Sunday, September 29, 2013

Maurice De Waele

Maurice De Waele

Maurice De Waele (1896-1952) Was a Belgian professional bicycle racer during the years 1922 through 1931.  

De Waele raced as an independent professional his first year, 1922. In 1923 he joined the the Wonder Dunlop team and won several major races. One of his victories in 1923 was the Belgian Championship Road Race. 

The 1927 edition of the Tour de France was his first year to participate in the race. He won the thirteenth stage and finished second overall in the final general classification. 

At the 1928 Tour de France De Waele won the eighth stage and finished the race in third place overall in the general classification.

Maurice De Waele is best known for his win of the 1929 Tour de France. He won a stage and held the lead for much of the race. He became sick while wearing the yellow jersey of race leader. The Tour de France organizer, Henri Desgrange, was opposed to team tactics or collusion between riders. Desgrange wanted the race to be an indivual effort. De Waele was sick and suffering. He received help from his Alcyon teammates in the form of blocking and providing a draft for him. De Waele also had to buy help from racers on opposing teams. At the end of the race Henri Desgrange said "The Tour de France has been won by a corpse."

De Waele's final year of racing, 1931, was his fourth time competing in the Tour de France. He finished the tour in fifth place that year. He also won the Tour of Belgium before retiring from professional bicycle racing.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lucien Aimar

Lucien Aimar

Lucien Aimar (April 28, 1941) raced as a professional cyclist during the years 1965 through 1973. After his retirement from racing he became a race director. 

Lucien's participated in the Tour de France his first year as a professional. He was on the Ford-Gitane team, led by Jacques Anguetil.  He abandoned the 1965 Tour de France that year on the Col d'Aubisque.

During the 1966 Tour de France Lucien Aimar attacked on the Col d'Aubisque, the very climb he had abandoned on the previous year. He had the support of Jacques Anquetil, who was riding his last Tour de France. Before leaving the race Anquetil pledged the team would work for Aimar for the rest of the race. Lucien Aimar went on to win the 1966 Tour de France.

For 1967 he switched to the Bic team. Aimar rode in support of Jacques Anqutil at the Giro d'Italia and finished in seventh place.

  The 1967 Tour de France was raced by national teams. Lucien rode in support of his fellow Frenchman Roger Pingeon. Pingeon won the tour that year and Aimar finished in sixth place. 

Aimar finished in second place, at the 1967 French National Road Race Championship, behind Desire Letort. Letort was later disqualified for doping. Lucien Aimar was by default the French Champion. He refused to wear the blue, white and red jersey of the national champion in support of Desire Letort.

Roger Pingeon and Lucien Aimar broke away together at the 1968 French National Road Race Championship. Aimar beat Pingeon in the final sprint and won the 1968 national championship.

Aimar had good solid results for the remaining five years of his professional career. He never had results to match his 1966 Tour de France and 1968 French National Championship victories.

Lucien Aimar on the podium of the 1966 Tour de France.
On the left of the photo is third place finisher Raymond Poulidor.
On the right of the photo is second place finisher Jan Janssen.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Take a Seat - by Dominic Gill - Book Review

Take a Seat by: Dominic Gill
288 pages
Published by Falcon Guides10/26/2010
Printed in the United States of America

Take a Seat is the story of Dominic Gill's tandem bicycle ride from the northern most tip of the North American Continent to the most southern city on the South American Continent. He began his adventure in 2006 and it took him over two years to complete. Dominic rode a tandem bicycle and pulled a trailer almost 20,000 miles. His bike, trailer and all his gear together weighed approximately 200 pounds. Along the way he convinced over two hundred and seventy people to take the back seat on the tandem and help him pedal. 

The idea of riding a tandem bicycle was that of a film producer. Dominic Gill's original idea was to do the ride as a bike tour and make a documentary of his ride. It was the film producer's suggestion to ride a tandem bike and get companions from the different areas along the way to ride with him. To finance his adventure, Dominic, took out a home improvement loan. 

