Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monty Python's Cycling Tour!

1954 Giro d'Italia

Coppi and Bartali

1954 Giro d'Italia. World Champion Fausto Coppi rides next to Gino Bartali. This was Bartali's last Giro, he retired February, 1955.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Georges Groussard

Georges Groussard

Georges Groussard (born March 22, 1937) is a retired French cyclist. Groussard was professional from 1960 to 1967.

Groussard participated in 7 Tour de Frances, and wore the yellow jersey for 9 consecutive days in 1964. His best overall result was also in 1964, as he finished 5th place in the overall classification. 

His older brother Joseph Groussard was also a professional cyclist.

Georges Groussard

Riding for Pumpkin Muffins

Click on the photos to enlarge them.
Poor Ole' Joe inspecting my bike.

Today started off cloudy with a few scattered rain drops in the Winston-Salem, NC area. By afternoon the sun had come out and the temperature was in the 50s again. I headed out for my first ride on a bike with gears in over 3 months. I knew exactly where I was headed.
Winkler Bakery in Old Salem

I headed for Winkler Bakery in Old Salem. The Bakery was built in 1800. Click here for more information on the Winkler Bakery.
The bag and small front rack on the Gunnar Sport is perfect for hauling a half dozen Pumpkin Muffins.
I always feel justified in eating more when I am getting in some consistent riding. So, instead of hauling 6 pumpkin muffins in the bag on the front of the bike, I hauled 5 muffins. 
Looking up main street in Old Salem.

Old Salem is a perfect destination for an easy ride. Salem was founded in 1766 by the Moravians - A Protestant group of people that began in what is now known as the Czech Republic. It is a relaxing place to be and makes me feel like I just stepped back in time. For more information about Old Salem click here.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Luigi Lucotti

 Luigi Lucotti
 Luigi Lucotti (1893  – December 29, 1980) was an Italian road bicycle racer who has won three stages in the Tour de France and a stage at the Giro d'Italia. He finished in fourth place at the 1921 Tour de France. His fourth place finish was the highest placing by any Italian rider in the tour up to this time.

A Sunny Sunday Afternoon Ride 2/26/12

It was a nice sunny Sunday Afternoon for a ride. The temperatures this afternoon in the Winston-Salem, NC area were in the 50s. A slight breeze was blowing. Of course, I had a headwind on the ride in. I always remember what one of my old riding friends used to say on days like today. He would say "you always have a headwind, if you are going fast enough". 

I'm in the process of trying to get back into riding shape after a lay off from riding that lasted a couple of months due to an injury. I am sort of taking an old fashion approach to training by riding a fixed gear bike. The old fashion method was to ride the first 1,000 miles of each year on a fixed gear bike. The bike I am riding is fixed, but it has a much larger gear than the ones I have ridden in the past and also a powertap rear hub. The gearing on this bike is 53x18. A powertap hub is used to monitor cadence and the amount of power I am producing by measuring power in watts. This bike is also what I call a path racer bike that is similar to the popular bikes used for racing in England during the inter World War II period. 
Look for the deer running across the road at the beginning.
This video was taken today on Doral Dr. headed towards Winston-Salem from Tobaccoville, NC.
Music: Gone with the wind by Lightnin' Hopkins

I got in a good ride of a little over 40 miles. During the ride I got in few good intervals and spent the rest of the time spinning along and enjoying the scenery. Before you know it, we will have warm days and daylight saving time. 
For well over twenty years I have enjoyed seeing these sheep at this farm along Doral Dr. I'm sure many cyclists in the area will know exactly where this is. 
They also have donkeys and chickens on the farm. The chickens were to far away from the road for me to get a good photo of them. These two donkeys made a bee line for their feeding troth as soon as they saw me walking up to the fence. 

I hope everyone got out and enjoyed this beautiful day. Hopefully on a bicycle!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Emile Masson

 Emile Masson (1888 — 1973) was a Belgian professional road bicycle racer. Masson won two stages in the 1922 Tour de France, the 1919 Tour of Belgium, 1923 Bordeaux-Paris and 1924 Paris- Lyon. His son, Emile Masson Jr., also became a successful cyclist.

Easy Rider - Smith - The Weight

Friday just seems like a good day for a classic song and a clip form a classic movie.

Patrick Sercu

Patrick Sercu
Patrick Sercu was born on  June 27, 1944 in Roeselare, Belgium. He began his career as a great track sprinter, winning the world amateur title in 1963, the Olympic Gold for the kilometre time trial in 1964 and the world pro sprint 1967 and 1969, with second places in 1965 and 1968.

