One-year ban

One-year ban! I was hoping for 6-month ban (because a ban was inevitable anyway unless he can prove the substance got in his system by accident).

Let's just wish Fränk a happy return in mid July and maybe Vuelta participation.

The snow is really gone! No snow in sight (well almost, only plowed and heaped snow left in the corner like a little grey ghost).

My iPhone 4's internal battery is deteriorating rapidly. It (the battery) has not died yet but discharges rather rapidly. It has been more than two years since I started using it. It is the expected life cycle of 300 discharge-recharge cycles or 500?

Here is the first impression of Birzman Zacoo Mini (BMO9-ZC-MINI-12PS) from www.birzman.com. Images will follow.

As the model number indicates, it is Presta/Schrader compatible (Presta via adapter) and 12CM long. There is also a Presta only version in a same form. The series goes like 9CM, 12CM, 15CM form with P and PS variations respectively.

On the package, it says that "Zacoo Mini" (its appearance, form?) "was inspired by Kandelia candle" but a google search shows me that there is a mangrove species called "Kandelia candel" instead.

I don't see much of similarities between them except for the light green color used for a small piece on the pump. If the form is inspired from the pod (mangrove's seed is formed like a thin nail that, when matured and drops from the tree, get stuck on the sand like a nail and then starts to grow), I would say, "You could say that (inspired by ...)."

The body is made of mainly aluminium alloy and other small parts are made of plastic and rubber material.
Barbieri Vision Air / Birzman Zacoo Mini

In Japanese:



iOS6.1へのアップグレードも準備も開始した。iTunesでiOS6.1はダウンロードした。いつでもアップグレードはできる。後はjailbreak toolの正式公開をまつだけだ。

自転車のタイヤは28mm幅のノキアンRollspeed TSに履き替えました。後輪の方が減りが若干早いようだったので、今回付け替えした際にローテーションして、前後を逆にしました。このタイヤはあと1シーズンか2シーズンは通勤タイヤとして活躍できるでしょう。消耗してしまったら、次回はこのタイヤは買わず(入手自体も安易でなくなってきてる)、Halo Twin Railを購入するでしょう。このHalo Twin Railはグリップの強力さが、とてもお気に入りです。

実はHalo Twin Railの今後が心配で、あと1年後にも売ってるかが疑問です。良いタイヤ(雪道を走るために)なので、継続して販売して欲しいです。万が一生産中止になったら、まとめ買いします。それくらい気に入ってます。
  1. 2013/01/31(木) 00:58:46|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Being on a low-carbohydrate diet?

Today, 29 of January, it is rainy and warm, if you say 7 degrees Celsius is warm (44 F). The snow is rapidly disappearing! It is a good news.

There was still snow in the field, on the roof or on the cycling/jogging/dog-walking road along the Alzette streamlet before yesterday. Patches of snow are disappearing thanks to to the lukewarm rain of the last two days. As far as I can see, almost all of them is gone.

This evening, I have to ride to the road along the Alzette myself to see how it is like there.

This morning I rode to work in the rain but did not go through the snowy road above mentioned. It took me considerably shorter time to come to work (since it was a kind of short cut through the center of Luxembourg). It was not so much fun, though. Riding close to buses was not fun at all. I tried to avoid busy streets with the morning commuting traffic.

Low-carbohydrate diet.

I don't know how much I weigh right now. I am not fat but I know that shedding off that extra weight on your body always helps you go up hill quicker and with much more ease.

Let's see what happens.

In Japanese:



さきほど、タイヤ交換しました。通常のNokisan Rollspeed TSに履き替えました。だから、雪が残ってると滑ります。この先また雪が積もるような寒気がシベリヤから来たら、またHalo Twin Railに履き替えます。
  1. 2013/01/29(火) 16:34:43|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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iOS 6.1 and Jailbreaking on my iPhone 4

My iPhone 4 is now on iOS 5.1.1 (9B206) and jailbroken. I have been holding out on iOS6. I was expecting to upgrade my iPhone to iOS 6 only when untethered jailbreak is available. Now is the time!

The battery inside my iPhone is definitely reaching its end of life. This battery discharges rapidly. I am thinking of buying a replacement battery from ifixit.com.

In Japanese:


テーマ:iPhone - ジャンル:携帯電話・PHS

  1. 2013/01/29(火) 00:22:02|
  2. iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
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It is raining and the snow is thawing

As the weather app screen shot indicates, the temperature (nighttime low) is above zero Celsius (= freezing point = 32 F), which is not optimal for me for the moment.

The cycling/jogging/dog-walking path along the Alzette where no snowplowing has been taken place for the last 2-3 weeks is now un-road-bike-able (impassable). There are three stretches where no snowplowing has been done. This morning I managed to wobble my way through two of them but I turned around after riding for 20 meters into the third (, which is only about 800 meters and mainly softly trodden by dog-walkers and joggers).

As a side note, by the way, I saw a bike ahead of me when I came to the path along Alzette streamlet. He or she could ride through those stretches with relative ease (at least it seemed so). I examined the track made by him/her and could see that the tires were wider and tread was shallower. He or she dropped me brutally as soon as I reached the first snowy stretch.

I almost fell once and had to dismount three times by the time I reached the third.

This evening I will definitely bypass all of the three stretches since I already know for sure that by then there is no way I can get through them.

The accumulated snow (compacted by humans, animals and automobiles) has been icy-dry and hard. I could ride on it.

Now my narrow tires sink into the snow like an ax. This makes it impossible for me to stay on the bike.

I don't know how long it takes the warm temperature and cold rain to thaw the snow on the path. I have to wait for a couple of days before I dare go through there.

