Thursday, January 31, 2013

Philly 2010 Bike Expo: Waterford

Our friend Richard Schwinn show two custom bicycles manufactured by Waterford Precesion Cycles in Waterford Wisconsin. Click here to go to the Waterford Precision Cycles web site.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Gunnar Roadie - Soul Man - Riding to Yadkinville, NC

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Gunnar Roadie and Poor ole' Joe
Sunday afternoons are pretty much the only chance I have this time of year to ride outside. This Sunday the temperature was below 40 degrees the whole afternoon. I bundled up and went on out for a ride. 

My favorite type of ride is to roll down the driveway and just go where the bike seems to take me. This Sunday afternoon The Gunnar Roadie had me headed in the direction of Lewisville,NC. Shallowford Road is a popular road for cyclists. I have ridden out this way so many times I don't even think or plan to ride Shallowford Road. It just happens. I saw many cyclist going the opposite direction as I road away from Lewisville on Shallowford Road.

My ride ended up taking me to Yadkinville, NC. I was feeling good and the cool temperatures weren't an issue. When I looked down at my bike computer I realized that I was in the middle of Yadkinville and it was going to be hard for me to make back home before it got dark. 

Cycling has always been an adventure to me. Hammering to get in before it got too dark isn't the kind of adventure I had in mind. Fortunately I have a very bright flashing red light on the back of my bike. As I rode as fast as I could, I tried to decide which way would be the fastest and safest way to go. I popped out on Old 421 near Spear Bridge Road and time trialed back to Lewisville. The smooth surface of Old 421 was helpful in keeping my pace up. I made it back home safe and sound with minutes to spare before it became dark. My ride was a distance of fifty one miles with an average temperature of thirty six degrees.

Throughout my ride I was surprised at how much salt was on the roads from the previous weeks snow. It appeared the back country roads had been prepared for the frozen precipitation much more than the roads in Winston-Salem. Salt was coating my tires as I rode and flying around. I tried not to breath the chemicals from the road.

Steel frame bikes, e.g. my Gunnar Roadie, seem to just have soul. It's nice to look down at my bike on an adventurous ride, e.i. this Sunday's ride,  and feel the bike you are riding is an old friend. There are lighter materials to make bike frames out of. My favorite bikes over the years have all been made of steel. There is just something about riding a steel frame bike that I like. 
Jones Grocery on Shallowford Road.
Will A. Jones built this store building in 1926 and made his residence upstairs above the store.
Long horn cattle in a pasture outside of Yadkinville, NC.
Main Street Yadkinville, NC

Yadkinville is the county seat of Yadkin County, NC and the largest city in the county. Yadkin County was founded in 1850 and the city was named Yadkinville in 1852. The town is a total of 2.7 square miles.
Riding my steel framed Gunnar Roadie, feeling that the bike has soul, made the song Soul Man by Sam and Dave stick in my head. Sam and Dave, nicknamed the "Double Dynamite", performed together from 1961 through 1981. Their biggest hit, Soul Man, was released in August 1967. It was the number one song in the USA in November 1967 and their first gold record. In the video above Sam and Dave perform Soul Man in 1967.

The Blues Brothers perform Soul Man in the video above in 1979. Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi founded the Blues Bothers' Show Band and Revue as part of a musical sketch on the TV show Saturday Night Live. In 1980 The Blues Brothers movie was released. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Francis Pelissier

Francis Pelissier
 Francis Pelissier (1894-1959) was a French professional bicycle racer. He spent much of his career riding in support of his older brother, 1923 Tour de France winner, Henri Pelissier. Francis Pelissier was the French National Road Race Champion three times; 1921, 1923 and 1924. He finished in second place at the 1914 French Cyclo-Cross Championship and won the World Cyclo-Cross Championship in 1926.

 He had two stage victories while competing in the Tour de France. His first stage victory was the third stage of the 1919 tour. In the 1926 Tour de France he won the first stage and wore the yellow jersey of the race leader for five days.

