Monatsarchiv: Juli 2011

60.000 HITS

50.000 hits achieved on  this website achieved on June 26th, just the day the Positivo Espresso members started at the Transalp 2011. Wow, who would have thought so in 2007?

–  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

– 40.000 hits to 25.02.2011, 70 days

– 45.000 hits to 03.05.2011, 67 days
– 50.000 hits to 26.06.2011, 54 days
– 60.000 hits to 18.10.2011, 114 days

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Mob

And the Winner is ……. The Clock !

After Ravenna David and me went to two of the most cycle unfriendly cities in Italy.

The first one was the medieval town of Urbino, located inland of Rimini on the Adriatic coast. It is not that the inhabitants of Urbino have something against cyclists. Most of them are young, as an university for the fine arts is located within the walls of the city and they are most friendly to every visitor. It is just that the town was built on the top of a hill and almost every road has an gradient of 20% or more. Unfortunately I have deleted by mistake all data from my camera SD card, so I have to take a photo from the net to provide the necessary impression.

But I guess that will give the general idea of the city’s layout. Once a child was presented a bicycle in the town by its parent for his birthday. He leaned it against a wall to thank his father. When he turned his head again it was gone and some seconds later one could hear a strange sound beyond the city wall far below. So the legend goes. It is the Mortirolo of the cities. David and me indulged in arts and culture there but our time was cut short by the deadline for the rental car return in another town in Northern Italy.

When we arrived there I thought that the tarmac of the major roads might be a little bit too wet for my taste. Also no cyclists were seen in the streets. Later we learned that cycling is indeed not allowed within the city. As is roller skating, skateboarding and scooters. Instead the town has two major themes if you look at the buildings:
Ground floor: Decay, mould and mortality
First Floor and above: Art and culture.

Yes, David and me went to the town to select the Positivo Espresso Art Prize Winner 2011. And we are proud to announce that the winner is:


For his groundbreaking artwork: THE CLOCK. which is displayed at the Bienale 2011.
If you would like to have more info about THE CLOCK, please check out these Links:

The Clock at the Bienale
As explained by the BBC
As shown (excerpts)
The Artist at Wiki

After we have completed this task with great bravado, we spend another night in our **L hotel and parted ways the next day. During the course of two weeks David and me have spend almost every minute of each and every day and night together. We were only separated when we proceeded with different speeds during the Transalp race and when we went to places where men tendentiously go alone to. Not once we fought or argued during these two weeks and during the race we mostly worked perfectly well together for mutual success. Thank you, David. So here is a snippet from Pasolini’s movie „The Canterbury Tales“ which I dedicate to our  Alp adventure.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, David, Mob

A Tribute to the Sambi Family in Ravenna

As the older and distinguished members of the Positivo Espresso club are virtually all connoisseurs of Italian road racing bike manufacturers (Olmo, Ciocc, Moser, Legnago, Daccordi, Somec, Gimondi…) and know the history of Italian racing idols very well I should probably not repeat it here, but among the many famous figures that left their imprint on the history of cycling, Luciano Sambi was one of the most remarkable.  
Not that he could count many great victories in his three years as a pro rider with the Italian Legnago team between 1965 and 1967, but he won the Giro di Lombardia and made a 78th place in Milano – San Remo; small victories and founded his fame as „Il geopardo di Ravenna“ as he is still called today in his hometown close to the Adriatic Sea. 
He was further influential in making Ravenna one of the most cycling friendly cities in Italy, or „La Portlando d’Italia“ as it is sometimes called.  Together with his son Christian Sambi, who worked as a bike mechanic with Nagai-san on the Fasso Bortolo team in the Nineties, he now runs a fabulous bike shop on the outskirts of Ravenna.  His prizes and trophies from his racing career are nicely integrated into the shop layout and displayed with pride. Reason enough for David and me to intentionally break the spokes on our rear wheels to find a pretense to visit his shop and ask for his services.
We arrived in Ravenna yesterday after a short rest in Arco and a ride along the Garda lake and a lunch of pizza at a cafe high over Lake Garda.  Ravenna is, according to world-travelling cyclist Rick Steves, not a town worth to stay a night but good enough perhaps for a day trip. Apart from this rather harsh statement one might add that the town possesses some UNESCO world heritage sites and is obsessed since the 6th century with producing mosaics. There is even a school where one can learn how to restore mosaics. 
Bicycle Town Ravenna
First thing in the morning we went to the Sambi family store on the Via San Mama 148. Many nice bikes of all kinds were neatly lined up inside and the whole store was in impeccable order. They had some spare parts on display, like handle bar tape from the Eighties that can be sold for substantial amounts of money as NOS on ebay in Germany. With the eye of a real pro mechanic Christian Sambi took a look at our both wheels and said „Cinque Ora“ which is Italian and means that all of this will take some time to repair probably and anyway there is a lunch break between 12 and 4 so we should come back at 5 when the wheels would surely be ready.

