Friday, November 30, 2012

White Industries Track Hubs - Nothing Could Be Finer

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White Industries Track Hubs and Cog

I had to post a photo of these White Industries Track Hubs and Cog. These cogs are designed with high flanges with cut outs. The polished finish on these hubs is the best I have ever seen! White Industries Track Hubs use their own cogs that have a splined interface with the hubs to eliminate the issue of stripped threads. These are made in the USA. 

Click here for more information on White Industries Products.

Judy Garland sang a song  titled "Carolina In The Morning".  Some of the words to the song are "nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning". That may be true, but I don't think that any track hubs could be finer than these. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Francesco Camusso

Francesco Camusso

Francesco Camusso (1908 - 1995) was an Italian professional road racing cyclist  from 1930 through 1938. He is considered by many to be one of the best Italian climbers ever.

 In 1931, his second year racing as a professional, he won the Giro d' Italia. He won the 11th stage of the race on his way to victory.

 His best results in the Tour de France came in 1932. He won the 10th stage of the Tour de France and finised in 3rd place overall in the general classification.

In 1934 Francesco Camusso won the first stage of the Giro d' Italia and finished in 2nd place in the overall general classification.

He won two more stages in the Tour de France in his career. In 1935 he won stage 7 and in 1937 he won the 13th stage. 

Francesco Camusso finished in 4th place in the general classification of the 1937 Tour de France.

His last victory as a professional bicycle racer was in 1938. He won Nice - Mont Agel.

Francesco Camusso wins the 1931 Giro d'Italia

.Francesco Camusso making an unsuccessful attack during the 1937  Milan - San Remo.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gunnar Roadie - Riding to "The Old Radar Base"

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Poor ole' Joe by the Gunnar Roadie
Many of my favorite rides in years past have been through or near the Union Cross area. While trying to decide on my route for a bicycle ride this afternoon "The Old Radar Base" came to mind.  It is actually a Forsyth County park that is best known for it's two nice softball fields. It was cold with an expected high temperature of 50 degrees today, so I waited until around 2:00 PM to head out on the Gunnar Roadie. 

Working out my route was a little tricky. Many of the roads, I used to ride on when going in this direction, have much heavier automobile traffic than they did 20 years ago. It wasn't a very direct route that I took, but I figured out a fairly safe way to get there. 

The ride there was surprisingly fast. I looked down at my computer to see that I was cruising along fairly effortless at around 20 mph much of the ride to "The Old Radar Base". The last stretch of road before reaching the park is flat and straight. I was flying along and thinking to myself that it doesn't seem as if the road is going down hill. At this point I started to look around for something that would indicate the direction of the wind. Sure enough, I passed by a flag in front of a building that was waving in the direction I was going. I hadn't noticed much wind when I first started out, but now it was blowing steady at my back. This meant my ride home would be straight into a headwind. 

When I arrived at the mostly empty park I wound my around on paved walking paths through the tennis courts, basketball courts and parking lots in the direction of the cement radar tower. I wanted to check out the park and also get an up-close look at the tower. It's a five story cement building. 

I read up on the history of the park before leaving on my ride. I found a little bit about "The Old Radar Base" on the parks web site. Below is the history of  Union Cross Park taken directly form the park's site:

Union Cross Park was once a self-contained community. It was staffed and operated by the United States Air Force. The Union Cross Radar Station was built in the 1950's as a surveillance post. The site included a NCO Club, several miscellaneous buildings, a lighted softball field, 1 tennis court and a 5-story concrete radar tower, visible for several miles in all directions.

The property was abandoned by the Air Force and Forsyth County petitioned the Department of Interior to transfer ownership of the land to the County for public recreation purposes. On April 5, 1974, Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department received its first public park.

Because of its dilapidated condition from abandonment, the site underwent an immediate clean up and face-lift. Unusable structures were removed and salvageable recreation facilities were repaired. In the late 70's, the park underwent extensive development of new facilities with the help of funding from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation. Today, Union Cross Park is a fully developed park and well used by its patrons.