If I should ride only on asphalt surfaces, I might as well change the tires today or tomorrow?

It is a time for WSV. WSV stands for Winter Schluss Verkauf. It is German for Winter End Sales! Because I buy bike parts and clothing mainly from German on-line shops, I have been seeing these initials for some time now.

I have bought some items. Most of them on sale prices. Shoe covers, arm warmers (for spring and autumn) and others. Not much. I will be reviewing some of the stuff I bought in the future. One of the items was a portable air pump from Birzman. I have a small but rather heavy portable air pump from Barbieri. I have used this one from Barbieri for more than 10 years by now (??). As soon as I get the one from Birzman, I would like to write review on them here.

In Japanese:




お馴染みのWort.luに載ってるニュースを斜めに読むと、日曜日の午後6時に駅付近の路上である女性(英語だとSex Workerとなってるが、平たく云うと売春婦)が同業者の二人の女性に殴られ、その後別の男性(前述の女性のピンプ、pimp?)にナイフで襲われ負傷したという記事があります。









  1. 2013/01/28(月) 15:58:55|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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It is getting a bit warmer next week, finally!

It is getting a bit warmer. I don't think that the winter is over here in Luxembourg yet. I have to be extra-careful when riding on the snowy and icy path along the Alzette since rain and warmer temperature during the day (and colder at nighttime) make the surface really even icier and slippery.

I will be worrying less about the snow on my way to work and home later next week. I will have to change the tires. Back to Nokian Roll-Speed TS to save Halo Twin Rail for the snowy days.

The problem (of warmer weather but not quite warm weather) is that choosing the right clothes to wear to ride. When it reaches 9 or 10 degrees Celsius (48 to 50 F), my Mavic Espoir is too warm. My Sugoi summer jersey and bibs are too thin. I will have to combine them with arm/leg warmers, thin windbreaker or something.

  1. 2013/01/26(土) 17:30:58|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Minus 4C (24 F) is better than minus 2

This morning it was minus 4 when I rode to work. Riding under this condition (minus 4 C, cloudy) may not be fun but definitely easier than riding at temperature minus 2.

The reason why riding at minus 4 C is not fun is that you have to ride slowly watching out for patches of ice or other hazards and your heart rate stays way below the zone where you feel good or natural high. I don't feel cold at all but I just don't feel that I am exercising.

The cycling/jogging/dog-walking road along the Alzette has not changed too much. There was a section where they (city of Luxembourg plowing team crew) worked on. This section, about 400 meters (a quarter of a mile), between two residential areas was clean. Otherwise, the situation remains the same but treads and tracks were frozen. I could ride easily. Well staying on the narrow track made by cars was not so easy but I am getting better at it.

I show you these.
(iPhone screen shots: Weather App)
January 24

January 24, the temp is minus 4 but the prediction is minus 7 in two minutes!

As you can see, the predicted temperatures have almost always discrepancies for the last one week or so. The predicted temperatures are generally 4 to 5 degrees Celsius lower than the real ones.

Who makes the predictions? Computers? Humans? I think the predicted temperatures are based on the assumptions that the sky is clear and the remaining heat in the air goes up and dissipates. The problem is that we almost always have had cloudy sky for the last one week.

I am very sure that the air above us is very cold (like minus 40 C at 4km or 6km from the ground). The weather satellites orbiting the Earth are monitoring the temperature changes in the air, in the oceans or of LA's body when he still lied on the talk show (hahaha!), I presume. Now it is the climate forecasting computers task to make the predictions by simulating the Earth. I think there is serious program bugs in this simulation program.

Whatever!! As I have written here before, here in the Central Europe, the weather forecast is not an art nor science but rather a gossip in a newspaper column. No one gets hurt because of its inaccuracy.

In Japanese:


  1. 2013/01/24(木) 22:17:05|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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I am running at 95%?

I have almost completely recovered from the latest bad flu. This was a nasty flu. I am OK and functioning.

The weather forecast on my Weather App on my iPhone (and its forecast info provided by Yahoo) is completely erratic. The temperature prediction is nothing but a joke. The temperature is supposed to drop to minus 7 or 8 (17 or 19 F) Celsius by dawn but rather it stays around minus 1 or 2 Celsius (28 F). How could someone account for the discrepancies between those predicted and real temperatures?

Anyway, minus 2 Celsius is not good. It is too warm. The snow staying unplowed and unsalted on the cycling/jogging/dog-walking road along the Alzette get wet and soft (in other words, too heavy and too unpredictably runny). Now it is almost impossible for me to pass. I have to bypass those sections and take alternative roads.

Oh, speaking of iPhone, my iPhone 4 is showing a sign of aging. The battery duration time is decreasing, I guess. From 100% charge, it rapidly gets to 90, 80, 70, etc. I would rarely saw the indicator showing 50% (before) but now I see it often in a day or half a day. It has been more than two years since I bought it.

In Japanese:




  1. 2013/01/23(水) 16:51:55|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Thank you very much Garmin!

Thank you very much for letting me re-associate the Garmin MapSource with my new Nuvi 2340.

This is an old story dating back to June 29 2012 when my Garmin nuvi 245 was stolen in Liege, Belgium. Anyway, yesterday, I finally successfully re-installed the Garmin map software on my new computer.

I have to say this, though. The map is not too good. When I compare the updated map by Garmin with the Google map, OpenStreetMap or TomTom's map, I still find the errors in this Garmin's updated map within my local area. Who's responsible? The map providers (those who actually collect the info) are not doing a good job? Tele Atlas or Navteq? Anyway, this is the end of the story.

  1. 2013/01/21(月) 15:51:38|
  2. GPS Navigation
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A quiet Sunday (a rest day)

I am writing this Monday afternoon.

