less than the reported hits on site traffic, but as an engineer one has to stay on the safe side of the equation. I am really happy to note that the blog is doing so well and there is so much interest in the now very diversified posts.
0 – 5.000 hits from 14.11.07, the start of the site to 26.09.2008, 316 days,

– 10.000 hits to 21.05.2009, 228 days
– 15.000 hits to 18.11.2009, 181 days
– 20.000 hits to 21.03.2010, 123 days
– 25.000 hits to 14.06.2010, 85 days.
– 30.000 hits to 24.09.2010, 102 days
– 35.000 hits to 17.12.2010, 84 days

With all the snow in Bremen I thought it nice to start the workday with reading the appropriate blog. Which in this case is „Up in Alaska„.
I haven’t accessed the site for quite a while, the thought to do so naturally occurs in winter only. So I was shocked to read that Jill, the blogger, has moved on to Montana.

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Eingeordnet unter 2010, Mob

Winter Goals

The morning after another day with heavy snowfall in the Bremen flatlands.

On Monday the sky was blue and the roads were dry so I took my Cervelo out of the garage for a 80 km standard spin. I made it just up to Worpswede, about one hour, when it started to snow again. There must have been some very well blue-camouflaged snow clouds somewhere up there. I had to ride about 25 km back to Bremen against the snow and the roads were slowly becoming white. The snow was rather dry and while there wasn’t sufficient quantity accumulated on the surface, it formed in small hurricane patterns. When I came home it was snowing heavily and when I left for work an hour later on the Gazelle, I was hardly able to steer through the snow.

I rode to work early in the morning the next day on the Gazelle through the snow. It is a little bit tricky to ride on a racing bike with 700 x 23C tires as every little bump below the snow forces a sudden and unexpected change of direction. I thought it as a good exercise to learn how to control a slippery bike. I was probably just thinking that and how great I was handling the steering already and how fast I could go, when I came to a crossing where I had to brake a little bit harder. I did it too hard, so that the rear wheel went to the right and me down hard on the road.

After that I thought what a bloody stupid prick I am. I am not 26 any more when I rode home in the rain on my Motebecane on a bicycle lane than was separated from the pedestrian walk by a line of randomly spaced bollards and I crashed directly with my right knee into one without seeing it. That hurted very much but I survived, nothing was broken and there were no consequences at all. Now I am 48 and every time I fall it takes weeks until all of the pain is gone and I really should consider this when making cycling decisions.

So after spending a day in the office, trying not to move at all and after another night at home, trying not to move as well, I went into the garage and refitted the Bad Boy with the winter Schwalbe tires (700 x 30C). I was reluctant to use Bad Boy in the winter, first it is very messy to clean the bike, second the paint is very sensible to scratches (strange spec for a MTB or urban hybrid) and third it has no mud guards. And forth, the last time I crashed really hard was riding down from Yabistu Toge to Hadano on Bad Boy with winter tires.

But winter in Bremen leaves me no other choices than to ride on fat tires:  The Bad Boy was placed just behind the Cervelo and the Gazelle and the electric shopping bike of my wife and the new green Giant of my son and the Peugeot Galibier frame I am working on. Which stands in front of the old Pinarello frame which I am polishing and the beautiful Peugeot I have bought recently for fun and just leaves enough space for this super cheap Pesacarola racing bike I incidentally bought and the beautiful Gianni Motta I could not resist to buy. If performance really depends on the number of newly acquired bikes, I should be ready for Paris – Roubaix.

In other words, I took me some time to get the bike out, mount a saddle, pedals, tires, saddle bag, speedmeterand lights, which took another half an hour. All of this for 15 minutes of riding to work.

After having done the commute now three times I have to say that it is actually much more fun than on a racing bike. It is also stimulating not to been overtaken by grandmothers on their sturdy Holland-bikes while trying to stay upright on the Gazelle.

On the weekend I will utilize my newly rediscovered cycling courage to ride through the white planes on the Bad Boy.

And after coming home an having enjoyed a cup of hot instant coffee, I will go to work on the Peugeot Galibier frame. I am still waiting for parts to arrive at my home and I am excited how some of the purchases, like the charge saddle, the Maillard 700 high flange hubs will look like. Although I have to admit that assembly of a bike is a tricky business, even if one has most of the tools. I wasn’t able to remove the crankset covers from the Pinarello frame and had to ask for assistance at a bike shop. I am also not able to mount the Shimano 600 rear tube shifters properly. And it was an absolute nightmare to fiddle white handle bar tape around a bullhorn handle bar. Well, this must be the fate of the Euro-cyclist, I guess.

I will post some pictures once the wheels have been mounted.
Meanwhile have fun in the snow, if you have snow.

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Eingeordnet unter 2010, Bad Boy, Bremen, Cervelo Soloist, Gazelle Champion Mondial, Mob, Peugeot SB

Ekiden Ride – January 2 – A Positivo Espresso Tradition (since 2008)

Save the Date.
January 2 is probably the only day of the year that any cyclist in his (or her) right mind would ride down National Route 1 from Kawasaki to Odawara then up to Hakone.  Usually a miserable road, full of speeding trucks and unhappy salarymen trying to get back to base after losing yet another sale, on January 2 the outbound lanes are shutdown for part of the morning, just a long enough window for the outbound leg of the 87th running of the Hakone Ekiden (collegiate running relay), watched live by millions of spectators and nationally televised as well.
The runners start at 8AM in Otemachi, and get to Hakone – Ashinoko around 1:00-1:30PM. 
Last year, reports indicate that a significant portion of the crowd was there just to see MOB and Manfred ride by in their JCRC „D“ Class Champion jerseys. 
Two years ago we met in Kawasaki at 8:15 or so, and that worked out okay.  This year, we will trade cellphone numbers ahead of the day, so we will not get into trouble if separated (as happened last year to some riders).  The key is to stay far enough ahead of the runners so you don’t get asked to get off the road by one of the 20,000 police and 25,000 volunteers, but not so far ahead that you are riding in traffic.  This is most difficult in the Kawasaki-Yokohama stretch, where there are frequent, long red lights (which must be respected, given the crowds, cross traffic and ever-present police).  … I would not mind meeting somewhere beyond Yokohama Station this time, to skip the least pleasant part of the ride.  Or start a little earlier and plan a decent rest stop after we get through Yokohama and out past Totsuka and onto Shonan coast/Sagami bay.
In any event, the main event is the climb from, effectively, sea level, at Odawara up to 875 meters elevation above Ashinoko.  After Ashinoko, we leave the race and adoring crowds behind, head up to Hakone Pass, then take local Rte 20 (MOB’s „favorite road in Japan“) to Atami Pass, then burn up our brakepads on the descent to Atami Station, and hop the Shinkansen home (25 minutes to ShinYokohama, more like 40 to Shinagawa).  Bring your bike bag (or let me know if you need one — I have a spare).
The 2010 report is here, or is it here, or here?  Okay, there were at least 3 reports.  Not to mention MOB’s more detailed explanation of the event and concept than I just wrote above, here.
And the very entertaining report from the Jan 2009 version is here
There is no 2008 report.  I did the 2008 version alone, and bailed at Odawara due to New Year’s lethargy and equipment issues (later revealed to be a small but growing crack in my titanium frame’s bottom bracket — now rewelded and serving as a winter bike for the PE London chapter. 
For anyone who wants to bring less-serious or fit riders, the Odawara bail out is a very relaxed and easy option.  For anyone who wants to ride further than Atami, there are plenty of other options, of course.
Details about meeting time and place to follow.
I will also post a link on the TCC site in case there is interest.

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