 Dominic describes his adventure in a colorful writing style that enables the reader to feel like they are experiencing the adventure themselves. While reading the book I felt the heat and dryness of the desert and the cold snow of the Patagonia Mountains. 

Take a Seat is not about riding a bike as much as it is the journey and the folks he met along the way. Many folks in difficult living conditions took Dominic Gill into their home and shared what little food they had. He made many friends along the way.

I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys riding bicycles and considers it an adventure. Or, just enjoys a good adventure!

Dominic Gill has been on several other similar adventures since the writing of this book and also on a lecture tour. 

Below is a video that will provide better insight into "Take a Seat."

TAKE A SEAT: SIZZLE from Dominic Gill on Vimeo.

Dominic Gill is a mountain climber, award-winning videographer, adventurer and pioneer in the new era of global expiration.

Monday, September 16, 2013

1924 Tour de France

Riders and the follow cars during stage 15 of the 1924 Tour de France.
The 1924 Tour de France was the eighteenth edition of the race. It was total length of 5,425 kilometers (3,371 miles), consisted of 15 stages, and was raced at an average speed of 23.97 km/h (14.90 mph). Of the one hundred and fifty seven cyclist that started, sixty racers finished the race.

A new rule during the 1923 Tour de France awarded a two minute time bonus to the winner of each stage. Desgrange, the race organizer of the Tour de France, was pleased with the way the time bonuses worked out during the 1923 tour. He changed the bonus to three minutes at the 1924 edition of the race.

One of the most dramatic events of the 1924 race was when the previous year's winner, Henri Pelissier, abandoned the race during the third stage. 

Pelissier's argument with Desgranger began during the second stage. The second stage was 371 kilometers in length (230.53 miles) and took most of the racers over fourteen hours to complete. The stage began in the early morning hours when it was still cool. Pelissier wore a couple of jerseys at the beginning of the stage. Later in the day he discarded one of them. Another team's director saw him throwing away the jersey and reported it to race officials. There was a rule at this time that stated that the racers had to finish each stage with everything that they had started the stage with. Pelissier was given a time penalty for discarding the jersey. 

During the third stage Henri Pelissier was outraged by his treatment and abandoned the race. It was cold at the early start of the stage. Pellissier wore several jerseys to stay warm. Race officials stopped him several times during the stage to count the number of jerseys he had on. The officials wanted to see if he had discarded any of them. Henry was infuriated by this and found it disrespectful. When he abandoned the race he also talked his brother, Francis Pelissier, and another racer, Maurice Ville, into quitting also.  It was easy to convince Ville into quitting, since he was having problems with his knees.

Click here to learn more about Henri Pelissier.

The previous years edition, the 1923 Tour de France, was won by Henri Pellissier. After he won he stated that his Automoto teammate, Ottavio Bottecchia, will win the next Tour de France. Bottecchia finished second to Pellissier at the 1923 tour. It was Bottecchia's first time riding the Tour de France. 
Victor Lenaers taking a quick break during the third stage of the 1924 Tour de France.
Ottavio Bottecchia did in fact win the 1924 Tour de France. He was the first Italian to win the Tour de France. Bottecchia was also the first rider to ever wear the yellow jersey of the race leader from the beginning to very end of the race, without even once loosing it to another rider.
Ottavio Bottecchia at the 1924 Tour de France

Stage five of the 1924 Tour de France was the longest stage ever in tour history. It was 482 kilometers (299.50 miles) in length. The stage started in Les Sables and ended in Bayonne. It took the winning rider, Omer Huyse,  nineteen hours and 40 minutes to complete it. This stage was not included in future tours.

Bottecchia dominated stage six of the race, which contained the four tough Alpine climbs of: the Aubisque, the Tourmalet, the Aspin and the Peyresourde. When he crossed the finish line, in Luchon, he was almost nineteen minutes ahead of the second rider to arrive. 

