Sunday, September 30, 2012

Velocity A23 Polished Rims, Velocity Race Hubs, Gunnar Roadie Project Bike

Click on the photos to enlarge them
These polished Velocity A23 rims and Velocity Race Hubs will become the wheels for the  Gunnar Roadie Project Bike.
 Velocity offers many great looking finishes on their rims. The A23 is a fairly new offering for them. This rim is slightly wider, 23mm width, than rims produced for road bikes in recent years. The wider width works with a 23 mm tire to decrease the aero-dynamic drag of the tire and wheel combination. Better support for the tire side wall is also a benefit of the wider width. The better side wall support lowers the rolling resistance of tires by reducing the deformation of the tire side wall while riding and also adds better grip while cornering. Velocity rims are manufactured in Florida, USA. They have teamed up with a local polisher to offer the polished finish on their A23 and Deep V rims. The finish on these rims looks like chrome. 
Velocity A23 information:

Size: 700c (622)

Colors: Black MSW or Black NONmsw (32h only)

Drillings: 20, 24, 28, 32, 36
Bead seat diameter: 622
Weight: 426g 

Velocity race hubs have sealed bearings and offset "hi-lo" flanges. The flanges are designed to help equal out the spoke tension on the drive and non drive side of bicycle wheels. They are available in a black or bright silver anodized finish. The Gunnar Roadie wheels are built with the silver finish. The front Race hub is available in 20,24 and 28 holes at a weight of 80 grams. The rear Race hub is available in 24, 28 and 32 holes at a weight of 255 grams.
Rear Velocity Race Hub dimensions

The finished wheels for the Gunnar Roadie Project Bike.

The Velocity Race Front Hub built into a wheel.

The Velocity Race Rear Hub built into a wheel.

The wheels for the Gunnar Roadie Project Bike built with Velocity A23 rims and Velocity Race hubs ended up weighing 1,590 grams. This is a good weight for this conservatively built wheelset. These wheels are laced up with 28 double butted stainless steel spokes in a 2 cross pattern in each wheel. They do feature Wheelsmith alloy spoke nipples in a anodized blue finish. 

Custom built wheels are just what the name says; custom. You can specify the build anyway you want. Build them yourself or have someone build them for you, a wheelset like this one is easy to repair or rebuild in the future. 

Building these wheels was fun. I am anxious to ride these great looking wheels and see how they perform!

Click here for more information on Velocity Products.

Click here to learn more about Gunnar Bikes.

Stronglight series 93 crankset advertisement (1973)

Stronglight series 93 crankset advertisement (07-1973)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Victor Lenaers

Victor Lenaers

Victor Lenaers (1893 - 1968) was a Belgian cyclist who race professionally from 1921 to 1926. He finished in 6th place overall in the 1921 Tour de France and 5th place in 1922. Lenaers won the second stage of both the 1921 and 1922 Tour de Frances. 

 In 1921 Victor Lenaers raced for the Delage Team. This team won 11 of the 15 stages of the Tour de France during the 1921 edition. 
Victor Lenaers in the Alps.

Lenaers with Muller and Sellier on his wheel, after their escape in the stage from Strasbourg to Metz, during the Tour de France in 1921.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bike Tribes - A Field Guide To North American Cyclists by Mike Magnuson

Click on the photo to enlarge it
Bike Tribes: A field guide to North American Cyclists
By Mike Magnuson
Illustrations by Danica Novgorodoff
Published May 2012 By Rodale Books
224 Pages
Printed in the USA

Bike Tribes is an entertaining book with descriptions of most types of cyclists. Mike Magnuson describes cyclists from bike shop owners to fixie riders to bicycle commuters to bike racers of all types. They are all in this book. Each chapter describes a cyclist of a different type. There is a nice illustration at the beginning of each chapter, which adds a lot to this book. This is a light entertaining book that would be perfect to take with you while traveling or waiting for an appointment. Since each chapter is really a short story you can pick up this book after not reading it for awhile and not be lost. This is a fun book that any cyclist would enjoy.

Click here to learn more about the book from the Rodale Books web site.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sturmey Archer 3 Speed Gear Advertisement From 1914

Felix Sellier

Felix Sellier
Felix Sellier ( 1893 - 1965) was a Belgian professional road cyclist. His professional racing career was during the years 1912 through 1928.

Sellier won the 13th stage of the 1921 Tour de France.  The 1921 Tour de France riders were classified into two categories, sponsored and non-sponsored riders. He was racing as an non-sponsored rider. The non-sponsored riders began the stages two hours before the sponsored riders. Sellier finished the 1921 tour in 8th place of the non-sponsored riders and 16th place overall of all the riders.

