A partly cloudy New Year's Eve in Luxembourg

This is my tentative and rough race watch schedule for this coming spring.

Sunday, 24. February: Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne (if my favorite riders are there)
Sunday, 3. March: Paris-Nice Prologue (if it is held near Paris)
Sunday, 24. March: Gent-Wevelgem
Sunday, 31. March: De Ronde van Vlaaderen
Sunday, 7. April: Paris-Roubaix
Sunday, 14. April: Amstel Gold Race
Wednesday, 17. April: La Fleche Wallone
Sunday, 21. April: Liege-Bastogne-Liege

I am planning to take 2 week holidays during Paris-Roubaix - Liege-Bastogne-Liege so that I can stay in Belgium and Netherlands to ride the race course myself and stalk on the riders.

In Japanese:




Sunday, 24. February: Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne(参加チームによっては観戦しないかも)
Sunday, 3. March: Paris-Nice Prologue (開催場所によっては観戦しないかも、パリ近郊なら行く予定)
Sunday, 24. March: Gent-Wevelgem
Sunday, 31. March: De Ronde van Vlaaderen
Sunday, 7. April: Paris-Roubaix
Sunday, 14. April: Amstel Gold Race
Wednesday, 17. April: La Fleche Wallone
Sunday, 21. April: Liege-Bastogne-Liege

  1. 2012/12/31(月) 15:21:22|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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A partly sunny Friday in Luxembourg

Last evening (or night) I rode home as it stopped raining by then. The road was wet but still I came home almost dry.

Today, Friday, December 28 it is cloudy but slightly sunny. It will stay like this tomorrow, too. The Alzette is still going strong. This streamlet is for the moment a bit of a mean beast, muddy and murky.

Traffic was light this morning. People are staying home and they will go out in the afternoon, I guess. I, by the way, have to work.
  1. 2012/12/28(金) 10:16:04|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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A rainy Thursday in Luxembourg

It is raining (rather hard) in Luxembourg today. It is Thursday, 27 December.

It was just cloudy when I left for work this morning but soon after I arrived at my work place, it started to rain.

It is windy and rainy for the moment (afternoon). It will be like this into the eveing and the morning. What should I do? I am by now used to riding in the rain but this one thing bothers me; drying the clothes, shoes and the bikes after coming home. If the rain keeps on going like this when I go home, I should probably take a bus home.

A bit of flooding (or warning signs of flooding) is reported on the news here in Luxembourg. This morning when I rode along the Alzette, I could see the muddy murky water flowing at a way-higher-than-usual level.

In Japanese:

ダイナモから直接でる電流値は最大でも0.4A(アンペア)かそれよりちょっと上程度なのですね。だから、6V 5W定格のハロゲン球を直接つなげても、生ぬるい色のぼやーっとして明かりしか出ないわけです。この電球が明るく光るには、0.8アンペア必要なわけですから、当然です。



実験してみましたが、E-Werkを通して、6V 1.0アンペアに設定して上記の6V 5W定格のハロゲン球をつないで、車輪を手で頑張って回すと、かなり明るい光(でも9V 5WのシマノのLP-R600に標準で付いてるハロゲン球よりちょっと暗い?)になります。頑張って手で回してからやっとジワーと光出します。それまでは真っ暗。そして例の常時点灯のはずのミニLEDは一切点灯しません。

  1. 2012/12/27(木) 22:31:57|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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TdF 2013 Corsica Hajj or Pilgrimage

I wish you, all of those who are reading this, a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I have to drive 1,000 km or 620 miles to get to Nice from Luxembourg. Using the toll way in France, I have to pay the toll. You can tell how much you owe using this site.
Please click on the images to magnify them.
The toll way toll is accurate, I imagine. The gas cost is a rough guess. Normally, I drive below the speed limit to save money but this particular trip does not allow it. I have to speed to the limit to save time. Occasional pee and tea breaks also cost time. The average speed during the 1,000 km excursion will be between 70 km/h to 80 km/h.

