Monatsarchiv: August 2011

Olmo from the Ice

Despite the fact that I was raised in the sixties and seventies, my parents didn’t own a television set for quite a while. I was forced to go to my grandparents who were living next door when I liked to watch TV. 

From this angle the bike almost looks like a stealth fighter plane.

My favourite programs as a kid were „Krempoli„, „“Stanley Beamish, „Mini-Max“ and the Augsburger Puppenkiste, a marionette theater that would make any kid of today asleep within 10 seconds. Michael Ende, Ottfried Preussler and Max Kruse all wrote famous pieces for the programm and one I remember in particular were the stories about Urmel. And the charcter I liked most was the sea elephant. One day, when I retire, I want to become like the sea elephant from Urmel

So this is perhaps why the name OLMO, which is or was one of the famous Italian steel frame builders of the sixties, seventies and eighties, is high in my personal list. When I started to become interested in old steel bikes a long time ago (autumn 2010, to be precise), the first bike I fell in love with was the Moser Leader AX evolution This is a nice frame but it very hard to get them in large sizes and . now it is somewhat too modern for me with TIG welded joints and unifork. The second bike I fell in love with was an Olmo. I now own too Olmo frames (I have sold the Faggin and the Peugeot in the meantime to finance them). and the blue one from the Nineties will become my commuting bike and the white „Olmo from the Ice“ will become the showpiece. 

Still a lot of choices to be made, but here are some photos showing the actual status after working on the bike today. The frame was rusty and in poor conditions when I got it first from Vienna. It was grit-blasted and painted and I bought a set of new decals. Almost every component has a special story. Note the leather grips on the track handle bar, the Shimano 600 AX aero brakes and the Arabesque shifters.

There’s so much to write – but another time when the bike is ready. Enjoy the photos.

Campagnolo Super Record Brake Lever with Olmo Pantographs plus leather grips.
Shimano 600AX front brake – Eighties arero craze porn
The cockpit: Olmo stem with Italian flag
Pantographed fork and Arabesque shifters
Gran Compe Saddle


Front view on pave
Rear view on pave

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Bremen, Mob, Olmo aus dem Eis

Bremen Elevation Profile Part II

My recently posted examples concerning the difference in elevation profiles between a typical tour day in the Alps and in Bremen missed an important detail: weather conditions.

I hope I got it right this time.

I rode to the meeting point HaW aka „little hut at the edge of the forest“ shortly before seven but nobody was there. Checking the forum again it seems that most of the members wanted to ride the following day. Looking out of the office window that doesn’t seem to be a good choice but the weather forecast indicates otherwise. Let’s see.

So I started on my own in direction Dammsiel. With a nice tailwind I made good progress in direction Kuhsiel and I thought I give it a try to ride 2 hours with 30 km/hr plus average. After Kuhsiel I made a right turn and rode down the other side of the Wümme, a road Muckel has shown me some weeks ago. Riding there for 5 km, then making a left turn brings one back to „SOS Landscape“ and the road to Worpswede. I sprinted over the huge hill in Worpswede, completely exhausting myself for approximately 34 seconds, then rode on in direction Worpshausen. Then it started to rain.

Of course I had no rain gear with me but it wasn’t that cold outside so I just went on, but taking a shortcut to Lilienthal and further on to Borgfeld. The road was very wet, it was getting dark and the traffic was rather heavy, so I decided to take the cycling road between Lilienthal and Borgfeld. I had never taken it before; it was OK, but frequent stops at major roads are preventing one from going at a good speed. Then somehow I made a mistake and I found myself on the road leading along the right side of the Wümme. Doesn’t matter I thought, eventually it will hit the road between Lilienthal and Boregfeld and I can cross the river and ride home straight. Unfortunately I was already to the North of that bridge so I continued to ride in the rain back to Melkhus /Dammsiel which was a huge detour. The road was completely deserted, some fishermen and some SUV, but otherwise I could only see people in the framer pubs that are placed at convenient intervals along the road. Long stretches of the roads are plastered with black clay bricks and were looking very slippery. I took extra care not to crash.

Arriving at Dammsiel I took a left turn and continued back along the other side of the Wümme again – the road I had originally taken when riding out in the first place. It almost stopped raining but now it was too late anyway. I was soaked and the known feeling of wet socks in wet shoes was  already there and in full bloom. But again, it wasn’t that bad.