There were just a couple of cars parked about when I arrived at the park. The skies were clear and the sun was shinning, but it was cold and windy. A couple of teenagers were bundled up and trying to play basketball and a fellow was walking a small dog. I rode the Gunnar Roadie around inside the park and checked it out some. After riding around the big cement radar tower and taking a couple of pictures.  I ate a banana and found the restrooms before starting my ride back home. I suspected I would be battling a headwind most of the way back and that's the way the ride went. Traffic was heavier on the way back home also. I just keep plugging along and tried to enjoy the ride. Once again I made it in just before sunset. 

There are great roads to ride on around the Union Cross area of North Carolina. I hope to include them on a ride in the near future. Hopefully I will have a little more time to spend on the bike next time. My ride to the Union Cross Park and back ended up being a distance of approximately 41 miles. 

For more information on Union Cross Park click here.

I stopped to take a picture of this spotted horse and a donkey in a pasture beside Friendship Ledford  Road  in Davidson County. It's hard to see because of the sun, but the horse has spots that remind me of a dalmatian dog. There were also a couple of Lamas in the pasture.

The old Radar Tower at Union Cross Park
This picture of the tower was taken around 1967.
The sail on top is no longer there.
Gunnar Roadie leaning up against the radar tower

The picnic shelter at the park has a capacity of 90 people.
There are picnic tables and grills scattered around the park.

The park is a maze of  athletic fields.

The park has clean heated restrooms that were open on Sunday afternoon!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Surly Long Haul Trucker - Rough Stuff

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Surly Long Haul Trucker

I have enjoyed using my Surly Long Haul Trucker for utilitarian purposes such as commuting to work and trips to the grocery store. It is built a little on the stout side to handle heavy loads and and to have stable handling. These same attributes enable the Long Haul Trucker to work well for off road rides also. This bike was really designed as a touring bike. I haven't had the chance to  take it on any long distance tours, but hopefully that will be something I can do in the future. 

Twice this week I have gone for off road rides on the Surly Long Haul Trucker. I consider cycling to be an adventure. Riding this bike off road is always fun. There isn't much pressure to go fast, because it just isn't going to happen on this bike. It is a heavy bike and that's OK.  Both times it was early in the morning and both times turned out to be fun adventures. One morning five deer jumped up out of the tall grass right beside me and ran in all different directions. That startled the heck out of me. Try a short off road ride when you can't get in a long ride. Different types of riding keep cycling interesting. 
 A Continetal Town and Country Tire on the Surly Long Haul Trucker 26x2 inch size.
 Surly Long Haul Truckers framesets are designed to work with different wheel sizes. Most size frames are available with a choice of a geometry that works with 26 inch tires or a frameset for 700c tires. The smaller sizes are only available in the 26 inch tire design. Mine is a smaller frame and has 26 inch tires on it. The smaller wheels look right on this bike but would look a little funny on larger frames. All Long Haul Truckers are designed to fit much wider tires than most bikes will accommodate. This bike is equipped with Continental Town and Country tires in size 26x2 inch. These wider tires are heavy but work well for commuting since you can bounce through most pot holes on the road with out doing any damage to the tires or rims. The wider tires also make the bike more stable and provide better traction off road. The inverted tread works well on most surfaces except for wet mud. 

Surly Long Haul Truckers are available equipped with either traditional cantilever brakes or a disc brake model is also available. Mine has the traditional cantilever brakes on it. Cantilever brakes have worked fine for me. I have wished for a little more braking power when the bike has hauled a heavy load of groceries. 
Surly Long Haul Trucker on a trail

The stock built Surly Long Haul Trucker provides a wide range of gearing. The stock crankset has three chainrings in sizes 26 - 36- 48 teeth. The stock rear cassette has 9 cogs in sizes 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30-34 teeth. With a low gear of 26 tooth chainring in the front and a 34 tooth cog in the rear it is easy to haul a heavy load up most any hill on the road and easy to get up most steep inclines that are encountered while riding off road. While pedaling in this low gear the bike will not be traveling very fast, but you should be able to get up about any hill. Off road climbing is mostly limited by the traction of the tires. I had no problem riding up the hills I have come upon while riding off road on the Surly. 