Driving at 100 km/h to 130 km/h (French limit on most of the out of urban area stretch) for three hours and a 20 minutes break and then repeating the preceding maneuver will result in arriving in Nice utterly exhausted after 12 hours of driving. I don't know at which point my touring mate joins me. This person can join me in Luxembourg or in Nice. My touring mate will be sleeping while I drive. I will be sleeping like a baby while on board the ferry.


We, collectively with my touring mate, will then get on board this ferry. My Ka is 3,620 mm will be stretched to about 4 meters with my Saris bike rack.

The height will be around 2.4 meters (7.9 ft) with a fat roof box by Thule.



The ticket is still available and it may be reasonable. I don't know but I have no choice. I am buying the ticket for two adults (me and my touring mate). It will be cheaper than buying separately.

The returning ferry leaves on July 2 at 08:00 (O eight hundred, as a military way to say it) and arrives in Nice at 14:15. I am not sure about this time frame. The Team Time Trial will begin sometime late in the afternoon. I hope I don't miss too much. I am counting on the late afternoon schedule like the first team starting 15:30 and the last 16:30. The time trial course is only 25 km so they ride about 30 minutes. The last team should come in finish around 17:00.

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2012/12/25(火) 16:52:23|
  2. Tour de France
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Nonpolar T10 LED bulbs needed?

I've been trying to make the best of LP-R600. I knew that I already had something in my room but cuold not find them because they were packed somewhere in my room.

I found them.
1) 6V 5W halogen-filled filament bulb
2) T10 to 13.5s converter

T10 bulb is commonly found on a car as W5W bulb. It is a Wedge shaped 5 Watt bulb. I have a couple of T10 shaped LED bulbs. They are like 12V DC 1 Watt rated, I think. One of them is used for the lighting inside my Ka's luggage room.

13.5s socket is the socket form found inside LP-R600.

So I experimented a bit.

First, I put the 6V 5W bulb inside LP-R600 and spun the wheel with one hand. The result was surprising. LP-R600 did not give off a beam at all first. 'At all' means that even the mini LED, which is supposed to be beaming all the time, did not shine at all.

As I spun the wheel harder and faster, the halogen bulb did, although reluctantly, emit a dark warm yellow beam. Obviously, the bulb needs more juice than a slow turning hub dynamo can supply.

Second, I inserted a T10 LED bulb into this converter socket and then put it inside LP-R600. The result was quite different from the first one. The wheel spun easily as if the dynamo was not being dragged. The mini LED shone and the big T10 LED also gave a bigger flickering beam. I gave it a try. I rode about an hour along the cycling/jogging/dog-walking road where there were no street lights.

The flickering stopped as I rode faster than about 10km/h. The beam is not bright enough to match the beam of 6V 2.4W halogen bulb. It was expected as the LED is driven at half its rated voltage and in terms of wattage it is way low.

Even when the T10 LED is on, the hub dynamo wheel spins as if it has no load. On the other hand, when the 6V 5W bulb is on, the wheel spins like it is being slightly braked (so heavy). A big difference.

I wonder, though, what will happen, if I put a high performance LED in it.

In Japanese:



このLP-R600を標準仕様に対して、もっと明るくしようと試みてます。第一段がハロゲンバルブの交換でした。標準の定格9.6V 5Wのハロゲンバルブを定格6V 2.4Wのものに交換してみました。結果はより明るい(より白く、強い)ビームとなりました。これは成功。

今日、部屋の中の箱を捜索し、(ちょっと前から探していた)あるものを発見しました。それが定格6V 5Wのハロゲン球でした。早速LP-R600に装着し、タイヤを手で回してみました。結果は、…

暗いどんよりとした明かりが発生しました。暗い黄色のどんよりとしたビームです。しかも、常時点灯のはずのミニLEDまでもが着かない(笑)。失敗だ。定格6V 5Wのハロゲン球を買わなくて良かった。多分ですが、超高速で走行したら、もっと明るいのかもしれませんが、低速時にこんな暗いのでは実用になりません。











このT10 LEDは確か定格が12V 1W程度だったと記憶してます。


明るさですが、やはり暗い。当然ですね。ワット数でも劣るのですからね。パンチが無い。6V 2.4Wのハロゲン球に比べると全然パンチが無い。定格9.6V 5Wのハロゲンに比べてもやはり劣る。