Francis Pelissier retired from professional racing in 1935. In later years he worked as the team director for the Perle Bicycle Company's racing team. He is credited with giving bicycle racing talent Jacques Anquetil his start at racing. Anquetil went on to be the first racer to win the Tour de France five times.
Francis Pelissier winning the third stage of the 1919 Tour de France
Francis Pelissier 1926
Francis Pelissier - Team Director
To learn more about Francis Pelissier's older brother, Henri Pelissier, click here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life - edited by Amy Walker

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On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life
edited by Amy Walker
First Printed : September 2011
Published by: New World Library
Paperback - 384 pages
Printed in Canada on 100%  post consumer waste recycled paper

On Bicycles: 50 Ways The New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life is a book about the use of bicycles for transportation. It is comprised of 50 chapters written by 33 different authors. The book covers topics such as the history of bike advocacy, folding bikes, car free streets, bicycle commuting, the bike-craft boom, bike parking and many more.

The book is edited by Amy Walker. Amy Walker is a lifetime cyclist who started riding to school at the age of 16 and just never stopped as a means of transportation and pleasure. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia and is the co-founder of Momentum Magazine.

This is a great travel book. The chapters of On Bicycles are each an interesting read by themselves. If you don't have time to sit down and read a large chunk of the book, you can read a chapter or two and come back to the book at another time. All the chapters of the book are informational and motivating. 

Reading this book just makes you want to go out and ride your bike. It reveals the fun and positive impact cycling has on our communities and the world. This is a good book for anyone to read, regardless if the reader is interested in transportaion cycling or not.

Click here to visit the On Bicycles web site.
Click here to visit the Momentum Magazine web site.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bernard Hinault

Bernard Hinault
Bernard Hinault (1954) is a former French professional cyclist. He was nicknamed the badger for his determination and temperament when racing. He raced as a professional from 1974 through 1986. 

Hinault won the Tour de France five times in the years 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985. He won the tour the first year he entered in 1978. Every year he finished the Tour de France he either won the race or finished in second place. He finished in second place in the general classification in 1984 and 1986. During the 1980 edition of the tour Hinault had to abandon while wearing the yellow jersey of the race leader due to knee problems. A knee injury also kept him out of the 1983 Tour de France. 

Only three other racers have won the Tour de France five times. They are; Jacques Anqetil, Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain. 

The 1978 season was the first year Bernard Hinault raced a grand tour. He raced and won the Vuelta a Espana. Between the Vuelta and the Tour de France he won the French National Road Championship. Then he went on that year to also win the Tour de France.

Hinault not only won the overall general classification of the 1979 Tour de France he also won the points competition or green jersey of the top sprinter. 

Bernard Hinault abandoned the 1980 Tour de France while wearing the yellow jersey of the race leader due to knee problems. But he wasn't without major successes that year. He won the Giro d' Italia, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the World Road Racing Championships and the Tour de Romandie. The 1980 Liege-Bastogne-Liege was raced from beginning to end in a snow storm. Hinault broke away solo on the snowy roads back to Liege and finished 9minutes 24 seconds ahead of the second place finisher.

Hinault came back to the Tour de France and won in 1981. He spent 18 days in the yellow jersey that year. He also won Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Race, Criterium du Dauphine Libere and the Critierium International.

At the 1982 edition of the Tour de France Bernard Hinault wore the race leader's yellow jersey for twelve days and went on to win overall in the general classification. He also won the Giro d' Italia that year and wore the race leader's jersey for fifteen days during that race.

A knee injury kept Hinault out of the Tour de France in 1983. He did however win the Vuelta a Espana and La Fleche Wallonne that year.

At the 1984 Tour de France Bernard Hinault finished in second place behind his teammate and fellow Frenchman Laurent Fignon.

Hinault won both the Tour de France and the Giro d' Italia in 1985. This was his fifth and final Tour de France victory. 

The 1986 Tour de France was a race of controversy for Bernard Hinault and his teammate Greg Lemond. Lemond had helped Hinault to achieve his fifth Tour de France victory during 1985. Hinault had promised to help Lemond win the 1986 edition. There is much argument over Hinault's aggressive riding that year. Some say he was going all out after the victory. He says he was just trying to wear down Lemond's competition. Lemond won the 1986 Tour de France and Bernard Hinault finished in second place. Hinault won the King of The Mountains competition at the 1986 Tour de France. He traveled to the United States that year and won the Coors Classic stage race in Colorado.