He set indoor world records for 1 kilometre with a flying start of 1 minute 1.23 seconds in 1967 and with a standing start of 1 minute 7.35 seconds in 1972, and an outdoor kilometre record of 1 minute 2.46 seconds in 1973.

Later in his career he finished the Tour de France twice and was the points winner of the green jersey competition in 1974. But he will be most remembered as one of the greatest six-day racers ever, as from 1964 to 1983 he won a record 88 of 233 such races contested. In many of those six day races his racing partner was Eddy Merckx. He coached the Belgian Olympic team in 1984. His father Albert won the "Het Volk" and was second in the world professional road race in 1947.

Patrick Sercu

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Winter Training Ride? It was 70 degrees today!

Fausto Coppi (left), his brother Serse (right) and some other professionals in their plus fours and sweaters out for a training ride.
Back in the day of these pro-racers, they wore regular cloths in the winter to train in. Wool!!! The bikes also had fenders (or mud-guards). I rode my winter training bike today. It has fenders and is a fixed gear bike. I didn't wear regular cloths or wool today, because it was almost 70 degrees.  A great day for a 40 mile ride through north Davidson County, NC. 
Music: Down Child by John Lee Hooker
This video is on Hege Road in Davidson County, NC. It starts out as Beautiful country side and ends up in a neighborhood. I didn't see anything that looked like farming on my ride through the countryside or any cows at the dairy farm on top of the hill on Hege Road.
Poor Ole' Joe watched me wipe down my bike after I got back in.

Giuseppe Pancera

Giuseppe Pancera
Giuseppe Pancera was born on January 10, 1901. He died on April 19, 1977.
The Italian rider stood on the podiums of the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.
Pancera was 2nd in the 1929 Tour de France behind Maurice DeWaele of Belgium.
Pancera was also 2nd in the 1928 Giro d’Italia behind Alfredo Binda of Italy.

A slideshow of 13 pictures from the career of professional cyclist Giuseppe Pancera.

Fausto Coppi - 1953 Giro d'Italia

1953 Giro d'Italia. Fausto Coppi climbs the Stevio Pass between walls of snow. He finished three and a half minutes in front of Hugo Koblet. That ride is the stuff of legends and won the 1953 Giro for the Campionissimo.

Adrian Lux - Strawberry

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Emile Masson, Jr

Emile Masson, Jr
Emile Masson, Jr (1915 - 2011) was a Belgian professional road bicycle racer. He was born in Hollogne-aux-Pierres, the son of former professional cyclist Emile Masson, Sr. In 1938 he won Fleche Wallone and a stage of the Tour de France. He is most famous for his 1939 win of Paris-Roubaix. 
1939 Paris-Roubaix
Masson, Jr. raced professionally from 1937 to 1939 and from 1945 to 1951. Four years of his racing career was lost due to service during World War II.
After the war, he returned to racing his bike, winning Bordeaux-Paris in 1946. This race is famous for being about 560km (approximately 348 miles) long and requiring some 14 hours to ride.
Emile Masson, Jr. also won the Belgain National Championship title in 1946 and 1947.

In that April 9, 1939 battle to Roubaix, Emile Masson defeated another favorite Belgian, Marcel Kint - a man nicknamed the "Black Eagle". The French speaking press printed how Masson had "killed" the Black Eagle that day on a pursuit across the broken pave of northern France. 
January 2, 2011, the same day that Emile Masson, Jr passed away, thousands of black birds mysteriously fell dead from the sky in a few square mile area in Arkansas. As of today, the scientists still aren't able to fully explain exactly what caused this bizarre event.
Emile Masson, Jr was 95 years old at the time of his death.

The Story of Tom Simpson

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What a difference a day makes!

Path Racer

What a difference a day makes? Saturday, 2/18/12, it was almost 60 degrees and sunny in Winston Salem. Of course I was stuck inside working all day. Sunday, 2/19/12 the temperatures were in the 30s and the day started out with rain and then that later turned to snow. We only had an accumulation of approximately an inch or so of snow. Monday, 2/20/12, started out in the 20s and then quickly warmed up to almost 50 degrees. The snow quickly disappeared and since I was off work that day I was able to sneak in a short ride. I rode my "Path Racer" fixed gear bike with fenders. There were only a couple of places that water from melting snow ran across the road. Fenders were nice to have since I didn't want to get myself or my bike wet and dirty. The large seat bag is nice this time of year to carry a jacket or cycling hat.