This bike is not near as fast as a mountain bike off road. The off road ride of the Surly reminds me more of a Jeep than it does an off road motorcycle. 

The trails in these pictures are all within a few minutes ride of my house. 

Click here to visit the Surly web site and learn more about the Long Haul Trucker and all the Surly Bicycles.
The Surly Long Haul Trucker in the shadows beside a trail.
In the video below Linda Ronstadt performs the song "Willin'" which was written by Lowell George of the music group Little Feat. This was in November 1976. The song has some references to Long Haul Truck Driving. A few of the lines are:

Driven every kind of Rig 
that's ever been made.
Driven the backroads
so I wouldn't get weighed.

I've never been a Long Haul Trucker, but I have driven a few trucks on occasion in years past. It always turned out to be a big adventure. Most of the time I would end up driving the backroads to avoid the scales on the main highway so I wouldn't get weighed.  That's just the way it is for a Long Haul Trucker.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bicycling the Blue Ridge; A guide to the Skyline Drive and The Blue Ridge Parkway, by Elizabeth and Charlie Skinner

My friends Elizabeth & Charlie Skinner are working on a new edition of their book, Bicycling the Blue Ridge. They are looking for photographs of folks riding their bicycles on The Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive. Please submit your photos to if you would like to have them considered for the up coming new edition. Be sure and buy this great book too!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gunnar Roadie - riding for Taps

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Gunnar Roadie guarded by Poor ole' Joe

I was able to get in a nice little ride on the Gunnar Roadie today. It was getting late in the afternoon when I started out so I made sure I had bright lights for the front and rear of the bike. 

A few days ago, one of my parents neighbors watched a documentary on television that made her think of my father. In the documentary they showed a man who goes out on his deck every evening and plays taps. (This is the bugle song played at "lights out" in many military organizations) She knew my father plays the trumpet. He also has played taps at military funerals before. She came over and told my father about the fellow she had seen on television and said she thought he should start playing taps every evening. Being the wise negotiator that my father is, he said "I might do that if you bring me a piece of chocolate cake". (Chocolate cake is one of his favorites.) So, she showed up with a big square of chocolate cake. Now my father is playing taps right about sunset most evenings. I think it is a wonderful thing to do!

I adjusted my route and pace so as to arrive at my parents house just before it was time for Pop to play taps. 
My father as he is beginning to play taps. He joined the US Navy in 1944 at the age of 17 shortly after graduating from high school. This was during World War II.

In the video below my father is playing taps. The quality of the video isn't the greatest since I took it with a inexpensive pocket camera. I missed the first couple of notes.
We heard someone yell with delight after he finished playing. The door bell rang minutes after we had gone inside the house. It was two young neighbor girls with their grandfather. The grandfather introduced himself as Andrew. Andrew thanked my father for playing taps with a tear in his eye and explained that he had been in the British Royal Air Force for thirty years. He truly enjoyed hearing my father play taps.

At this point it was really getting dark. I turned on the lights on the Gunnar Roadie and hammered for home. I appreciated the precise handling and quick acceleration of the Gunnar Roadie. Having a bike that works so well took some of the pressure off of me while riding home in the dark  as quickly as possible. 

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Hearing my father play taps really made my Thanksgiving wonderful.

Romain Bellenger

Romain Bellenger

Romain Bellenger (1894 - 1981) was a French road racing cyclist who's professional racing career was during the years 1919 through 1929. He rode the Tour de France 5 times and won 6 stages. His best finishes in the Tour de France were a 3rd place overall in the general classification in 1923 and an 8th place finish in 1924. At the end of his racing career he had amassed a total of 25 victories.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

1920 Tour de France

Louis Mottiat wins the first stage of the 1920 Tour de France.

The 1920 Tour de France was the 14th Tour de France and the second edition of the race since the ending of World War I. The 1919 Tour de France was difficult due to the road conditions and the racer's lack of training because of  the race being held only months after the end of the war. The race route in 1920 was: fifteen stages, a distance of 5,503 kilometers (3,419 miles), around the perimeter of France, starting and finishing in Paris. The cyclists were divided into two categories, professionals (31) and amateurs (82). 113 riders started the tour on Sunday, June 27th, 1920.