After the 1986 season Bernard Hinault retired from professional bicycle racing and returned to the Brittany section of France and went back to farming. He also worked for the Look company as a technical advisor and helped to develop the Look clipless pedal system. 
Bernard Hinault attacking during a race in 1976 at the age of 22
Bernard Hinault leading up the Tourmalet during the 1979 Tour de France.
Bernard Hinault at the 1979 Tour of Lombardi .
Bernard Hinaut wearing the Yellow Jersey during the 1979 Tour de France
Bernard Hinault during the 1980 edition of  Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
He crossed the finish line solo.
Bernard Hinault racing Paris-Roubaix in 1981.
He won the race in 1981 while wearing the rainbow jersey of the world champion.
Bernard Hinault left and Laurent Fignon on the right.
Notice that the road they are racing on is not paved.
Bernard Hinault during the 1983 Veulta a Espana
Bernard Hinault riding aggressively during the 1985 Tour de France
Bernard Hinault Time Trialing during the 1985 Tour de France
Bernard Hinault wearing the "King Of The Mountains" jersey during the 1986 Tour de France.

Below is almost two hours of coverage of the 1985 Tour de France. Much has changed since this edition of the race; the roads of France are different, the crowds of spectators, the bicycles, the riders themselves, the race coverage and most of all the quality of videos. I like the types of country roads that used to be around, not only in France but also in this country, to ride on. Things change and time waits for no one!

Below is The Rolling Stones video "Time waits for no one".
The amazing guitar playing on this song is that of Mick Taylor. He was called upon as a session musician by The Rolling Stones in 1969, at the age of 20 years old, after they ousted original band member Brian Jones. Brian Jones was found drowned in his own swimming pool a few months later. The coroner ruled Jones cause of death as "death by misadventure". The Rolling Stones was impressed with Mich Taylor's playing and he continued to record and perform with them through 1973.

Gunnar Roadie Riding On A Sunny Sunday Afternoon - Street Fighting Man

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Poor Ole' Joe keeping me company while I check over my Gunnar Roadie before riding.

Sunday afternoon the weather made a pleasant change. After a cold week consisting of 4 days of heavy rain, 1 day of snow and 1 day of melting snow the temperatures was in the 50s and 60s. Finally a sunny afternoon to get out and go for a ride! 

After checking over my Gunnar Roadie, I headed out. As soon as I got going I discovered the wind to be much stronger than I expected. As it always seems to be I was riding straight into the wind. 

As I rode on Peace Heaven road, on my way toward  Lewisville, NC, traffic just irritated me. It wasn't that there was a large volume of traffic, but that the drivers just seemed aggressive. I kept to the white line on the edge of the road to give passing motorists as much room as possible. At the intersection of Peace Haven and Lewisville-Clemmons Roads the driver in front of me was chatting on a cell phone and sipping coffee. He didn't notice when the red light had turned green and just sat there continuing his conversation. I just barely made it through the intersection before the traffic light changed to red. For some reason the Rolling Stones song "Street Fighting Man" popped into my head and was stuck there for much of my ride.  I hoped this wasn't going to be the flavor of the rest of my ride. 

I stopped at the town square in Lewisville  to say hello and talk for a few minutes with a couple of cyclist friends that were unloading their bikes from the back of their cars. They had just arrived and I was already warmed up. I told them I was going to head on and they understood that.

 As I left Lewisville I was still riding into a headwind. On days like this I keep reminding myself of what Mike Royal once told me. Mike said "you always have a headwind if you are going fast enough". He was right. So I continued to struggle into the wind and tried to enjoy the ride.

On tough days like this I am glad I am riding the Gunnar Roadie. Some bikes just have soul and the Roadie is one of them. It's classic paneled paint job and steel frame and fork all combine to make a wonderful bike. This steel frame reminds me of the bikes I rode in the late 1980s, but it is completely different. The Gunnar is made of much more advanced steel tubing than the tubing used in bikes years ago. The tubing is OS2, which is over-sized air hardened tubing.

