Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

A mild Monday afternoon in January

Click on the photos to enlarge them
Poor Ole' Joe with my Bike.
 It sure was nice to have a Monday afternoon with clear skies and temperatures in the 50s! Since I was off work I made sure to make time to go for a bike ride. This was my second ride with a fixed Powertap rear hub. A Powertap allows measuring of the power output of the rider. Powertap hubs use strain gauges to measure torque and velocity to calculate power.  Many riders these day use power meters when they ride, but it is unusual to have one on a fixed gear bike. A fixed-gear bicycle (or fixed-wheel bicycle, sometimes known as a fixie) is a bicycle that has no freewheel, meaning it cannot coast, as the pedals are always in motion when the bicycle is moving. The sprocket, or cog, is threaded or bolted directly to a fixed rear hub. When the rear wheel turns, the pedals turn in the same direction.  

Fixed Powertap Pro

Fixed Powertap Hub Installed on the bike

I headed out on my bike to the general area of "The Mill Loop". This is a classic loop to ride that is just outside of Winston-Salem, NC and located between the communities of Lewisville and Clemmons, NC.  I knew some of my friends would be riding around there. They regularly leave from Union Hill Baptist Church at 2:00. I was already running a few minutes late and lost a few more when my rear wheel slipped in the dropouts as I hurried away from a traffic light. It's best to   use chain tensioners that keep the rear hub pulled back in a track style drop out. I rode a portion of the ride in the opposite direction than I thought the group would be going. I wasn't exactly sure how they would be riding the loop since it has been awhile since I was able to get out to ride at this time of day. I hadn't gone far when I saw them headed my way. Jenny, Wanda, Alan, Louis and Ronnie. It was great to see everyone and especially on such a nice afternoon. We rode at a casual pace and chatted. After a few variations on "The Mill Loop" I peeled off and headed home before rush hour traffic became heavy on Peacehaven Road. The Powertap made riding a fixed gear much more beneficial as I could tell how much work I was really doing and what my speed and cadence was during the ride. I have a 50x18 gear on the bike and the highest cadence I saw was 178. I hope I have some more Monday afternoons with weather like this in February! Good friends, great weather and a bike ride. It just doesn't get any better than that!
Alan, Ronnie, Jenny and Louis
Ronnie and Alan climbing
Louis Climbing out of the saddle
Jenny cruising by a plowed field

Saturday, January 28, 2012

W. C. Fields rides a bike

SON delux dynamo hub

SON delux

The SON Deluxe is the first hub dynamo, whose generator was specifically designed for modern LED lightsAn LED is - in contrast to the halogen bulb - even at partial load is highly effective, ie if it is operated below its rated capacity. So it is no longer necessary to build the dynamo so that it reaches its full power at the lowest possible speed. The SON Deluxe is therefore smaller and lighter than a hub dynamo for halogen lighting. The idle power reduction compared to the classical SON 28 is by 30 - 35%.

The SON delux is made in Germany by Schmidt Maschinenbau ( Schmidt Engineering )

Wilfried Schmidt Maschinenbau

Schmidt Maschinenbau view   
In 1992, Wilfried Schmidt before the prototype of a gearless hub dynamo, which became the starting point and benchmark for modern dynamo lighting. The series production started in 1995 in Ulm. The aim was to use reliable, low maintenance and durable products to make cycling more comfortable and safer. 

Schmidt Maschinenbau view

1998 we moved into separate rooms in a building in the French Quarter in Tübingen . In this ecological objectives with planned, mixed-use suburb of our SON hub dynamo and LED headlights are not only developed and marketed. Even a majority of parts production and assembly takes place here under socially and environmentally manageable conditions. For purchased parts is also true: preferred short distances.

Schmidt Maschinenbau view
In 2011 the workforce has grown to 28. Almost all employees are on a bike or walk to work.


 Click here to visit the Brooks web site.
The B68 Imperial features the central cut-out, first designed by BROOKS over 100 years ago. The “registered cutting”, as can be read in the 1890 catalogue, is “a sure preventive to all perineal pressure".