At the the 1922 Tour de France Felix Sellier raced as a sponsored rider and started the stages at the same time as the other favorites. He won a stage and finished the tour in 3rd place overall in the general classification.

Sellier won one more stage of the Tour de France in 1926. He won stage 4 that year.

Years 1923 and 1926 were successful years for Felix Sellier in his home land of Belgium. Those years he won the Belgian National Road Race Championships.
Felix Sellier

Felix Sellier

Monday, September 24, 2012

Surly Long Haul Trucker - Hauling Groceries

Click on the photos to enlarge them
Surly Long Haul Trucker
 Everyone needs a bike they can run errands on. Monday was a beautiful day to ride a bike and I needed to go to the grocery store to buy a few items. A Surly Long Haul Trucker, with it's heavy duty design, is perfect for this chore.

Having front and rear racks adds to the hauling ability of the Surly. These bikes are designed to haul more weight in the rear than in the front. Hanging the front panniers as low as possible helps with the handing when hauling a cargo. Before venturing far away and adding a lot of weight to your bike it would be a good idea to experiment with some different amounts of weight close to home. 

Handling and stopping are the two biggest problems that arise when riding a heavily loaded bicycle. The Surly Long Haul Trucker has plenty low enough gears! So going isn't a problem. Granted your speed may be slower than normal. But, stopping can be a problem. It's a scary thing to put on the brakes only to realize they aren't slowing you down very much. This bike handles weight well  when it is placed in the rear as long as you stay in the saddle. If you stand up the bike tends to wag it's tail end around. Too much weight on the front will exaggerate the steering and this is a bigger problem than too much weight in the rear.

Two items that this Surly has that makes grocery hauling easier is a nice Brooks B17 Special saddle and Shimano Campus Pedals. The Brooks saddle is so comfortable that riding in regular cloths, non cycling specific cloths, is not a problem at all. This is one comfortable bicycle saddle! The Shimano Campus Pedals are nice to have as well. One side of the pedals is a regular platform pedal and the other side will allow the rider to clip in. Today I just rode in running shoes. Having regular shoes on makes walking around inside the store while shopping a lot easier. 

Riding a bike to the store makes shopping a lot more fun. 

Food and bicycles just go together. The more you ride, the more you can eat and the more you need to eat to fuel your ride.  Harley-Davidson Motorcycle rides have a saying that goes "Live to ride, and ride to live". I think bicycle riders can say - Eat to ride and ride to eat. 
Platform side of a Shimano Campus Pedal.

Clip in side of a Shimano Campus Pedal.
Click here to visit the Surly web site.

Hector Tiberghien

Hector Tiberghien racing on a velodrome.

Hector Tiberghien (1890-1951) was a Belgian racing cyclist. His professional career was from 1911 to 1914 and from 1919 to 1924. World War I interrupted his racing years mid stream. In 1919 Tibergien won Paris- Tours. He participated in the Tour de France 8 times. He finished in the top 10 places overall in general classification in the Tour de France 5 times. His best Tour de France finish was a 4th place finish during the 1923 edition.

Hector Tiberghien

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Happiness Of Pursuit by Davis Phinney with Austin Murphy

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The Happiness Of Pursuit by Davis Phinney with Austin Murphy
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Published: June 1 2011
Hardcover, 240 pages
Printed in the USA

The Happiness of Pursuit is a remarkable story of fathers and sons and bikes, of victories large and small. In the book Davis Phinney describes his experiences as a professional cyclist and how he used the lessons learned during his career to deal with young onset Parkinson's Disease. Towards the end of the book Davis's Parkinson Disease develops to the point that medications are no longer effective. He has Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery to ease the effects of Parkinson's and recovers from the surgery just in time to see his son, Taylor, race The Pursuit in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

I remember seeing articles in cycling magazines about Davis Phinney while he was racing for 7-11 and on the Coors Light teams. Davis was one of the top road sprinters in the world. I enjoyed reading his accounts of famous races from his point of view while competing in them. Also in the book is information about his wife, Connie Carpenter-Phinney's famous bicycle raceing career. Towards the end of the book his son, Taylor, begins his bicycle racing exploits. 

Any cycling enthusiast or anyone that knows someone suffering from the effects of Parkinson's Disease will enjoy this book.

Click here for more on Davis Phinney.
Click here for more on Connie Carpenter-Phinney.