The weather forecast tells that the week ahead is pretty much like the one we had. Cold lows are expected for the next weekend.
January 21
Later January 20
January 20

It seems that we are going to have a sunny freezing days ahead.

Saturday evening I ride home. The winding path along the Alzette was heavily trodden by dog walkers and joggers as well as cars. Riding there was easier than the riding I had previous days.

Appetite was coming back finally. I thought that I'd be OK by Monday.

Now, Monday, January 21, I am feeling much better. No aching lymph nodes, which means my system has fought off the virus (almost, I hope). I feel a bit feverish so my body is still trying to recover from the damages already done.

My appetite is not so keen. I only ate bananas and had Cola Zero so far today although I know I should eat something more.

Anyway, I rode this morning to work. The temperature this morning was rather warm at minus 2 or 3 Celsius (28 or 27 F). So the treads made on the cycling/dog-walking/jogging road along the Alzette was a bit loose and crumbled easily especially under my narrow tires. It was not so easy to pass through there but I survived.

I normally use a special oil (sold as a chain lube) for my chain (not so expensive) but belatedly realized last Sunday that under these harsh conditions I should just apply grease on the chain generously. The lubrication wears off quickly (one ride through snowy road is enough) anyway and I take a shower with my bike almost everyday. The cassette, chain, chainrings are super clean for the moment. There is no time for them to be greasy or dirty.

In Japanese:

今日月曜日は自転車通勤できました(で、来ました なのか、出来ました なのか、どちらにも解釈できますね)。気温はマイナス2度とか3度で感覚としては生温かい温度です。日曜日に降った2センチから3センチ程の雪が湿ってます。車が通過する道路上は除雪やら塩撒きでビシャビシャの状態です。気温がマイナスでもマイナス7度、8度程度まではまだヌルイ寒さです、と言えるようになりました。厳しい条件で自転車通勤してるので鍛えられました。








  1. 2013/01/21(月) 15:36:30|
  2. Bikes and related things
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(Probably) a flu knocked me down

I am writing this Saturday afternoon. The weather forecast is like this:

In my iPhone Weather app, I have lots of locations as the dots under indicate. One of the locations is Reykjavik, Iceland. Contrary to most common belief (or maybe just me), Reykjavik is way warmer than Luxembourg most of the time in winter. Thanks to the North Atlantic Current, its climate is milder.

Thursday I was feeling not so good.

I do not turn the heating on in my room in winter because I don't want to rely on it. It works normally and my body tries to generate more heat against the cold weather. Someone brought this nasty virus to my workplace and one of my colleagues is staying home for days and some others are also sick.

Several lymph nodes in my body ached Friday. Definitely, a clear symptom of flu virus infection and not a sign of a simple common cold! No coughing but dullness and maybe slight fever. No appetite. I can just take some chocolate products just to get my brain and body going (and to feed body heating system) for the last two days. Not goooooood at all.

Thursday evening I used buses to go home and turned on the heating for the first time this winter. Friday morning I also took buses to work.

I worked on Friday. I did not go home Friday evening. I stayed at my workplace. I can sleep here. I have to work today, Saturday. This evening I intend to go home by bike as I am feeling better, not good but just better.

I hate taking medicines. I hate relying on heating apparatus. I hate being sick. Since I came here in Luxembourg, I never missed a day at work because of sickness. I like being healthy and up going.

Sunday I will most likely stay home. I hope I recover fully by Monday.

In Japanese:







  1. 2013/01/19(土) 16:18:32|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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It's a (booby) trap!

If you are a Star Wars fan, you will recall this phrase, "It's a trap." Which part? Part VI? This is a very well-known scene associated with this phrase.

Anyway, it has been a week or so since I saw this article on wort.lu that Luxembourg driver's license system is changing (conforming to the system agreed among many Western European countries). The ads by the authorities are everywhere now.

It is a trap! They encourage you to change your current license to this new one. New license is a laminated credit card-size one. It looks cuter than the old one (small paper leaflet).

If you read the description of the new license, you will see a line saying that it has an expiration period. In 10 years you have to renew it.

This is the trap. Many driver's licenses in old system have no expiration date. Which do you prefer, a cute card that is only valid for 10 years or the ugly paper leaflet with no expiration date?

In Japanese:



  1. 2013/01/17(木) 00:40:52|
  2. Things European
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I told you so. Re: Amstel Gold Race finish change

I told you so. Immediately after the World Championship held in Valkenburg in 2012, I predicted the course change of Amstel Gold Race in 2013. Yesterday, it was on the news at cyclingnews.com.

I predicted this because of the ease of the following two activities:
1) the spectators who wish to walk up and down on Cauberg for buying beers and the subsequent effect of drinking beer (ie. peeing) on the sidewalk.
2) the security guards who oversee the traffic (race cars) and pedestrians on the overcrowded Cauberg

Because the spectators spread over 3km (from the bottom of Cauberg to the finish line) instead of just 1km (Cauberg), the density of the spectators on the sidewalk is significantly lower.

Anyway, I welcome this change. I can relax myself on the Cauberg climb.

By the way, this is a totally unrelated topic. I rode through dry and wet snow to and from work. After arriving at my work place, I take a shower with my bike. I noticed something. When you expose your bike to snow (dry, wet or icy), the lubrication on the drive train is gone. Before riding home, I lube the chain (almost everyday). I noticed the chain, chainring, rear cassette and jockey wheels very clean without any dark residue (mixture of lubrication oil and dirt). Snow (ice) works as a kind of detergent and polisher.

