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欧州自転車レース追っかけ日記

欧州在住者が自転車レースを追い掛けてる日記とか

All Saints Day (what is that?) anyway

Tomorrow, November 1st is a public holiday in Luxembourg. I guess (I don't know if other Catholic countries around Luxembourg have the same public holiday tomorrow) people go to Halloween party tonight and sleep most of the Friday. Some people take extra days off to make this weekend a long one.

Halloween is not a public holiday here but it is very popular. I know that the Luxembourg police are on the watch tonight. Poeple go out and drink. There will be a lot of "toubles" afterward.

Last night (the evening of October 30th to early morning of 31st), the temperature fell to 2 or 3 degrees Celsius (35 to 37 F). I think it was the coldest night this fall. I rode home by bicycle. No problem. I still have normal summer tires on my bike. For the moment there is no sign (weather forecast) of snow or ice on the road.

Yesterday (October 30th), the city of Luxembourg workers cleaned the cycling/jogging/horse-back-riding road along Alzette. There were thick layer of fallen leaves for the past week. Now they are gone.

This public holiday is called All Saints Day in English. I don't know what it is. I am too lazy to look it up in Wikipedia. I know I can find the answer there.



In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [All Saints Day (what is that?) anyway]の続きを読む
  1. 2013/10/31(木) 16:14:55|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Rolf er ren (Rolf is clean), whether he is or is not

Memories from Tdf 2013. I was in Corsica. The third and the last stage on the island.

The previous day, Jan Bakelants of RadioShack-Leopard, my team, won the stage and subsequently wore the yellow jersey. I was determined to paint as much "Jan Bakelants" in yellow paint (water solution and not harmful to the environment) on the Col de Marsolino. I was busy. Some of you might have seen them.

Poeple called to me and asked if I could do some painting for them. I always say to them I would do the paint in return for something to eat or drink.

I remember doing some Belgian city name where they came from, Tahiti ditto, some rider's names. I do this a lot during the Tour.

There was a woman (I think she was with her husband but he was away for the moment, walked up the hill for beer?) who asked for something special. She was from Denmark. Her request was "Rolf er ren". In Danish, it meant "Rolf is clean", she explained to me. Ren sounds and looks like 'rein', which is 'pure' in German, the language that I have a little knowledge of. At that time I told her that I could understand the similarity between the two languages. I did it on the road just beside the van she and her husband were driving and I got mineral water or something. I don't remember too well what I got. I did not ask who Rolf was.


4 months later, today October 30, I think I know what it meant.

According to cyclingnews.com, Michael Rasmussen's book (to be published soon to the public) seems to reveal some details of Rolf Sorensen's doping allegations. I think that she wanted to show her support for Rolf Sorensen, Danish TV sports commentator. She hoped, I guess, the helicopter or bike camera would pick it up and it would show on Danish TV.

The truth about her intentions, I can not be sure of by now.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Rolf er ren (Rolf is clean), whether he is or is not]の続きを読む
  1. 2013/10/30(水) 15:32:52|
  2. Bike Races
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Belgrade, Serbia one week holidays

I'm visiting Belgrade, Serbia for one week in November (I hope). It'll be my first time in Serbia.

I'll be having my eyes operated there. I have to stay one week for the first diagnosis until after-operation checkup.

Why am I flying all the way to Serbia to have eyes operated?


Because it is cheaper so than doing the same in Luxembourg even after including the fees for the flight and accommodations.

It is going to be a week of holidays in Belgrade. I will be walking (if not bumping into the walls and sign posts) between the hospital and the hotel nearby. When (or if??) the operation goes well, I might be wondering about the city of Belgrade on Sunday. I will have an afternoon flight back to Luxembourg on Monday.


Anyway, back to TdF 2014 preparations.

Almost all the 'Cols' are plotted (thanks to Wikipedia) and all of the cobblestone sectors are identified (thanks to myself). It turned out that those pavé (cobblestone) sectors are the same (more or less) as the ones used in Paris-Roubaix, only the peloton will tackle them in reverse direction. The course map at www.letour.fr suggests that they pass the city of Roubaix first and then head for Arenberg area.

Now that I am done with rough plotting of the parcours, I am considering the options, where to watch the race, how to get there, how to get to the next watch point, when to drive and stop, how long to drive and such by doing simulations on Garmin MapSource (my friend).

Actually I am 'not totally' done with plotting. I have to do some additional plotting of those feed zones, the hotels where the teams are staying and other cities/places where the peloton are passing. Knowing their exact routes makes it possible for me to conjure up the route to 1) overtake the peloton when possible and 2) avoid the traffic jam when possible.