How Brooks Saddles began.
Over almost a century and a half, Brooks England has grown from a small workshop to a byword in quality craftsmanship. Back in 1865, John Boultbee Brooks left his hometown of Hinckley in Leicestershire with just £20 in his pocket.
He headed for Birmingham, where in 1866 he established a business in horse harnesses and general leather goods in Great Charles Street under the name JB Brooks & Co. In 1878, the unfortunate death of Mr Brooks’ horse led to a stroke of inspiration. Unable to afford another horse, he borrowed a bicycle in order to commute to work. He found the seat so uncomfortable that he vowed to do something about it.
On 28 October 1882, Mr Brooks filed his first saddle patent. Waddling cyclists everywhere rejoiced and the new product was a roaring success.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Videos by Dave from Vancouver, BC, Canada, Cycle Touring in Tibet.

An exploration of some of the highest, most remote, and most challenging roads in the world, filmed while on a 4500km cross-Tibet cycling trip in 2007. A visual account of the local culture, the challenges faced there, and a sampling of the cycle touring lifestyle.

Journey as Destination - HD from Dave A on Vimeo.

Cycle Touring the Tibetan Plateau from Dave A on Vimeo.

Tibetan Timescapes - HD from Dave A on Vimeo.

Albert Dejonghe

Albert Dejonghe
Albert Dejonghe
Albert Dejonghe (1894 - 1981) was a Belgian professional road bicycle racer. He won Paris - Roubaix in 1922, one stage in the 1923 Tour de France and finished 5th and 6th in the 1925 and 1926 Tour de France.

Albert Dejonghe on the Tourmalet 1921

Nadéah - Odile [Official Video]

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Nice Day To Go For A Ride On The Path Racer

Click on the photos to enlarge them.
Path Racer
 A Path Racer is a bike with track drop-outs that is dual purpose for both road and track racing, angles not quite as steep and bottom bracket lower than a pure path (track bike). Normally has the front fork crown drilled for a brake. Can also be built with mudguard clearances and mudguard eyes.

The weather was unusually mild today and I was fortunate enough to get out for a ride of approximately 35 miles. I rode my "Path Racer". This is a bike similar to the bikes that were popular in the UK before World War II. It has fenders and is fixed.(A fixed-gear bicycle (or fixed-wheel bicycle, sometimes known as a fixie) is a bicycle that has no freewheel, meaning it cannot coast, as the pedals are always in motion when the bicycle is moving.
The sprocket, or cog, is threaded or bolted directly to a fixed rear hub. When the rear wheel turns, the pedals turn in the same direction.)
I was glad I had the classic seat bag on this bike today. I was able to stow a jacket, my camera, cell phone and some tools in it. A great day for a ride!
These photos were taken leaning up against a fence on, NASCAR team owner,  Richard Childress's property on the side of Hampton Road in Davidson County, NC. The cows in the background also belong to him. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Emile Georget

Emile Georget
Emile Georget was born on September 21, 1881. He died on April 16, 1960. The French rider twice stood on the podium of the Tour de France.  Georget was 3rd in the 1907 Tour de France behind Lucien Petit-Breton of France and Gustave Garrigou of France. In the 1911 Tour Georget was 3rd again, this time behind Gustave Garrigou of France and Paul Duboc of France.
Emile Georget

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ride of My Life - The Story of the Bicycle

Waterford Precision Cycles

Waterford R33

Gunnar Sport

Waterford Precision Cycles is a bicycle manufacturer based in Waterford, Wisconsin. Waterford produces high-end, custom, hand-built, steel-alloy frame bicycles. They build both tig-welded and lugged steel frames to order, and specializes in custom and unique bicycle frames.

The company also manufactures Gunnar Cycles which are steel-alloy, tig-welded bicycle frames and forks including off-road, touring, racing and recreational bicycles. Waterford manufactures frames for several other small specialty bicycle companies.