In the book Davis Phinney describes his win during stage 3 of the 1986 Tour de France. He thought he was sprinting for second place and was surprised to find out that he had actually won the stage. During the stage Davis was in a break away group of twelve riders. A Teko team rider was up the road ahead of the break away group on a solo break. Unknown to Phinney the Teko rider had a flat tire and the twelve riders passed him while he was on the side of the road. Below are three videos of stage 3 of the 1986 Tour de France. If your don't watch any of the rest of the videos, be sure and watch the end of the third video. In the finishing sprint newspapers and other litter are blowing around and the main field is just behind the twelve riders of the break away group.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Hector Heusghem

Hector Heusghem

Hector Heusghem (1890 - 1982) was a Belgian road cyclist who finished in second place in two consecutive Tour de Frances, 1920 and 1921. He also won a total of three stages during those two years.

Heusghem was wearing the yellow leader's jersey with only three stages remaining during the 1922 Tour de France. The next day after his bicycle frame broke he swapped bicycles without permission from the race officials. This was against the rules and he was penalized one hour. The time penalty put him in fourth place overall. 

Hector Heusghem had two brothers, Pierre- Joseph Heusghem and Louis Heusghem that were also cyclists. 

In the 1921 Tour de France, Hector Heusghem (left) and Leon Scieur

Hector Heusghem takes a break during the 11th stage of the 1921 Tour de France

Hector Heusghem 1923

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On Any Sunday Movie - 1971 - Boy riding wheelie

The beginning of the 1971 movie, On Any Sunday, has boys riding bicycles and pretending to be on motorcycles. This scene is typical of what kids were doing all over the USA at the time and was the pre-courser and inspiration to many for BMX racing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jean-Paul van Poppel

Jean-Paul van Poppel 1987
Jean-Paul van Poppel (September 30, 1962), nicknamed Popeye, is a former Dutch professional cyclist. His professional racing career lasted for ten years, 1985 - 1995. Van Poppel, one of the most successful ever Dutch road sprinters, won stages in all three of the Grand Tours. During the 1988 Tour de France he won 4 stages, the highest number won by a Dutch cyclist in one tour. Altogether Jean-Paul van Poppel won 9 Tour de France stages. During the 1987 Tour de France he won the points classification. 

After retiring in 1995 Jean-Paul van Poppel became director sportif of women's cycling in the Netherlands. From 2009-2010 he was one of the Sports Directors of the Cervelo Test Team based in Switzerland. Since 2011, he has been a Sports Director for the Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team.

Jean-Paul van Poppel's son, Boy van Poppel, is a successful pro cyclist. 

Jean-Paul van Poppel winning stage 8 of the 1987 Tour de France

Jean-Paul van Poppel 1992

In the video Jean-Paul van Poppel wins stage 10 of the 1992 Tour de  France.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Richard Schwinn interviewed on WJCU, August 2011

Richard Schwinn of Waterford Precision Cycles and Gunnar Cycles

Click here to listen to the interview.

Click here to visit the Waterford Precision Cycles web site.
Click here to visit the Gunnar Cycles web site.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ole Ritter

Ole Ritter
Ole Ritter, born in Slagelse, Denmark on August 29, 1941, was a professional racing cyclist from 1967 through 1978. The year he turned professional, 1967, he won the individual time trial in the Giro'd Italia besting the time of the top cyclists of the day; Rudi Altig, Eddy Merckx and Jacques Anquetil. Jacques Anquetil was impressed by Ritter's time trial and said "If the time trial had been accurately measured, Ritter's 47.3m/km would be good enough to beat the world hour record. 
Ole Ritter 1968 Hour Record

In 1968 Ole Ritter traveled to Mexico City and set a new hour record just before the Olympic Games. His new record of 48.653 km stood for four years until Eddy Meckx beat it with a distance of 49.431 km. During the days leading up to Ritter's hour record ride he also set new world records for 5, 10 and 20 kilometers distances. 
Ole Ritter 1969
Ole Ritter rode the Giro d'Italia 9 times with his best results during the 1973 edition when he finished in 7th place overall and won 3 stages. He only rode the Tour de France once in 1975 and finished in 47th place in the general classification. 
Ole Ritter 1974 Hour record attempt
In 1974 Ritter returned to Mexico City in an attempt to best Eddy Merkx's hour record of 49.431 kilometers. He was not successful in setting a new world hour record but did beat his old record twice with distances of 48.739 kilometers and 48.879 kilometers. 

During the later years of his career Ole Ritter became famous again when he began racing 6-day races. He won a total of three 6-day races during the years 1974, 1975 and 1977. His last 6-day race was in Milan, Italy in 1978.  Ole Ritter retired from professional bicycle racing in 1978.

A Danish documentary was made in Mexico City, in 1974, about Ole Ritter's attempt to break the hour record. The movie was titled "The Impossible Hour".

