Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Steel Love Club!

De Rosa Neo Primato Azzurro Ferretti.

Milani Replica.

Colnago Master X-Light Zabel

Pegoretti Lugino


I love steel bikes. Really is there anything else like steel? I don't believe so! Here are four fine examples of steel bike beauty incarnate. Each one with distinctive lineage but sharing a common bond for the road. Just add a wool jersey, shake, stir and ride!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tour of Flanders/I hurt myself today.




One of the Monuments is coming this Sunday. The 93rd Ronde van Vlaanderen/Tour of Flanders is all about pain, plenty of pain, and it is the most important race in Flanders. The yellow flags of the black lion that is the symbol of the Flemish north will proudly fly.

The infamous cobbled hills, sixteen of them, litter the 258.9 km twisty course zapping the strength from the glassy eyed riders as they try to negotiate past the 1 million screaming fans. It's huge and the Flemish passion will be ignited once it starts. Many Belgian riders base their season on it. To win, a Belgian rider will be crowned, 'King of Flanders.' They have the record wins of 65 follow by the Italians with 10 and the Dutch with 9. Canadian, Steve Bauer was close, back in 1986 & 1987, both times finishing a superb fourth. Englishman, Tom Simpson is the only Anglophone to win it back in 1961.

There will be plenty of non-Belgians I feel that could win it, most notably: George Hincapie, Juan Antonio Flecha & Thor Hushovd. I can't wait for the pain to start!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hello Spring!

A 'pleasant' sunshiny day!

I believe Spring has finally sprung for us here on the west coast. Temperatures reached a pleasant 10 C in the sunshine and I'm finally rid of the nasty cold that has plagued me for the past week. I live in the area called, Mount Pleasant, and found why its truly pleasant.

This morning I climbed on my Marinoni and planned on a short spin just to rediscover my legs. I happily found them and stayed out for almost two hours. I felt a little winded just coming back due to illness and happy just to cruise about town. After my uplifting ride I went for a nice walk with Carolle to the local park to enjoy the spectacular view and to talk about designing new hats.

I hear its back to rain for us on Monday, but for now, who cares!

A nice change.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Suitable for a darkhorse.

Cevelo TT's Dominique Rollin.
Made especially for the pave!
www.kwc.org

Sunday will be the day of the fine Belgian semi-classic called, 'Brabantse Pijl' with a challenging uphill finish built for a strong rider like Canadian, Dominque Rollin. The 'Horse from the north' is surely capable of an upset win. Teammate, Thor Hushovd raced well in Saturday's, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen finishing a fine fourth. The Cevelo leader has a huge chance to revenge his fourth place for a pave victory. If not for a certain ...darkhorse!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Loving that pave!

My linocut called,
'On The Pave'


I'm hedging my bets carefully for Saturday's race, the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen. This race is preparation for next Sunday's Ronde. Hopeful participants are keen to do well and it's a measuring stick for the riders readiness for the impending classics. I do love this part of the season as there's something special in a one day classic race. If the bone jarring cobblestones are not enough then throw in the relentless harsh weather, the more of it the better. Twelve hill climbs peppered with cobblestones should make the riders resolve turn quickly into mush. The real tough ones will relish in it and the rest will be along for the ride.

Can Hushovd win it? How about Hincapie or Flecha?

'Tis the classic season ...and with it a nice long road strewn with beautiful pave!

Campy's early claim to fame.


The 2009 Campagnolo Range Catalogue.

On my trip to Portland, I received this fine 2009 Campagnolo catalogue from Veloce Bicycles and here's a little background on the great cycling component maker...

In 1927, Tullio Campagnolo was an amateur riding on the snow covered roads of the Italian Dolomite mountains. As he rode over the Croce D’Aune Pass he needed to remove his rear wheel to change the gear ratio. The wingnuts that held his wheel on had frozen and he was unable to remove his wheel to change gears. He said, “Something has to be changed back there!” He went to his workshop, in Vicenza, Italy and created the quick-release lever (patented in 1930). A design that is still used today.

In 1940, he introduced the ‘Cambio Corsa’ dual rod shifter that was widely used in the pro peloton for a decade until the introduction of ‘Gran Sport’ parallelogram rear derailleur in 1951 – the first modern derailleur.