The company is operated by Richard Schwinn, formerly of Schwinn Bicycle Company, and business partner Marc Muller. Schwinn (great-grandson of Ignaz Schwinn, who founded Schwinn Co. in 1896) was vice president of production for Schwinn Co., and Muller worked for Schwinn as a designer of the company's hand-crafted Paramount racing bikes.

We sell Waterford and Gunnar Bicycles at Ken's Bike Shop. Come by and see us to make your dreams of owning a beautiful steel bike come true.

Click on the Waterford and Gunnar links on this blog for more information.

White Industries H3 Hub, Gunnar Sport Project Bike

Click on the image to enlarge it.We are going to be using a White Industries H3 rear hub for the rear wheel of our Gunnar Sport Project Bike.

White Industries is one of the few remaining bicycle component manufactures proudly manufacturing their products here in the U.S.A. Since the inception of White Industries in 1978, their CNC components have been designed, engineered, and manufactured in Northern California.

If you are lacing up a new set of wheels the H3 hub is a perfect choice. The hub shell design is a high/low flange which allows for a more even and better spoke tension with a hub spaced to 130mm. The hub design maximizes aerodynamic efficiency. Unique to the H3 is their titanium freehub body in a choice of Shimano or Campy configurations. White Industries feel titanium is the best choice in the freewheel application since it is nearly as light as aluminum and has the equivalent strength to many forms of steel.

To find out more about White Industries Products click on the link to their web site listed on this blog.

The most miles ridden during the year 1937

"Ossie" Nicholson set the record for the most miles ever ridden in a year up to that time. It was a close contest with another cyclist, Rene Menzies.

The following account was taken directly word for word from the 1938 Brooks catalog.

The Story of a year's battle between a Frenchman and an Australian to see who could ride the greatest distance during 1937.

In a heavy downpour of rain, 48 year old French born Rene Menzies left London at 7 A.M. on January 1st, 1937. In a determined quest to beat the year's world cycling record, held by a Britisher, Walter Graves, with the astounding total of 45,384 miles. Over ten thousand miles away, Ossie Nicholson, a well-known Australian who had competed in many famous international races including the Tour de France set off in glorious sunshine the same morning also determined to beat the record.

For three hundred and sixty five days these two men, the middle aged Frenchman and the much younger Australian battled, half the world apart for supremacy. At first the Frenchman led the way; Nicholson fell heavily in February and for several days was seriously hampered with a poisoned toe. Then he was ill with sunstroke and no sooner had he recovered from that than he developed tonsillitis which was so severe that it kept him from his bicycle for three days. Meanwhile in England, Menzies was troubled with bitterly cold weather and one day snow completely blocked his road. But doggedly the two rivals continued to keep their wheels rolling, each riding approximately 170 miles a day. Just think of it. One hundred and seventy miles a day - everyday, in rain, snow, sunshine, gales.

And so through the months the battle went on neither man's mileage a great deal ahead for long over his rivals. In September they were nearly level and then it was that Menzies had his bad luck. When seven hundred miles off the previous record, held by Walter Graves, he was involved in an accident with a motor vehicle and broke a bone in his wrist. In extreme pain Menzies was taken away for Medical Treatment; but the plucky Frenchman was impatient at the delay. He demanded to be put back upon his bicycle. And so his arm encased in plaster of Paris, he continued his ride. Four days later he beat the previous world record - but Nicholson too, had beaten it at about the same time. It was a disappointment to Menzies who, one-armed, had ridden the colossal distance of 247 miles in one day in a last minute effort to beat the Australian.

But Menzies was not daunted. The battle was still on; it did not finish until December 31st. But youth had it's way. Now averaging more than 190 miles every day the Australian doggedly pulled away from his older rival and when the bell clanged out the new year, Nicholson, fitter than when he started finished his years' ride with the new world record of 62,657 miles. Menzies, who received a wildly enthusiastic reception in London was a gallant loser. His distance was 61,561 miles. The difference between them was just over a thousand miles - approximately three miles a day, for Nicholson's daily average was 171 miles and Menzies' 168.