The fenders on this bike are Planet Bike Cascadia Road fenders in size 700x35 in silver color. They are also available in black. They are long and have really nice rubber mud flaps attached to the ends of each of them. I thought I heard something rubbing during my ride and stopped to see what it was. I thought maybe the rear wheel had shifted and was the tire was rubbing against the frame. After a quick check I rode on. Towards the end of my ride I heard the rubbing sound again. I couldn't be sure because despite high gas prices there were lots of noisy cars on the road. After stopping again I found what was making the noise. When I got my bike out to ride I had, without noticing, bumped the rear mud flap and it had gotten folded under against the tire. The damage was done at that point. The rear mud flap now has a worn place and a hole in it. I un-wedged it from the tire and rode on home. While riding home I was wondering if I would have to replace the whole fender or if the mud flap might be available. I checked out Planet Bike's web site and was delighted to find that I could buy a pair of mud flaps and the quick snap connectors to attach them to the fender. The mud flaps are only $5.00 and there is no charge for shipping. Now that's a good reason to buy these fenders! Buy your fenders from a local bike shop. They will get you a good price and will install them for little or nothing. If you need replacement mud flaps you can buy them from Planet Bike.
The worn mud flap on my Planet Bike Cascadia Fender.

Klunkerz: Mountain Bike History

Klunkerz is the award-winning documentary on off-road cycling, focusing on the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s and 1970s. The film features interviews with the pioneers of the sport and the more obscure characters who influenced them. The film also contains a great deal of archival footage and photographs that have never been seen before. The film is available at
Ride on!

1948 Tour of Switzerland

Click on the image to enlarge it

Not much room for riders, spectators, officials, and follow-vehicles at the crest of the Sustenpasse, stage 4, 1948 Tour of Switzerland. The rider in the foreground left is unwrapping his jacket for the descent. It was on this same stage that Belgian racer Richard Depoorter, descending  at high speed, missed the entrance to a tunnel and struck the stone wall, killing him instantly.

Evel Knievel's first jump on wide world of sport

Monday, February 20, 2012

Opel Brothers

Click on the image to enlarge it
The brothers Opel (of automotive fame) aboard their pentagon.

Alfonsina Strada Raced The 1924 Edition of The Giro d'Italia

Alfonsina Strada(on the right) at the starting line of a track race

In 1891 Afonsina Morini, the second of 8 children was born to a family in northern Italy. Alfonsina's family were essentially peasants with the father a day laborer and sharing a hovel with 24 occupants. This was during the time that many people from that part of the country were dying from pellegra, a kind of malnutrition. One day, when she was ten, her father came home upon a most amazing machine. He had traded some chickens to a local doctor in exchange for an old bicycle. She got on it and in a short amount of time was propelling herself up and down the fields, between the beets and the cabbages.

She competed in races against men and women, and in 1911 broke the women's speed record, previously set in 1905. Her hour record stood for 26 years at 37 kilometers per hour (23 mph) and she did it on a 44 pound single geared bike. But her fame and prize winnings did not soften her family's stance against this scandalous behavior; they wanted her to settle down and be a seamstress. They were tired of being the laughingstock of the town. So when a young suitor appeared, they insisted that she marry, settle down and forget all this bicycle nonsense and in 1915, at 24 years old, Alfonsina married Lugi Strada, a metal plater and inventor. Instead of obstructing the passion of his bride , he approved of it and gave her his full backing. To her parents' dismay, her new husband gave her a shiny new bicycle as a wedding present.

The first major race that she competed in was the 1917 Giro di Lombardia. World War I was still raging, and many important riders were soldiers. So there were not many entrants. The course was 204 Kilometers, with 74 entrants and 32 finishers. Alfonsina finished 32nd.

In 1924 Emilio Colombo, director of the "Gazzetta dello Sport", a newspaper, admitted Alfonsina to the Giro d'Italia. Alfonsina, who was less than 5'2" tall, rode on her men's bike, wearing black shorts and matching socks which showed off her muscular legs. With a smiling and good natured face she began the Giro, the first to this day, the only female athlete to ever participate in this men's only event.

The Foggia-L'Aquila - 7th stage was 304 km, which was bad enough because the southern Italian roads at this time were nearly impassible. They were not paved, and were rocky and icy too. The mountain pass was so terrible that the riders could not get their bikes through the mire and mess on their own and almost all of the participants were towed partway by motorcycles and cars. Alfonsina suffered terribly on this stage. She fell on a descent and had to ride many more hours using her bruised, scraped and swollen knee.

