Monatsarchiv: Januar 2011

First Ride Galibier

Finally I could pick up the Peugeot Galibier from the LBS. I must say they did a very good job AND left my bike out on the yard in the rain.

The nice white handlebar, so Euro stylish, is gone as the the brakes needed to be rewired and I had only an orange spare left.  Already in the shop I noticed that the shifting was very smooth when I tried it. The guys gave me some warning, as the rear cogs were already pretty much used and that might result in some problems. And they said nasty things about the brakes, being so much inferior compared to the brakes of today. So I was warned.

After lunch break I dressed up in full cycling gear and took her out for the first longer spin – but still only 30 km. The first things that I noticed was, that the bike is very comfortable, much more so than the unforgiving Cervelo or even the Gazelle. I am not sure why, but I guess it is because of the wheels with 36 spokes that absorb much more vibrations. I built them up myself, and asked the bike shop to check them. Them said I did basically a good job in truing and dishing the wheels but the applied tension was way too low. They told me that they gave every spoke another two turns until the wheels were ready to be ridden.

The whole bike feels very comfortable, also thanks to the wonderful Charge Spoon saddle which really surprised me. I thought plastic or artificial leather saddles would be out of the question for longer rides, but this one is really comfortable – and priced at only the third of the cost of a Arione or Gel Flite saddle.

The disadvantage about a bike being comfortable and „soft“ is, that it is harder to accelerate as some of the power goes into the frame  and spokes and not into driving the bike forward. Compared to the Gazelle and Cervelo the Peugeot is a slower bike. It is still fast enough though to be raced in the flats in the 30 – 33 km/hr bracket which I find most comfortable over long distances (not that I could maintain that range for long time anyway).

I was a little bit scared of braking after what the guys in the shop said so, but no, the brakes are doing well. Sure they don’t have the power of today’s Ultegra brakes and they behave completely differently, but once one is used to them they are doing fine.

Also the drive train behaved nicely. Shifting is so smooth (and silky). Yes, in the world of bicycle riding the words „and silky“ must be added to the word „smooth“ if the topic is shifting. Like nook and cranny: „Books were stuffed into every nook and cranny of his office.“ Isn’t it possible to stuff the bloody books only into the nook?

If only 140 years ago bicycles would have had 44 gears (Campa Super Record with 4 cogs in the front), I am sure the phrase would have made it into le dictionaire des idees recues by Gustave Flaubert.

I continued to ride along the river Wümme while the sun started to set early. The only somewhat negative surprise that I had was, that the bullhorn bar isn’t as comfortable as I thought it would be. Steering is somehow strange when the hands are so far in front of the fork axis.

I have ordered another set of cogs so that I can replace the worn one and a new Golden Arrow rear derailleur. Now I have a Shimano Arabesque derailleur fitted and that is just a gross breach of style which cannot be possibly kept undetected by the knowing eye for much more time.

Summary: Very happy, very proud that I was able to realize somuch of my own bike. I like the look and style and it is also a good ride. Due to its softness it is hard to imagine that I will do longer rides on the Galibier, but for a ride up to 50k it is a good alternative. I can also think of further modifications.

Of course, until the Faggin is ready.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Meine Räder, Mob, Peugeot Galibier, Peugeot SB, Touren

How Not To Lock Your Bike

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Eingeordnet unter Sex. Lies & Vids

Mini Velodrome London

Red Bull Mini Drome Final London from Tim S on Vimeo.

Red Bull Minidrome from Eyeball Moving Image on Vimeo.

Red Bull Mini Drome Pursuit Race from Donut! on Vimeo.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Mob, Sex. Lies & Vids

Freddy Maertens

Wonderful picture of the rider with the most aerodynamic nose in the world of cycling. No wonder he was such a good sprinter. Truely something, the German word „Zinken“ was invented for.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Mob, Sex. Lies & Vids

Tokyo to Osaka

Excellent video made by some fixed gears Americans riding from A to B. Or from T to O in this case. One of the better videos I have seen about a) riding and b) Japan.

Tokyo to Osaka Teaser from John Murillo on Vimeo.

The whole video can be seen here. There is also a homepage here. Noticed at the Cycling Art Blog Site. Thanks.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Mob, Sex. Lies & Vids

Bremen Six Days

I left work early and went to the LBS to fetch the Peugeot Galibier. Nothing had been done and they promoised me to finish the setup today. All nice guys but German service …. another night out in the rain on the yard for my bike…heartbreaking.

My son hat some surprises for me when I came home afterwards: An A in mathematics (thanks to the engineering genetics of his father) and a F in German (probably thanks to his mother). Anyway, as promised I took him out to the Bremen Sixdays race.

The race is hold at Bremen Arena, a trade fair and event ground and now in its 46th year. According to the announcer, it is the biggest sixday race in the world, whatever that means. The track is 166,67 m long, made completely out of wood and only manufactured for the event; afterwards it is dismantled and recycled (perhaps). German carpenters in their trademark black work clothes were constantly checking during the race if everything holds up.