The General Classification after stage 6:

1. Ottavio Bottecchia - race leader
2. Lucien Buysse - 30 minutes 21 seconds behind the race leader
3. Nicolas Frantz - 42 minutes 15 seconds behind the race leader

Robert Jacquinot climbs the Aubisque during the 1924 Tour de France

Bottecchia could have mostly like repeated his previous day's performance in stage 7. Stage 7 was the second day of climbing in the Pyreneese Mountains. He rode to the finish with two other riders: Phillippe Thys and Arsene Alancourt. 

Phillippe Thys during stage 6 of the 1924 Tour de France

Nicolas Frantz had a standout performance in the tenth stage of the race. This stage in the Alps contained the three climbs: the Allos, the Vars and the Izoard. Frantz was first over all three of the climbs and finished in second place behind the stage winner Giovanni Brunero. Bottecchia was following closely behind through out the stage and Frantz was only able to gain nine minutes on his lead.

The General Classification after stage 10:

1. Ottvio Bottecchia - race leader
2. Nicolas Frantz - 41 minutes 52 seconds behind the race leader
3. Giovanni Brunero 45 minutes 37 seconds behind the race leader

Ottavio Bottecchia climbing the Izoard during the 1924 Tour de France

No one gained much time on Bottecchia during the remaining five stages of the race. He punctuated his tour victory by winning the sprint, the final stage and the overall Tour de France on the last day in Paris. 

The Final 1924 Tour de France General Classification:

1. Ottavio Bottecchia (Automoto) - Race Winner - 226 hours 18 minutes 21 seconds
2. Nicolas Frantz (Alcyon) - 35 minutes 36 seconds behind the race winner
3. Lucien Buysse (Automoto) 1 hour 32 minutes 13 seconds behind the race winner
4. Bartolomeo Almo (Legnano) 1 hour 32 minutes 47 seconds behind the race winner
5. Theophile Beeckman (Griffon) 2 hours 11 minutes 12 seconds behind the race winner

Ottavio Bottecchia -  Winner of the 1924 Tour de France
Click here to learn more about Ottavio Bottecchia

Nicolas Frantz - second place finisher of the 1924 Tour de France
Click here to learn more about Nicolas Frantz 

Lucien Buysse - third place finisher at the Tour de France
Click here to learn Lucien Buysse
Bartolomeo Aimo - fourth place finisher at the 1924 Tour de France
Click here to learn more about Bartolomeo Aimo

Theophile Beeckman - fifth place finisher at the 1924 Tour de France

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Racing Bicycle: Design, Function, Speed - by: Richard Moore and Daniel Benson

Click on the photo to enlarge it.
The Racing Bicycle; Design, Function, Speed
by: Richard Moore and Daniel Benson
328 pages in length.

First Published in the USA in 2013 by Universe Publishing
A Division of Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.
300 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010

The Racing Bicycle gives the history of many iconic brands of bicycles and bicycle component manufactures. 

The brands are in alphabetical order. The history of the company, along with the story of the great racers that made the brands famous is told in a two to eight page format. There are many wonderful photos of important land marks in cycling history.

The book begins with the Atala brand and ends with Wilier Trestina. In total there are fifty eight company histories in the book.

The great thing about this format is that you can read a few pages of the book, put it down, and then come back and pick it up at anytime without being lost. This makes The Racing Bicycle a great travel book.

I highly recommend anyone interested in bicycles or bicycle parts add this to their cycling collection.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Poor Ole' Joe will be by my side as I recover from shoulder surgery!

Click on the photo to enlarge it.
Poor Ole' Joe sitting by my side.

I'm headed off to have surgery on my shoulder. They are going to snip my bicep tendon and reattach it to the bone in a different place. At the same time I am having a torn rotator cuff repaired.

Through the next few painful days of semi-consciousness, induced by pain medication, Poor Ole Joe will be right there by my side.

The way he follows me around and stays with me reminds me of The Black Crowes song "By Your Side."

Below is a video of "By Your Side" by The Black Crowes.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Albertus Geldermans

Albertus Geldermans also known as Ab Geldermans (born March 17, 1935 in The Netherlands) is a former Dutch professional road bicycle racer and directeur sportif. He was professional from 1959 to 1966 and rode seven editions of the Tour de France. In 1962 he finished fifth overall in the Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey for two days. In 1960 Geldermans won Liège–Bastogne–Liege and won the Deutschland Tour. In 1962 he was Dutch road race champion. Afterwards he became directeur sportif of the Dutch national cycling team that competed the 1967 Tour de France and directed Jan Janssen to victory in the 1967 Tour de France.