Alfonsina did not finish the next stage, L'Aguila-Perugia, (296km) within the time allowed. That day the weather was terrible. The wind blew and a bitter rain fell. The mantles that the riders wore did little to protect them. At a certain point on the ride, Alfonsina's handlebars broke. She wasted a lot of time looking for something to repair them with. She met a housewife who had a great idea. The woman broke her broom handle in half, and gave it to Alfonsina, who finished the stage with a wooden handlebar. Arriving out of time, she was put out of the race. Emilio Colombo, who understood how good the publicity would be to sponsor the first woman cyclist in history; decided to let her finish the course (unofficially of course), paying out of his pocket for her room and board and masseuse.

She continued the race, observing the same schedule and rules as the rest of the competitors. The ride had 12 stages for a total of 3610 kilometers and concluded with the victory of Giuseppe Enrici. When they left Milan, there were 90 participants, and at the end there were only 30 finishers including Alfonsina.

Her husband died after a long confinement in 1946. She remarried in 1950 to a retired bicyclist who had won many prizes on the track, the giant Carlo Messori. With his help, she continued with her activities until she finally decided to quit competing but did not stop bicycling. She continued to use her bike as a means of transportation. She remained in the biking world because Carlo opened a bike shop with a repair annex. He died in 1957 and Alfonsina continued to care for the house and the repair shop in Milan on Via Varesina where they lived. Every day, to go to work, she rode her old race bike wearing a long pants dress. When she began to feel the advance of age she bought a 500cc Moto Guzzi. To buy this red motorcycle, she had to sell some of her medals and trophies.

She died in 1959 at the age of 68. After she exited the house, a neighbor heard her trying to start the motorcycle unsuccessfully. She looked outside to see Alfonsina pushing angrily on the start pedal. After a bit, the motorcycle slipped out of her hands, and she fell on top of it as if she wanted to hug it. People rushed to her aid, putting her in a car and carrying her to the hospital, where she was dead upon arrival, her heart had stopped.

Alfonsina Strada on her Moto Guzzi 500

Friday, February 17, 2012

1912 Tour de France

Route of the 1912 Tour de France
The 1912 Tour de France was the 10th edition of the race. It consisted of 15 stages and 14 rest days with a total length of 5,319 kilometers (just over 3,305 miles). It was raced at an average speed of 27.76 km/h (17.25 mph). As in 1911, the tour went clockwise, the first mountains crossed were the Alps. The points system was used again this year to score the race instead of the rider with the fastest total time being the winner. 
Riders flipping their rear wheels to change gears at the beginning of a climb.

The only significant change to the bicycles, compared to the ones used in the previous years Tour de France, was to the drive train. In 1912 freewheels were allowed to be used. The year that racers were required to ride fixed gear bicycles is a component of Tour history that has been lost. We do know that in earlier years riders did ride with freewheels. A couple of racers used experimental systems to change gears. After the conclusion of the 1912 Tour Henri Desgrange, the Tour de France race organizer, quickly forbid the use of gear changing mechanisms. They would not be allowed to be used in the Tour de France again until 1937.
1912 Tour leaders on the Aubisque

The Alcyon team had the pre-race favourite, Gustave Garrigou, the winner of the previous Tour de France. To help him, they hired Odile Defraye, who had performed well at the 1912 Tour of Belgium. At first, the Alcyon team did not want to select Defraye, but the Belgain representative of Alcyon posed commercial threats and Defraye was selected. 
The first stage was won by Charles Crupelandt. Defraye finished 14th, while Garriou finished in 21st place. 
Lucien Petit-Breton
The second stage, a 388-kilometer run from Dunkirk to Longwy saw Lucien Petit-Breton crash out of the Tour again. This time he hit a cow. Alcyon's Odile Defraye won the stage, putting him in second place in the General Classification, 1 point behind JB Louvet's Vincenzo Borgarello. Defraye's win came a the expense of the Alcyon team's designated leader, Gustave Garrigou. Garrigou punctured because of nails spread on the road by vandals.
Defraye was the first Belgian who had a serious chance to win the Tour de France, so all the Belgians in the race, regardless of their team were helping him. The help was strictly against the rules.
After the 9th stage Octave Lapize, disheartened by the authoritative way he was dropped and collusion between the Belgian racers helping Defraye, abandoned the Tour midway through the 10th stage. Lapize told reporters: "How can I fight in conditions like these? Everybody is working for Alcyon. The Belgians are all helping Defraye whether they belong to his team or not. I've had enough of it and I'm pulling out."
Eugene Christophe, who dominated in the Alps with three consecutive stage victories, including the longest solo breakaway ever of 315 kilometers (196 miles) and had shared the lead after his third stage victory, became the second-placed cyclist after Lapize quit. Christophe was not a good sprinter, so he had to break away from Defraye to win back points. With all the Belgians helping Defraye, he could not do this anymore. He could pose no real threat, and Defraye won the overall victory unchallenged. If the Tour de France was decided on time instead of points, Christophe would have led the race until the final stage, where he accepted his loss and allowed the group including Defraye to ride away. 