このT10 LEDを点灯させて、車輪を手で回すと、負荷無しの状態とあまり変わらないような挙動を示します。つまり、明らかに流れてる電流が少ないと思われます。

で、実験の結論は、常用には向きません。再度6V 2.4Wのハロゲン球に戻します。T10 LEDでもっと電流を流す明るいタイプのものを試してみましょうか?。これは新規に購入するしかないです。手持ちのはこれだけですからね。
  1. 2012/12/24(月) 20:23:38|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Christmas Present Number 2 has arrived!

They have arrived from the Great Britain. They are all bike equipment and the sorts.

Some of them are to fight the cold weather here in Luxembourg. A set of deep pattern soft rubber tires (meant to be snow tires), a balaclava and a pair of overshoes for example.
(Picture of Halo Twin Rail BPP will be posted later)

The weather forecast (not accurate at all!) tells me that snow is not expected any time soon in Luxembourg. I am counting on one or two stretches of cold days during January and February when I can try Halo Twin Rail on my bike.

One is to be used while transporting the bike on the rack. It is a Chain-tension keeper while the wheel is off. I used to own another device to achieve the same purpose but lost it (or had it stolen on 29, June 2011).

This BBB ChainGrip will keep the chain tidy on my bike while it is being charried on the rack. It was a mild annoyance that I had to tie the chain down while the bike was on the rack. As some of you may have already know, the chain rattles while on the rack.

One is for my curious mind. I bought a small scale (its package says it it intended for measuring the luggage as all low-cost carriers impose a strict weight limit). Yes, I would like to know how much my bike weigh.

(Picture of Lifeventure digital weight scale later)

By the way, Christmas Present Number 1 (Nr.1 because they were ordered earlier) has not arrived yet. The shop where I ordered the items informed me by e-mail that some of the items were expected later in January. I knew that they were coming late when I ordered them. I had already told the shop that I could wait until all the items were ready to ship. Most of them are for the maintenance scheduled in Spring. One of them, Quickview (Garmin GPS Edge Series mount) by SRAM is expected to be delivered at the end of January.

While ago I promised to upload images of "traditional" promotion yellow jersey distributed by the tourist agency during the TdF as part of the publicity caravan. This item is a promotional gadget.
It lights up. It is bright enough to show the key hole in the dark.

The above was written days ago.

Today (24. December 2012), it was sunny with a thin layer of clouds. It has been a great while since we had a sunny day in Luxembourg. I have been riding in the rain. Today I rode without a rain jacket.

Today, I found something I have been looking for a while. They were MIA for while.
Light bulbs. 6V 5W halogen bulb and an adapter that make it possible to put T10 bulb in LP-R600. T10 bulb is a wedge shaped bulb that is usually used on an automobile.

If you install an LED into a dynamo powered light, the inevitable effect is that it flickers as a dynamo supplies AC, not DC.

I am going to ride to test this flickering light in the dark.

By the way, I tested the above mentioned 6V 5W halogen bulb in LP-R600. It glowed dimly when I turned the wheel by hand. It was dark. Obviously, the dynamo at a lower speed does not give enough juice.
  1. 2012/12/24(月) 18:45:21|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Dynamo powered LED bike lights

I have never paid much attention to this Dosun (http://www.dosun.us/) until recently. I was searching for dynamo powered LED bike lights.

I have been keeping my eyes on Exposure Lights (http://www.exposurelights.com) and Supernovad Lighting Systems (http://supernova-lights.com).

Today I found this Dosun also has a dynamo powered LED bike light. It is called Dosun U1 hub dynamo light. It is cheaper than the Exposure Revo Mk1 Dynamo Bike Light or Supernova E3 Series lights. Dosun U1 is cheaper because its specification tells less lumen values and U1 does not have the luxury accessories that come with the more expensive lights.

Accoding to a seller at e-Bay Taiwan, this Dosun U1 does not seem to come with a hadle bar adapter.

I am waiting for Magnic Light (http://www.magniclight.com/) to be available.