Due to the short length and the tight curves the banks are very steep. The straights are short and the riders are mostly moving in curves. When I came in a German Enka band was playing so we were forced to leave immediately and enjoy some mediocre food. Yes, eating out in Germany, what a mess. Even my son, when asked yesterday what he misses most from life in Japan answered „restaurants“ as his first thought.

Somehow naively I thought that during a six days race the riders are riding continously for six days. The impression was left on me by Erwin Kisch, a famous journalist from the twenties, who rode about the six days race in Berlin and called it the „ecliptial treadmill“. Yes, before the war the ride was continous but this is now a thing of the past, thanks to the efforts of the six days riders labour union. By the way, ecliptical, what nonsense to engineering ears! The from of tracks is of course clodoidical (x“’=constant) in order to avoid sudden centrifugal accelerations.

Yesterday night we saw three events. The first one was a point race. Every 10 laps the first to forth placed riders were given points based on their ranks. This continued for 60 laps. The interesting part is, that the changes between the riders are very frequent, say, every 3 or 4 laps. And the way these guys changes is amazing: The rider on the track is overtaking his teammate on the inner, lower side in the curve, the new rider is accelerating than overtaking him on the outside and while doing so their hands lock in and the previous rider is giving him a big push so that he comes up to speed. This is amazing to see just as a single event but when you see 4 or 5 teams changes at the same time with all 24 riders of 12 teams on the tiny track and how to manage to manouver around each other without crashing it is really amazing. I wish I would have the same amount of control over my bike. No, actually over my family or even better my life.

The second event was a 166.67m time trial. Each of the 12 teams had the stronger rider going alone, but as in the first event, the other riding was drafting him first and gave him a big push just before the start line. The resulting speed was well over 60 km/hr average for one lap and the fastest rider did it in less than 9 seconds.

The third event was the longest one, called „Big Wild Hunt“. The teams were riding for 45 minutes and it was their goal to escape from the „peloton“ and catch up the peloton from behind again, thus having made one more lap than the rest. The lap count is the decisive factor at six days races, even today; but for 100 points gained one get 1 extra lap and within the same lap count the team with the most points wins, so it is important also to look out for opportunities to save points. That event was the most interesting, as escape groups were constantly formed and again, as in the other events, the change between riders of the same team was constantly going on. Interesting to see an escape group of say, three riders in front (or in the back?) and then one or two riders are exchanged from within the group.

For me it was very exciting and even my son managed to look up from his Nintendo DS from time to time. By now it was 10 PM and „Middle of the Road“ threatened to appear and perform their timeless pieces of middle of the road music. It was as pleasant as seeing the Fuehrer rising out of black ashes in Berlin again and we left in sheer terror. We also missed the second showhighlight „Klaus and Klaus“ (an Enka Duo that had one hit in the seventies“On the shores of the North Sea“), which is similar to the return of Stalin and Beria.

Nice event, photo taking was not allowed, security everywhere. Sorry for the poor quality photo.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Bremen, Mob

Project Faggin Orange Speed

Three tasks for today:

1. Pick-up the Peugeot Galbier from the bike shop (hopefully)
2. Visit day 4 of the Bremen Six Days Race with my son Henri
3. Start thinking about Project Faggin Orange Speed

Oh yes, and work at the university.
It seems that I missed Boney M. at the race yesterday. Never mind, today there is another great band playing that nobody should miss: Middle of the Road! And this, after I have seen Abba in October in Berlin. What will be next? Perhaps Alvin Stardust? Long Tall Ernie and the Shakers? Or, the best band of all times, the Kursaal Flyers?

The Faggin frame cost less than 8.000 Yen, couldn’t resist.The idea is to set up a cheap speed bike with modern components, 105 range, flat handle. Only one chain ring in the front, 9 or 10 in the rear.Budget 300 Euro, completed. Will built some nice wheel by my own again. This will become another good looking bike.

Little Does She Know

Little does she know that I know that she knows
That I know she’s two-timin‘ me
Little does she know that I know that she knows
That I know she’s cheatin‘ on me

I was outside the one stop
When I saw her in the corner
And I didn’t like what I see

Little does she know that I know that she knows
That I know she’s two-timin‘ me

She was sharing her spin dryer with a guy in a tie-dye
When she saw my reflection in the chrome
I knew that she’d seen me ‚cause she dropped her bikini
The one that I got her in Rome

Little does she know that I know that she knows
That I know she’s two-timin‘ me
Little does she know that I know that she knows
That I know she’s cheatin‘ on me

When she finished her laundry she was all in a quandary
And made it for the street like a hare
Her escape was so urgent, she forgot her detergent
And dropped all her clean underwear

Little does she know that I know that she knows
That I know she’s cheatin‘ on me

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Bremen, Faggin Toppolino, Meine Räder, Mob

Bremen Ekiden

When I was still living in Tokyo, the Positivo Espresso Ekiden ride used to be the first ride of the year in the last years. Snow and ice in Bremen made all rides too dangerous so far, but with temperatures well above 0 degrees, blue skies and dry roads I finally wanted to get out in 2011.

When one is working on an old bike, one can forget easily that the purpose of repair is not to have a good looking bike in the garage, but to have a good ride on a well functioning bike.