The final 1912 Tour de France General Classification:
1. Odile Defraye (Alcyon) 49 points
2. Eugene Christophe (Armor) 108
3. Gustave Garrigou (Alcyon) 140
4. Marcel Buysse (Peugeot) 147
5. Jean Alavoine (Armor) 148

Odile Defraye
Click here for more information on Odile Defraye.
Eugene Christophe
Click here for more information on Eugene Christophe.
Gustave Garrigou
Click here for more information on Gustave Garrigou.
Marcel Buysse
Click here for more information on Marcel Buysse.
Jean Alavoine
Click here for more about Jean Alavoine.

The Irish, Jason Phelan

Josiane Bost

Josiane Bost was one of the best female racing cyclists in France in the 1970s. She won the world championship in 1977 and three national championships on the track, including the unusual combination of pursuit and sprint titles. She and Geneviève Gambillon, her main rival, bridged the gap in French cycling between Lily Herse and Jeannie Longo.
Bost came second three times in the national road championship, beaten each time by Gambillon. She was French pursuit champion in 1977 and 1978 and sprint champion in 1978.In 1977

Thursday, February 16, 2012

1953 Giro d'Italia

Coppi and Koblet

1953 Giro d'Italia. Fausto Coppi leads Hugo Koblet in stage 19. At the end of the stage Coppi told Koblet that he thought Koblet would win the Giro.
The next day Coppi did one of cycling's epic rides when he went over the Stelvio alone and finished in Bormio three and a half minutes ahead of Koblet, thereby winning the Giro by 1 minute 29 seconds over le bel Hugo.

Bicycle Generator

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hugo Koblet "The Pedaler of Charm"

Hugo Koblet "The Pedaler of Charm" was born March 25, 1925 in Zurich, Switzerland. During his illustrious career, he won many important races, including 10 Suisse National Championships, the 1950 Giro d'Italia and the 1951 Tour de France. His power on the bike earned him the respect of fellow cyclists and the praise of racing journalists. His good looks and grace transformed many European women into cycling fans.

Koblet's monumental stage win from Brive to Agen in the 1951 Tour de France is considered by many to be one of the greatest days in the history of cycling. Ultimately Koblet went on to win that years Tour de France by more than 22 minutes over his nearest rival.

Koblet's professional career spanned from 1946 to 1958. Sadly, only 8 years after he finished his cycling career, Koblet died in a car crash of mysterious circumstances  at the age of 39 on November 6, 1964.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Honore Barthelemy

Honore Barthelemy

Honore Barthelemy (1890 – 1964) was a French road racer who took part and finished fifth overall and won four stages in the 1919 Tour de France. He was born in Paris, France.
   In 1920, says the Yellow Jersey Guide to the Tour de France, he crashed on the stage to Aix-en-Provence and only slowly got back on his bike, dazed and bloody. He could not bend his back and had to turn his handlebars upside down to be able to continue. As his dizziness lessened, he realised that what he thought was concussion was blindness. A flint had gone into an eye.
    Despite that, he finished not only that day but the Tour, coming in eighth despite half-blindness, a broken shoulder and a dislocated wrist. He was carried in triumph at the finish. Nor did he stop racing when he was fitted with a glass eye. Dusty roads made it uncomfortable and he often took it out. The socket would then become infected and he would plug it with cotton.
    "It makes no difference to my sight but it's more comfortable," he said. The glass eye often fell out and in 1924 he had to get down on his knees on the finish line to see where it had gone. He grumbled that he spent more on replacement eyes than he earned in prizes.
    At the 1921 Tour de France, he finished third overall and won stage 12. He last rode the Tour de France in 1927, abandoning on stage 9.
    He won the marathon Bol d'Or track race two times in 1925 and 1927.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

