Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Saturday, October 11, 2014
|Gunnar Roadie on the scales.|
|NiteRider Solas light is rechargeable using a USB cord.|
|Bar Fly computer mount for a CycleOps Joule bike computer.|
|Powertap G3 rear hub.|
|CycleOps cadence sensor.|
|Gunnar Roadie by Mallard Lake in Tanglewood Park.|
|Gunnar Roadie with horses at Tanglewood Park.|
|This horse is curious about the Gunnar Roadie!|
|He enjoyed me rubbing his long nose. I hated to say goodbye!|
Click here for more information on this Gunnar Roadie frameset before it was built up into a bicycle.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
His original dreams and passion, as a boy, were of locomotives and railroads. He was latter introduced to bicycle racing while working as an apprentice at a bike shop. Through hard work and dedication he was able to begin racing at a professional level in 1926 and the following year competed in the Tour de France.
Through out his life Antonin Magne lived by the prescript: "The glory is never where virtue is not." Integrity, camaraderie, modesty and righteousness were his values.
Magne was one of the first to understand the importance of diet in the practice of high performance sports.
During his career Antonin Magne was very successful racing the Tour de France. He was the overall winner during the 1931 and 1934 editions of the race. Some of his first place finishes and his placings in the overall general classification at the Tour de France are listed below by year.
1st. in stage 14
6th. overall in the General Classification
1st. in stage 13
1st. in stage 21
6th. overall in the General Classification
7th. in the General Classification
1st. in stage 12
3rd. in the General Classification
1st. in stage 9
1st. overall in the General Classification
8th. overall in the General Classification
1st. in stage 17
1st. in stage 21
1st. overall in the General Classification
1st. in stage 20
2nd overal in the General Classification
1st. in stage 10
1st. in stage 21
At the 1931 Tour de France, the French Team was a powerhouse. Antonin Magne was on the team with Andre Leduca and Charles Pellissier. Magne and the French team had to cover many attacks by the Itailian team during the Alpine stages of that year's tour. He never lost his lead during those stages.
The greatest threat to Antonin Magne's lead during the 1931 Tour de France was on the penultimate stage, from Charleville to Malo-les-Bains. This was a day of racing over rough cobblestone roads. Magne was worried the night before this stage and was keeping his roommate, Andre Leducq, awake. Leducq suggested to Magne that he read some of his fan mail. As he read, one letter caught his attention. It read:
"Monsieur Antonin Magne,
"I am writing to warn you that Rebry [one of the Belgian riders] has written to his mother saying that he'll attack with Demuysére on the stage from Charleville to Malo-les-Bains."
The following day, the Belgians attacked over and over, while riding on dangerous cobbles that were wet and slick. Despite falling once, Magne was able to stick with the pair of attacking riders.
He went on to win the 1931 Tour de France. The effort was so fatiguing that Antonin Magne didn't start the tour the following year.
|Antonin Magne receive help from a spectator in the 1934 Tour de France|
In Antonin Magne's second tour win, the 1934 Tour de France, he took the lead in the second stage and never gave it up through the rest of the race. He wore the yellow jersey of race leader for a total of 22 days that year.
Magne's success at the 1934 Tour de France would have never happened if his teammate Rene Vietto had not made sacrifices.
During stage 15, from Perpignan to Ax-les-thermes, Veitto was first over the big climb of the day. Magne crashed on the descent and broke his front wheel. Veitto dutifully gave him his front wheel and waited for support.
Magne hit a rock and crashed again on a descent during stage 16. This time he broke his rear wheel. A motorcycle marshal rode ahead and told Rene Vietto of his team leader's plight. Vietto turned around and rode back up the mountain and gave his rear wheel to Magne.
Antonin Magne about to start and win an eighty kilometer individual time trial 1934 Tour de France. This was the first individual time trial ever in the Tour de France.
Antonin Magne's bicycle while racing for the 1939 Mercier-Hutchinson team.
