Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Click on the images to enlarge them
|421 River Park Group ride ready to roll.|
|Michael, Matt, Amanda and Amy.|
|Tom and his beautiful Tommasini Bicycle. This bike is detail oriented with panagraphed chainrings on the Campagnolo crankset and Campagnolo cobalto brakes. Gina is in the background ready to ride.|
Old U.S. 421 River Park
Monday, June 27, 2011
Born in the small town of Florennes, Lambot worked as a saddle maker. He worked 12 hours a day, starting at 6am. He bought his first bicycle at 17 and began riding 50km a day to and from work. His first race was in a local village; he won five francs as first prize. He then bought a racing bike.
He began racing professionally in 1908. In that year he won the championships of Flanders and Belgium. He rode the Tour de France from 1911 to 1913 but World War I ended the race for the next five years.
When the Tour returned in 1919 it was a miserable affair of war-torn roads, fractured logistics and former contenders no longer alive to compete. Only 11 riders finished. Lambot was approached at the Buffalo track in Paris, where he had ridden a 24-hour race, to ride the Tour on the Globe Cycles team. He was second for much of the race but took the lead when Eugene Christophe broke a fork. Observers felt Lambot owed his victory more to Christophe's bad luck than his own ability and a collection for Christophe surpassed the prize money Lambot received. His performance brought him a contract from the larger Peugeot team at 300 francs a month. He was engaged to ride just the Tour de France.
In the 1920 and 1921 Tours Lambot placed respectably and in 1922 he won for the second time after Hector Heusghem was handed an hour penalty for swapping his bicycle after breaking the frame. He became the first to win the Tour without winning a stage. Lambot was 36 when he won the 1922 Tour de France . By the end of his career he was paid 1,800 francs a month by his team. In retirement, he returned to work as a saddle maker.
Click on the images to enlarge them
|The beginning of the ride in Lewisville, NC|
|The second rest stop at a store in Davie County|
In the video below Robert Jordan, wearing a red jersey and riding a bike with a rear rack, is riding fixed. On one long downhill you will notice he is spinning his pedals very fast.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Leon Scieur was the son of a farmer in Florennes, Belgium. He began work as a glassmaker before being introduced to cycling by his neighbor, Firmin Lambot, who taught him to ride a bike at the age of 22.
Scieur turned professional in 1913 and rode his first Tour de France that year, without finishing. He finished 14th in 1914.
After working as a mechanic in World War I Scieur rode the revived Tour de France in 1919 placing fourth. He had punctured four or six times, according to reports, between Le Havre and Cherbourg. The weather was foul and he had no more spares so he had to huddle in a doorway to repair one of the punctures. Mending a race tire involved taking it from the rim, cutting the stitching that held the base together, mending the inner tube, then sewing up the tire before replacing it. Scieur had acquired a needle and thick thread from the woman in whose doorway he was sheltering in, but his fingers grew too cold to use them. He asked the woman to help but the chief official, Lucien Cazalis, told him "It's forbidden to receive help; you'll be penalised if madame threads the needle for you." Scieur completed the repair but lost the Tour to Lambot by about the time it had taken.
He finished forth in the 1920 Tour de France.
He won at his fifth attempt, in 1921, when he was 33. He went into the lead on the second day and rode so hard to defend his position that reporters nicknamed him "The Locomotive." He pedaled fast in a low gear, winning two stages, from Cherbourg to Brest and from Nice to Grenoble.
Another Belgian, Hector Heusghem, attacked when Scieur punctured on the Col d' Allos, which climbs to 2,240 meters. Scieur ws so angry at the breach of etiquette that riders weren't attacked when they had mechanical trouble that he set off after Heusghem, lectured him on politeness and tradition, raced off angrily alone and won the stage to Grenoble. The feud that developed between them brought still more reporters from Belgium - this was the first year that foreign reporters could follow the race by car - and made life hard work for everyone. The organiser, Henri Desgrange, wrote a column in L'Auto criticising riders for being too scared of Scieur to challenge him.