Phillipe Thys
Phillipe Thys had started the 1919 Tour de France in such poor physical condition that he wasn't able to finish even the first stage. Henri Desgrange, the race organizer, was critical of Thys's performance in his newspaper L'Auto. Thys was determined to regain his former level of fitness and stuck to a strict training regimen over the winter. He was racing at his former  high level at the beginning of the 1920 season. His Tour de France preparations were almost ruined by a crash in Milan-San Remo in March. He broke his collar bone in the crash. He was able to recover from the crash and win the 1920 Tour de France.

The weather was very hot during the race and  after only four stages 65 of the 113 racers had already quit. Many of the French favorites abandoned the race early. Eugene Christophe in the 7th stage, Jean Alavoine in the 2nd stage, Francis Pelissier in the 3rd stage and Henri Pelissier after the 5th stage. 

Eugene Christophe on the Col de Tourmalet in 1920 before abandoning the tour due to back pain.

Henri Pelissier won the 3rd and 4th stages of the 1920 Tour de France. Pelissier was Philippe Thys's, who was leading the race, biggest threat at this part of the race. During the 5th stage Henri Pelissier was penalised two minutes for illegally throwing away a flat tire. Racers were required at this time to finish the stages with everything that they had started the stages with. Pelissier objected to the penalty and quit the race. Desgrange was critical of Henri Pelissier in the newspaper L'Auto. He said that Henri Pelissier wasn't tough enough and would never win the Tour de France. Three years later in 1923 Henri Pelissier did win the Tour de France. Click here for more on Henri Pelissier.

Philippe Thys rode a smart race and conserved his energy during stages 6 and 7, which were in the Pyrenees mountains. He stayed within range of any rider who might be a threat to his lead. But did not try to break away from them. 
Firmin Lambot, on the left in the above photo, took over 15 hours to complete stage 6. Jules Masseli, on the right, would finish in 18 hours and 35 minutes. Masseli finished in the middle of the field at the end of stage 6. In this photo the two riders are on the climb of the Toumalet.

Philippe Thys increased his lead to exactly an hour during stage 9 over second place rider Hector Heusghem. He won the stage with some tough climbing on the way to the finish in Nice. The tour  organizers were late awarding the Maillot Juane (yellow leader's jersey). It was awarded to Philippe Thys after his stage 9 victory for the first time during the 1920 Tour de France.

Honore Barthelemy

Honorey Barthelemy had an epic ride during stage 9 of the 1920 Tour de France. It all started when he hurt his back so badly in a crash that he had to turn his handlebars up so he didn't have to bend over to reach them. Also during that crash a road flint pierced and ruined one of his eyes. He removed the flint and got back on his bike to finish the stage bleeding, beat up and half blind. In later falls he added a broken wrist and a dislocated shoulder to his list of injuries during the 1920 tour. Honorey Barthelemy continued on, despite his injuries, and finished the 1920 Tour de France in eighth place. He was the top placed French rider during that year's Tour de France. He later replaced the eye with a glass one that he frequently lost during races. At the final finish line, of the tour, the fans carried Barthelemy across the line. Click here for more on Honorey Barthelemy.

Noel Amenc walks up the Pyrenean stage to Luchon during the 1920 Tour de France.

The 1920 Tour de France ended at the Parc de Princes velodrome in Paris. There were an estimated 20,000 cycling fans on had for the finish. The crowds were so large racers had to walk their bikes across the finish line. 

 The race was dominated by Belgians. The Belgians won 12 of the 15 stages and the overall victory. 

Philippe Thys's 1920 Tour de France victory was his third victory in that race. He was the first racer ever to win the Tour de France three times. It is speculated that he could have won the race as many as 6 or 7 times if his racing career hadn't been interrupted mid stream by World War I.