Over the years, many famous riders won with Campagnolo. Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx benefited and won often using Campagnolo’s components. The Cannibal had special lightweight parts produced for his bike to beat the world one hour record in 1972. The Campionissimo won the 1949 Tour de France on a Campy equipped bike. Then, used the first rod shifter derailleur in the 1945 Paris-Roubaix. He would hit pay dirt by winning the 1950 Hell of the North with Campy components.

Forza Campagnolo!


The Inventor...
Tullio Campagnolo (Aug.26.1901-Feb.3,1983)
in front of his 'Cambio Corsa'dual shifter.

Coppi riding & winning with the 'Gran Sport' derailleur.

The Cannibal with his invaluable Campagnolo!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Galstudio: Handmade Cycling Caps!



You may remember that I talked about Carolle’s cycling caps. Within 24 hours of placing it in her Etsy shop, it was sold and now she’s gone from being a humble knitter into a compulsive sewer! She has lovingly produced, all from scratch, a great selection of funky, handmade cycling caps!

I'm introducing Carolle’s Etsy shop banner onto my blog.


Have a look to see what she's been up to...

Hat's off to her!

I got fueled!

My Award!


Yesterday, 'fuelmyblog' picked my blog as blog of the day!

It made my day.

Thanks to fuelmyblog!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Adrenalina Italiana.


Giovanni Pinarello.

After my memorable visit to Veloce Bicycles of Portland, I left with many bike catalogues. Notably is Pinarello09 showcasing the amazing lineup from Giovanni Pinarello. I love steel bikes but flipping through this catalogue, I can’t help but become a fan of the new bikes. Here’s a peek at the wonderful historical images when the great man was a racer.

You know, it still gives me goosebumps as I fondly remember my visit to see him back in 1984!

Giovanni Pinarello, the racer.




Monday, March 23, 2009

1981: The Young Wolves of Renault-Gitane.

Les Jeunes Loups, The Young Wolves of
the 1981 Renault-Gitane cycling team.
Click on the image to enlarge!
www.gitaneusa.com

French bike maker, Gitane was very successful in 1976, with Lucien Van Impe’s victory in the Tour de France under the guidance of the brilliant director sportif, Cyrille Guimard. Renault bought Gitane and spent money to create a super team in 1977. The young Bernard Hinault was recruited to lead the team into the future. A clever Guimard soon looked outside French borders toward America. Guimard aggressively signed American riders, Jonathon Boyer (first American to ride the Tour) and the promising Greg LeMond. In fact, both Guimard and Hinault traveled to Nevada to sign LeMond to his first European pro contract.

In 1981, Renault-Gitane-Campagnolo included first year pro LeMond and he settled in well by winning the Coors Classic and one stage of the Tour of Oise. That same year, Hinault won his third Tour and mesmerized his competition and critics by winning Paris-Roubaix!

There was good reason why Bernard Hinault was smiling alongside with his ‘young wolves,’ in this 1981 Cycles Gitane article!


Cyrille Guimard's troops.
The four special jersey holders in front,
(l to r) P. Raymond Villemaine(French National Champ),
Jock Boyer (stars and stripes jersey as
the first American to ride the Tour), Bernard Hinault(World Road Champion), &
Lucien Didier(Luxembourg National Champ).
www.cyclingwebsite.net

From 1981...
To add to the hysteria,
nice Super Hinault stickers from the great team!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sechs-Tage-Rennen.

Sechs-Tage-Renne.
Germany, 1950-60's.

Six day race board game with nice detailed riders & graphics!





http://cyclingboardgames.net

Rookies of Sanremo.

First monumental emotion!

Yesterday was an incredible display of raw power by the Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish. He showed to every critic that he has the power to win. Only 23 years old and his first attempt at Sanremo resulted in a huge 'monumental' victory.

The missile to the finish!

Eddy Merckx's first Sanremo win, also on his first attempt was back in 1966. The Cannibal was only 21 and went on to set a precedent of seven victories. Cavendish is not a Merckx, nobody is, but I have a feeling that he has the potential for more. He has the engine.

Heart wrenching for Heinrich Haussler (2nd) and a great third place for Thor Hushovd. Honorable mention goes to the Canadians' Ryder Hesjedal (31st) & Svein Tuft (138th & also in his first attempt).


