Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Finally Made It Back To The Giordana Velodrome

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Finally made it back to the track.

It has been seven months since I have been to the Giordana Velodrome in Rockhill, SC. Last summer I was able to get to the track on a fairly consistent basis. There seems to have been one thing after another keeping me from going there. I finally made it there this Monday morning!

Riding on a Velodrome has been something I have wanted to do for many years. The closest track to me, before this one was built, is the Dick Lane Velodrome in East Point, GA (Atlanta). That is a hard dive of five and a half hours by car. Rockhill is just over an hour and half by car. There is a little traffic getting through Charlotte, NC, but it isn't very bad. I am grateful to be able to ride on this world class facility.

They have made a few improvements since I was last at the track. I noticed more aluminum benches for riders to sit on situated in several locations. The biggest change is a large sign above the track with a digital clock. The clock not only lets you know what time of day it is, but also provides an easy way to get an idea of your lap times.
My Argon 18 Electron

The temperatures were in the fifties with a strong head wind on the front stretch. 

It requires a good deal of power to ride high on the banking of a track. I could tell right away that I have some work to do to get back to where I was last summer. When I was last at the track I need to add one tooth to the gearing on the back of my bike. I changed out the cog on the rear wheel to a larger one, before going to the velodrome. With this larger gear I felt like I was getting bogged down and not able to keep my cadence in an efficient range. I'll switch back down one tooth before I head to Rockhill again. 

Hopefully I will be able to make it back to the Giordana Velodrome several times during the next few months. I look forward to each trip I make there and it is always a good time.
Looking across the infield of the velodrome at the third and forth turns.
The forty three degree banking between turns one and two.
Poor ole' Joe chewed on a stick while I cleaned my bike.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Nice Sunday Afternoon Rambling Ride - "Ramblin' Man"

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Horses along Murray Road enjoying the nice day.
It was a perfect afternoon to get out an go for a "rambling ride." Rambling rides are some of my favorites. These are rides where I ride off on my bike without any plans as to the direction I am going to ride. 

Today I rode across town for a change. My route took me down Peace Haven Road and then onto Polo Road. I cut over to Murray Road and headed towards Tobaccoville. During my ride as I came to an intersection, I just turned which ever way I felt like going. There was no planned pace or direction for my ride. I just rode along and enjoyed the day. 

I rode for a about two and a half hours, and probably covered about 40 miles. Temperatures were in the low sixty degrees with a slight breeze. After getting in from my ride, Poor ole' Joe kept me company while I cleaned my bike. Perfect day for a rambling ride! 

The video below is riding on Mizpah Church Road today.

Poor ole' Joe and my bike.

Bob Seger sings about a ramblin' man in the video below.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's All About The Bike: The Pursuit Of Happiness On Two Wheels, by Robert Penn

It's All About The Bike: The Pursuit Of Happiness On Two Wheels, by Robert Penn
Published by Bloomsbury USA, New York
First US Edition 2011
Printed in the USA
208 pages
First published in the UK by Particular Books in 2010

Robert Penn is a life long cyclist, who in his late twenties pedaled twenty five thousand miles around the world. He has ridden all types of bikes and commutes by bicycle to work each day.

The book is about his quest for the perfect bicycle suits his riding style. One that he will have for the rest of his life. 

Penn discusses his preference of frame and components for his dream bike and travels to various company's headquarters to buy the different parts. As he describes his visits to each manufacturer, he also tells the history of the companies and the products they make. Some of the companies he visits are Continental (for tires), Cinelli (for handlebars and stem), Campagnolo (for brakes, gears and drive train) and of course Brooks (for his saddle).

This book is a good read for any one interested in bicycles. The mix of Robert Penn's traveling quest for his perfect bike parts and cycling history make the book both entertaining and educational. I highly recommend this one.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jean-Rene Bernaudeau

Jean-Rene Bernaudeau 1979
Jean-Rene Bernaudeau, born July 8, 1956, is former French professional bicycle racer, who raced as a professional from 1978 through 1988. His best year at the Tour de France was 1979. At the 1979 Tour Bernaudeau wore the yellow jersey of race leader for one day, at the end of the race he was awarded the best  young rider prize, and finished in fifth place overall in the general classifications. He won the Grand Prix du Midi Libre four times in the years 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983. In 1982 he said "the doping controls were a breach of the freedom of work." Jean-Rene Bernaudeau is currently the director sportif of the Team Europcar cycling team.

Jean-Rene Bernaudeau 1981
Jean-Rene Bernaudeau 1984

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ride: Short fiction about bicycles: - book review

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Ride: Short fiction about bicycles
200 Pages
Published by: Typeflow Inc. 2011
Edited by: Keith Snyder

 Ride is a collection of short stories, all of which involve bicycles. The book contains nine different stories by nine different authors. The good thing about a book of short stories is that you can read a story, put the book down, and pick it up months later and read some more without being lost. Short stories are also nice to take with you when you are traveling, or sitting in a waiting room waiting on an appointment.

I was disappointed in most of the short stories in this book. The writing was excellent. Just not my type of stories. Many of the main characters were troubled people with dark personalities. I guess I just grew up in the era when The Wonderful World of Walt Disney was on television. I like stories that end with "And they all lived happily ever after."

There is one story in the book that is really good. It is "Bob's Bike Shop" by Kent Peterson. You can read the whole story right here on this blog. Simply click here to read it! I wish I could recommend the whole book, but I can't. I do recommend reading "Bob's Bike Shop."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Surly Long Haul Trucker - Riding to the grocery store - Gasoline

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Surly Long Haul Trucker - at the grocery store.
Beautiful days like today are just made for going for a bicycle ride. The temperature was a little above sixty degrees when I got home. I wanted to go for a ride and I also wanted to pick up a couple of things at the grocery store. Only problem was, not enough time for both. 

Riding to the grocery store was the obvious solution. I was hoping they had some of the Minneola Tangelos, like I had bought a few days ago, still in stock. As soon as I walked in the door, I saw a nice big display of them. I quickly grabbed a bag and started to put a few in it.

 The price of the tangelos was seventy one cents apiece. So, I only bought six of them. They are so delicious! I am already planning on buying more right away. 

Utility riding wasn't exactly the type of ride I wanted to do. But, it worked out to be a nice ride, and I had a yummy Minneola Tangelo at the end of the ride. I also saved some wear and tear on my car, along with conserving some Gasoline. Gasoline isn't free!
Minneola Tangelos
Sheryl Crow performs her song "Gasoline" in the video below.