In Japanese:
ここ数日は雨模様です。ハブダイナモ用のライトはシマノLP-R600を使ってます。このハロゲンバルブは標準で9.6V 5Wという定格です。ハブダイナモの定格出力(700cのタイヤ径で走行し、時速15km/hとか??、いや30km/hだったかな)は6V 3Wと一般的に云われてます。実際にはより早く走行走行すると、もっと高い電圧になるらしい。

標準で付いてくる9.6V 5Wという球は安全性を考慮した選定らしい。高速で走行(坂を下るとか)した時に電圧が上がりすぎて、球が焼けて切れるとユーザーが困るので、切れない程度に余裕を持たせてるらしい。





昨日、部屋の中からもう使ってないバッテリーライトの球がでてきました。定格6V 2.4Wのハロゲン球です。これを使ったらひょっとして明るい?と実験したくなり、昨日の日曜日の夜に小雨の中、小一時間サイクリング道を走りました。サイクリング道の住宅地を外れた部分は街灯が無い。ここがテスト走行には適してます。


非常用として常時装着してて、霧とか降雪時にのみ使ってるNiteRider MiNewt Mimi.300-USBには遠く及びませんが、標準のハロゲン球よりはずっと明るく、これなら実用になります。

ドイツのSigmaが以前に販売してたハロゲン球のライトのMirage Evo用のスペアパーツとして6V 5Wの球が存在します。メーカーがもうかなり前に本体の販売停止をしたので、そのうちにスペアパーツの球も供給がストップするでしょう。供給切れする前にこれを買いだめしようかな、と考えてます。6V 5Wですから、6V 2.4W球の倍の電流を流すという仕様です。これを装着するともっと明るくなる気がします。実験しないと確かなことは言えませんが。

(Sigmaは後継のMirage Evo Proというシリーズをまだ製造販売中?。よってバルブも継続供給?)

考えてる本命のライトはMagnic Lightです。接触無しのダイナモライトです。一般売りがいつ始まるのでしょうか。

Exposure Lights
Supernova Lighting Systems

  1. 2012/12/17(月) 18:26:01|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Fabian Cancellara and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2???

According to cyclingnews.com (or BikeRadar.com), Fabian Cancellara was one of the test riders of new Shimano Dura-Ace Di2. WTF!! Really? I thought Cancellara did not like any battery on his bike.

What made him change his mind or has he not made up his mind yet?

I think this piece of news will definitely make Tom Boonen anxious, right? Fabian will have more gears available and shifting is easier on the cobble. He can change gears in any riding position he may choose because all he needs is switches (and Di2 system is known for its flexibility for adding various shifting switches). Tom Boonen (with his mechanical SRAM 10-speed equipment) has to hold on to the shift levers if he wants to shift.

Wait! Winning is NOT about having a better equipment but having better legs, strategies and a lot of luck. One flat may cost the entire efforts.

Shimano, on the other hand, really wants to see Fabian take De Ronde and Paris-Roubaix double using the new Di2. It will be the biggest commercial promotion success in the earlier half of the season. Of course, someone riding the Di2 winning TdF will be another one in the latter half of the season.

There is a YouTube movie on the bottom the article. I recognize this man. I saw this man try to talk Ben Coates (former TREK liaison to Leopard-Trek) and Kim Andersen into using disk wheel by Pro instead of Bontrager branded one at the start of the Tour de Suisse 2011? He is one of the senior executives of Shimano headquaters in Netherlands, I think.

In Japanese:



  1. 2012/12/17(月) 15:35:43|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Shimano LP-R600 (9.6V 5W) For Hub Dynamo

I have a Shimano WH-3N71 (20-spoke Dynamo Hub Wheel). I use it with Shimano LP-R600 to ride to work and back home. Now (mid-December) here in northern hemisphere in upper part of Europe, the sun sets around 16:30. Lights are needed. The day will become longer gradually after Christmas.

For the most of my commuting route, this LP-R600 helps me be seen by oncoming cars. Where the streets are lit, I can see how the surface of the road is.

Its neat feature is that a tiny LED is there and always ON.