Cavendish said it best when nobody expected him of anything, "I wanted to prove I am more than just a sprinter, but a great rider - that is what I did today."


The Cannibal's 1966 rookie win!

Aggressive win on his first attempt...
The Cannibal beating Adriano Durante(2nd, obscured) & Herman Van Springel(3rd, far right)!
www.dailypeloton.com

The young Cannibal smilin' monumentally on his way to seven!
www.lequipe.fr

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Il Campionissimo: A Double Success!

"Every time Coppi won a crushing victory it added a bit to his legend."
Benjo Maso.

This May 9th marks the Centenary of the Giro d'Italia with stage one, the TTT in Venice. The monumental stage race will reach an epic milestone of 100. A rich history along with it's unforgettable star riders is the stuff of legend.

The great Fausto Coppi certainly ranks as one of cycling's fascinating legends. He was so elegant on the bike that rival Gino Bartali described him as, "a god on the bicycle, fluid form in motion." He ushered in radical training methods and diet that revolutionized the sport. He had already won the Giro (1940 & 1947) and set the new world hour record on the track in 1942. Italy was divided between Bartali & Coppi. On one hand, the aging Bartali was the waning champion, on the other, Coppi the rising star and great hope.

In the 1949 Giro d'Italia, organizers included such a tortuous mountain stage that the winner would become an instant legend. It was a mammoth stage of 254 km including the climbs; Madelaine, Izoard, and Sestriere. It was made for Coppi as he cruised to victory nearly twelve minute lead over Bartali. Coppi took three stages, the maglia verde (mountains classification) and the overall. Gino Bartali could only follow in second overall 23 minutes behind.

A week following, the two combatants lined up at the Tour. It was the time of national teams, but both were reluctant to ride with each other. Bartali was the distinguished team leader and Coppi, in his Tour debut, as the duty-bound second. Stage five almost had Coppi close to abandoning. After falling and destroying his bike he had to wait a long seven minutes for a spare. He was give a sub-standard bike but managed to finish the stage, over thirty minutes behind the race leader. A determined Coppi began to take back time winning three stages including the 92 km TT, taking the maillot jaune with stage 17 victory into d'Aosta. The piece de resistance was Coppi's incredible 137 km ITT win on stage 20 to Nancy. He took seven minutes from Bartali and held the yellow jersey to Paris.


Sixty years ago, Coppi became legend as the first man to win the tours of Italy & France in the same year and was named by the tifosi, 'campionissimo' ... the champion of champions.


Tullio Campagnolo(middle) posing with his
legendary star.

Bartali nervously eyes Coppi before Stage 11 in Pau, 1949.
From: Tour de France.

The Heron in full flight & gaining time
on Stage 11, Pau-Luchon, 1949.
From: Tour de France.

Friday, March 20, 2009

That Cool Ciocc, Portland Style!


Doug's beautiful 1983 Ciocc.
Nice chrome forks & rear triangle!
Image by Doug Meyer.

Remember when Demetri from Veloce Bicycles, on my memorable visit to Portland, mentioned to me that he sold a Ciocc steel bike?

Doug Meyer is the fellow that had just bought the 1983 Ciocc racing bike on my visit to Veloce Bicycles. We actually crossed paths and I just missed him and his prized steel Ciocc by a matter of mere minutes.


Ciocc (CHEE-OH-CH) was founded by Giovanni Pelizzoli who was a former apprentice of Ugo DeRosa. Ciocc is from a local Italian dialect which means, ‘poker faced.’ The familiar badge of 4 aces in cross formation was born. The factory is in Mozzo, Italy ten miles close to Colnago’s. The most celebrated model was the Mockba 80 after Ciocc built the frames for the Polish National team. Poland’s Czeslaw Lang came in second place on a Ciocc during the 1980 Moscow Olympics Road Race. Back in 1977, Italian Claudio Corti won the 1977 U23 Worlds on a Ciocc at San Cristobal, Venezuela. The San Cristobal is their signature model.

The other day Doug was kind enough to send me an email and said that he was without a road bike since his 1991 DeRosa Diamante was stolen in 1998. I’m glad he finally got his Italian steel bike!

