Today I Love Cycling More Than Ever 08/24/2012


Today I love cycling more than ever. The day after watching Jens Voigt, one of our sport’s true and most endearing icons, take a wonderful solo win, that even his DS had doubts he could carry off. The day after “Purito” and Froome turned on the afterburners in the last 2km of yesterday’s Vuelta stage and showed Contador and Valverde their wheels. But unfortunately today these stories of heroic and breathtaking riding have been pushed down the queue by Lance. Unfortunately, today all anyone who doesn’t follow this sport will want to talk about is not if Froome can take the Vuelta, or how long can Jens continue at the top. Or even about the year-by-year growth of Wiggins to take this year’s Tour. They will only have one question for us: “Did Lance do it?” And unfortunately, with how this story has unfolded, we still seem not to have full closure.

Not really knowing what the USADA had in their files will always still leave this story unfinished for me and many others. Although, to see one of the most determined and smartest athletes I have ever followed give up is a surprise. Choosing not to fight was his best form of attack? That sure feels like an admission of sorts, but in no way feels definitive, and still feels like it will let people read it how they want. Out of all of the reactions, the one that I keep repeating in my head comes from Jan Ullrich, “I know the order in which we crossed the finish line.” In a time when most of the podium were “on it” in some form, re-awarding the seven Tour titles seems kind of pointless. I don’t think we are going to see many of Lance’s other podium companions rush in to claim his titles – most of them are as tarnished as he is, proven or not.

So maybe it is time to take a leaf out of Uli’s book and move on. There is plenty to write and talk about with those that are riding today. I am so over reading and hearing about this story, and I don’t think it is over yet. So until those USADA files see the light of day, let’s write about something else, and remember why we love this sport. You know Jens is sitting in the RSNT Team bust today saying, “Shut Up Media…I won yesterday for the first time in ages.”

Categories: Riders / The Other Stuff

The Slide Luck Bikeshow NYC, May 19th 05/13/2012


It is a cycling extravaganza of art, film, rides, music and raffles. Part of the National Bike Month celebrations in New York this looks like a great night out. Held on May 19th from 6pm – 9pm at Hostelling International Flagship at 891 Amsterdam avenue. Check out the link for more details http://slideluckbike.eventbrite.com/. If you are in town, like bikes and a good night out, this is where you should be on the 19th.

Categories: The Other Stuff

The Panniers Of Maastricht 05/02/2012


The Panniers Of Maastricht might sound like a great name for a band, but that is not why I am posting. On our days away from the classics walking around Maastricht and Bruges it was pretty obvious that the primary way of getting around town was by bike, and in a country where commuters all look pretty much the same, some are making a huge effort to infuse a little bit of color and personality into their ride. We kept spotting these customer made panniers which definitely stood out against the grey stone streets and overcast skies. Incredibly practical and beautifully designed. Although on reflection sticking a larger than life shot of you kid on your bag might be taking it a little too far…

 

Categories: Design / The Other Stuff

The Exceller Bike Shop / Bruges / Belgium 04/26/2012


In a city where the primary mode of transport seemed to be by bike, it takes a little effort to stand out from the crowd. In Bruges pretty much everyone was riding the typical dutch commuter, or sometimes a modern hybrid. But every so often we would spot someone on a classic Moulton folder, or a beautiful Pashley Guv’nor and wonder where they were picking them up. On one of our days off from the classics wondering around the streets I think we found the place, the wonderful bike shop Exceller. Over a cup of coffee with owner Christian he talked about how a love of design and all things well made became his way of defining what products he would sell through the shop.

He carries everything from beautifully built bikes (Pashley, schindelhauer, Cooper and Creme to name a few) to accessories, tools and the clothes you would expect to find in a quality boutique shop. But by coffee number two the good stuff started to unearth. Custom built lugged steel stems built by the same frame builder that built the original Merckx frames as executive paper weights. Handmade bells and pedals by Søren Søgreni. Custom saddles by Gilles Berthoud. But maybe my favorite of all was a box of Tressoplast cloth tape that I hadn’t seen in years. If ever you are passing through Bruges this shop is well worth a visit, especially if it is during the Tour when the stage starts in the main Square, Christian informs us there will be live coverage, sausages and beer served in the shop.