On the cycling/jogging/dog-walking road along the Alzette past residential zones, where there are no street lights, this LP-R600 is almost bright enough to show me my way when visibility is normal. Yes I have NiteRider MiNewt Mini.300-USB always tied on my bike in case of needing more light (fog, snowfall or others) and it helps me. It is bright. It is light and convenient (USB port charging). It is not, however, as ecological as dynamo-powered lights.

The LP-R600 is not bright. Its bulb's specification is as the title of this entry says 9.6V 5W halogen-filled filament. In other words, a good old style light bulb.

Shimano's reasoning is like this. When the wheel turns at higher speed, the dynamo produces more juice. When the juice is too much for the bulb, the bulb eventually or suddenly blows out. When a user has the blow-out, he/she may be stranded (literally, or figuratively to be correct, "left in the dark"). So the bulb should be running cool far below its limits to avoid the inevitable blow-out.

As you can see, LP-R600 is not bright. Its beam is soft and yellowish.

Today, I found a socket compatible bulb in my room. Its spec is 6V 2.4W. I was tempted to test this bulb in LP-R600. I took my bike out for an hour for a night test in the rain, I might add. The result is a brighter whitish yellow beam. The caveat is that its life expectancy may be shorter and a sudden death may come any time.

I wrote "brighter" but it is not as bright as my MiNewt Mini.300-USB. In fact, it is far darker than MiNewt.

I am just curious what happens when I put a 6V 5W bulb in LP-R600. This bulb available as a spare part for Sigma Sport Mirage Evo light allows much stronger current to pass. This bulb is not too expensive. 6V 3W bulbs are also very reasonably priced. Simply they are out-of-date products in the advent of the LED era. I will buy these bulbs. They won't be extinct so soon but I need the spare parts anyway.
(http://www.sigmasport.com/ Mirage Evo is already discontinued, I guess)

Traditionally, dynamo lights use halogen filament bulbs. The electricity produced by a dynamo is one kind of alternative current, ie., AC. We don't realize that the light emitted by filament bulbs with AC actually is flickering. A simple LED (Light Emitting Diode), as the name suggests, allows oneway pass. If it is fed with AC, it will flicker. Low frequency AC from a dynamo will make an LED annoyingly flicker, I guess. I want to do some testing myself in near future.

I am waiting for the Magnic Light. It is not available yet. It will be soon. It is a contactless dynamo light. Of course, the light is fixed on the bike. (http://www.magniclight.com/)

While waiting for the Magnic Light to be available, I can not help wondering about other alternative solusions for brighter (at the same time ecological) dynamo lights.

Exposure lights by USE and Supernova lighting systems make LED dynamo lights.
(http://www.exposurelights.com/) and (http://supernova-lights.com/)

To be continued ..... (it is already getting too long so a separate entry)
  1. 2012/12/15(土) 18:16:25|
  2. Bikes and related things
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TdF 2014 starts in Yorkshire, UK

So it is official that the Tour de France starts in Yorkshire in United Kingdom. I have never been to UK before. I wanted (and planned) to come to London when they had Grand Depart in 2007. This time, in 2014, I will be there.

Traditionally???, the city that is destined to host the next year's Grand Depart will be part of Ad Caravan. They usually give out "petit cadeau" promoting the touristic interests of spectators along the parcours. These small gifts (free giveaways) are most likely a small piece of something (keychain) shaped in the yellow jersey with the name of the host city.

I have several "Liege" yellow jersey shaped keychains with a white LED light.
(I will post the picture of them later here)

...... wait a minute!! That means that in 2014 I have to cross the ocean to get there and back to France. I have to use ferries or the Eurotunnel to get to UK again!! Whichever is economical, time-saving and convenient.

And they drive on the left side of the road there. I have to start preparing for it. No, I am not going to take driving lessons to get used to driving on the wrong side of the road as I have done that in Japan. I have to study the transportation options, ferries or tunnel.