In Japanese:


テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/01/16(水) 17:05:29|
  2. Bike Races in the Netherlands
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Bumpy snowy road and balaclava

Weather update:
Please click on the images to magnify them.

Today (January 16), I took my bike to work. I knew it was not going to be easy as I had already struggled to stay on the bike the previous evening on my way home.

There is a water purification station along the Alzette near my studio apartment. That is where we get our drinking water from. When I crossed the small arched bridge (only for pedestrians and bikers) over this streamlet to get to my commuting route, I noticed the cycling/jogging/dog-walking/horse-back-riding road had been freshly snowplowed. I thought I could take it easy this morning.

This plowed section lasted only for a quarter of a mile (400 meters or so) until this water purification station. It seemed that the snowplow workmen thought it appropriate to pave the road for those workers working at the station. After all, the drinking water is one of our main lifelines, right? Why not just stop snowplowing in front of its entry gate?

The road was as bumpy and snowy as ever (the previous night) past the water purification station and staying on the bike was not easy. Though, this time I had an advantage, having the daylight with me. I could see the edge of the asphalt-paved road by examining the snow surface. Those nasty treads made by bikers, hikers and automobiles tend to be closer to the center. I could go closer to the edge where I could still find un-trodden virgin snow. Or I could see if the treads made by the automobiles were hard enough to bear my narrow tires.

It took me a bit less than 1 hour and 20 minutes to ride for about 16K (10 miles).

Halo Twin Rail is an excellent snow tire, this I can say at the top of my lung. I hope that Halo keeps producing them for a long time.
I did not know that I had a rohroff internal gear hub on the rear!

This is the aero-profile wheel I have.

Aero-profile wheel and aero-profile fork!

Gore Bike Wear half mask vs Northwave balaclava saga continues,...
Look at this perforation work here on Gore Bike Wear half mask. This is the right way to do it (making it breathable)

Northwave's balaclava fails because it is un-breathable (suffocating).

Could someone please put them together and make one perfect balaclava for me?

In Japanese:
水曜日の朝は気温マイナス5度程度。アルゼット川を渡る小さな橋(歩行者・自転車のみ通過可能)を渡るとサイクリング道が除雪されてた(英語版にある写真参照)。これは楽できるかな、と一瞬思ったのだが、それは甘かった。400メートル進むか、それくらいで除雪は終了してた。そこにある浄水施設のゲートまでの除雪だった。大事な飲み水を浄化してる施設なので、市当局がそこまで車が入れるようにしてるだけだった。その先は、10cm以上の雪が積もり、人間・動物の足跡、自転車の轍が残るでこぼこ道のままだった。このサイクリング道の区間は時間が掛かるが、通過は可能だ。Halo Twin Railのトラクションは素晴らしく、漕げば、漕ぐだけ進む。







  1. 2013/01/16(水) 15:54:16|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Halo Twin Rail on my bike in dry snow


Today (January 15), I rode to work despite the snow. I woke up in the morning and looked out from the window and saw the snowfall on the ground. I was like a puppy eager to play with the snow.

People were plowing the pavement in front of their houses. Some people stared at me when I passed by them on my bike, probably saying in their mind, "What a f**king crazy man he is."

It was around minus 4 or 5 degrees Celsius (22 or 24 F). The snow was dry, light and powdery where it was still virgin. Scattered salt made snow wet, heavy and sticky. It was not cold enough to see ice on the road.

This is the cycling/jogging/dog-walking/horse-back-riding road along the Alzette river. There was a track made by a mountain bike, judged from the thick tread, before me. Gee, I was not the only crazy biker this morning!

After taking the picture above, I turned around and took this one.

If you observe the treads closely, you will notice this.

The thick tread made by a mountain bike is shallower than the tread made by my bike. As my tires are narrower (probably almost half in width), the tread made by mine is deeper. This fact is very significant. I will tell you "why" it is significant later on.

I could go on without any problems. Virgin snow is easy to handle as it is easily tamed. No tracks, no resistance.

Eventually I came to the residential area along the Alzette. People are using their cars to work. Cars are heavy but they are equipped with much much wider tires and they have also 4 tires to support the weight. Consequently, the treads made by cars are wider but shallower in a way.

When I ride on the treads made by the cars, my bike can easily lose steering. I chose to ride on the outer rim on the road where the snow is still intact.

I explain you "why" I lose steering on those compressed treads. Since the snow is dry, this compressed treads easily crumble. As my tires are very narrow (24mm), my tires breaks the tread surface and sink down to the asphalt. When this happens, my tires have no traction and no direction.

Here is another helping fact to grasp the idea that I am trying to explain. Fat bikes (bikes with very wide tires for riding on sand dunes or so) have wide tires to cope with sand. They need much wider tires.

I am waiting to ride on icy roads to give more detailed review on Halo Twin Rail. So far I can say this. I am very comfortable and confident on dry and wet snow. Its traction is excellent. I love it.

I arrived at my work place like this.

Front brake area

Rear brake area

BB area

Dynamo hub and light (Shimano LP-R600)

In the evening I rode home. It kept snowing almost all day. By the time I left for home, snow was up to 10cm or more (4 inches or more). The road along the Alzette was terrible. The majority of the road was not plowed nor salted. People walked there to walk the dogs or for something during the day. It was a bit warmer during the day.

As a result, cars' treads, shoes' tread and bikes' treads made the road bumpy. Yet the bumps were covered with new snow. I had to ride through this bumpy road.

I had to slow down but kept going. I never stopped. For a long time I was wobbling.

Halo Twin Rail's traction was excellent. Anytime the bike wobbled, I pedaled harder to keep the balance on the bike. The traction never failed. I was very impressed.