Albertus Geldermans

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Group Ride - "Kerns' Group"

 Click on the photos to enlarge them.
John Kerns
 I rolled out of my driveway on my bicycle, headed to the group ride at Lewisville, NC. As usual I was running a few minutes behind and ended up time trialing to the town square, in order to get there before the ride started at 8:00. I made it just seconds before the start time. My intentions were to ride the Hearts' group ride. Several groups were leaving at the same time. I ended up riding out with "Kerns' Group."

"Kerns' Group" is organized by John Kerns. John plans the route and the ride time. This group general rides a little faster and a little shorter route, this time of the year, than the Hearts ride. 

It takes a real commitment to plan rides like John does. He is out there every Saturday and Sunday. He's there regardless of how he feels or the weather. Thanks for all you do John.

We rode approximately 47 miles today. The group rolled on well in a double paceline. It was a beautiful day and the ride was very enjoyable. 

I was starting this day of riding with a little over 500 miles in for the week. My legs were a little tired, but I still wanted to sprint for the sprint sign at the end of the ride. A couple of riders started to sprint and I took off. I almost made a bad mistake by looking back over my shoulder as we approached the sign. We were all wound up at this point. When I looked back while sprinting I got too close to the edge of the road. I ran off the side of the road at full speed right as I got to the sign. There was a ditch and a couple of other obstacles that could have easily made me go down as I was trying to keep my bike under control in the wet grass. Fortunately I was able to save it. Even experienced riders do dumb stuff. 

We cruised on into the town square. At the square we chatted a little and I headed out to ride on in. I stopped at the restroom and saw two of my friends, Mike McKnight and Robert Myrick about to leave for a ride. I joined in with them and rode about 25 miles more. 

When I got home my computer showed that I had ridden 84.86 miles. I rested a little and went out to ride again. I rode another 16 miles to put me just over 100 miles total for the day and a little over 600 miles for the week. 

Once again, another vacation day well spent riding with a bunch of good friends!
Kerns' Group Ride rolling by Hollars Grocery
All around good guys; Carl and Will
Mike and Robert
Me rolling down the road on my Trek Madone

Saturday, August 24, 2013

When one door closes another one opens!

Click on the photos to enlarge them.
The group rolling down the road on a beautiful day.

I've heard the saying "when one door closes, another opens." Never really thought much about it. That's sort of how this vacation day of bicycle riding was.

There are a couple of things that are frustrating when you work on every single Saturday. One of them is that you can't participate in almost any cycling events. The other is that many of your cycling friends' main day to ride is Saturday. So, some folks you just don't get the opportunity to ride with.

Today is the first Saturday I have not had to work in many years, and may be the last for years to come. I had plans to ride this morning with a cycling buddy that I never get the chance to ride with anymore. I was getting my water bottles ready and checking out my bike when I got the word that they were bailing on the ride. I was disappointed and sadden by the change of plans. Do to conflicting schedules, I don't know when or if I will get to ride with this cycling friend again.

I poured another cup of coffee and tried to come up with a different destination to ride to. After while I just got on my bike and headed out. Without any real plans I ended up riding through Lewisville. As I turned on a road, headed out of Lewisville, I saw a group of cyclist mulling about at the intersection ahead. I thought maybe it was an accident. When I got there, a couple of riders were working on repairing a flat tire. Once the group got underway I joined in their ride.

I knew all the riders in the group and they were all long time cycling friends. We rode a nice route mapped out by Ken Craven. It was on great roads and a distance of about 57 miles. We had a nice little break at Gunter's Country Store about half way through the ride.