Friday, October 3, 2014
Jean Mallejac (1929 - 2000) was a French Bicycle Road Racer who raced as a professional from 1949 through 1959. Before become a bicycle racer he worked in a munitions factory.
He is best know for his performance in the 1953 Tour de France. That year at the tour he won the 5th stage and wore the yellow jersey of the race leader for 5 days. He finished in 2nd place overall in the general classification.
The 12th stage of the 1955 Tour de France was from Marseille to Avignon and crossed the climb of Mont Ventoux. Mont Ventoux is a barren mountain and the highest in this region of France. The wind blows at over 56 miles an hour at the top for over 240 days of the year. Jean Mallejac was ten kilometers from the summit when he began to zig-zag from one side of the road to the other. He collapsed to the ground with one foot still strapped into the pedal of his bicycle. His free leg was still pedaling in the air. Unconscious on the side of the road, his jaws were forced open to force some fluids into him. After being given oxygen and an injection of solucamphor, he regained consciousness and was hauled to the hospital by ambulance. He claimed he was given drugs against his will and threaten to file charges of attempted murder. Mallejac recovered and rode the Tour de France 4 more times.
Jean Mallejac retired from professional bicycle racing in 1959 and ran a driving school in Landerneau.
|Jean Mallejac during the 1953 Tour de France|
|Jean Mallejac - 1954|
|Jean Mallejac on Mount Ventoux 1955|
Saturday, September 27, 2014
3 bunches of fresh baby beets
Fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper
Wash the beets and then place them in a large pot with enough water to cover them. Boil until they are tender (you should be able to pierce them easily with a paring knife or fork).
Remove the beets from the pot and run them under cold water. Peel, rinse, and pat dry.
Cut the beets in half, place them in a bowl, and add the remaining ingredients to taste.
Friday, September 26, 2014
During his second year racing as a professional, 1936, he won the 19th stage of the Tour de France and finished in 9th place in the general classification.
His most successful year was 1938. He won the World Championship in 1938. Because of World War II there were no World Championship races held for several years after his win. This makes Marcel Kint the longest reigning World Champion. At the 1938 Tour de France he won three stages (15, 16 & 18) and finished ninth in the overall general classification.
Kint was very successful at one day classic races. He holds the record for three consecutive wins at La Fleche Wallonne in the years 1943, 1944 and 1945. The 1943 edition of Paris-Roubaix is one of his greatest victories.
Marcel Kint also had several major track racing victories during his career. Of note are his 1948 and 1949 at the Brussels Six Day Races with partner Rik Van Steenbergen.
|Marcel Kint wearing the Belgium National Champion's Jersey. 1945|
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Romain Maes (1912-1983) was a Belgain cyclist who raced as a professional from 1933 through 1944.
His second year racing as a professional, 1934, he entered the Tour de France for the first time. He finished the first and third stages in second place. Later in the race he crashed and ended up leaving the race in an ambulance.
He is most famous for winning the Tour de France in 1935. During the race he wore the yellow jersey of the race leader from the beginning of the race all the way to end. During the 1935 tour he won the first, eleventh and twenty first stage. The twenty first stage was the final stage and ended in Paris. Maes crossed the finish line of the final stage all alone. The next rider to cross the finish line, of the final day, crossed the line thirty nine seconds behind Maes. After winning the 1935 Tour de France, Romain Maes collapsed in tears into his mother's arms.
His win ended a six year streak of the tour being won by Frenchmen. Maes was celebrated as a hero in his home country of Belgium.
Maes was the first rider to cross the finish line at the 1936 edition of Paris-Roubaix. But a judges awarded the victory to Frenchman Georges Speicher. The race official said he had seen Speicher win.
He had the 1938 edition of Paris-Brussels almost won. Maes had a hundred meter lead over the chasing racers with just five hundred meters to go. He crossed the finish line, inside the velodrome where the race ended, and stopped. Romain had forgotten that he was suppose to ride another full lap around the track before the race was finished. The other races didn't forget and went flying by Maes as he was sitting still. When he realized what was going on, it was too late. Marcel Kint made the additional lap around the velodrome and won the race.