Below is the film, The Impossible Hour, in 5 parts. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Life in the Slipstream - The Legend of Bobby Walthour SR.

Life in the Slipstream
The Legend of Bobby Walthour SR.
By Andrew M. Howman
Published by Potomac Books, Inc.
260 pages with 44 black and white photos

Life in the slipstream by Andrew M. Howman tells the story of Bobby Walthour, Sr's life. It focuses on his career as a track racing cyclist in which he is famous for. Walthour became a sports superstar during the late 1800s and early 1900s. At this time bicycle racing was more popular and paid better than professional baseball. While racing in 1904 he won 40 of 44 races.

This is the amazing story of how a teenage bicycle messenger in Atlanta, Ga gained fame and fortune racing his bicycle. Bobby Walthour, Sr began his racing career as a track sprinter. He later switched to mainly motor-paced races. He bought a tandem (two man) motorcycle in the late 1800s and had it shipped to Atlanta to use pacing him on the track. It took two men to pilot these early motorcycles, one to steer and one to operate the motorcycle. According to some accounts, Walthour's tandem motorcycle was the first internal combustion vehicle in the state of Georgia. Imagine the amazement as spectators watched him flying around an indoor wooden track drafting behind a loud and exhaust belching tandem motorcycle. Many of the steeply banked tracks that Walthour raced on were only 8, 10 and 12 laps to a mile in length. 

These book gives the details of many horrific crashes. Many of which were fatal to the cyclists and the motor-pacers. Tires for motorcycles and bicycles were in the early stages of development and not up to the sustained speeds obtained during these events. 

Walthour, Sr. also took part in many six day races. Within this book These events are described in detail along with much history of six day races.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys cycling and/or history.

Click here for more on Bobby Walthour, Sr.
Click here for Andrew M. Homan's website on Bobby Walthour, Sr.

Bobby Walthour, Sr. is referred to as senior so as not to confuse him with his son, Bobby Walthour, Jr., who also was a cycling champion.
Click on the ad to enlarge it
Coca Cola advertisement featuring Bobby Walthour, Sr.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Connie Carpenter-Phinney

Connie Carpenter-Phinney

Connie Carpenter-Phinney was born during the year 1957 in Madison, Wisconsin.

 At the age of 14 she was a speed skater for the USA in the 1972 Winter Olympics. She finished in 7th place in the 1500m and was the youngest ever American female Winter Olympian. 

Cycling had always been an off season training sport for Connie. After having an ankle injury in 1976 she began racing her bicycle. In 1976 she won the USA national road championship and the national pursuit championship on the track. During 1977 she dominated racing winning 11 straight races and the Red Zinger. At the 1977 Red Zinger she won all three stages and of course the overall general classification. In the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, California she won the first ever women's road race. She won the Olympic race by throwing her bike in the sprint to beat out fellow American Rebecca Twigg.

Connie Carpenter-Phinney retired form racing on July 30, 1984. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and two children. Her son Taylor Phinney is following in her and his father's footsteps and is already a champion cyclist. 
Sara Doctor, Connie Carpenter and Beth Heiden
Connie Carpenter-Phinney

1984 Olympic Women's Road Cycling  

Highlights of the cycling career of Connie Carpenter-Phinney
1976 - 1st place in National Track Championships, USA (3km Pursuit).
1976 - 1st place in National Road Championships, USA.
1977 - 1st place in Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, USA.
1977 - 1st place in Red Zinger, USA.
1977 - 1st place in National Road Championships, USA.
1977 - 1st place in National Track Championships, USA (3km Pursuit).
1979 - 1st place in National Road Championships, USA.
1979 - 1st place in National Track Championships, USA (3km Pursuit).
1980 - 1st place in Colorado Classic, USA.
1981 - 1st place in Self Magazine Cycling Circuit, USA.
1981 - 1st place in Colorado Classic, USA.
1981 - 1st place in National Time Trial Championships, USA.
1981 - 1st place in National Road Championships, USA.
1982 - 1st place in Coors Classic, USA.
1983 - 1st place in World Track Championships, Switzerland (3km Pursuit).
1984 - 1st place in World Road Championships, Spain.
1984 - 1st place in Olympic Games, Road Race, USA.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mixed terrain ride at Tanglewood Park on a perfect September Day

I didn't really have time to go for a ride today, but considering the perfect day, I went for a couple of hours anyway. It was sunny and around 70 degrees in the Winston-Salem, NC area this afternoon. 