If I am just crossing the English Channel, using the tunnel will be the logical choice. Since it involves going to Yorkshire, which is northern part of UK, taking a ferry can be an option. Gas price is much higher in UK, so I try to avoid driving too much while I am there. The last stage on the island finishes in London according to cyclingnews.com. If so, I will use the tunnel to come back to France.

Today, 14th of December, Friday it is coudy and rainy but I am relieved because the temperature stays above zero Celsius (= freezing point 32F). Rain is warmer than ice. All remaining snow will be gone.

Last night when I rode home, I took my usual way home. The cycling/jogging/dog-walking road along the Aluzette was mostly OK. Obviously, the city of Luxembourg had the courtesy of sending a snowplow over there and salted there. Except for two short streches of remaining snow and ice on the road, the road was OK. It snowed in the afternoon yesterday so slight snow was there on the ground. I did not have to dismount but just I rode slow.

In Japanese:










テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2012/12/14(金) 17:11:50|
  2. Tour de France
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Christmas Presents Number 2

I ordered some items including those Halo tires that I described in the previous entry and they are already on my way! I also ordered a balaclava that might be comfortable to wear. I will see and you will also see if it is comfortable when I write a review here.
(image borrowed from the site from which I bought this balaclava)

The last four or five days have been a cold weather stretch. Daytime highs stayed below zero Celsius (32F) and nighttime lows were around minus 6 to 8 (21.2 to 17.6F). I could not ride my bike for a while. It is NOT because it was too cold but the unexpected ice patches on the road could throw me off the bike and subsequent injuries could be serious. I am talking about riding in the dark at night here.

Today Thursday, 13th of December it is getting a bit warmer. This morning, it was minus 8 but now minus 2 in the afternoon. The temperature will stay around zero in the evening. I will/may ride home. My bike stayed at my workplace for several nights.

to be continued....

In Japanese:








  1. 2012/12/13(木) 17:09:54|
  2. Bikes and related things
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TdF 2013 begins now!

Christmas is nearing and it means that TdF 2013 is also not far away.

Corsica-Ferries Sardinia-Ferries (http://www.corsica-ferries.fr/ http://www.corsica-ferries.co.uk/) is a new partner of Tour de France next year. Obviously, the traffic that will be created by Corsica stages has made this ferry operation company decide to use some extra money on advertising and so. It is most likely that this company is responsible for moving the ASO bunch, team cars and buses, race judge cars, ad-caravan cars and floats, media cars, material trucks and rigs, VIPs, podium girls and everybody who is paid by ASO or who has paid ASO.

I checked their plans and I will book as soon as possible. I need confirmation from some friend/friends who intends/intend to join me.

My plan is landing on the island on Wednesday (June 26) evening or Thursday (June 27) morning near Porto-Vecchio. The team presentation ceremony is held on Thursday evening in Porto-Vecchio.

The next step is getting out of the island later in the evening of Monday (July 1) and landing back in Nice in the morning of Tuesday (July 2), where Team Time Trial is held later in the afternoon.

Securing the tickets is very important because this transfer can not be improvised. As you can see, this involves crossing the sea. No ferries, no being there.

Here is something that looks not so bad. The conditions for this ticket booking is:
1) Two passengers
2) Ford Ka with a roof box (overall height 2.4m)
3) No comfortable accommodations on board (just sitting on a cold hard bench)
4) No modifications at later time

Click on the images to magnify them
There are ferry connections that would suit my desired plan.

I just chose these ferries tentatively.

Obligatory. You have to tell the volume of your car.

You can choose luxury accommodation options like a room equipped with a bathroom. For the moment these options are not relevant.

Flexibility means that you can alter your booking later or other stuff.

It boils down to this. Not bad.

(Oooops! Livomo is in Italy? I have to do the inquiry again later. Anyway, the purpose of this is to explain the rough plan to potential passengers.)

For the moment, ferries are available.

So the rough itinerary is like:
June 25/26 : Luxembourg >>>> Nice : more than 10 hours of driving
June 26/27 : Nice >>>> Corsica : Ferry ride 5 hours?
June 27-July 1 : in Corsica / camping?
July 1/2 : Corsica >>>> Nice : Ferry ride 5 hours? (overnight on board?)