At the 1939 Tour de France, Romain Maes appeared to be on his way to another good ride. He won the second stage, a sixty three kilometer time trial from Caen to Vire. He was unfortunately involved in a bad crash during the eighth stage and had to abandon the race.
Romain Maes raced successfully on the track in the later years of his career. His track racing partner's name was Sulvere Maes. They were not related.
After the 1944 season, Romain Maes retired from racing and opened a bar. The bar was named "In de Gele Trui" (In the Yellow Jersey) and was located near the North Station in Brussels.
|Romain Maes and Sylvere Maes at the 1935 Tour de France|
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
|Click on the photo to enlarge it.|
|My bike with a vineyard belonging to NASCAR legend Richard Childress in the background|
Riding on Hampton Road outside of Clemmons.
Music: "Gone with the wind" by Lightin' Hopkins
|A pond on Waterworks Road outside of Clemmons.|
The Canadian Geese have found something to eat in the pond.
If you look closely you will see several of them have their tails in the air and their heads underwater.
|Poor ole Joe kept me company as I cleaned and checked over my bike.|
Lynyrd Skynyrd perform their song "Call Me The Breeze" in 1975.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Omer Huyse (1898-1989) was a Belgium professional road cyclist. He raced as a professional during the years 1923 through 1930.
Huyse is known for winning the fifth stage of the 1924 edition of the Tour de France. The cyclist were divided into three different categories during the 1924 tour; first class for top cyclists, second class for lesser cyclists, and the touriste-routier class for semi-amateur cyclist. Omer Huyse was in the second class of cyclist. This made his stage win even more impressive. He never won another stage of the Tour de France, but did finish in ninth place in 1924 and seventh place in the general classification in 1925.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
|Hunger; The Autobiography of Sean Kelly|
320 pages, hardcover
First Published in Great Briton in 2013
by: Peloton Publishing
2 Gladdensden Lane
St Albans , Herts AL3 7NP
Printed in and bound in England by SS Media
Click here to visit Peloton Publishing's web site.
Hunger, by Sean Kelly, tells the story of Kelly from a young age growing up on a farm through his professional bicycle racing career into retirement.
He grew up on on a farm in rural Ireland. He was accustomed to hard work. Kelly carried on the strong work ethic of his youth throughout his training and professional racing career.
When other riders signed lucrative contracts to race, they often would change their life style. Expensive cars and houses were often bought soon after signing.
In the book Sean Kelly describes how he lived while racing. During his years as a professional he lived in a room on a rural farm in Belgium. He rented it from an older couple. Living much as he did on his family farm in Ireland. Kelly saved his money and didn't indulged in many luxuries.
His training and racing were much like of his youth, which was spent working on the farm or as a brick mason. The book tells of how he trained and race.
This is a great read for any fan of bicycle racing. It tells of his life while racing as well as describing the races. Be sure and read this book.
Click here for more on Sean Kelly.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Nivea was the first sponsor of professional cycling that wasn't a cycling related company.
The early 1950's was a time of reconstruction in Italy after the destruction of World War II. The conflict created an era of new industrial growth. Approximately four million bicycles were on the roads of Italy, being used mainly as primary transportation. There were only about three hundred and forty thousand cars in use throughout the country.
Bicycle racing was the most popular sport in Italy during the post war era. Fans flocked to see the races in person, or followed the racing by radio and newspaper coverage.
In the mid to late 1950s, bicycles as transportation was giving way to motorized vehicles. As millions of people poured into the northern region of the country in pursuit of factory jobs, they began to earn enough money to afford cars, scooters or motorcycles. Workers no longer relied on bicycles for transportation.
Professional bicycle racing teams had always been funded by companies that manufactured bicycles. The moneys to support the teams diminished with the reduction in sales and production of bicycles. Racers saw their income compromised when bicycle racing was still hugely popular as a sport.