In Japanese:

問題のHalo Twin Railのタイヤだが、トラクションが掛かること!!。つまり、漕げば漕ぐだけ進む。すばらしい。行きの道のサイクリング道は楽勝。僕の前にマウンテンバイクが一台走っただけだったので、雪に変な癖がなく、どこを走っても、スラロームしても均一なトラクションがかかるので、楽しく走行できた。





とにかく、このHalo Twin Railのグリップはすごい。今後は氷の上を走ってさらにグリップ力を試したい。雪の上のグリップ力(走行してる間はトラクションと云う言葉が適切だろうけど)には感動した。これはスノータイヤとして機能してる。



  1. 2013/01/15(火) 15:29:25|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Northwave Balaclava versus Gore Bike Wear Mask

This morning (January 14), it was around minus 8 degrees Celsius (17.6 F). Sunny with almost no wind. I rode my bike to work. The road was almost dry with almost ignorable patches of thin frozen snow. I did not have enough snow or ice on the road to test Halo Twin Rail so I am not reviewing these tires now.

This evening (January 14), it was around minus 6 degrees Celsius (21.2 F). I wore Northwave's balaclava, which I bought last Christmas. I am writing about this balaclava. It was the first time I wore this and rode.

I bought this because I did not like this type of face mask by Gore Bike Wear.

Please click on the images to magnify them.

Briefly, it was not comfortable to wear because it pinches the nose down to keep the mask up. If you keep it loose not to pinch your nose down, it slips down off your face.

So I can put it this way.
Gore Bike Wear's half mask (material neoprene?)
*Wear Comfort: low
*Breathability: high (thanks to its slit under the nose and punched holes on the mouth)
*Protection: middle (neck area is not so secure)

Now, this Northwave balaclava can be described this way.
*Wear Comfort: high (slight nose pressure and no slipping of course)
*Breathability: very low (small punched holes around the nose don't help and no holes or slit on the mouth. The moisture in your breath makes the mouth area wet quickly.)
*Protection: high (warm ears and neck)

I had to pull it down to breath comfortably. I may have to make more holes on the mouth to make it usable. The material is not thick but not thin enough to be breathable without holes in it.
(barely noticeable tiny holes beside your nose, not under your nostrils)

One thing I can say anything positive about this balaclava is that it shuts out cold wind on your ears and neck. You don't feel cold.

I am very disappointed.

The material of this NW balaclava is, according to the laundry instruction tag, 85% Polyester and 15% Elastane. It is not made of neoprene. As you may know, you can punch holes in neoprene without damaging its structure (as it is not a woven material).

Because this balaclava is made of a woven material, if you can not punch holes in this material without damaging its structure. You have to stitch them up as shown in this picture above.

What should or can I do?

In Japanese:







不思議だ。冬の自転車手袋の設計をする人たちは一体何を考えて素材と構造を選んでるのか?根本を間違えてると思われる手袋だらけなのはなぜ? 「手袋の製作責任者達は、反省してジッと手を見なさい。どこが冷えて、どこが汗をかく部分わかるまで、ずっとだぞ」 研究素材が目の前にあるのに、なぜこの程度の製品しか出来ないんだ!!







  1. 2013/01/15(火) 00:43:02|
  2. Bikes and related things
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I've got a ticket to ride!

Weather update:

I am going to take my bike out and ride a bit later.

Finally, I secured the tickets to cross the Mediterranean Ocean to Corsica and come back to Nice. I already paid for them via PayPal. Those tickets are mine now.

Note for those who might want to do the same:

I used this site (http://www.corsica-ferries.co.uk/). You can use French, English, Italian and other languages. You can find other ferry operators but the company above is a partner of TdF 2013. If you like TdF, you may want to show your support for the event by travelling with them.

You can pay for the tickets by your credit cards or PayPal. After confirming the payment, you will receive your printable tickets by e-mail or you can download them from the site. They are in PDF format.

You are supposed to show up at the port (the boarding pier) 1 hour before if you travel with a car or 30 minutes before if you travel without a car, in either case with these tickets you printed on your printer.

Now the focus is on how, when and where to watch the stages, to rest (overnight), to refill (eat and shop for food) and to go on-line (Twitter, Facebook, etc.).

I have rough ideas what to do to enjoy le Tour de France based on my humble experience accumulated for the last almost decade but I have to talk to my travel mate and reach an agreement.

ASO releases the detailed information on the stages only in June. I, more and more, rely on velowire.com for earlier leaks.

I use Garmin MapSource to plot the places on the parcours and off the parcours. Later I transfer the waypoints over to my Garmin GPS device.

After you finish watching the stage, you pack up and hop on the car and then switch on the Garmin GPS. All you do is to drive to the waypoint (next destination) already decided and well marked on your GPS.

Good organization is the key when you drive more than 4-5 hours a day (almost) everyday for more than 3 weeks. You simply don't have time nor energy left to open a map and plan a route.

My priority is like:
1) the best place to watch
2) painting on the road / putting up flags and banners
3) saving time and money
4) riding my bike up mountains
5) where to sleep / what to eat
6) enjoy the summer

1) Planning to get to the best place to watch the stage is everything. What else?

2) I put up flags or banners to show support for my team and riders. I also paint on the road with water solution paint. This is important(for the environment and road safety)! I have never ever used an oil paint.

3) Buying expensive (French fuel prices always go up during summer, I wonder why) fuel and using the French toll roads cost a lot. And I am the only one who drive, I have to save my energy.

This year, when my travel mate is willing to pitch in, 3) goes DOWN on my priority list.

4) Whenever I have time and energy left, I take out my bike. I bring my paint kit (paint and a roller) with me. This year, I will be riding more than ever as my travel mate also loves riding and I started building my form since last October.