I am preparing a brief report. This report will be sent to my potential "Tour" travel mates. They have to read them and then either agree with me or object. I am open to suggestions.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[Belgrade, Serbia one week holidays]の続きを読む
  1. 2013/10/29(火) 00:34:57|
  2. Diary
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Luxembourg Royals heading for Japan

Newly married couple, Felix and Claire, are visiting Japan in November.

University of Sophia (called "Jo-Chi Daigaku" in Japan) is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

I knew that this "Jo-Chi" university is a Christian university, it is a very famous and prestigious one. You don't have to be a Christian to enter this university but the there are chapels or other symbols of Christianity all over the campus. I guess the heads of the university have been traditionally (Chatholic) Christian scholars.

Anyway, the article on wort.lu attracted my attention. According to the article also mentions the tie between Luxembourg and the university. As you may know, Luxembourg is a Catholic country.



Yesterday and the day before yesterday night, I worked on Garmin MapSource to plot the cities and places related to Tdf 2014. This evening, I will start working on the cobblestone sectors near Arenberg. There are 9 names of cobblestone sectors announced on www.letour.fr.

I have cobblestone sectors from Paris-Roubaix 2012/2013 all plotted on my Garmin MapSource and I hope some are the same so that I can save time locating them.

Wikipedia is great!

On Garmin MapSource (or any other normal maps), you can search for city names, sight-seeing spots as POI (Points of interest). You can not, however, search for mountain passes (in French 'Col').

This is where Wikipedia comes in handy. There you will find most (if not all) of the 'Cols' listed. They have specific locations (link to a map) and most of the time Tour de France reference, like in what year this col was used and who won then, etc.



In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Luxembourg Royals heading for Japan]の続きを読む
  1. 2013/10/26(土) 16:27:10|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Tour de France 2014 Parcours

So, iOS 7.0.3 upgrade is safe in terms of possible future jailbreaking. I upgraded my iPhone 4's OS to 7.0.3.

I complained about the animation features that iOS 7 had adopted. I guess many other people also did. This time, under 'Settings' -- 'General' -- 'Accessibility', I can reduce the animation effect to minimum. I already did it. I am happier now.


Back to TdF 2014.

Col de Grosse Pierre. Wikipedia has an article on this matter. There is a picture titled "École de trial". I think I remember this place. I was there. In 2005, I took a week of vacation in Spring/early Summer. I stayed in this area and rode the race course. I remember this Col de Grosse Pierre. I rode up the hill on the way to Gérardmer. By the time I ascended to Gérardmer, I was hungry. I went into a bakery and bought a bunch of sweet stuff. I rode back to my small hotel in Kruth.

Anyway, everybody knows that historically French Alsace region houses German names (family names and city/town/community/hills/mountain passes etc.). Big/bigger cities have French names like Colmar, Sélestat, Gérardmer and so on. Others are still German names, only pronounced in French way. Some people there still speak German, perhaps learned while on the lap of their grandparents or grand-grandparents.

In 2005 during TdF, I climbed (on my bike) up Col de la Schlucht and saw now-fallen L.A., Jan Ullrich, Andreas Klöden and others come up in a small group. It was exciting. I knew that schlucht meant narrow ravine in German. As it turned out this mountain pass was narrow. The edge of the road was guarded by low concrete walls as the other side of the road was a really steep cliff.

I stayed at a small hotel in Kruth back in Spring of 2005. I did not speak French. Most of the workers did not speak English well. They spoke French, of course, and some of them spoke a bit of German, too but not English.

Using the help of Wikipedia, I could successfully plotted most of the "Cols" of Stage 8, 10, 13.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Tour de France 2014 Parcours]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/10/24(木) 16:13:19|
  2. Tour de France
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Garmin's map, OpenStreetMap and Google Maps

Last night (technically, early this morning), I tried to plot some of the TdF 2014 locations on my Garmin Mapsource so that I can plan on the tour of the Tour de France 2014.

Stage 8, the first (not so much as mountain but) hilly stage finishes at a ski resort (ski station parking, it seems) called la Mauselaine. You can google it and find a lot of info on that name. You can find a link to it on OpenStreetMap. They (OSM) have spectacular details of the ski lifts and others.

Garmin's map (provided by teleAtlas? right???) has nothing on it that could slightly or possibly indicate the existence of a big ski resort. Zero, zilch, nada, etc.. On the Google Earth (on its satellite pictures taken during summer), it was also hard to see if there existed a ski resort.