There were 22 finishers of the 1920 Tour de France. Below are the top five places in the overall general classification:

1. Philippe Thys: 228 hours 36 minutes 13 seconds
2. Hector Heusghem @ 57 minutes 21 seconds
3. Firmin Lambot @ 1 hour 39 minutes 35 seconds
4. Leon Scieur @ 1 hour 44 minutes 58 seconds
5. Emile Masson, Sr. @ 2 hours 56 minutes 52 seconds

Philippe Thys, winner of the 1920 Tour de France
Click here for more on Philippe Thys.
Hector Heusghem, second place in the 1920 Tour de France.
Click here for more on Hector Heusghem.

Firmin Lambot, third place in the 1920 Tour de France.
Click here for more on Firmin Lambot.
Leon Scieur, fourth in the 1920 Tour de France.
Click here for more on Leon Scieur.
Emile Masson, Sr., fifth place in the 1920 Tour de France.
Click here for more on Emile Masson, Sr.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ferdi Kubler

Ferdi Kubler
Ferdinand (Ferdi) Kubler (born 1919) is a retired Swiss bicycle racer. Ferdi Kubler earned the nickname of "Cowboy" because he liked to wear Stetson hats. He is best remember for his 1950 Tour de France win and his 1951 World Championship Road Race win. At the 1954 Tour de France he finished in 2nd place and won the points classification (sprinter's green jersey). Not only did he win the Swiss National Road Race Championship 5 different times, he also won the Swiss National Pursuit Championship on the track 3 times and the Swiss National Cyclo-Cross Championship 1 time (1945). 

He began racing in 1940 at the age of 21. In his early years he raced very successfully around Switzerland. He was confined to his home country due to the Nazi occupation of much of Europe at the time. His most successful years were from 1950 through 1952. Fredi Kubler would have certainly had many more great performances if international racing wasn't suspended due to the war. 

 As well as doing well in the Tour de France, Kubler had some impressive rides while racing the Giro d'Italia. He finished in 3rd place in the general classification of the Giro d' Italia in both the 1951 and 1952 editions.

Kubler retired at from bicycle racing in 1957. He remains the oldest living Tour de France winner. 
Ferdi Kubler receiving encouragement from his wife Rosa during a tough climb. Be sure and notice the road's surface that he is climbing on. 
Ferdi Kubler cornering during the 1950 Tour de France.
Ferdi Kubler winning the 1950 Tour de France
Ferdi Kubler during the 1955 Tour de Suisse
This is a silent newsreel of an epic battle between Kubler and Coppi during the 1953 Giro d'Italia. Ferdi Kubler's jersey appears white but he is actually wearing the pink jersey of the leader of the Giro. At the time Fausto Coppi is dominating bicycle racing. Kubler is one of the few racers that can challenge him. In the end Coppi crosses the finish line first, but Kubler is right there with him.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reg Harris - The rise and fall of Britain's greatest cyclist by Robert Dineen

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Reg Harris
The Rise and Fall of Britain's greatest cyclist by: Robert Dineen

Published August 13th, 2012 by Ebury Press
A Random House Group Company

Printed and bound in Great Britain by Clays Ltd.

Hardcover, 352 pages
Robert Dineen did an unbelievable amount of research before writing this book. The book gives the details of Reg Harris's life. From his humble beginnings of being born into a working class family during the great depression to wealth and fame as a five times world champion cyclist. 

Some details of this book were fun to read about. Such as the stories of Harris not only racing cars but also racing sport cars. His driving on the road is legendary also. Once while driving way too fast he had a horrible automobile accident that nearly paralyzed him. The details of his bicycle racing career and personal like reveal a ruthlessness of the man that is difficult to like. By the end of the book his image was redeemed to me. Reg Harris rose to wealth and fame through cycling, only to loose it all at the end of his career. He got back on his feet in later years and was able to live out the rest of his life in a comfortable life style. Amazingly the book tells of Harris having a stroke while riding his bike on essentially the same route of his first real racing victory. Reg Harris died a few days after his stroke.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in cycling history or track racing. This book would not be an entertaining read for a non-cyclist looking for a light book to read. 

Click here to learn more about Reg Harris. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Laurent Fignon

Laurent Fignon
 Laurent Fignon (1960 - 2010) was a French professional road bicycle racer during the years 1982 through 1993. He earned the nickname "The Professor" because of his round glasses and  his debonairness  Many people remember him as finishing in second place during the 1989 Tour de France, with a margin of only 8 seconds separating him and the winner Greg Lemond. He should be best remember for his two amazing 1983 and 1984 Tour de France victories. 