Revenge is sweet!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Classical Cycling Caps.

The Liege-Bastogne-Liege Cycling Cap.

The Paris-Roubaix Cycling Cap.

Images by Carolle, all rights reserved.

I have asked Carolle to make me a cycling cap, for a long time now.

My request has been granted. And it has been worth the wait! She made and gave me the prototype model (lucky me!). She made the pattern and then sewed the fabric together from scratch. I find that amazing.

And I put it to good use by wearing it to work (in the rain) and yesterday on a short ride. This beautiful cap is very comfortable under a helmet, too. But, where it shines is out for all to see. It just wants to be seen!

Three words best describe it: Fun, Functional & Fashionable.

Although the great race is next month, I’d bet this fine looking cap would be at home on the pave!

For more fine cycling caps...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Portland Showoff!


Yes, my search has ended!

It all started innocently enough with my search for brake lever hoods. Portland bike stores was my objective and I was adamant of finding a pair.

I'm very proud to show you my brake lever hoods. It took quite sometime looking for replacement hoods for my old Campy Nuovo Record ones. These knock offs are from a company called, EAI (Euro-Asia Imports). Although, they fit a wee bit tighter than the Campy's ...I'm estatic with the results!

Which reminds me of the song...

'Well, if you're happy and you know it clap your hands!'


My thanks to Demetri from Veloce Bicycles for making my journey well worth it. And a special thanks to Verg of Revolver Bikes!



Up close.

It's also good reason to put on new handlebar tape!


Looking very good!

Love my new Vittoria Rubino Pro Slicks.
I'm running them around 110 psi & they grip so well!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tous pour un maillot.

Although it's Monday, here's my Sunday board game....

Tous pour un maillot.
Year: 1980's.

Note the beautiful enameled riders!





www.cyclingboardgames.net

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Portland; Land of Microbeers, cycling books & good eats!


Full Sail on The Road To Hell!

Portland & the entire state has three love affairs going for it. Ok, the weather is conducive to relaxation with great coffee culture, independent bicycle frame building, & the largest amount of microbreweries in North America. There's too many to list as the Rose City and state is hopping crazy! The Craft brewing industry has given Oregon a new title, 'Beervana!' How good is that! Craft beer is an American term which refers to beer that is brewed using traditional methods steering away, thankfully, from the mass-produced beers.

The Mirror Pond Pale Ale is a fine reflection
to World Of Cycling!

For the first time, I enjoyed a delicious elk burger and 'Mirror Pond Pale Ale' at Deschutes Brewery pub. The Cascade hops give this pale ale a nice floral aroma that goes along with pretty much anything! And, what a thirst quencher it is ...one is not enough. Next up was 'Full Sail Amber.' Another liquid sensation full of spicy, floral & malty notes not light at all. A nice heavier body thoroughly satisfying! At the local Fred Meyer supermarket, we gravitated towards the beer tasting offerings touting some of the local microbrews. Unfortunately, we were only allow to sample two of the three choices. We left happy and packed enough beer for our drive back over the border.

One eating establishment that left a very good impression was the funky, 'Byways Cafe.' We loved the kitschy decor and the friendly service but, the delicious blue corn pancakes with maple syrup and walnut butter was an instant hit. I would go back again just for it!

Portland must have one of the finest independent used & new bookstore that I ever visited. It's called, 'Powell's Books,' a nice oasis in the urban jungle. I was attracted to the bicycle section and found two inexpensive tender morsels. 'The Road To Hell,' by Graham Watson is a pictorial smorgasbord of the Classics. Number two book is John Wilcockson's, 'World Of Cycling.' A chronicle of the author's thirty odd years of cycling.

One interesting coffee shop had a notable service worth mentioning. I believe it was called, 'cycling triage,' where folks could bring in their bikes for free basic maintenance. Not bad, get caffeinated & have your bike tuned up at the same time.

Now, that's progressive!

My essay; Byways Cafe...

My breakfast hot spot!

For me,
first thing is a good cup of coffee...

Bird's eye view...
The 'Sunrise Special,' with the delicious blue corn pancakes!

Wall of fame?
There's enjoyable kitsch, too!

Coffee rules the roast or the roost in Portland!

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