It took me close to an hour (??) to correctly locate "la Mauselaine" and plot it on the Garmin MapSource. Sigh!

Today's lesson: OpenStreetMap rocks! Wikipedia also rocks!


Please google "Mauselaine" and find the link to Wikipedia. There (Wikipedia), you will find a link to OpenStreetMap.

This evening, I will try to locate other peaks of Stage 8. And then proceed to other stage's locations.



In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[Garmin's map, OpenStreetMap and Google Maps]の続きを読む
  1. 2013/10/24(木) 09:23:18|
  2. Bike Races
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Ciamillo new brake calipers

I use a used set of Ciamillo Negative-G Ti caliper brakes. They look good and that is the reason why I use them. They are light. I love them. Actually, our (me and the brakes) relation is kind of love-hate relationship.

They have weaknesses. The distance between the rim brake surface and the pads has to be always adjusted. Once the pads wear and the distance increases, the stopping power drastically drops. I mean "drastically". I keep a lot of spacers that goes between the brake pad holders and the caliper arms. I bought a set of V-brake shoes just because I wanted to have the spacers. I use other kind of spacers, too. It is a pain.

Today, I found that they (the company, Ciamillo) introduced a new set of brakes. Right now their introductory price is 299 USD. After Halloween, the price will go up to 429 USD. They are called Micro.

The most interesting part of the technology is that the arms can adjust the distance above mentioned. Please refer to their site and see it for yourself.

I can totally relate to the person who designed this device. Yes, I needed them. I want them.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Ciamillo new brake calipers]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車(スポーツ用) - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/10/23(水) 23:22:35|
  2. Bikes and related things
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O.Symetric Chainrings Part II

I wrote that I was interested in O.Symetric chainrings. I set it as a prize for successfully achieving the diet goal, less than 62 kg before April 2014.

To be honest, I am not making a progress on the weight control. I still weigh around 67 kg. I am very ashamed.

My beloved O.Symetric chaingrings. There are other non-circular chainrings on the market. Rotor's Q-Rings are the ones. I like O.Symetric better than Q-Rings because O.Symeric seems weird. Yes, I love them because they look weird.

I found something similar to O.Symetric chainrings. They are called Doval chainrings. They are less expensive than O.Symetric, almost three times cheaper. I am not going to buy them, though.

Anyway, I have to lose weight in the next four months.

Politically, Luxembourg is facing a major change. The recent general election will effective end the long reign of Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker. Three smaller parties decided to tie up to make up the majority in the parliament.

What does this change mean to us, foreign nationals working and living in Luxembourg?


OK, the TdF 2014 course presentation.
No surprise as I was already familiar with the course thanks to velowire.com's excellent articles.

Have you heard of NKC (http://www.nkc.nl/)? No? The site is full of useful information related to camping and traveling with a motorhome. They also have iPhone app. I installed and now am trying the "free" trial version.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [O.Symetric Chainrings Part II]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車(スポーツ用) - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/10/22(火) 23:11:59|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Tour de France 2014 rumors and others

According to velowire.com, Daniel Mangeas will be retiring from the "voice of the Tour" after 2014. I was amazed that he started his career as the "voice of the Tour" in 1974. Four decades? Wow.



I am preparing for the Tour de France 2014. Next year's Tour may be different in a way from the past Tours for me.

The first year I followed the Tour (2005), I only watched 3 stages. One in Germany and two in France (Alsace area). This area (Karlsruhe, Germany and the neighboring mountains in the Alsace, France) was close to me at that time. In 2006, I used trains to get to Strasbourg to see the stages. From 2007 on, I started using my own car to follow.

In 2014, I may be renting a motorhome to follow the Tour. Renting a motorhome has two sides in term of planning.

First, it costs a lot. Naturally, sharing the expenses is the key to making the plan feasible. I have to have some friends with me on the sharing plan. I am working on it.

Second, it (the vehicle) is big (bigger than a automobile). I don't expect to find a good spot in the mountains unless I drive there earlier than usual. I don't expect to find good parking spots in towns. For example, l'Alpe d'Huez was closed at the foot almost two days before the stage for motorhomes. Small cars were still allowed to go up until the day before the stage. I purposely chose Ford Ka because shorter the car, easier finding a parking spot anywhere.

Driving a long motorhome means that you don't dare seeking a scenic and exciting spot in the mountains. Finding a parking spot is not the only thing you have to consider. Coming down the mountain after the stage in a bumper-to-bumper jam has to be taken into considerations. It sometimes takes hours to drive 10 or 20 km.