What is air hardened tubing? It is explained in the FAQS section of the Gunnar web site as:
Air hardening steels are a class of steel alloys designed for high-performance applications like air-craft construction, automobile crash panels and bicycle frames. Of all these applications, the bicycle frame is the most demanding.

When they come from the factory, air hardening steels are about 10% stronger than chromoly steel and Reynolds' equivalent 531. Like chromoly and 531, air hardening steels can be heat treated. Heat treating can as much as double the strength of the tubing.
The big benefit for Gunnar of heat treated air-hardening steels is that when we TIG-weld them, the joints are much stronger than they would be if they were the older generation of alloy. The effect is a much more durable frame. It also allows us to lighten up the tubes while maintaining adequate strength.

Gunnar uses two types of heat treated air hardening alloys - True Temper OX Platinum and Reynolds 853. Gunnar has designed custom tubes to supplement these companies' standard offerings to achieve the highest overall performance.

I have ridden the Gunnar Roadie approximately 1500 miles now. The performance, durability and design features of this frameset combine to make a bike that I can easily see myself riding for another twenty years. And it's made in the USA!
Click here to visit the Gunnar Cycles web site.
A covered wagon pulled by two ponies on Forbush Road.
As I continued to struggle into a headwind, on Forbush Road in Yadkin County, I saw a covered wagon headed towards me. The driver stopped and we talked and I took a photo of his rig. His wagon was pulled by two eight year old ponies. He explained that they could easily cover 10 to 20 miles. The ponies were restless and I asked if they were tired? The wagon driver said "they aren't tired. They are ready to go because they know they are headed for the barn and some food and water". 

As the wagon started on down the road I checked the distance on my bike computer and saw that I had ridden 27 miles so far. A few more miles up Forbush Road I saw a group of about 12 riders in a single file paceline headed the opposite direction. I knew the group and most of the riders. After they had passed I turned around and sped up to catch up to them. The group was on a slight downhill section of the road and were enjoy the benefit of a tailwind. When I latched onto the draft of the back of the pack I looked down at my computer to see we were holding a steady 28.50 miles per hour. The spirited nature of this group continued all the way back to the Lewisville Town Square where the group had started from. At the square I stopped to visit with a few friends and then rode on in. It was another fun ride on the Gunnar Roadie and I ended up with a little over 50 miles of riding. The tune "Street Fighting Man" continued to stick in my head as I rode. Fortunately, after the early part of my ride, the rest of my ride saw light traffic with friendly drivers. 

Below is a video of The Rolling Stones performing "Street Fighting Man" in the year 1973:

Friday, January 18, 2013

First Snow of 2013 1/18/13

Poor ole' Joe  looking around at the snow.

We had our first snow of 2013 in Winston-Salem, NC last night. The accumulation of snow was only about an inch. I was hoping for enough to ride a mountain bike in. It needs to be a little more than what we received to be good on a mountian bike This was just enough to make the ground messy and the roads icy. Regardless of how much or how little snow we get, it is always exciting when it snows in this part of the United States. 

The Red Hot Chili Peppers perform a popular song titled "Snow". The video below is of them performing the song live in 2006.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Armand Desmet

Armand Desmet

Armand Desmet (1931 - 2012) was a Belgian who raced bicycles on the road professionally from 1955 through 1967. He was a member of the Faema team during the years 1961 and 1963 and rode in support of Rik Van Looy. The riders on the Faema team at this time were referred to as Rik Van Looy's "red guard", as the color of their jerseys was mostly red.

 His first major victory, as a professional, was the1959 Tour of Belgium.

 Armand Desmet was the race leader for several days during the 1960 edition of the Vuelta a Espana and finished the race that year in 2nd place in the general classification. 

His best placing in the general classification of the Tour de France was a 5th place in 1963.