I woke up late and read the post from David, describing his trip with Froggy  to Wada and Bijotani in cold weather today. That inspired me finally to get out of the warm study and get the bike ready. Thank you David, for getting home and blogging quickly.

The Galibier project is no finished yet. I spend some evenings building the wheels with old hubs and new rims but I wasn’t comfortable if I have applied the right amount of tension on the spokes. The trueing went quite well, lateral trueing and dishing Isn’t so difficult but vertical trueing is. So I decided that the last adjustment should be done by the pros. And a lot of things they found were wrong: Did you know, for example that braking wires and shifting 

Fixed gear? No gear is much cooler.

wires have different diameters and so have there hulls? I never looked that closely at my bike as to notice that the brake cables are 5 mm and that shifter cables are only 4 mm thick. And to mount old school aero shifters on bullhorn handle bars is so difficult, that even the pro shop doesn’t know what to do. I will get surprised on Monday.

The Galibier not ready. The Peugeot too nice to move it on even slightly wet rodes. The Cervelo also too nice. The Pinarello is sold and shipped. Bad Boy too slow. So after long back and forth I opted for the trusted Gazelle. Not so fast but reliable and with mud guards. I felt like a girl in font of a mirror, selected a dress for a night out in town.

Still I needed to do another half an hour of preparation. The chain was rusty, I had no spare tube ready, the air pressure was way too low … all this tiny things one have to take care off today. I relish the times when I just didn’t know and consequently just didn’t care about all these adjustments.

Heading out in direction North Sea a strong headwind met me just from the start. Along the usual roads at the „Siel“ the first cyclists were out and I tried to maintain a pace of 30 km/hr even while exhausting myself quickly. When I arrived in Ritterhude, I made a left turn for Worpswede following my standard loop and suddenly I had the strong wind in my back. That was fun now. So I reached Worpswede in almost an hour with 31.0 km/hr average speed, climbed up the hill and continued in direction Fischerhude. As this was the first longer ride of the year I didn’t want to overdo it, so I stayed in the 150 – 155 HRM range. at Worpshausen I made a short break and Gazelle and me remembered the guys from Worpshausen that were killed in world war I. This is a long and cherished Positivo Espresso Bremen tradition, that the first ride of the new year always stops at a WW I memorial. Even my parents knew about that: They married January 4th, 1962 and their honeymoon led them to, among all possible place, Verdun. Where they visted Fort Douaumont and perhaps met other couples on their honeymoon who had the same splendid idea. Or perhaps not.

Again, I was facing a strong headwind. The part between Worpshausen und Quellkorn is the most boring portion of the standard loop. The headwind was getting even stronger when I took a right turn at Fischerhude and rode on a small road in direction Borgfeld. Borgfeld is located within the federal state of Bremen (while the rest of the tour is mainly in the federal state of Lower Saxony) and for some reasons the family and relatives of the last German emperor, Wilhelm II, are living here. 

There is nothing special about Borgfeld though, one doesn’t feel any wind of history, only the smell of horse shit. Well, this is what you would think of Borgfeld normally. But today it was quite different. As the snow of December has melted and it takes some time for the water to reach rivers and get carried to the sea in the flat lands of Bremen, all the pasture to the left and right of the road was flooded. That looked very nice, finally I had the feeling that I am living close to the sea.

I continue on my way home. Three hours out on the roads. 75 km done. Shabby by Tokyo standards but not too bad for Bremen. The Gazelle was wonderful as usual. It would have been easier to ride the Cervelo, but riding the Gazelle costed more effort and was the better training therefore.

I noted today that the Assos Airjack 951 jacket is too warm for temperatures of 10 degrees and more. I need a long sleeve jersey from TCC, possibly now.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Bremen, Gazelle Champion Mondial, Mob, Touren

Colnago Extreme Power – Rotto Broken

I found this carbon frame for sale on Ebay after it has been pointed out by Bike Snob NYC.

Hm, carbon, I really don’t know … I never have seen a steel frame damaged like this, looks like it was massacred by an angry wife/girlfriend/teenage son/werewolf.
Or perhaps it was tortured by bullhorn obsessed bike mechanics that listened to David Hasselhoff tunes played on a Garmin 800 while cheating about elevation meters. Not sure why he took so many pictures of the frame.

Anyway, the most funny part are the questions asked by supposingly serious bidders and due to BSNYC I am sure there will be many more coming.


Q:It doesn’t look too bad, are you sure it can’t be glued back together? Bergi, New Zealand.

A: Hello. I think that is impossible..

Q: Is the item insured when shipped to prevent damage?

A: I’ll make a good packaging with the frame parts with care.. but by the way it’s broken, I don’t think that it can be damaged more…….

I will add another one right now and let’s see if it gets answered:

Q: I like the frame but I am not sure if has the right size for me. I am rather tall, do you think a long seat post would help to make it rideable for me?

This is the second funniest think I encountered today. The funniest think was not Alex Marco and also not the web of love, but when I checked for a scientific textbook about financial controlling and the first thing listed under „Customers who purchased this item also purchased …“ was a heavy duty document shredder.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Mob, Sex. Lies & Vids

Alex Marco "The Bike" – The best bicycle video ever

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Mob