Thus, finding the parking places at the foot of the mountains or outskirts of towns and walking or biking to the watch points is the way to go. I have a bike. Some friends on the plan are not keen on riding up mountains.

I hope (but also doubt) that a friend who claims to be able to drive (when I'm resting) will actually make it (joining the plan). Otherwise the mobility provided by the use of motorhome is crippled. The plan is we keep moving when others (fellow Tour followers from around the world) are resting.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Tour de France 2014 rumors and others]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/10/21(月) 09:25:14|
  2. Tour de France
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TdF 2015 Grand Depart in Utrecht?

cyclingnews.com reports and also velowire.com reports about the speculation that Utrecht (the Netherlands) is preparing to host the Grand Départ of TdF 2015. Really? TdF 2014 starts in Yorkshire UK, which is not French soil.

My understanding was that every two years the Grand Départ is held in a Foreign country in recent years. If this is true, in 2015 the Grand Départ will be held in France.

It does not really matter to me because Utrecht is close to Luxembourg.

I like the Netherlands. People speak English like it is their native language. I have no problem traveling through the country.

Memories from Rotterdam. The Team Presentation ceremony was good. The moderators used English for the most of the time. They also used Dutch and other languages. They knew that audience was mixture of local Dutch, English (from UK), Belgian, French and others (like me). The show was entertaining.

Memories from Puy du Fou. Shit!

Memories from Liège. My car got broken in and my PC and Garmin Nuvi, among others, were stolen.

Memories from Porto-Vecchio. Long way from home.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [TdF 2015 Grand Depart in Utrecht?]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/10/20(日) 00:20:27|
  2. Tour de France
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Japan Cup and Lubuntu 13.10

The Japan Cup (road bike race) is about to be held in Japan. I have never been there. I have watched with my own eyes so many bike races in Europe but never seen one in Japan.


Enjoy!


I upgraded my Lubuntu 13.04 to 13.10. It was easy. After upgrade, I have to do some additional setup for Japanese input method. This time (13.10), there was a small noticeable difference on the menu bar.

Under 13.04, the icon (mini keyboard like icon) was not present at all. It was "supposed" to be there but was not there.
menubar-icons.jpg

This icon is a door to Japanese input method and "normal" English input switching.
menubar-icons-pulldown.jpg

I can comfortably manipulate the input method.
menubar-icons-pulldown-mozc.jpg

I could use the Japanese input method but the icon was not there under 13.04. It is now under 13.10.

Otherwise, there is no big deference between 13.04 and 13.10.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ(追記) [Japan Cup and Lubuntu 13.10]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/10/18(金) 16:48:50|
  2. Bike Races
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  4. | コメント:0

Tour de France 2014 rumors

I am very impressed by the track record (not simply but also its accuracy) of velowire.com's prediction of TdF parcours.

Today, cyclingnews.com, belatedly, reports that Flemish town of Ypres (Ieper) is hosting a stage.

It was more than a month ago I searched for Ypres and did not find it on my Garmin Mapsource. I could track it down to Ieper, whose name does appear on the Map used by the Garmin Mapsource.

I knew the town, at least its name since this February or March. I took (I had to because the Spring we had here in Europe was really snowy and cold till up to late April) a series of trains to go see "Gent-Wevelgem". I could not take my car to get there (no winter tires).

I took my bike with me and got off at the Kortrijk station. From Luxembourg main station, this Kortrijk station was the closest station to Wevelgem (no connection to Wevelgem) on Sunday. On Sundays, the local train connection seemed to be scarce. From Kortrijk I took my bike to get to Wevelgem, an easy ride.

Anyway, I thought of going to one of those cobble sections before watching the finish in Wevelgem. It was a bit too far (to get back to Wevelgem in time for the finish) from Wevelgem. I thought of taking trains to Ieper, which is close to those cobble sections.

It was then I learned the town's name.

What I did not know was that this town is known for its WWI association. Yes, the WWI started in the year of 1914, exactly 100 years ago (by the time we have TdF 2014).

The article also mentions the name, François Faber, a Luxembourger who won the TdF 1909, a victim of WWI battle on May 9 1915. Had he survived the war, he could have won the Tour in later years. It is a pity. I will definitely pay tribute to those who lost their lives there.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Tour de France 2014 rumors]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車(スポーツ用) - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/10/17(木) 14:23:23|
  2. Tour de France
  3. | トラックバック:0
  4. | コメント:0

Dexia Luxembourg is BIL now (Old news)!