Yes, she is the postman on her bike and she doesn’t ring twice.
As we had nothing else to do and cycling without a rear wheel seemed somehow too dangerous and complicated, we decided that we should indulge in art and culture and took a look at the Basilica di Ravenna and some other assorted monuments. Art and culture can be very stressful and after a nice and big meal of pizza that ended with a „Cafe Normale“ (which is Italian and means a Cafe Espresso that is extremely small and strong and something else than what Germans would consider as normal when it comes to coffee – and we have Tschibo, Jacobs, Darbhoven and other famous roasters within the borders of our country) we retired to our hotel room where we fell asleep while watching stage three of the Tour de France.
About 9 km before the finish all cyclists were reeled in and we could watch Thor Hushovd leading the Garmin-Cervelo train for a sprint victory of Tyler Farrer.  A great tour so far for Garmin-Cervelo!
After that we headed back to the Sambi shop, only to find our both wheels completely untouched. Our personal presence brought some action and pulled Christian away from other urgent projects and friends who were hanging out and chatting about Italian cycling in the 1960s, and within no time and for almost no money our two wheels were fixed.  We cleaned our bikes and made a wheel testing trip to the sea at Punta Marina where we had a good dinner of pizza. 

Then we rode back to our hotel in the darkness which was fun. Tomorrow we will continue our bike adventures in the old medieval town of Urbino. Both of us hope that they will have an excellent, stylish and somewhat disorderly bike shop and a good pizzeria, both of which seem highly likely based upon our trip so far.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Bits&Pieces, David, Mob, Transalp

Assorted Photos from Transalp

On the lower part of the Stelvio climb.  Cannot even see the famous switchbacks yet.

Transalp Camp Kaltern.  The most crowded and hot yet.  987A is one of the previously mentioned Schwalbe girls.  Her teammate … must have found other accommodations.
From the top of the Biehlerhohe.  Is one of those cyclists on the road below MOB?
After dinner nap in Naturns.
At the finish in Arco.  What will we do with no race tomorrow_
MOB summits the Bielherhohe.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, David, Juliane, Mob, Rennen, Transalp

Transalp finished

We start our „victory can can“ dance line.

Transalp is done! We enjoy our celebratory dinner, then adjourn to the outdoor cafe in the plaza at the center of the old city of Arco, for some of the local spirits and a wonderful hazelnut gelato sundae.  Good to sleep in a bed for the first time in a week — the isolation mat feels a bit thinner as the muscles get more sore, though it has served me (David) very well.

David and Juliane post an excellent result, 56 out of 85 (more if you include those who started the first stage).  MOB and I did not fare quite so well, due to the extra 4.5 hours resulting from the 11-hour time assessed on Stage 3 when MOB’s rear wheel failed.  232 Masters teams registered; 228 raced Stage 1; 203 finished the event; … of which we placed 197.  But for the stage 3 issue, we would have been around 170.  Next year!

The oldest participant, on the „grey wolf“ team, is 72 years old.  He looked like one tough old SOB … and was a lot faster than any of us.  He crashed on Stage 6 and was back on the bike in no time.  Chapeau to the grauer wolf and to all.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Mob, Rennen

On to Kaltern

Today’s stage, with 141km and 300+0m elevation gain, was the second toughest of the Transalp. Due to the length I started the climb to the Passo Tonale (600m up) very motivated but cautiously. David was some minutes ahead, then we had a huge blast downhill for 40km. Just the right steepness and nice curves. I jumped from one group to the next and felt like Jens Voigt. Then another rather steep climb followed by a very long climb to the Gaupenjoch where David and me worked together to make it to the top.

After another long and beautiful descent we worked together on the slopes of the Kaltern valley and put the hammer down at the last stretch where we overtook quite some riders. This was an excellent team performance, even better than our team time trial attempts in Saiko. We also achieved our best stage result yet and got the evening special price for least hours raced for combined body weight.

Our meat dinner was well deserved. We also detected evidence of Nagai-san’s previous activities here on behalf of Fassa Bortolo (see photo). Tomorrow is the last day at we hope to finish with a good showing.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Mob, Rennen, Uncategorized