Armand Desmet on the left  with Julio Jimenez on the right.
During the 9th stage of the 1965 Tour de France.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Gunnar Roadie - Toys in the Attic - Rockford General Store

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Sunday afternoon the high temperature was in the low 70s. I couldn't miss this opportunity to ride to one of my favorite cycling destinations, Rockford General Store. This has been one of my favorite rides for more than twenty years. The community of Rockford was incorporated in 1819 and at one time was the county seat of Surry County, NC. Rockford General Store opened for business in 1890. The store has a nice front porch with benches and rocking chairs to relax on. Large glass jars of candy are what I enjoy most on the inside of the store. On this trip I filled a small paper bag with chocolate covered coffee beans. There are lots of interesting things to buy in the store and there is also a grill located inside. Click here to visit the Rockford General Store web site.

One of the attractions that I have enjoyed in the past, while riding to Rockford, was the "low water bridge". The "low water bridge" was a one lane bridge built in 1962 that crossed the Yadkin River. It was built just above the water's surface and didn't have any guard rails on the sides of it. The bridge was built of wood with a layer of pavement on top of the wood. The bridge would often times be under water after any significant amount of rain. The surface was rough and uneven on the bridge. It was always exciting to ride across the "low water bridge" on a bicycle.  Unfortunately the old bridge was replaced in 2002 by a modern two lane bridge made of cement. The new bridge is much higher above the river. 

On the way to and from Rockford General Store I saw many cyclists on the road. Some where riding solo, but most were in groups. The nice weather had cyclists pulling their bikes out to enjoy a warm ride in January like child pulling toys out of the attic. 

My ride ended up being approximately 65 miles in length. I'm glad I was able to take advantage of such a beautiful January day and do one of my favorite rides. Today it's overcast and rainy, so it's back to riding on the rollers.
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My Gunnar Roadie on the new Rockford Bridge.
The view of the Yadkin River from the new Rockford Bridge.

The old low water bridge at  Rockford during a 1997 civil war reenactment.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Eagle of Toledo - The Life and Times of Federico Bahamontes - by Alasdair Fotheringham

The Eagle of Toledo
The Life and Times of Federico Bahamontes
by: Alasdair Fotheringham
Published: June 21, 2012 by Aurum Press Ltd
Hardback, 281 pages

The Eagle of Toledo by Alasdair Fotheringham is the biography of Federico Bahamontes.  He is most famous for his 1959 win of the Tour de France and being the first Spanish rider to win the tour. He also won the King of the Mountains classification in the Tour de France six times. His amazing ability to climb mountains on his bike earned him the nickname "The Eagle of Toledo".

Alasdair Fotheringham did a great deal of research and interviews in preparation for writing this book. He interviewed teammates, rivals and of course Federico Bahamontes himself.

Bahamontes was a child at the time of the Spanish Civil Wars that took place form 1936 through 1939 and ended in General Franco's forces taking over the democratically elected Republic. After the war his family was facing near starvation as many were during this time in Spain. Reading this part of the book is an eye opening experience into the struggle for survival of many people during this portion of Spain's history. Federico's childhood was a constant search for food.

This book is enjoyable to read up to a point. I enjoyed reading about Federico Bahamontes rise to fame and fortune, but didn't enjoy the second half of the book as much. The author writes in depth about the controversies that arose during Bahamontes years of professional bicycle racing. My disappointment in the book is probably due to the fact that I was expecting a story of a racer who was successful and a book that ended in"they all lived happily ever after". Learning more about Federico Bahamontes and the history of Spain was my favorite part of the book. Click here for more photos and information on Federico Bahamontes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gunnar Sport - Camino Bakery - Chocolate Cake - Nissen Building!

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Camino Bakery
After riding fairly hard ride, on Sunday afternoon, an easy site seeing ride was more appealing than another rip through the country side. Camino Bakery seemed like a fun destination. 

A friend of mine had introduced me to Camino Bakery around this time last year. The bakery is located at 310B W. 4th Street in downtown Winston-Salem, NC. This address is on the first floor of the Nissen building. Cary Clifford started the bakery in 2008 making treats for Krankies (coffee). Her business quickly grew and in 2011 the present bakery/cafe was opened. Baked goods, sandwiches, an assortment of coffee and beverages are all available in a wonderful atmosphere. Click here to visit the Camino Bakery web site.
Looking in the front door of the Camino Bakery
Nissen Building
The Nissen building, where Camino Bakery is located, is an 18 story building on the corner of 4th and Cherry Streets. Construction of the building was completed in 1927. It was the tallest building in North Carolina at the time of it's completion and the first air conditioned building in the southeastern United States. The building is named for the builder W.M. Nissen. He was the owner of the Nissen Wagon Works. Offices were rented out in the upper levels of the building and the ground floor was used for retail space. William and Ida Nissen lived on the 18th floor of the building until 1954. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Place in 1983. In 2004 construction began to convert the building to it's present 146 apartments with a swimming pool on the roof. Click here to visit the Nissen Building web site.

