Friday, January 29, 2016

Eric Leman

Eric Leman 1973
Eric Leman (born July 17, 1946) is a retired Belgian cyclist from West Flanders. He raced as a professional for ten years beginning in 1968 through 1977. During his career he is credited with 77 victories. He is most famous for his three wins at the Tour of Flanders: 1970, 1972, 1973. Leman won five stages of the Tour de France during his years of racing.

Eric Leman 1975

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gunnar Roadie - Project Bike - Three Year Review

Gunnar Roadie
It's been well over three years since I first built up my Gunnar Roadie and began riding it. Together we have been on many wonderful adventures. I have had many great bikes, but this is the one I think of when I am going out for a ride. The geometry of this 52 centimeter frame fits me perfectly. 

Over the years all the parts on my Roadie have changed. It now has a Shimano 6800 11-speed group, Thomson seatpost and stem, an FSA carbon fiber handlebar and a 28 spoke wheelset. The weight of the bike as it is seen in the picture with everything on it (rear light, computer, seabag, etc.), minus the water bottle, is just over 19 pounds.

 I built the wheels out of new parts I have had for awhile and have never used. The rear hub is a Powertap SL and the front hub is a Paul's Components high flange. The rims are Velocity A23s with Continental 4000s tires. This combination makes for a great riding and reliable wheelset. 

Powertap SL Hub

Paul High Flange Front Hub
The very features that many bicycles are sold by, are the very ones that make this bike work so well. External brake and derailleur cables improve the performance to a level that no internally cable routed bike will ever be able to match. 

I recommend a Gunnar Roadie to anyone looking for a bicycle that they can ride and enjoy for many years.  I look forward to many more great cycling adventures riding this bicycle.
Poor Ole' Joe and my Gunnar Roadie

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A fixed gear bike with fenders is a good choice for riding on a day like today!

Fixed gear bike with fenders

Last weeks snow is finally melting off of the roads. This is the second day in a row with temperatures in the upper 40s to mid 50 degrees. The snow is mostly melted off of the roads, but there are several inches on the sides of the road. The melting snow is making the roads mostly wet.

On a day like today, I enjoy riding my fixed gear bike that has fenders on it. Riding fixed is an efficient way to get in a workout without pushing the speeds. The continuous pedaling required of a fixed bicycle also keeps you warmer in cold wet weather.

Whenever I ride a fixed gear bike in January  it brings back memories of bicycle rides back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In those years most cyclists owned at least one steel framed bike that had horizontal dropouts in the rear. This type of dropout enables you to slide the wheel back to create proper chain tension for running a single cog. It was traditional with many riders to use a fixed gear bike for the first thousand miles of the calendar year. I've been on many group rides where we were all riding fixed.

A saddle cover is a good idea to protect leather saddles on a wet day. My "Path Racer" has a nice Brooks B17 saddle that I find comfortable. I want to take care of this saddle so I can enjoy it for many years to come.
Borrow a friends bike, if possible, to try riding a fixed gear bike. Just be aware that you may become addicted!

The Stars and The Water Carriers: The 1973 Giro d'Italia

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Cycling Anthology: Volume One - Book Review

The Cycling Anthology Volume One
The Cycling Anthology: Volume One
Edited by Ellis Bacon & Lionel Birnie
Paperback - 272 pages

First Published in Great Britain in 2012 by Peloton Publishing

Yellow Jersey Press
Random House
 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road
London SW1V 2SA

Printed in Great Britain by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc

The Cycling Anthology: Volume one is a nice book that covers many different bicycle racing subjects and history. The book is written by sixteen different writers from magazines, newspapers and books. All the contributors are english speaking and from the USA, UK and Australia. 

Each chapter is an original writing and unique to this book. Not a reprint of an earlier published articles or interviews. 

The size and structure of this book makes it great for traveling. Many single topics are covered in each section. The Cycling Anthology is great to pick up and read awhile and then come back to it later on.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in bicycle racing. It is an enjoyable read. I look forward to reading the other volumes of The Cycling Anthology!

This book is available many places. I buy most of my books from either the publisher directly or Barnes and Nobles. Barnes and Nobles operates a brick and mortar store in my home town. I enjoy browsing in book stores, so I want to support them.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Walter Godefroot

Walter Godefroot at the 1967 Liege-Batogne-Liege
 Walter Godefroot  (born July 2, 1943) is a retired Belgian professional road racer.  His professional racing career lasted for 15 years, beginning in 1965 and going through 1979. Godefroot is credited with 155 professional race victories. He won a bronze medal in the individual road race at the 1964 Summer Olympics, before turning professional.

Godefroot was a specialist in one-day classic cycle races. He won the 1967 Liege-Bastogne-Liege,  1969 Paris-Roubaix, and the Tour of Flanders (1968, 1978). 

 At the Tour de France he had a total of 10 stage wins and won the green jersey in 1970.

Walter won the Belgium National Road Race Championship in 1965 and then again in 1972.

Eddy Merckx said "Walter Godefroot is the only one of my adversaries who I never beat in a direct fight for victory."

After retiring as a rider, he became the director sportif of the T-Mobile professional team. At T-Mobile he guided Bjarne Riis and Jan Ulrich to back-to-back Tour de France victories. 

Walter Godefroot winning stage 9 of the 1971 Tour de France

Walter Godefroot winning in the 1974 Henninger Turn Classic

Monday, January 18, 2016

Frans Bonduel

Frans Bonduel 1931

   Frans Bonduel (1907-1947) was a Belgium professional bicycle racer from 1928 through 1947. 

   He raced for the Dialect-Wolber team all twenty years of his career. Occasionally he would ghost ride for another team at a few races if his real team wasn't going to participate. 

   Bonduel won forty four professional bicycle races. A few of his major victories are: Tour of Flanders 1930,  Paris-Brussels 1934 & 1939,  Paris Tours 1939.

   Frans Bonduel won three stages of the Tour de France. His first stage win came in 1930 when he won the 17th stage. He won stages 6 & 7 during the 1932 Tour de France.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Colnago's Bicycle Museum

Rene' Herse, Book Review

Rene' Herse

Written by: Jan Heine

Published by: Bicycle Quarterly Press
2116 Western Avenue
Seattle WA 98121

Copyright: 2012 
Printed in Malaysia
424 pages

Rene' Herse (1908-1976) was a constructor of fine bicycles from 1940 till his death. His bikes were most sought after by Cycletourists during the 1940s and 1950s. Herse's shop was in Paris France. He continued to manufacture and sell complete bikes through the German occupation of France during World War II. 

This fine book contains hundreds of photos of Rene' Herse's bicycles, riders and the shop where the bikes were made. Upon first examination of this book I assumed it to be a picture book with a lot of captions. When I sat down and began to read it, instead of flipping through the pages and looking at the photos, I found it to be very good reading. I enjoyed seeing the bikes and riders, but also hearing about their rides and competitions. A glimpse of life in Paris during the war is exposed while reading this book. 

Much of the information and photos contained in the book came from riders of Rene Herse bicycles. His daughter, Lyli Herse, was instrumental in Jan Heine's 10 years of research while writing this book. Lyle Herse rode and raced very successfully on her fathers bicycles and after his death continued in the production of Rene Herse Bicycles. 

This book sells for $85.00 and is a good investment and addition to any cycling library. It is my option that to truly understand bicycles one must study the history of them.  I highly recommend purchasing this book and taking the time to read and absorb it. Rene' Herse is available to purchase at