At a young age his sport of choice was football. His friends got him interested in cycling and in 1976 he entered and won his first race. His parents didn't want him to race bicycles. He did so without their knowledge and went on to win four more races his first year. During his 1977 year of racing he won only one race. His third year of racing, 1978, he won 18 out of 36 races that he entered. At the age of 18 he entered the University of Villetaneuse to study Structural and Materials Science. University wasn't for him and he soon left to join the army. Once out of the army Laurent knew he wanted to pursue a career as a professional bicycle racer.
Laurent Fignon 1982
 In 1982, at the age of 22, Laurent Fignon became a professional cyclist and raced on the Renault-Elf-Gitane team. During his first year as a professional he won the National Criterium. He also wore the pink leader's jersey for one day at the Giro d'Italia. In the Paris-Tours race he broke away and had a lead of 40 seconds on the field when his crank broke. 
Laurent Fignon climbing during the 1983 Tour de France
 As a second year pro Fignon rode the 1983 Vuelta a Espana in support of his teammate Bernard Hinault. Hinault won the 1983 Vuelta. Their team director, Cyrille Guimard, didn't want to send Fignon to the Tour de France. He felt that two major tours were too much for such a young racer in one year. Hinault announced that he wasn't going to be able to race the Tour de France that year due to an injury. Hinault had won four of the five previous Tour de Frances. Fignon was then allowed to go to the tour. Lacking a real team leader the Renault team's strategy was to go for stage wins. After the first mountain stage, stage nine, Fignon was in second place and was allowed to be the team leader. Laurent Fignon became the leader of the Tour de France after the seventeenth stage and cemented his first tour victory by winning the twenty first stage time trial. At the age of 23 Laurent Fignon was the youngest Tour de France winner since 1933.
Laurent Fignon leading Bernard Hinault during the 1984 Tour de France
 In 1984 Bernard Hinault switched to the newly formed La Vie Claire team. Fignon stayed with the Renault team and became the team leader. At the 1984 Giro d'Italia Fignon was leading the  Italian Francesco Moser who was in second place. In the final stage of the Giro, an individual time trial, helicopters flew in front of Fignon, creating a headwind, and behind Moser, creating a tailwind. Moser gained enough time in the time trial to win the Giro and Fignon finished in second place. 

Laurent Fignon won his second Tour de France in 1984. The race was a tough battle between him and his former team captain Bernard Hinault. Hinault attacked five times on the penultimate climb, the Laffrey. Each time Fignon rode back to him. By the end of the seventeenth stage Fignon had gained almost three minutes on Hinault and became the race leader. Fignon won a total of five stages that year at the 1984 Tour de France and won the overall general classification with a margin of ten minutes.

A knee injury kept Fignon from competing in the 1985 Tour de France. 

Fignon's team gained a new sponsor in 1986 and became the Systeme U Cycling Team. In 1986 Fignon won La Fleche Wallonne. He started the 1986 Tour de France but retired from the race during the twelve stage.
Laurent Fignon on Mount Ventoux during the 1987 Tour de France
 Fignon was racing strong in 1987 and finished in third place at the Vuelta a Espana. He won the 21st stage of the 1987 Tour de France and finished in seventh place overall in the general classification. 

In 1988 Laurent Fignon won the Milan-San Remo, but had to abandon during the 1988 Tour de France.
Laurent Fignon soloing to victory at the 1989 Milan-Sam Remo
 1989 should be considered a successful year for Laurent Fignon, but is best remembered as the year he lost his lead in the Tour de France in the final time trial. He won both Milan-San Remo and the Giro d'Italia that year. At the 1989 Tour de France the previous years winner, Pedro Delgado was late to the start of the first time trial and lost several minutes. The tour became a battle between Laurent Fignon and Greg Lemond. At the beginning of the final stage, an indivdual time trial, Fignon was in the lead with a margin of fifty seconds over Lemond. Lemond utilized aero -bars and an aerodynamic helmet to ride the 24.5 kilometer time trial at the fastest speed ever ridden in a time trial. Fignon wasn't able to sleep the night before due to pain caused by terrible saddle sores. The saddle sores also prevented him from warming up properly and doing his best in the time trial. Lemond gained fifty eigtht seconds over Fignon in the time trial and won the 1989 Tour de France by the smallest margin ever. A time difference of only eight seconds.
Laurent Fignon's 1992 Team Card
Fignon abandoned the 1990 tour and finished in sixth place overall during the 1991 Tour de France. At the 1992 Tour de France he finished in twenty third place. 