5) When I travel alone. This has absolutely no priority as does 6). I stop driving when I have to and sleep in the car or in a tent, whichever easier at a parking along a toll road, along the parcours or in a mountain.

This year, I have a travel mate so I have to put 5) UP my priority list.

Activity 6) is like dipping in a pool at some camp sites, eating out, walking on the beach, staying up late / booze / joining July 14th (13th evening) festivities or etc. I have never had an opportunity to use a swimming pool at camping sites. Simply I had no time. This year,though, I may have time to walk on the beach in Corsica.

My ferry gets to Corsica (Bastia) around 20:00 on Tuesday June 26. Team Presentation is held on Thursday evening in Porto-Vecchio, I guess. Friday, we will visit the hotels where our favorite riders are staying. We will find time between these activities to walk on the beach and ride along the coast.

Anyways, I am so excited! Vive le Tour!

In Japanese:






テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/01/13(日) 14:53:58|
  2. Tour de France
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Freezing weather in Luxembourg

Look at this:

The temperature shown is in Celsius. All week, totally sub-zero (freezing)! Wow, exciting!

As I repeatedly wrote, this weather forecast by Yahoo is not so accurate so I have to be calm, not too excited. Not much snow, though.

to be continued.....

  1. 2013/01/12(土) 17:36:40|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Halo Twin Rail on my bike

Now it is Friday afternoon, January 11. Just now I changed the tires on my bike. Nokian Roll-Speed TS was replaced by Halo Twin Rail (Berlin Courier anti-puncture).

Their sizes are different. Nokian Roll-Speed TS is 28mm wide whereas Halo Twin Rail is 24mm wide (1.1 or 1 1/8 inch and 0.94 or 30/32 inch, respectively).

They (Halo Twin Rail) look narrow and skinny. Now I can put them on the bike without any hinderance from the brake pads. With Nokian 28mm, I had to force them in or sometimes had to depressurize the inner tube to pass them on the frame/fork. They (narrow tires) are easy to handle. I had to remind myself that fat tires are not indigenous parts on a road bike in the first place.

It is not so cold outside (1 Celsius or 34 Fahrenheit) but we have a bit of shower mixed with snow for the moment. It will definitely snow this evening and tomorrow as the temperature falls. There won't be any ice on the road this evening but there could be some on Sunday or Monday. I am excited!

After changing the tires, I checked the wear on Nokian Roll-Speed TS and found the rear tire was worn out more than the front but they can be used for more than a couple of seasons without any problems. I only use these deep pattern tires in winter.

Now I am thinking if I should put Nokian Roll-Speed TS back on when this cold stretch of weather ends. Well I should do so to save Halo Twin Rail from wearing out too soon.

This year, as I have already written, we have had less snow than in a normal winter. It is warmer, too, I guess. Global warming? I feel sorry for polar bears. They may be having hard time catching seals.

In Japanese:
週末から週明けにかけて気温が下がり、降雪があり、積雪がありえるという天気予報を見て、心が踊った。スノータイアとして購入したHalo Twin Railが使えるからだ。早速、今日、金曜日の午後に付け替え作業決行。付けてみて思ったのは、細いということ。

これまで冬用として装着してたのがNokian Roll-Speed TSというクリンチャータイヤで、折りたたみが出来ない輪の状態のタイヤ。幅が28mmのものでロードバイクには入るギリギリのサイズ。本当にフォークの又の部分のクリアランスが無い。今回のHalo Twin Railは幅が24mmである。たった4mmの違いなのだが、全然違う印象を受ける。



  1. 2013/01/11(金) 08:35:21|
  2. Bikes and related things
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It is getting colder and snow is expected

The chameleon weather forecast tells me that nighttime lows are minus 3 to 5 Celsius (26 - 23 F) over the weekend and into next week. Daytime highs also stay sub-zero next Monday (not so sure but...).

Wow! I am getting some snow and icy roads after all! It looks like I will be changing the tires on Friday or Saturday. This is exciting! I don't mind riding my bike in the rain or snow by now.

Today, January 10 I rode to work and took a shower with my shower-mate, my bike. It rained last night and the road was wet.

Recently I check www.wort.lu almost everyday. It tells me something about Luxembourg. I find it very informative since it is one of the few sources available in English here.

Today there is an article about Greeks trying to evade paying their taxes. Some of them own bank accounts in Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. Some own bank accounts in Switzerland, too. According to the article, the Greek government has been lenient to those who avoided paying their taxes until now. Now the government is in deeeeeep shit, they have no choice but crack down on those who have been having good time by hiding their money.

There is also an article about the "new" driving license format being introduced in Luxembourg. In Europe (as far as I know in Western Europe), traditionally a driver license was a A3 (or B3??) sized paper with a photo stapled or glued to it neatly folded. I have seen senior people having a driver's license with their photo as a teenager a couple of times because they are still valid! True. I think the many countries, if not all, are replacing those licenses with plastic-laminated credit card size ones. At the same time they (authorities) are, indirectly and politely (like requiring them to take a phisical check-up or some tests, thus discouraging the seniors to cling to their license), requesting those senior people to voluntarily abandon the right to drive if they are over a certain age.

Now, the luxembourg driver's license issuing athorities are introducing the same system that was introduced in Germany years ago.

I have a German driver's license, which I got in exchange for my Japanese driver's license with a modest fee. It has no expiration date. I still use it. I can use it almost anywhere in Europe, maybe not in Russia?

I am tempted to go to the office to ask if I can "exchange" my German license with Luxembourg license with only a modest fee. If they tell me to take a paper test or driving test, I will not try to get it. I am curious.