Desgrange wasn't slow to criticise or disciple riders who he thought weren't riding hard enough. The 12th stage was 371 km from Geneva to Strasbourg. Scieur was leading the race with Heusghem and a French rider, Honore Barthelemy. Two Belgians, Firmin Lambot and Louis Mottiat, stayed in the main group rather than chase and spoil Scieur's chances. All five riders were in the same team and were using tactics that today would be considered normal. Desgrange, however, believed riders should compete as individuals and not in teams and he banished Lambot and Mottiat to last place.
The Tour became duller after Heusghem and Scieur settled into a sullen truce, but it wasn't without incident. Scieur broke 11 spokes on the next to last stage, from Metz to Dunkirk and again fell foul of Desgrange's rules. He managed to get a replacement wheel but new rules for that year's Tour said he didn't have the right to use it unless he could show Desgranges's judges that the original was beyond use. No judge saw the incident and so Scieur carried the broken wheel on his back for 300 km to the finish. He said it left a mark on his back for 15 years.
Scieur abandonded the 1922 Tour with a broken fork.
Scieur stopped racing in 1924. He spent the rest of his life in Florennes, where he owned a garage and distribution businesses for coal and gas. He died in 1969.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The Milk Marketing Board (MMB) was a sales monopoly for dairy farmers in England and Wales. A semi-professional cyclist from Derby, Dave Orford, asked the MMB to pay for "Drink more milk" to be embroidered on the jersey of every semi-professional, or independent, rider in the country.
Orford met the MMB's publicist officer, Reg Pugh, at the board's headquarters in Thames Distton, west of London. Orford said: "At the end of the discussion he stated that the MMB would prefer to sponsor a major international marathon. So the Milk Race, the Tour of Britain, was born, starting in 1958 and lasting for 35 years, the longest cycle sponsorship in the UK ever."
The first two races were open to semi-professionals but from 1960 until 1984 it was open only to amateurs. From 1985 until 1993 the Milk Race was open to both amateurs and professionals. After 1993 the Milk Race ended as the MMB was wound up because of European monopoly laws.
Monday, June 20, 2011
A Monday Ride
I headed out from home mid morning today on a ride headed towards East Bend, NC. My legs seemed a little tired when I started out. It seemed I was fighting a strong headwind the whole way to East Bend. I pushed myself to keep the pace from dropping. When ever I am riding by myself into a head wind I remember what Mike Royal said about headwinds "you always have a headwind if you are going fast enough". Flags and leaves along the way confirmed the headwind. When I got to the road to Siloam I changed my course in that direction hoping for some relief. The wind wasn't as bad, but I had already fatigued my legs. The rest of the ride was a bit of a struggle.
Many rides from the Winston-Salem/Lewisville, NC area begin by going through East Bend. From there there are lots of options. Today I rode through the communities of Siloam and Shoals on my loop.
East Bend, North Carolina
East Bend was first known as Banner's Store. It was named for merchant Martin Luther Banner. Early settler Martin Luther Banner later moved west and founded Banner Elk, North Carolina. On March 7, 1887 the General Assembly incorporated the town of East Bend and named it after the east bend of the Yadkin River.
J.G. Huff established the first buggy-manufacturing business in town in 1873. The Huff Buggy Factory, built in 1893, was said to be the largest buggy factory in the South. Huff closed the buggy works about 1920 and began operating a funeral home, which is still owned and operated by his heirs.
In 1904, the town's population was 444, and it boasted of a hotel, two buggy factories, a tobacco bag factory, a bank and several stores. However, a decision by the Southern Railroad to bypass the town in 1890, put a damper on the town's growth.
As of the 2000 census, there were 659 people, 271 households, and 188 families residing in the town. East Bend has a total area of 1.3 square miles.
Click on the images to enlarge them.
|The Sign as you start across the bridge.|
|Looking across the "new" bridge.|
|The Yadkin River from the bridge in Siloam, NC.|
|Four turtles sitting on a log in the middle of the river below the bridge.|
|A quick rest stop and Gatorade in Siloam, NC.|
|On the left is the video camera mounted to my handlebar.|
|Pilot Mountain from Sandy Ridge Road in the Shoals Community|