She Rides

Felicien Vervaecke

Felicien Vervaecke

Felicien Vervaecke (1907 – 1986) was a Belgian professional cyclist from 1930 to 1939. He had good results in the Tour de France, finishing three times on the podium (second once, third twice). In 1935 and 1937 he won the mountain classification, and overall he won six stages. In the 1936 Tour de France, Vervaecke was on his way to the second place, but bad luck prevented it. First his bicycle broke, and he had to convince a spectator to lend him his bicycle. Then he suffered a flat tire, and Tour officials forced him to wait for the reserve car. Antonin Magne passed him. When Vervaecke got his tire, he raced back to Magne, and finished 18 seconds behind him. But he still finished third, as he received 10 minutes penalty because his wife had given him drinks during the race, which was not allowed. In the 1937 Tour de France, Vervaecke won the mountain classification despite not finishing the race, something no longer allowed.
He was the first Belgian cyclist to win a stage in the Giro d'Italia.
After his cycling career, Vervaecke started a bicycle shop in Brussels. He was the first manager of Eddy Merckx.
His older brother Julien Vervaecke was also successful, finishing third in the 1927 Tour de France.
Felicien Vaervaecke is forced to push his broken bicycle during the 1936 Tour de France
Felicien Vervaecke with Romain Maes in tow.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thoughts On My Bike

Julien Vervaecke

Julien Vervaecke (November 3, 1899 - May 1940) was a Belgian professional road bicycle racer. He won Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Brussels, 2 stages in the Tour de France and finished 3rd in the 1927 Tour de France. 

Julien's younger brother, Felicien Vervaecke, was also a successful cyclist.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Gosta Pettersson

Gosta Pettersson

Gosta Pettersson (born November 23, 1940) is a Swedish former professional road racing cyclist and three time Olympic medalist. In his first year as a professional he won the Coppa Sabatini, Tour of Romandie and finished very well in 3rd place overall in the 1970 Tour de France. His second year as a professional cyclist, 1971, he won the 54th edition of the Giro d'Italia. 
The Faglum brothers (Erik, Gosta, Sture and Tomas Pettersson
The Fåglum brothers were Swedish cyclists Erik, Gosta, Sture and Tomas Pettersson. The brothers won the team time trial World Amateur Cycling Championships between 1967-1969 along with a silver medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics. In 1967, they were awarded the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal. This award is an annual award "for the most significant Swedish sports achievement of the year".  

Great America Bicycle Tour 1975

n 1975, JC Penney hired 12 college students to ride their bikes from NYC to San Francisco. They were promoting their new disc brake equipped bikes. As you will see, they thought people rode bikes in tennis gear. The music is classic.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to properly lock your bike

Brunswick Velodrome

Velocity Rims, Velocity Hubs, Velocity Veloplugs

A cold winter day with snow and ice makes cyclists everywhere wish for the warm days of summer. This is the perfect time to work on your equipment so that when the weather is better nothing will stop you from riding your bicycle.I spent my time inside building a new set of wheels using Velocity Rims and Velocity Hubs. This set sports blue rims. Velocity offers many different rim designs and colors. Their rims are manufactured in Australia, but soon production will be moved to the USA. Using Velocity Rims we can make just about any style wheel with any color you can imagine. 

Velocity Hubs

This wheelset weighs 1620 grams using economy hubs and spokes. That's a reasonable wheel weight.

A pack of 72 count Velocity Veloplugs.

Veloplugs take the place of rim tape on clincher rims and save an estimated 15 grams per wheel on a 32 spoke, 700c wheel. The veloplugs have an estimated 400psi blowout strength and can be used over and over. They will not rot, slip around or retain water.
Spoke replacement is simplified as there is no need to remove a sticky strip. Just pop out the Veloplug over the offending spoke and pop it back in when repairs are complete.

Veloplugs installed in the blue Velocity Rims.

Ruffy Tuffy tires installed on the new blue wheels. These wheels will probably be put to use on my cyclo-cross bike when I want to ride it somewhere on the road and do some mild off road riding, like maybe around Salem Lake.

The front rim is a Velocity Aerohead. These are available with 18, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36
holes and in a wide variety of colors.
It's hard to see in this photo but the rear wheel is built with a Velocity Aerohead o/c (off center) rim. The Aerohead o/c has all the same characteristics as the standard Aerohead but is offset in design. This creates a more uniform spoke tension between the drive and non-drive sides of the wheel resulting in greater strength and reliability. Click here to learn more about Velocity Rims and all the Velocity Cycling Products.