So the door that opened, when the other one closed, turned out to be good thing. I enjoyed a nice ride on a beautiful day and got to see a whole bunch of friends that I don't get to ride with. I can't remember all of the friends, but in the group were Kelly Holmes, Barry Woosley, Lynn Berry, Michael Berry, Tom McGuire, Jim Martin, Chad Chadwick, Scott Morris, Clarence, Darrel Ellis, Susan Hege Edwards, Ryke Edwards, Ronnie, Joe Hutchins, Shea and I hope I haven't left anyone out.

Riding to and from the ride put my total for the day at just over 70 miles and my total miles for the last 6 days at over 500 miles.

Later on in the day I went for a "cruise" ride to Starbucks for a cup of coffee. It was a perfect evening to relax outside and drink a good cup of coffee. Another vacation day well spent!

Below is a link to the ride on Connect.Garmin. Nice Route!

Pulling away from a stop sign.
Me at the rest stop.
The group taking a break at Gunter's Country Store.
Me with my "cruiser" at Starbucks.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gunnar Roadie - Rockford General Store

Click on the photos to enlarge them
The Rockford General Store
For over twenty years the Rockford General Store has been one of my favorite cycling destinations. I couldn't think of a better way to spend one of my vacation days than riding to it today. It's like going to another time. Old fashion candies, soft drinks in glass bottles, a grill and a shady front porch to sit on and take a break.

20+ years ago there were many teenagers that rode road racing bikes. Often times in the summer, when they were out of school, several of them them would join me in all day rides. One of our places to take a break was the porch of The Rockford General Store. I'm sure those are the exact same benches that we used to sit on. It's hard for me to believe that those teenagers are now all grown and many of them have school age children. It reminded me of those teenage riders, when I was sitting there on the benches in the shade of the covered porch. Their parents never seemed to worry about them gone for all day rides with no real destination in mind.

The store hasn't changed and neither have the ice cold 6oz. Coca-Colas in glass bottles.

I consider this another vacation day well spent! Take a trip back in time and ride to The Rockford General Store, if you get a chance.
Me in front of the Rockford General Store with my Gunnar Roadie

My Gunnar Roadie on the front porch of The Rockford General Store

A cigar store Indian on the front porch of The Rockford General Store.

Below is a link to my ride on Connect.Garmin.

Click here to learn more about Gunnar Cycles.
Click here to learn more about The Rockford General Store.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Finally got a chance to ride to The Shiloh General Store!

Click on the photos to enlarge them.
Me at The Shiloh General Store

When I got up this morning my legs were tired from the previous two long days of climbing rides. It has been about four years since I have been able to do the "bakery ride." The Shiloh General Store or "Amish Bakery" as it is better know is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Those are the two days of the week that Ken's Bike Shop is also closed. So, I haven't been able to ride to the bakery when it is open ever since I began working at Ken's. Despite being tired I decided to ride to the bakery this afternoon and not push it, just keep a smooth pace.

When I arrived at the "Amish Bakery" a young man who works there, Mark, came out to examine my bicycle. He said "it's all carbon fiber." He went on to explain his frustration at not being able to go to Ken's Bike Shop because it was closed on Mondays and that is the day of the week he doesn't have to work. I explained to him that I worked at Ken's Bike Shop and that I was frustrated that I could never ride to The Shiloh General Store when it was open because it was closed on the days I didn't have to work.

Mark asked my name and when I told him my name was Charlie, he said "you are the one I have been wanting to see at Ken's." He wanted to know all about my bike and was mostly interested in how the Garmin computer worked and what a Powertap hub does.

Mark told me about rides he had done to North Wilkesboro and other places. He wanted to know how much different bikes cost and what would be good for his rides. I went inside and bought something to eat and drink and visited with Mark a little more.

When I left the bakery, I didn't feel so bad about not being able to go there because it was closed on the days I didn't have to work. Mark had the same frustration!

On the way back I had a $120 tubular tire go flat. Fortunately I was able to change the tire NASCAR fast and get going again.

This was the first longish ride that the battery on my Garmin hadn't died half way through. I'm sure that was either because I had been using the mapping features too much or wasn't charging it enough.

Another vacation day gone, but I got in "The Bakery Ride." 