Both men of course rode Brooks saddles.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Korean artist turns bicycle chains into human forms

Korean artist Seo Young Deok has created some amazing sculptures from different types of chains, including bicycle chains. The sculptures depict the human form in life-size and large scale formats. The exhibition, Dystopia, is currently on display at the INSA/Arko Art Centre in Seoul.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jean Rossius

Jean Rossius
Jean Rossius (1890 - 1966) was a Belgian road racing cyclist who won five stages in total in the Tour de France. In the 1914 Tour de France he finished in fourth place in the overall classification, his best placing. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bordeaux - Paris

The Bordeaux-Paris professional bicycle race was first held in 1891 and the last edition was in 1988. It was one of the longest of Europe's classic single day races with a length of approximately 560km (350 miles). It started in northern Bordeaux in south-west France and finished in the capital city of Paris. It was often called the "Derby of the Road".

Tom Simpson in the 1963 Bordeaux- Paris Race. 

What make Bordeaux-Paris notable, besides the distance of the race, is that rides were allowed to be paced (slipstream or draft).  In the early editions racers drafted behind other riders not in the race that were riding on tandems or single bicycles. From 1931, pacing was by motorcycles  or small pedal assisted Dernys. Pacing was also briefly by cars. In the early races pacing was from the beginning in Bordeaux. In later events, it was part-way towards Paris. From 1946 to 1985, more than half the distance was paced, Dernys being introduced at Poitiers or Chatellerault, roughly half-way.
The organizers of the first Bordeaux-Paris planned on riders taking several days to finish the race. George Pilkington Mills won the first edition in 1891 riding continuously through the night to finish in just over a day.
George Pilkington Mills 1891

Louison Bobet winner of the 1959 Bordeaux-Paris Race.

Jacques Anquetil winning Bordeaux-Paris 1965.
Be sure and click here to learn more about Anquetil's amazing double in 1965.

Herman Van Springel in Bordeaux-Paris 1974. He won the race a record seven times from 1970 to 1981.

Bordeaux-Paris began to lose prestige in the 1980s. It required special training and clashed with riders' plans to compete in the Vuelta a Espana or Giro d'Italia stage races. Fields began to dwindle and the lst motor-paced version was 1985; three non-paced versions were held from 1986 but 1988 proved the last as a professional race.

Imerio Massignan

Imerio Massignan

Imerio Massignan (born Janurary 2, 1937) is a former Italian professional road cyclist. He was born in Valmaran di Attavilla Vicntina. 

A pure climber, he debuted as a professional in the 1959 Giro d' Italia and finished in 5th place overall. He followed that up  with a series of good placements in the next editions, including a 2nd overall in the 1962 Giro behind Franco Balmamion.

At the Tour de France he won the "King of the Mountains" classification in 1960 and 1961. He also finished 4th overall in the 1961 Tour. Later on in 1961 he placed 2nd in the Giro di Lombardia.

Massignan retired from racing in 1969.

George Pilkington Mills

George Pilkington Mills
George Pilkington Mills (1867-1945) was the dominant English racing cyclist of his generation, and winner of the first edition of the Bordeaux - Paris bicycle race in 1891. He set many records on bicycles and racing tricycles. He later won races and set records as an early car and motorcycle racer.

At the age of 18, 1886,  Mills set the record of the shortest time for riding from one end of Britain to the other. A distance of approximately 900 miles. He broke the record twice that year. Once on a large wheeled penny-farthing bicycle and once on a tricycle. On the bicycle he rode the distance in 5 days, 1 hour and 45 minutes. It took him 5 days, 10 hours on the tricycle. The record he set on the penny-farthing still stands today. That same year he also won the North Road 24-hour time trial on a penny-farthing with 288 miles and set records on a bicycle for 50 miles and 24 hours (259 miles) and set a tandem-tricycle record for 50 miles.

In 1988 he set the 100 mile tricycle record at 6 hours, 58 minutes, and 54 seconds. Mills also set the 50 mile tricycle record that year at 2 hours, 53 minutes and 42 seconds. It must be remembered that these records were set on dirt roads. The tires used in those day were not of the quality today's tires are and they were often slowed by multiple punctures.