Yesterday was a fairly long solo ride for me, so today I just wanted to have fun. A mixed terrain ride, one on more than one type of surface, is always a good adventure. So I rode over to Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, NC to do just that. It's only 6 or 7 miles on good roads to get to the park and traffic isn't to heavy during the mid afternoon hours.

I think the best adventure bike is a cyclo-cross bike. Knobby tires do not roll so well on pavement, so I like to run 700x28mm road tread tires that feature a puncture resistant belt in them. Most manufactures make these. I think a road bike with 700x25mm tires would work well for this type of ride also. On the ride over to the park I did feel some drag from the larger and heaver tires while climbing hills on the road. I had mine inflated to 90 psi to make them as efficient as possible on the pavement. These tires and pressure worked fine for me since I am aware to be a little cautious off  road. 

Tanglewood provided many different riding conditions. It's always been a good destination for me. In a little over two hours of riding I was able to ride on paved roads, gravel roads, grass fields and single track trails. Different types of riding keeps cycling interesting and helps to develop bike handling skills. I had a great time enjoying riding my bike on this perfect September day. I hope you did too.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.
This long double track road across this grass field is a fun place to crank up the speed ! Having my tires pumped up to 90psi did make if rather bumpy. But that's OK, it's all part of the fun.

Smooth pavement and beautiful scenery make riding on the roads through Tanglewood Park a real pleasure.
This shady gravel road is a treat to ride on.
This trail is more suited to mountain bikes, but if you are a little careful , most any type of bike is fun on them.
This is another section of the mountain bike trial.
Tanglewood Park is down by the river. The Yadkin River that is.  Right now it is the mighty muddy Yadkin River because of all the rain we have had in the previous couple of weeks. This is a nice shady spot down by the river to take a break. A Great Blue Heron flew up from the bank and across the river just as I was about to take this photo. The Great Blue Heron is the largest North American Heron. They have a head-to-tail length of 36-54 inches and a wingspan of 66 -79 inches. Great Blue Heron make a loud squawking noise when they are disturbed. That's exactly what this one was doing as it flew across the river. It was huge and looked like some pre-historic creature.

On a September day back in 1969, at Big Sur, California, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang a song titled "Down by the river".  Happy Hippies does not seem like such a bad thing when you consider all the problems we are currently facing in the USA. Below is a video of that performance.

Poor ole' Joe always keeps me company as I clean my bike up after a ride. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A beutiful afternoon to ride to Rockford, NC 9/912

Finally it was a beautiful day to ride today. After a couple of weeks of unseasonably high humidity I was glad to see a cooler day with drier conditions. I wasn't able to get out to ride until 1:30 this afternoon.  The temperature at that time of day was in the high 70s with a slight breeze. 

One of my regular rides for the past 20+ years has been to ride to Rockford, NC. The route goes through East Bend, NC and Siloam, NC. There are lots of hills and very few cars between Siloam and Rockford. The mileage for this ride is just over 70 miles.

 At Rockford there is a historic general store to stop and take a break. The store is a tourist attraction. Saturday, September 15, 2012 there is going to be the 15th Annual Sweet Potato Festival at the Historic Village of Rockford. There is going to be live music, craft vendors, local authors and blacksmith demonstrations. Of course there is going to be food; sweet potato pies, sweet potato sonkers, pound cake, country ham biscuits, chicken stew, pinto beans and corn bread. 
The music will be from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Click here for more information and directions.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.
It was a beutiful day to ride a bike. Between East Bend and Siloam there is this view with Pilot Mountain in the background.
These horses were enjoying the nice day and grazing on the grass in the shade.

There was one Mule in the pasture with the horses.
This mule reminded me of the movie star Francis The Talking Mule.
Below is the full movie; Francis goes to West Point!

Hutton Vineyard on Rockford Road gives this stretch an old world feel.

Some nice folks from Mt Airy, NC took this photo of me on the porch of The Rockford General Store.
The shady porch of the store is a nice place to take a break.
Inside, the store has lots of treats and antiques to look at.
Rockford, NC is beside the Yadkin River.
This is how the Yadkin River looks from The Rockford Bridge.
This is my friend Tom. I saw him twice during my ride. Both times our paths crossed we were headed in the opposite direction. We stopped and talked both times. After we went our seperate ways the first time, I thought to myself, I should have gotten a photo of Tom. So the second time we met, during our rides, I made sure I did. Tom is a great rider and makes sure that he rides 10,000 miles every year!
Poor ole' Joe kept me company as I cleaned my bike up after my ride. He is suppose to have knee surgery tomorrow, but his Ortopedic Surgeon put his surgery off till Wednesday. Poor ole' Joe enjoyed being able to be outside some today.