Below is a link to the Garmin file of my ride.
Amish Bakery - Recovery Ride by CharlieLawrence at Garmin Connect - Details

The Shiloh General Store

My Trek Madone

Gunnar Sport, Brooks B-17 Saddle, Carradice Barley Bag, Bagman bag support and Credit Card Touring.

Click on the photo to enlarge them.
My Gunnar Sport ready for an overnight ride.

I'm taking the first few days off of work ever in three and a half years of working at Ken's Bike Shop . I did a little "credit card" touring Tuesday and Wednesday on my Gunnar Sport. (it would have to be cash touring for me. I don't like to get credit card bills in the mail) Tuesday I rode up to the Blue Ridge Parkway from my house and then on to Bent Mountain Lodge (B&B) between Floyd, Va and Roanoke, Va on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then today I rode back home. The picture is me with my bike, yesterday morning, on the deck of the Bent Mountain Lodge. You can see for miles and miles from the deck. 

I added a Carradice Barley Bag and a Bagman bag support, to my Gunnar Sport, to carry everything I needed for this trip. The fenders were nice to have as I did encounter a little rain and wet roads on the parkway. Thanks Gunnar Cycles for the great ridding bicycle. It was stable and smooth the whole way.

I stopped both days for a break at the Poor Farmers Market in Meadows of Dan, Va. The first day I ordered a "Hungry Hillbilly" sandwich at the deli and a cup of coffee. The sandwich was so good I went back and order another one. Today, when I stopped on my return trip, I just went ahead and ordered two of the sandwiches the first time I ordered. They are great! Stop in if you are in the area and give one a try. Thanks, Poor Farmer's Market, for such a great place to take a break while riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway!

Wednesday morning I was startled when a HUGE black bear ran in front of me, while I was descending a long hill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was squeezing both brakes and hoping the bear would run away. He stopped in the middle of my lane, looked at me, and then disappeared into the woods. I'm glad I didn't hit him and also that he ran away. I've seen bears before, but never one as large as that one! 

The Gunnar Sport performed wonderfully. Having a Powertap Hub helped me to meter out my efforts. Most of this ride was mountainous. My gearing was a 53/39 chainrings with a 11-25 cassette. The two gear combinations I used most were 53x11 and 39x25. I was grinding up a hill or tearing down the other side. 

At the end of the second day I was getting tired. I calculated both days each to be a little more than a hundred miles. The funny thing was that with about 5 miles to go to get home, I began to feel fresh and was flying on the bike. Might be because the roads were finally flat! 

My friend Earl.
I saw Earl, who was out for a ride also, while on my way to the Blue Ridge Parkway. When he found out where I was going he offered me a Honey Stinger Gel. I had all the food I could carry with me already, so I thanked him and went on my way.
C& J Produce in Westfield, NC.
I stopped both days here to take a break and refuel.
Junior and Carol at C&J Produce.
I'm getting close to the Blue Ridge Mountains
This is a section of the road up Squirrel's Spur.
This is the way I took up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Poor Farmer's Market at Meadows of Dan.
This is a great place to take a break while riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is at mile post 177.

Felecia, owner of The Poor Farmer's Market, with her daughter's new puppy.

A typical view of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
My Garmin took me to the wrong address when I was looking for the lodge. This is one of the roads I rode on while lost and adding in about ten extra miles. Thank goodness for Gatorskin tires!
Here I am on the deck of the Bent Tree Lodge. Ready to head back.
A view from the deck of the Bent Tree Lodge.
Another view from the deck of the Bent Tree Lodge.
An old farm along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
A field of round hay bales along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The views were beutiful on the way back also. This was along Unity Church Road on the way home.
  Poor ole' Joe kept me company while I cleaned up my bike at the end of my adventure.
Click here to learn more about Gunnar Cycles.
Click here to learn more about Carradice Bags.
Click here to learn more about Brooks Saddles.
Click here to learn more about Planet Bike Fenders.
Click here to learn more about The Poor Farmer's Market.
Click here to lean more about The Bent Mountain Lodge.