George Mills won the first ever Bordeaux - Paris bicycle race in 1891. The organizers of the race, Veloce Sport, invited him because of his reputation and records in long distance races. Long distance cycling  events were very popular in this era. Bordeaux - Paris is a race of approximately 350 miles. During the early races pacing was allowed behind tandems and regular bicycles. In 1931 the pacing was taken over by motorcycles. In the inaugural event there were 38 cyclists entered. 

Mills took his first break 215 miles into the first Bordeaux - Paris race. He stopped for five minutes and ate some raw meat and a "specially prepared stimulant". He continued on to the finish in Paris where an estimated 7,000 spectators awaited the racer's arrival. The second place finisher was over an hour behind Mills. Riders were still coming in two days later.

Mills served in the military during World War I and joined the Home Guard during World War II. He was a founding member of the North Road Club (cycling club) in London. And remained a member until his death in 1945.
George Pilkington Mills


Friday, January 13, 2012

1910 Tour de France

The 1910 Tour de France was a tour of several firsts. It was the first Tour de France to have two stages in the Pyrennes mountains, first time for a broom wagon, first death of a racer during the Tour and the first time a few of the racers used bicycles with gears.

With 110 starters the 1910 edition of the Tour was 4,737 km (2,944 miles) raced at an average speed of 28.680 km/hr (17.82 miles per hour). 

The first death of a racer during the Tour de France happened in 1910. On a rest day between stages 6 and 7 cyclist Adolphe Heliere died while swimming.
Adolphe Heliere

The course of the Tour de France since the first edition in 1903 had been drawn up each year by Henri Desgrange's, the tour organizer, assistant Alphonse Steines. For the 1910 Tour de France Steines wanted to include the high mountains and 2 stages in the Pyrennes. Desgrange was not in favor of adding these difficult mountain passes for fear that it might not be possible for the racers to complete the stages. 

 Prior to the start of the Tour Desgrange sent Alphonse Steines to see if it was possible for the riders to climb the mountains in the Tour de France. He went there on January 27th, 1910 and asked an innkeeper about the mountain pass. The innkeeper told Steines that it was barely passable in July and practically impossible in January. Steines hired a car anyway and headed up the mountain. The car was stopped by a snow drift while trying to get up the mountain. Steines continued on by foot. Eventually he fell off a ledge of snow into a ravine. A search party formed by locals didn't find him until 3:00 AM. The next morning Steines sent the following famous telegram to Henri Desgrange: "No trouble crossing Tourmalet. Roads satisfactory. No problem for cyclists. Steines"

Desgrange announced in L'Auto that the 1910 Tour route would include ascents of the Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque mountains. Originally there were 136 cyclists that had entered the Tour, 26 of these racers dropped out when they heard about the route. Other newspapers reacted to the Tour's route as "dangerous" and "bizarre".

A first time addition was the broom wagon to pick up cyclists that abandoned during the race. During the tenth stage over the four mountains in the Pyrennes it was ruled that riders that couldn't make it could finish the stage in the broom wagon and still start the race the next day.

Riding with gears on their bikes for the first time ever in a Tour de France were Lucien Petit-Breton, Maurice Brocco, Henri Cornet, Charles Pavese and Jean Alavoine.

As in the 1909 Tour the 1910 Tour de France was scored on points. This made it possible for a sprinter or a climber to win. As in modern times a major team was split over two potential winners among their teammates. Alcyon had assembled a huge amount of talent within it's team members. Two Alcyon team members, Octave Lapize and Francois Faber, were both contenders capable of winning. 
Alcyon teammates Francois Faber (left) and
Gustave Garrigou.

Faber had won the 1909 Tour de France and was set to win again. He was a big man and had trouble getting across the mountains. His teammate, Octave Lapize, excelled at climbing mountains on his bike. 

The tenth stage of the 1910 Tour was 326 km (202.57miles) that included the 4 monster mountains, the Peyresourde, the Aspin, the Tourmalet and the Aubisque. Desgrange didn't want to watch this stage and sent his assistants to supervise. The riders started at 3:30 AM so that they would be able to finish the stage. 