Monday, December 10. It is humid and miserable here in Luxembourg. This morning, when I took my bike to work, it was around 2 degrees Celsius (35.6 F). It began to snow, sleet and rain soon after I left. I arrived at work and took a shower. This evening by the time I intend to come home, it will be minus 1 C (below freezing point = 32 F).

This morning I took my usual way along the Alzette (streamlet). Since this road is for bikers/joggers/dog-walkers/trekkers/horse-back riders, it does not attract much attention from authorities of Luxembourg city. Consequently, there was no snowplowing or salting during Saturday and Sunday. There were stretches on the road where snow and ice stayed up to 2cm (one inch). It was really difficult to ride. I was waggling. At some point, I had to dismount for a short while.

For the moment I have Nokian Rollspeed TS Clincher (28-622) on both front and rear. I bought these tires years ago from where I borrowed the JPG image.
(from http://www.bike-components.de/)

I used to live in Germany and used to climb a hill 550 meters (1,800 feet) above sea level. Even when there was absolutely no sign of snow (dry road surface) at the foot of the hill (100 meters above sea level), there was snow and ice on the road past 500 meters (1,650 feet). There was even a small non-commercial ski slope with a tiny lift on this hill (although I never saw anyone skiing down the slope).

I bought these tires to cope with this hill in winter. I almost always exclusively rode up this hill. I was (and am) only interested in climbing.

Now, I am considering purchasing this new item. It is called Halo Twin Rail Courier Road Tyre with BPP. The image is borrowed from where I intend to buy from.

(from http://www.wiggle.co.uk)

Some customer wrote a review that they could be useful as snow tires. I want to give them a shot. Its 24-622 (700-24C) feature particularly interests me.

On my Cervelo (3T fork), the front tire (Nokian) makes slight scratches at the crotch. Not because the tire actually touches the crotch but because snow build-up on the tire touches the fork and the snow from the road contains harsh grains of sand and tiny pebbles.

A 28-622 (Nokian) tire has less than 4 mm or 5 mm (0.16 inches = 1/6 inches) of clearance between the fork crotch and the tire, which is too close.

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2012/12/09(日) 22:38:55|
  2. Tour de France
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It is getting colder over the weekend

Thursday, 06. December 2012

It is getting cold. According to the weather forecast, night time low reaches minus 11 degrees Celsius, which translates into 12.2 F. At the same time, daytime high remains also minus 3 to 6 Celsius. That means ice will stay unthawed. Well, technically so but they will salt the roads as much as they can.

OK, it seems that I may have to use the bus to work and come home several days. Snowfall is not predicted and we may see the sun during the day. I might be able to ride my bike. So I will keep my fingers crossed.

Friday, 07. December 2012
It started snowing early in the morning. The picture below was taken 09:30 in the morning. The temperature is below zero degrees Celsius (around minus 3 or so).

So this morning I gave up riding to work and took buses to work.

It is predicted that this snow, although intermittently, continues till tomorrow. It should be, if I can trust the weather forecast, sunny with bit of couds Saturday.

It will start snowing again later Saturday and continue to remain so till who knows when.

I don't know when I can ride again.

Saturday, 08. December 2012
Although the weather was sunny with scattered clouds during the day, the temperature was low. It stayed below zero Celsius all day. I decided not to ride.

Sunday, 09. December 2012
I changed the air filter on my Ford Ka. This is what I bought from UK. K&N Air Filter 33-2984 (RU8 Model year 2011)

This is the contents of the box. Two stickers. One warns against accidental disposal of the filter as the filter is re-usable after cleaning. One is just a logo of K&N.

One paper says that it has a lifetime guaranty.

In Japanese:


  1. 2012/12/07(金) 14:49:40|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Dolce & Gabbana Trial in Italy?

Well another tax dodging allegation related to Luxembourg. According to Wort.lu, Dolce & Gabbana is being tried in Italy for their alleged tax evasion maneuvers by setting up a company in Luxembourg.

This sounds vaguely similar to the article that I read recently and wrote about here. That eBay VS French tax authorities.