Shortly before arriving at the Kuhsiel my rear tire blew up. This was my first puncture ever with a tubular tire. I had experienced one in Mallorca and I can tell you that this is not a pleasant experience. Even if you are alone and you have no repair kit, no spare tire, no rain gear and no light.

So I continued to ride the last 10 km home on the flat tire with my super-expensive Toppolino carbon  wheels. I ride them because my Ultegra wheels are still only temporarily fixed by Christain Sambi of Ravenna fame and the DT Swiss rear wheel is still with Campa for new spokes after the Berlin Velothon accident. For one reason or the other I have ridden home many bikes and many times with flat tires and it is better if a) the rear tire is flat than the front one and b) since today I know that you can go faster on a flat tubular than on a flat clincher. Perhaps this is just because the carbon wheels are lighter.

Which brings me to another important point: It seems that riding on flat tires for longer distances might damage the wheels. So I took the appropriate precautions which are: Riding home, pretending not to care about the wheels, not to look at them, leave the bike in the garage for a week or so and hope that everything will be all right afterwards.

Yesterdays summary: 80 km on the bike, 45 km thereof in the rain, 10 km thereof with a flat rear tire. Average Speed dropped from 31.1 km/hr to something which is too embarrassing to mention. However, if the weather continues as it is, this might have been a good preparation for the Bremen Challenge race on August 28th.

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Bremen, Mob, Sex. Lies & Vids, Touren

Trainingscamp Diemitz

For cyclist Diemitz isn’t as popular as Mallorca, the Alps or Southern France when it comes to the selection of training grounds. Nevertheless it has its charm.

First of all, where the hell is Diemitz? As cyclists tend to prefer the mountains as opposed to the sea, Diemitz isn’t necessarily on the radar screen of the cycling world. It isn’t located at the sea either, but in the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (aka Meck-Vorpom) and just in the middle of a huge region of lakes and swamps, connected by canals, know as the Mecklenburger Seenplate (Mecklenburg lake district). The Müritz lake is the biggest one in Germany after the Bodensee in the South, created by the river Rhein. But the lake district is more than the Müritz lake, there is water everywhere. In fact one can travel from Berlin in the South through the lake district to the Baltic Sea by boat through a system of interlocked canals and sluices.

Our friends, having made a fortune in Tokyo, Moscow, Munich and recently in Riyad, bought their summer estate about 9 years ago in the small village of Diemitz. Every August they invite their friends and relatives to stay with them for the weekend or perhaps longer. Our family was there the first time last year and last weekend we drove to Dimietz for the second time – by that it has become something of a regular event in the short history of our family in Germany.

Also, in case you haven’t found out that by yourself or didn’t thought too much about the importance of this, Diemitz is located with the former German Democratic Republic. Having spend most of the last 20 years since the German reunification in Asia, I still have difficulties to cope with the fact that there is only one Germany left. Not that I am against it, but still for me it has been a surprising development and when riding by car to Diemitz I tend to say „We are crossing the border now“ or „Better not to have a car breakdown after Helmstedt (the former border town on the federal highway).“ If you would ask me what came first, German unification  or introduction of the Euro, I would know that the former is a precondition for the later, but I would tend to place them at more or less the same point of time. Completely wrong.

The region has the charm of the former regime. Some villages are rundown, many streets have cobblestone roads and the roads between the small villages are nice looking alleys. The most amazing fact about the lake district is, that nobody is living there. It is, so to say, the exact opposite of Shibuya. There are vast amounts of land dedicated to foresting or to large scale agricultural operations. This is only natural for mountainous areas, but the landscape her is rather flat with rolling hills.

What would be better to ride along in style with a bike that fits the area? So I took my blue Gazelle with me and set off one afternoon to explore the area around Diemitz. I had to wait some days as the weather was terrible. Rain all day long, some of the largest recorded rainfalls in history. Even some roads were closed the the fire fighters were busy pumping water back into the lakes.

With the sun coming out for the first time the roads dried fast and I zoomed through up and down the hills. There are alleys, fields, swamps, lakes and dense Forrest of pine trees. There is a lot of variety and a lot to see. To ride over the cobblestoned sections of the road, mainly within the limits of the villages is a rather painful but authentic experience. Perhaps a modern carbon frame would be more comfortable, but an old steel bike is so much more charming. A good training for the L’eroica next year?

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Eingeordnet unter 2011, Gazelle Champion Mondial, Mob, Touren