Fiorenzo Magni was not only a champion cyclist he was obviously a great salesman. At the end of the 1954 racing season, he convinced Nivea to co-sponsor a professional bicycle racing team. The other team sponsor was Swiss bike manufacturer Fuchs.
Nivea was a women's face cream maker at the time. This non-cycling related sponsorship was the precedent for many other companies to offer sponsorship to cycling teams and events as a means of advertising. This saved professional cycling.
Click here to learn more about Nivea.
Click here for more on Fiorenzo Magni.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Egidia Barbetta writes:
All through my childhood, the main topic of conversation in our home was bicycle racing. My parents owned a bar and coffee shop called Caffe Sport Pancera, named after my father, Giuseppe Pancera, who had been a racer in the 1920s, a golden era for professional cycling. His career started in 1922 and he became a champion not only in Italy but all over Europe and even as far as Australia. He retired when he turned 33 and a year later got married, had three children and led a quiet life with his family until his death in 1977 at the age of 78.
When my sister and I were teenagers, and father started to talk about his adventures, we grew listless and walked away. But recently, while looking through family relics, we found a manuscript written by our father and we realized what we had missed by not speaking to him.
Born in 1899 in the small town of Castelnuovo del Garda in northern Italy, my father's parents were simple peasants. There were four brothers and times were hard. At the age of 12, my father started to work as a baker's helper for a monthly wage of five lire, which was collected by his father. Their staple diet was polenta—meat was served only on special occasions.
At the age of 14 he went to work in a nearby town with his older brother, still as a baker's helper. Every Sunday, after all the baking was done, they would jump on their bikes and ride the 30 kilometers home to visit their parents for a couple of hours.
They were happy and hoped their life would continue unchanged. However, in 1915 Italy entered the First World War and the four brothers were drafted into the Italian Army. For the next two months they dug ditches. Father was eager to be sent to the front line but instead he was assigned to a motorcycle unit attached to a fire station and there he remained until he was discharged 48 months later. After the war he went back to the bakery.
Up to this time, father never heard of bicycle racing, but two of his brothers did, and he convinced them to get him a racing bike, sometimes racing alongside trains. One day he was invited to participate in a race and to everybody's amazement, including his own, he came first. He realized he had a passion for speed and his new life began.
In 1922 my father started to compete in the provinces near his hometown, always finishing in the top placings. In September of that year he took part in a race of 680 kilometers. After the second stage, he became the group leader and for the rest of the race he led his team in spite of punctures, a bad fall and terrible weather.
At the end of the fifth stage he reached the finish line with 12 minutes' lead on the second-placed rider. That night, during a special celebration, he was given an envelope with 300 lire and a small gold medal. He felt like he was the King of Verona!
Thus was born the long career of Giuseppe: heroic undertakings, escapes in kilometers and more important victories until his second place in the Tour de France in 1929 at the age of 30. Cycling up the Champs Elysées is the dream for anyone who cycles, but to finish second on the podium was the thrill of his life.
From 1922 to 1933 the most important contests of his career were his 10 Giros, four Tours and five Spanish tours. His best overall standings were second in the 1928 Giro and the 1929 Tour de France and sixth in the 1927 Giro. In one of the competitions in Spain, he took a bad fall when a dog crossed his path, causing him to crash and break his left arm.
He was called "The Silent Man", a modest and courageous racer who did his best for Italy's honor. In 1927 he won the 540-kilometer Rome–Naples–Rome with a 430-kilometer solitary breakaway, arriving first with 70 minutes on the second-placed contestant.
And finally, in 1931, the famous Paris–Brest–Paris of 1,200 kilometers, an inhuman race completed every 10 years by superhuman (but crazy) bikers, the longest race in those days to be run in one stage.
The weather was bad—cold and rainy. More than once my father wanted to quit but then he started pedaling in the dark, pushing himself to the limit. At one point, the storm was so bad he fell off his bike and passed out. The rain on his face woke him and he climbed back on his bike once again.