In Japanese:
今週末から来週初めにかけて、気温が下がる様です。シベリア方面?(単にロシア方面)から冷たい寒気が降ってくるらしく、天気予報(当たらないけど)によると、夜間・早朝の最低気温が週末から週明けにマイナス4度とか5度が予測されてます。雪が降る様子ですし、道路凍結もありえるでしょう。金曜日か土曜日にタイヤをHalo Twin Railに交換することになりそうです。(ネット通販して購入したバイク部品)荷物は仕事先に届けてもらったので、仕事先に置いたままです。このタイヤ(クリンチャー)は折りたたみができないタイプです。現在履いてるノキアンのタイヤもそうです。フラフープができそうな大きさの硬い単なるワッカです。






  1. 2013/01/10(木) 16:34:32|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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No snow after all??

The weather forecast has been updated and it looks like that I am not getting any snow after all. Disappointed but not unexpected.

For the last two months and a bit, I have been riding my bike to work. On arriving at my workplace, I take a shower. My bike has been taking a shower with me quite often, because the bike gets so loaded with mud and sand, so often that I have to lube the chain almost every day and be worried if the head parts got rusty or need lubrication.

It has been a little while since a squeaking noise began to annoy me coming from the very part above mentioned. I think it requires an immediate operation perhaps this coming Sunday.

Anyway, today, on arriving at work this morning, I inspected the trace of mud/sand splashes as I always do on my bike. Almost none. Yes, this morning the road was almost dry but it drizzled a tiny bit. My bike did not need a shower. It has been quite a while since I did NOT take a shower with my bike.

The point is: I felt a bit weird not taking a shower with my bike! It has been my shower mate for a long time this winter.

And the point you (the reader) might bring up is: "You need a *****!"

Yes, you are right.

In Japanese:







  1. 2013/01/08(火) 18:27:29|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Snowfall expected in Luxembourg?

According to the ever-changing, not-so-accurate weather forecast, snow is expected during this week. I am very excited! Maybe I have the opportunity to try Halo Twin Rail Berlin Puncture Protection tires on my bike (intended use as snow tires). These tires are kept at my workplace. I have to take the tire levers out of my toolbox and be ready should it snow and should the snow stay on the road.

This winter is warmer and dryer than usual. I mean it is damp and wet but less snowfall. It rains but the temperature stays high enough to allow me to ride my bike.

There was a stretch of cold weather in December when I simply chose to take a bus to commute. Back then, the daytime highs stayed sub-zero (Celsius) and the road surface was frozen at nighttime.

This week will see less cold temperatures. Minus 1 Celsius (30 F or so). Not so exciting but I will see.
  1. 2013/01/07(月) 10:16:03|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Last man standing??? (Johan Bruyneel?) or who else?

There have been quite stirs around the cycling world that people are talking about LA's possible confession for the last couple of days.

Is it possible? What would he get when he confesses now (before JB does eventually??)? I don't know but there has to be something meritorius for LA. No merit, no such move.

I've already written about this last man standing theory (not in a good meaning). The last one who confesses or who does not confess till the end among the people involved in a conspiracy would get the maximum penalty for the crime committed. It is a classic textbook story between crime investigators/litigators and conspirators. A conspirator wants a good trade for his confession to implicate other fellow conspirators. Thus, the last man standing will get the biggest rap.

Is Mr. Johan Bruyneel preparing his confession in a hurry? There will be absolutely no point for JB to go to any kind of arbitraion when LA confesses, I guess.

If LA comes clean about the money he used for doping, there will be a bigger disturbance in the current matter. It involves the money that came from the US government. It involves the money that went to Dr. Ferrari.

What is going to happen? Tell me, Yoda!

New year brings an overhaul to the internet sites of various professional cycling teams. Riders who made a transfer are allowed to appear on the internet in the new team kit. Riders transfer news are usually closely followed and already known before they are official.

On the other hand, transfers of other staff members are not known until those team sites announce. I checked Saxo-Tinkoff and RadioShack-Leopard-Trek sites. Surprise!! Some changed teams. Some returned to Saxo-Tinkoff from RST. RST's site is under construction for the moment.

In Japanese:




テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/01/05(土) 22:57:05|
  2. Bike Races
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Amnesty on illegal workers

I am working (and living) in Luxembourg legally! First I have to announce this to begin with. Thank God for that!

Today, according to wort.lu, Luxembourg authorities are to announce that illegal workers are given amnesty and given a work permit if they can prove that they qualify for the requirements. They have to prove that they have worked for more than 40 hours a week for during 9 months in 2012.

A form to complete is available for download. The employers have to complete the form.

What does this mean? I am not a stranger to this kind of things. I used to live in the States (United States of America) for almost 4 years. During that time I had seen and experienced OJ trial, the Northridge earthquake, Rodney King related riots and curfews and a car theft. I lived in "the Valley" and later in Santa Monica. A work permit, or familiarly called, a green card (although in reality it is in pink) was a prized asset for everybody who wanted to be leagally working in the States. I did not have one. I had a student visa (F1).

I heard of this kind of amnesty, either back then. Usually when a new President is sworn in, amnesty is given to illegal workers who have worked 10 years illegally. It is just a rumor and I never checked its validity.

What does this amnesty by the state of Luxembourg mean? Is the state just to forget everything about the illegal activities? If a person and his/her employer come clean about the illegal employment, the state is lenient about the tax(es) the employer did not pay, the employee did not pay and turn a blind eye to the opportunity* that they (illegal parties) deprived of other qualified workers because of this illegal employment?