1993 was Laurent Fignon's last year of racing as a professional. He had one early season major win that year. He won the Ruta Mexico. At the end of 1993 Laurent Fignon retired from professional bicycle racing. 
Laurent Fignon waiting to start his last race in 1993
After his retirement from racing he worked as a race organizer. In June 2009. Laurent Fignon revealed that he was undergoing chemotherapy for metastatic cancer. He also admitted to having used the banned drugs amphetamines and cortisone during his racing career. He died of the disease cancer on August 31, 2010 at the young age of 50 in Paris, France.

Video of Stage 13 to La Plagne during the 1984 Tour de France with Greg Lemond providing voiceover.

Click here for information on Laurent Fignon's Autobiography.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gunnar Roadie - Motivating - Can't Stop

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Gunnar Roadie guarded by Poor ole' Joe
The temperature was in the mid 60s Fahrenheit today and a little windy. Thank goodness it wasn't raining. The past couple of months we have had a lot of rainy Mondays. Monday is my day off from work. After lunch I jumped on the Gunnar Roadie planning on going for an easy ride for about an hour. The Roadie is such fun to ride that I just can't stop. I kept adding to my route until I had been on the bike for well over two hours. I would have just kept going, but ran out of time. A great riding bike like this one is real motivation for me to get out and ride. I just wish I had more day light hours during the work week to spend on the Gunnar. 

The route I took today is one of my favorite ones. It goes out into the country side by way of Fraternity Church Road. I enjoyed passing by the land that was my grandfather's farm for many years. Despite being all grown up with trees I envisioned the way the farm used to be as I rode by. Leaving Forsyth County and going into Davidson County there are still reminders of the farm land this area used to be. My route took me through the communities of Arcadia and Welcome, NC. On the way in I rode through Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, NC to add a little extra to my ride. I look forward to my next cycling adventure on the Gunnar Roadie. I am sure it will be like today and I will feel like I can't stop ridding. Click here to learn more about Gunnar Cycles.
I saw this in the front yard of a house on Ebert St. during my ride today.  Creative and funny!
 The video below is of  the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing  the song "Can't Stop" in France. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gunnar Roadie - The perfect bicycle for riding over the hills and far away

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Gunnar Roadie
The weather was nice enough to ride in shorts and short sleeve jerseys today. That makes for a nice Sunday afternoon in November to ride a bike.

I rode the Gunnar Roadie to Lewisville, NC to join in the 2:00 Sunday afternoon group ride. A few weeks ago I was late getting to a ride and ended up riding mostly by myself. So I gave myself plenty of time to get to the town square where the ride begins. It was nice to see lots of friends at the beginning of the ride and to visit with everyone. 

The average temperature during the ride was just over 70 degrees. It was a little windy during the ride and it seemed we had a head wind most of the ride. On windy days like this I always remember what one of my old friends, Mike Royal, used to say. Mike said "you always have a head wind if you are going fast enough".  I don't think that makes riding into a head wind any easier, but it helps my attitude. 

This was a nice bunch of riders to ride with and I think everyone enjoyed the ride. Our route ended up being approximately 39 miles. I got in a little extra mileage by riding to and from the group ride.

The Gunnar Roadie performed flawlessly. Every time I ride this bike I enjoy it more and more. It rides like a dream in all situations.  This has to be the perfect bike for riding over the hills and far away.
Some of the riders getting ready to ride

In the video below Led Zepplin performs the song "Over the hills and far away" in the year 1975.