I have memories from many years ago associated with the Nissen Building. My first dentist's office, Dr. Zimmerman, was located in the building. It must have been my first visit to a dentist that I remember so well. My mother had informed me in advance that I would be going to the dentist. I was excited about that, and ran to tell my two older sisters. They had already been to see Dr. Zimmerman. My sisters said "you are going to have to ride in an elevator". As far as I know, I had never ridden in an elevator before. It all sounded scary to me. All of a sudden the trip to the dentist, that I had been so excited about minutes before, didn't seem like a good thing at all. Then they told me that the dentist had comic books I could read. Comic books made it sound like going to see the dentist was going to be fun. I like comic books! If I could only make it through riding in an elevator. 
The restored brass covered doors of the elevators in the Nissen Building.

I was terrified of riding on an elevator the whole way over to the dentist's office the day of my appointment. The doors of the elevators were covered in elaborately shaped brass and were all shiny. There couldn't have been more elaborate doors to look up at as a toddler. What a dramatic first elevator ride!

 Once we got inside the waiting area of the dentist's office, I forgot all about the elevator ride I had just been on. Comic books is what I was looking for. My sisters had told me they would be there. I found one and started turning the pages. I couldn't read, but I still enjoyed looking at the pictures. Once Dr. Zimmerman was through checking my teeth I asked him "where did you get your comic books". He took me to the window and pointed at the drug store on the corner of 4th and Trade Streets. He said "I buy them at that drug store right there". I still look for comic books when ever I go to visit a dentist, but all I find are a bunch of boring magazines. Nothing as fun as Superman, Donald Duck or Sad Sack.
Gunnar Sport parked in the foyer of the Camino Bakery
Riding into downtown involved riding primarily on Country Club Road. Country Club Road is wide with a center turn lane in the middle of much of it. It is a two lane road that has been a way in and out of the city for years. With rapid growth on the western edges and out lying communities of Winston-Salem, traffic has gotten very heavy on Country Club. It doesn't seem like it has been long ago that the road was resurfaced, but the steady stream of traffic has broken the surface up. It is especially rough on the outer edges where you are forced to ride on a bicycle. I have front and rear lights on the Gunnar Sport, more for visibility reasons than to see at night. I made it fine through the country club area, but it was not enjoyable. 

Despite there not being any bike lanes at all, maneuvering amongst traffic was easy once I reach the downtown area of Winston-Salem. As I looked across the one intersection, while stopped at a traffic light, I noticed a young rider on a fixed gear bike doing a track stand.

 A track stand is when a rider stops and balances his bike without putting their foot down. This is performed by holding the cranks of the bicycle in a horizontal position and keeping a slight pressure on the chain. Sometimes it is necessary to move the front wheel back and forth from left to right to maintain balance. Track stands are usually done with the rider standing so they can sprint away when the time comes. They are called track stands because they originated from track racing and track sprinting specifically.

Not to be out done, I did a track stand too. The other rider was on a stripped down fixed gear bike, while I was on the Gunnar Sport complete with fenders, lights, front rack and rack top bag. I think I did a better track stand since the other rider was creeping forward into the intersection and I held my position without advancing forward. 

Once I arrived at the Camino Bakery I noticed that they do have an artistically done bike rack out in front of the building. I had neglected to bring a lock with me and my bike has several fairly expensive attachments. I didn't want it to be too far away from me. I parked it inside the large foyer of the bakery. I don't think it was a problem during mid afternoon. 
Two Pieces of Chocolate Bunt Cake.
All of the goodies looked delicious at the Camino Bakery. I couldn't decide what to get. Under a glass dome was a beautiful chocolate bunt cake. My father is particulary fond of chocolate cake, so I order two pieces of the cake to go. One piece for each of my parents. I also order a big thick slice of cinnamon toast that was covered in thinly sliced almonds for myself. The plastic container the cake was in was a little larger than the front bag on my bike. I was able to bend the corners in slightly and fit the container in the bag without damaging the slices of cake. I ate my cinnamon toast and got back out on the road. 