Or in this form (downloadable from immigration office's site) somewhere there is a line that reads that all the unpaid taxed shall be back-imposed? If so, it is not amnesty, right? If it is called amnesty, all should be forgotten. I doubt that it is an amnesty but I can be dead wrong. Maybe it is just wort.lu who uses this term 'amnesty'.

*If a person works 40 hours a week for 9 months in 2012, this person had a full-time job. This person deprived a legally qualified person of his/her job opportunity.

This piece of news strikes me particulary curious because when I applied for my work permit, I had to wait for soooooooooooooooooooo (I can go pressing 'o' for the next one minute but I stop here) long. If the state is so eager to tap in the potential state tax source by doing this (making the illegal legal), I recommend that they put a fraction of their eagerness to quick and prompt issuing of work permits to those queued-up workers who are legally applying for it.

I had a ingtriguing conversation with a Chinese friend who stays and works legally here in Luxembourg. According to him, there are (he knows personally) many Chinese nationals and other nationals who might qualify for this amnesty program. He also told me that this same (I don't know how much same, but same kind of amnesty program to grant a legal work status) amnesty program had taken place back in early 2000.

And he said that there are more than 1,000 illegal workers (many of them Chinese nationals) in Luxembourg who are working full-time. If you count workers working part-time, I don't know how many people,... Some people can stay in Luxembourg legally but can not work legally. For example, a spouse of someone who has a valid work permit but has been in Luxembourg less than one year.

In Japanese:




  1. 2013/01/03(木) 16:06:06|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Screw it tight, baby!

On New Year's Day I worked on my bike. I have been thinking about the cassette on my Zipp 404 for a while if it is right for climbing up Mont Ventoux or l'Alpe d'Huez. It is a Dura-Ace 7800 11-25. I bought this long time ago and back then I did not know almost anything about how much effort it takes to climb a hard climb.

Anyway, long story short, I had a 53-39 front chainring with 11-25 rear cassette and headed down to Swiss-Italy border area and climbed up that legendary beautiful Stelvio path or others back in 2004. The scenery around that area was just breathtaking. So beautiful!

All I could think about while climbing up all those beautiful mountain paths was that I am gonna g*d**mn buy a bigger gear cassette as soon as I went home. 25 was too small. So I bought this Shimano Ultegra 6600 11-27 cassette. Soon after this I changed the front to the 50-34 compact drive.

Now the Dura-Ace 11-25 sits on my Zipp 404. The Ultegra 11-27 is installed on my everyday use Mavic Cosmic (or was it named so?).

I ride almost everyday with this 50-34/11-27 combination. It helps me cope with the 17% gradient slope on the way to work.

The questions that have been on my mind were:
1) Should I use the 11-25 to tackle Mont Ventoux and Alpe d'Huez on my Zipp this summer?
2) Should I swap the 11-25 to 11-27 before heading down to Corsica?
3) Might I buy an 11-28 cassette before crossing the Mediterranean?

Anyway, after cleaning both of the cassettes, I put them back on. I set the Mavic wheel back on my back. I set the bike on the floor (on the handle and saddle) and turn the crank to spin the wheel. The wheel spun slowly and dully however fast I turn the crank. ???? WTF?

It turned out that the screw that tightens the free hub body was loose. I tightened the screw. I was happy that it happened then not when I am climbing a steep slope.

In Japanese:

元旦の日には、家で自転車整備などをしました。マヴィックのコズミック(だったか、コスモスだったか忘れましたが、マヴィックの安めの溶接接合リムのホイール)に付いてるカセット(アルテグラ6600の11-27)とZipp 404についてるカセット(デュラエース7800の11-25)を外して掃除して、ローギヤの3枚一緒にスパイダー固定の部分だけを交換しても大丈夫なのかをちょっと確認したかったのです。



軽量のホイールはドイツ在住時代に購入したZipp 404という飛び道具があります。軽量化しても速くはなりませんが、楽はできます。12月に購入した(まだ発送されてない)自転車部品の中にも軽量部品が含まれてます。現在使用してるクランクはISISのBBですが、今回購入した軽量スカンジウム軸BBで100g程度の軽量化が可能です。別の業者から買った重量計(本来は航空機持ち込み荷物の重量を事前に確認するための)にて、自転車重量を計って、ニンマリする予定です。多分UCI規程での違法(もちろん、UCIが管轄するレースで違法なだけで、素人がどんな自転車に乗っても重量規制で違法なことはありませんが)な6.9kgを切ることはできると思います。もっとお金を掛ければ、カーボン製ハンドルバーとか、カーボン製サドルとかを使用するべきですが、そこまではしません。







  1. 2013/01/02(水) 17:42:26|
  2. Bikes and related things
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TdF 2014 planning

velowire.com (http://www.velowire.com/) reports that some of the planned stages in the United Kingdom are already known.

So I plotted some of the cities on my trusty Garmin MapSource. At the same time I checked the ferry connections between continental Europe and Yorkshire, UK.

There are two promising ferry connections. One is between Zeebrugge, a Belgian city near Dutch border and a city called Hull on the river Humber not far from Leeds, where the Grand Depart is rumored to take place. The other is between Rotterdam, Dutch port city and Hull.

I have already written earlier that the cost of outgoing connection from continental Europe to York might be lower than the cost of buying and burning the expensive fuel in the Great Britain. I will see.

A quick search on Google shows me some ferry operators. I did not look up the prices or availability. it is too early, isn't it? Or is it not?

According to the site above, the stages are like:
Stage 1: Leeds >> Scarborough
Stage 2: York >> Sheffield
Stage 3: Cambridge >> London

In Japanese:



テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/01/01(火) 16:50:15|
  2. Tour de France
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