He moved to the front and pulled back all the riders that remained ahead of him.
He was the first to enter the Parc des Princes in Paris and could feel the victory in his bones. Then he fell, 100 meters from the finish line and Sir Hubert Opperman and Leon Louyet passed him like two ghosts. He never saw or heard them. They were crazed and looked like two robots. Father came third overall.
In 1933, after the Tour of Italy, he retired, but continued riding his bike as his favorite hobby.
Both long retired, the great Gino Bartali (second from left) talks with Pancera (second from right), about the Tour de France in an undated newspaper story.
I know for a fact that my birth came as a big surprise and disappointment to my father. He wanted a boy and there I was, a girl. The reason he wanted a boy so badly was because he had been a bicycle champion in his youth, got married at the end of his career at age 35 and was planning to train a new champion while still in his prime.
Nonetheless, he accepted and loved me in his own way and that meant trying to make a boy out of me. I had a tricycle even before I would walk and when I started to ride a bike I could beat any boy in the neighborhood.
In 1945, on my 10th birthday, I received a beautiful silver-colored bike, with my name printed on the back fender. "I want everybody to know whose daughter you are," proclaimed my father, the ex-champion. And then he decided that I was old enough to join him on a 50-mile ride to a spa in the mountains.
On the morning of our departure, half of the town's residents came it to wish us good luck. Mother was completely against it, but father was sure his little girl wouldn't let him down.
The first 10 miles went pretty well, but then we approached an incline leading to a hilly road. My short legs got tired and soon I stopped pedalling. Father was prepared for that. He had a thick rope in his backpack, which he attached to the front of my bike from the back of his, and started pulling me.
With his luggage rack bulging with clothes, tools and spare parts, he soon started huffing and puffing, till he spied a slow moving truck going our way. He grabbed its tail-end and we both got pulled along, the over-loaded truck making a lot of creaking noises and spewing nasty fumes.
The rope extending from my handlebars to his seat was taut, but all a sudden the knot at my end became loose. I hollered "Papa, Papa," but he didn't hear my frantic call and hung on to the back of the truck while I was left behind in tears.
I stopped, got off my bike and sat on the side of the road crying. I imagined all kinds of horrible things happening to me. In those post-war years on a mountain road in Italy, traffic was very light, and it took a good 10 minutes before a car went by. The driver stopped and said, "What are you doing, bambina, all alone?"
"I lost my father," was my answer and explained the situation to the astonished driver. He reassured me that he'd find father and tell him to come back.
In the meantime, unaware of losing me, and still holding on to the truck, father had almost reached the top of the hill when he heard someone shouting, "Hey mister, you lost your daughter." He looked back and there, dangling from his seat was the empty rope. He never missed me.
By the time he came back, I was desperate. He calmed me down and then said, "Don't tell your mother about this, OK?"
We finally arrived at the next town, put our bikes on the first train and reached our destination within an hour.
After a couple of restful days, we started back home—downhill this time. As soon as we entered our house, I blurted everything out to mother.
Father was in the doghouse for a month. He gave up trying to make a champion out of me and had to accept the fact that I was just his little girl.
In 1943 my father finally had his longed-for son. In 1969, my 'young' brother was getting married and my father received a congratulatory telegram from his old friend Opperman, who was at the time the Australian ambassador to Malta. The following day, father decided to ride to town to have the news published in the city paper when he was run over by a car. The accident caused him to have his right leg amputated. And that is where his story ends.
In his own words, at the bottom of the page, he wrote 'STOP!!' to indicate the fateful day that signaled the end of his cycling.
The cover of the June 3, 1928 Domenica Sportiva, a supplement put out by La Gazzetta dello Sport. The photo is of the finish of the 9th stage of the Giro d'Italia, 206 km from Pistoia to Modena. Domenico Piemontesi is winning the sprint, Alfredo Binda (and 1928 Giro winner) is second and Pancera is third (left). Pancera finished second in the 1928 Giro.