Categories: Design / The Other Stuff

Colorful Commentary From Phil And Paul 07/23/2012


After years of watching Phil and Paul call the races back home in Europe and here in the US, I feel I have a pretty good handle on what they mean. Over the years I have noticed a few tried and tested terms that have stood the test of decades of commentary, and probably warrant some explanation, if not documentation here. Below are our favorite Philpaulism’s that have now found their way into our own cycling vocabulary and somehow out onto our local rides. Only last week at the JP Grand Fundo I commented on one rider going down a dirt road like a “scolded cat”.

 

1) OFF LIKE A SCOLDED CAT  (also could be scalded)

Example: “…and Nibali has gone, he is off like a scolded cat

Typical Usage: Used during a short burst attack at a particularity crucial point in the race. Typically used in conjunction with a favorite, although not always. Delivery: With the excitement of the finale.

 

 

 2) “YOU DON’T GIVE HIM 10 METERS

Example: “David Millar is not the sort of guy you give 10 meters to, you may never see HIM again!
— 

Typical Usage: Typically when a rider makes one of those last-ditch, usually suicidal, attacks off the front of the peleton in the last 1KM – or during a break when a rider attacks his fellow escapees and gets a gap, usually followed by the other riders all looking at each other. Delivery: Emphasis on HIM.

 

 

3: “SPOT OF BOTHER

Example: “Frank Schleck seems to be having a spot of bother…
— 

Typical Usage: Usually when a pre-race favorite, or rider of some repute, gets dropped on a climb, when form says he should really be sitting somewhere around 1oth wheel. Delivery: With a very slight hint of sarcasm.

 

 

4: “VERY HEAVY ROADS

 —
Example: The riding today is being made that much harder by the really heavy roads…

Usage: As various departments prepare themselves for the passing of the Tour it is not uncommon to resurface the roads. Some departments have more money than others and those that can’t afford the super smooth tarmac carpet choose a cheaper “chip and seal” surface. Unfortunately in blistering heat it feels like you are riding through glue with pebbles stuck on your tires, very unpleasant. Delivery: With a “I have been there, I should know” tone.

 

 

5: “VICIOUS ACCELERATION(See also “Dances on the pedals”)

Example: “….and Froome just put in a VICIOUS acceleration on the steepest part of the climb”

Usage: Typically saved for the steepest parts of the high mountains when the Skeletor-like riders (like Chris Froome) blast off the front for 10 or 20 meters. The gap is usually then brought back very slowly after the riders who have apparently “diesel engines” get up to speed, OR the attacking rider gets a short, curt but very clear message on team radio to slow down. Delivery: With a lot of emphasis and excitement – emphasis on VICIOUS.

 

Categories: The Other Stuff

Super Tresse 2000 05/01/2012


They don’t do packaging like they used to. Some cloth bar tape that I found in Belgium (at the Exceller Bike Shop). The packaging also points to two very European branding trends. The first is adding in this case the word “Super” before a product to give you the impression that it is the best. The second is adding numbers after a name or brand to give you the impression it is new and innovative. Which of course is time locked, and gets dated very quickly. If they had really wanted to make the Tressoplast tape VERY modern, they should really have called it “Super Tresse 2000“.

 

Categories: Classic / Design / The Other Stuff

An Amazing Live Wind Map 03/29/2012


There is barely a ride goes by where we don’t comment on the wind. Cross wind, tail, head…I often check before I head out to see which direction it is blowing. Head wind on the way out, fast and in the back on the return. Well this map makes it a lot easier for riders in the US. At a glance you can see the wind patterns all over the country. Check out the zoom for your area. Amazing. It is kind of hypnotic.

http://hint.fm/wind/

Categories: The Other Stuff

The Icon Bronco: A Dream Team Car 02/25/2012


This is restoration at it’s best, if you can call it that. It was created by a company called Icon in LA founded by Jonathan Ward, that takes classic 4X4s and turns them into modern performance vehicles, keeping their classic good looks. This Bronco is in a custom matt volcanic grey, with a hint of metallic (we took the liberty of adding the pink Elcyclista stripe), a 5.0 Ford Coyote engine (the one from the Mustang) with manual transmission. They have literally reconsidered every item on this truck. They re-machined everything from door handles to the wing mirrors, put in architectural glass and redesigned the graphics on the Speedo. Now that is attention to detail.

Visit Icon »

Categories: Design / The Other Stuff