Riding to my parents house to deliver the chocolate cake meant even more riding on Country Club Road. I arrived at my parents' house and had a nice visit. I had to cut our visit a little short so that I could get in before rush hour began. 

I enjoyed my ride and trip to the Camino Bakery. The bakery is a nice destination for a bike ride and especially on a weekend day, when there is less business traffic on the roads. If you ride there on a bicycle be sure to take a lock with you so you can secure your bike and spend a little more time at the bakery than I did. It's a nice place!
My father and mother with my Gunnar Sport

Poor ole' Joe was excited when he saw me returning safe and sound.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

1922 Tour de France

Riders stopping at the top of a hill to flip their wheels to a larger gear for the descent during the 1922 Tour de France.
The 1922 Tour de France was the 16th Tour de France. It consisted of 15 stages and covered a total distance of 5,372 kilometers (3,338 miles). It took place from June 25th to July 23rd 1922. The cyclists were divided into two categories, first class (the professionals) and second class (the amateurs).

The early stages of the tour excited French cycling fans. Belgian racers had dominated the tour in recent years. Robert Jacquinot won the 1st stage and Eugene Christophe  finished the stage in 2nd place. Both French racers.

French rider Romain Bellenger won the 2nd stage.  He won the stage in a sprint finish against Philippe Thys, Robert Jacquinot, Victor Lenaers, Jean Alavoine and Emile Masson. The next bunch of riders were just 47 seconds behind them.

The 3rd stage ended in the  Brest velodrome. Jacquinot won the stage in a sprint finish and kept the yellow leaders jersey. The 24 competitors finished together. Desgrange, the race organizer, wanted the riders to struggle to the finish and come in one at a time. He didn't want the riders to help each other or ride in bunches. Desgrange's idea of the Tour de France was a single rider preserving to the end of each stage alone. 
Three breakaway riders in the 1922 Tour de France, on the road to Versailles.

Stage 4 was 412 kilometers in length (256 miles) going from Brest to Les Sables d'Olonne, France. Robert Jacquinot had 3 flat tires during the stage and lost 1 hour and 41 minutes. Belgain Phillipe Thys won the 4th stage, but Frenchman Eugene Christophe took over the lead. The French fans were enthused to have a Frenchman, who was capable of winning the Tour de France, in the position of race leader.

After the end of the 5th stage of the 1922 Tour de France Christophe had a good overall lead. The top three standings were:

1. Eugene Christophe
2. Philippe Thys @ 8 minutes 15 seconds
3. Felix Sellier @ 34 minutes 49 seconds

Stage 6 was the first stage in the Pyrenees Mountains. There was heavy snow on the Tourmalet and the route had to be changed to by-pass that climb. The 6th stage was won by Jean Alavoine, who led over all the climbs. Despite finishing the stage 38 minutes behind Alavoine, Eugene Christhope held on to the leader's yellow jersey. Jean Alavoine was now in second place, 27 minutes behind Christhope. The winner of 3 previous Tour de Frances, Philippe Thys, lost more than 3 hours due to a broken wheel suffered during the stage. Also in the stage, a shepherd suggest to Emile Masson to take a shortcut on a goat path. Masson took the shortcut, had to carry his bike, and lost time.
Jean Alavoine winning the 6th stage of the 1922 Tour de France.
The next rider was 17 minutes behind him.
The 7th stage contained the climbs of the Portet d'Aspet, the Port and the Puymorens. It was also 323 kilometers (200.70 miles) in length. Jean Alavoine won the stage. It was his third stage win in a row. Eugene Christophe lost 46 minutes during the 7th stage and dropped to third place in the overall standings. 