I don't personally see any advantages living in Luxembourg other than;
1) Luxembourg is close to Belgium, Netherlands and France, where I frequently visit to watch road bike races.
2) Gas (gasoline and diesel fuel) is cheaper, not significantly any more now
3) The Schleck brothers live here
4) There seems to be no recessions until now
5) English is spoken along with French, German and Luxembourgish (and Portuguese?)
6) VAT is a little lower than surrounding countries

1) This is the main reason why I decided to move from Germany.
2) The Price difference was greater 5 or 6 years ago
3) Enough said!
4) Although economists predict its advent any time soon
5) You can go to the city hall, government offices (for foreigners, the most important one is the immigration office), banks or any places and speak English to do the business.
6) This often makes no difference when prices are already significantly higher than those in surrounding countries. This seemingly a merit only counts when buying things priced in surrounding countries and when the prices (including the VAT) are automatically calculated when purchased in Luxembourg.

For example, you can buy a cheaper iPod because on-line Apple Store in Luxembourg is just a shadow of real Apple Store in Belgium. Since the prices are already decided in Belgium, the purchase prices are automatically calculated into Luxembourg prices with lower VAT. This also means prices almost always have some cents attached.

On the other hand, you are more likely to find a cheaper-er iPod in retail stores in surrounding countries. Duh!

The same thing applied to my Ford Ka as the Ford Luxembourg is just a ghost of Ford Belgium. My Ford Ka had a price tag of **,*** euros and ** cents instead of **,*00 euros.

I see more of disadvantages;
a) Rent, food and just about everything are pricier than those in surrounding countries

For the same money, you can rent a two- or three-bedroom apartment in bordering cities in Belgium, Germany and France where in Luxembourg you can rent a crummy studio.

In Japanese:





  1. 2012/12/04(火) 07:09:41|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Snowfall and rainfall, and Greg LeMond

It is Monday at the time of writing this. It began snowing just when I left for work in the morning. It was already cold and the temperature was below zero (Celsius) around minus 2 or 3 Celsius.

Obviously, the Luxembourg transportation authorities (or something like that) decided to scatter salt on the road during Saturday evening and maybe Sunday. I noticed the fine grains of white stuff on the road (even on the cycling/jogging/trekking/dog-walking road along the Alzette).

So there was almost no ice on the road. Good!

It snowed in the morning through around 13:00. Snow accumulated 1cm or 2cm (up to 3 quarter inches). In the aftenoon, the temperature is rising a bit and rain is expected. Relief! There won't be no snow or ice on the road by the time I ride home.

Today, the big news is not the weather here in Luxembourg. It is Mr. Greg LeMond going to run for presidency of UCI. I never figured out the way UCI is run but it seems that President is elected by some people or some organizations.

I say, "Go for it, Mr. LeMond!"

According to Wort.lu, Frank Schleck's case now has a date set for the next step. December 19 is the day. I don't know what they intend to do but there will be some announcement made. ALAD (Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency) has just said that they would re-convene on that day.

About my failed balaclava by Gore Bike Wear. I would say it is not Gore Bike Wear's fault. The reason it does not sit well on my face is in its structure, construction or simply shape. I am a bit appalled by the fact that one (rather famous) bike gear review site tells that it is good. Do they really try it on and ride? Or did they simply give it a good rating because Gore Bike Wear put a lot of ads on the site? I wonder.

I repeat that I am NOT accusing Gore Bike Wear by any means. I am just saying that this type of face mask does not sit well on your face without it pressing down your nose. AND my point is that I just wonder why this bike gear review site does not mention this possible caveat inevitably caused by its very construction.

Anyway, when I read the reviews written by "actual" (meaning those who actually paid for them) users on some on-line shop site, they almost unanimously say this type of face mask does not sit well on the face. I should have read those reviews first!!

I am very interested in this face mask but they don't show the straps behind the mask. If the straps are located high enough, I judge it sits well on your face.

(Swiss Eye S.W.A.T. Neoprene Mask)
This is the type of mask you should not wear when you enter places like banks or some convenience stores.

In Japanese:








  1. 2012/12/03(月) 15:18:04|
  2. Bike Races
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