 On the Aubisque Steines and an assistant, Victor Breyer, stationed themselves 150 km from the finish of the stage. Beyer described when they saw the first man coming up the mountain:

And suddenly I saw him, a rider, but one I didn't know. His body heaved at the pedals, like an automaton on two wheels. He wasn't going fast, but he was at least moving. I trotted alongside him and asked, "Who are you? What's going on? Where are the others?" Bent over his handlebars, his eyes riveted on the road, the man never turned his head nor uttered one sole word. He continued and disappeared around a turn. Steines had read his number and consulted the riders list. Steines was dumbfounded. "The man is Francois Lafourcade, a nobody. He has caught and passed all the "cracks'. This is something prodigious, almost unbelievable!"

Still the minutes passed. Another quarter-hour passed before the second rider appeared, whom we immediately recognized as Lapize. Unlike Lafourcade, Lapize was walking, half leaning on, half pushing his machine. His eyes revealed and intense distress. But unlike his predecessor, Lapize spoke, and in abundance. "You are assassins, yes, assassins [Vous etes des assassins!]" To discuss matters with a man in this condition would have been cruel and stupid. I walked at his side, attentive to all he said. After more imprecations, he finished by saying, "Don't worry, at Eaux-Bonnes [the town at the bottom of the mountain] I'm going to quit".
Octave Lapize walking his single speed bicycle up the Tourmalet.

Lapize tore down the unpaved rutted paths of the descent of the Aubizque. He regained his strength, caught Lafourcade and won the stage. Lapize didn't quit.

Both Alcyon riders Faber and Lapize and many flats. The lead was traded back and forth between them. Faber had the misfortune of colliding with a dog during stage 7 and crashing hard. At the end of the 1910 Tour de France Lapize won over Faber by a mere 4 points. 

The Alcyon Team was dominant in the 1910 Tour de France, winning 9 out of 15 stages and taking the top 4 places in the general classification.

Top 5 places in the General Classification:
1. Octave Lapize (Alcyon) 63 points
2. Francois Faber (Alcyon) 67 points
3. Gustave Garrigou (Alcyon) 86 points
4. Cyrille Van Houwaert (Alcyon) 97 points
5. Charles Cruchon (independent) 119 points
Octave Lapize winner of the 1910 Tour de France
Lapize won Paris-Roubaix 3 times, Paris-Brussels 3 times and the Championships of France 3 times. He never again finished the Tour although he tried 4 more times. In World War I he was a fighter pilot and was shot down and died. He was only 29 years old. Click here to learn more about Octave Lapize.
Francois Faber
Click here to learn more about Francois Faber.

Gustave Garrigou during the 1910 Tour de France

Cyrille Van Houwaert
Click here to learn more about Cyrille Van Houwaert.

Charles Cruchon

Monday, January 9, 2012

Gustave Garrigou

Gustave Garrigou

Gustave Garrigou (1884 - 1963) was a French professional racing cyclist that is considered to be one of the best of his era. He is most famous for winning the 1911 edition of the Tour de France. A couple of his other major victories are Milan - San Remo in 1911 and Paris - Brussels in 1907.

Garrigou was a thin cyclist who was able to climb well in the mountains but had the power to ride hard on flat sections as well.
He turned professional in 1907 and that year won the French National Championship, the Tour of Lombardy, Paris-Brussels and finished second in the Tour de France.

He won the Tour de France in 1911 while receiving death threats from fans of another French rider, Paul Duboc, who believed Garrigou to be behind an incident in which Duboc collapsed in the Pyrenees and lay in agony for an hour after drinking from a poisoned water bottle .Garrigou had to ride with a disguise on to prevent being attacked by Duboc's supporters. The culprit was eventually caught and was found to be a helper of a rival tam of Duboc's.

Gustave Garrigou's career ended with the out break of World War I in 1914.

Gustave Garrigou riding through the Pyrenees during the 1911 Tour de France.