Jean Alavoine had been close to winning the Tour de France several times in the past. In previous tours he had finished in 2nd place, 3rd place 2 times and in 5th place overall. He had also been the French Road Racing Champion 2 times. He now had the yellow leader's jersey and held a healthy lead.

The standings of the top three riders after the Pyrenees was:

1. Jean Alavoine
2. Firmin Lambot (1919 Tour winner) @ 14 minutes 19 seconds
3. Eugene Christophe @ 19 minutes 34 seconds

Philippe Thys won the 8th, 9th and 10th stages all in a row. He was not a threat to Alavoine's lead due to his loss of 3 hours with a broken wheel during the 6th stage. Alavoine's lead in the 1922 Tour de France was now 22 minutes and 18 seconds over 2nd place Firmin Lambot.

 The 11th stage of the tour contained the Alpine climbs of the Galibier, the Telegraphe and the Arvis. The leaders of the stage encountered a heavy rain storm while on the Galibier. It's important to remember that most of the Tour de France was raced on dirt roads at this time. Honore Barthelemy crashed at  least three times and had to abandon the race during this stage. Eugene Christophe broke his fork for an incredible 3rd time while racing a Tour de France, when he was climbing the Galibier. He had to walk the rest of the way up the mountain and down the other side before he could fix his fork. Christophe lost 3 hours and his chance to win a Tour de France for a third time due to a broken fork. Jean Alavoine, the race leader, had mechanical problems during the stage and finished 38 minutes behind stage winner Emile Masson. Heusghem attacked during the 11th stage, and gained over 30 minutes, and was now in 3rd place.

The General Classification at the end of the 11th stage was:

1. Jean Alavoine
2. Firmin Lambot @ 6 minutes 53 seconds
3. Hector Heusghem @ 15 minutes 49 seconds

Emile Masson won the 12th stage. Hector Heusghem attacked on this stage again. Race leader Jean Alavoine had 6 flat tires on this stage and lost 37 minutes. Heusghem finished 35 minutes over Alavoine and more than 10 minutes ahead of second placed Firmin Lambot. This put Hector Heusghem in the yellow jersey of the race leader.

Here are the top three places in the 1922 Tour de France after the 12th stage:
1. Hector Heusghem
2. Firmin Lambot @ 3 minutes 13 seconds
3. Jean Alavoine @ 10 minutes 24 seconds

Robert Jacquinot taking a break during the 1922 Tour de France.

During the 13th stage Hector Heusghem hit a pothole and crashed. His bike was destroyed in the crash. He swapped to a teammate's bike, after getting permission from a race judge, and finished the stage. At the end of the day the race officials reviewed the rules and decided to give Heusghem an hour penalty for the bike swap. Without this penalty he would have surely won the 1922 Tour de France.

The top three spots after the 13th stage were:

1. Firmin Lambot
2. Jean Alavoine @ 33 minutes 16 seconds
3. Victor Lenaers @ 47 minutes 10 seconds

Firmin Lambot during stage 15 of the 1922 Tour de France.
Firmin Lambot held on to his lead for the remaining 2 stages and won the 1922 Tour de France. At 37 years of age he was the oldest rider to have won the race and the first rider to win a Tour de France without ever winning a stage. He had stayed out of trouble and not suffered any misfortunes during the tour. He won with an average speed of 24.49 kph (15.22 mph).

120 racers started the 1922 tour and there were 38 finishers.

Below are the top 5 places in the general classification of the 1922 Tour de France:

1. Firmin Lambot (Peugeot): 222 hours 8 minutes 6 seconds
2. Jean Alavoine (Peugeot) @ 41 minutes 15 seconds
3. Felix Sellier (Alcyon) @ 42 minutes 2 seconds
4. Hector Heusghem (Thomann) @ 43 minutes 56 seconds
5. Victor Lenaers (Peugeot) @ 45 minutes 32 seconds

Firmin Lambot, winner of the 1922 Tour de France.
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Jean Alvoine, 2nd place in the 1922 Tour de France.
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Felix Sellier, 3rd place in the 1922 Tour de France.
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Hector Heusghem, 4th place in the 1922 Tour de France.
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Victor Lenaers, 5th place in the 1922 Tour de France.
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