As you may have already known for a long time by now that Dexia (France, Belgium and Luxembourg based bank) went bankrupt years ago. France, Belgium and Luxembourg (as a state) bought the banks in their countries out.

As you may know Dexia was too deep involved in that economic problem in Greece.

Dexia Luxembourg became BIL. Dexia Luxembourg was called Dexia Bank International in Luxembourg (officially in French) or so. BIL comes from that name, I guess. Dexia logos were replaced by BIL everywhere.

My credit card or bank debit card (VPay) still carries the Dexia logo.

BIL is now changing the design of the cards, too. Even though my cards are still valid for some time, they decided to replace them.

I was supposed to have received the new shiny design card proudly carrying the BIL logo end of July or beginning of August. I did not!!! It went missing????

The old design card was valid till sometime September.

I began experiencing the problem buying stuff on the internet since two weeks or so.

I had to go to my bank and ask why? I found out the situation above.

They are going to send me (resend me) a new card.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Dexia Luxembourg is BIL now (Old news)!]の続きを読む
  1. 2013/10/15(火) 21:55:47|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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  4. | コメント:0

US debts and Luxembourg

I did not know that Luxembourg holds so much US "Treasury Securities". I was reading the article on Wort.lu about the amount of securities that Luxembourg banks and investment funds. The proportion (per capita) is enormous. Luxembourg is a small country and its inhabitant is around 500,000 people. I don't know how much of them are Luxembourgers by nationality. I am an inhabitant but not Luxembourger by nationality.

It was the first time that I looked into this matter. Who (which country or what group of companies, banks and etc) holds US Treasury Securities.

Germany holds significantly smaller proportion despite the size of the economy. I am impressed.

Japan holds too much?



In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [US debts and Luxembourg]の続きを読む
  1. 2013/10/15(火) 00:01:35|
  2. Info Luxembourg
  3. | トラックバック:0
  4. | コメント:2

Rear Derailleur woes

My bike needs a maintenance in near future. FD (Front Derailleur) realignment is definitely required and RD needs more attention. On top of that rear wheel (an old Mavic Cosmic) needs tensioning, I guess.

It has been bothering me for a while.

The rear derailleur's behavior is strange. Its tagline is "Exact Actuation" but mine does not do it.

Out of 10 gears, 2 or 3 gears are not available. The chain does not sit on them well. Graphically, the situation looks like this. O means that the chain sits and X means that the chain keeps jumping.

(low) Big gear <-- O x x x O O O O O O --> Small gear (high)

I have a truing stand that I purchased long time ago so I can retension my wheel if I have time. Spokes are definitely too lax.


Medibuntu has stopped functioning, I guess. About a week ago, I checked the URL and then noticed that they (the people behind the project) have merged the package into Ubuntu distribution. I was kindly led to a URL. VideoLAN's web site for further info on libdvdcss.

I noticed a bit later after noticing this Medibuntu shutdown, I saw an annoying error message from "Software Updater". I thought it might have something to do with this Medibuntu shutdown as I merged Medibuntu package info into my Software Updater's database.

I commented out the medibuntu package source info under "/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list" After this the error message ceased to pop up.


My FSA crank's spiderarm is a bit askew. I want to repair it. First I have to dismantle it from the crank. I was looking for the right tool and I think I found it.
lezyne-bb-tool.jpg

FSA = Full Speed Ahead (http://www.fullspeedahead.com/)





Late in the evening of Sunday, 13 October the FD/RD maintenance was done. I could ride to work Monday morning.

There is something not right about my PayPal account or something, I can not buy the tool above mentioned on-line. I may use my credit card to buy it.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Rear Derailleur woes]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車(スポーツ用) - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/10/12(土) 08:03:43|
  2. Bikes and related things
  3. | トラックバック:0
  4. | コメント:0

Winter is coming to Luxembourg

Winter is closing in on us in Luxembourg. I can feel it in the air (as it is getting cold). I can see it (as leaves are turning yellow, red, brown or shedding rapidly).

According to Wort.lu, Luxembourg ranks the highest in the EU as the richest country. As you might know that Switzerland and Norway does not belong to EU. They are richer than Luxembourg.

Me? Nooooo way! I'm at the bottom of the social ladder. The survey doesn't count me.

iPhone 5s and 5c are coming to Luxembourg finally. I don't intend to buy either of them. My iPhone 4 (not even 4S or 4s retrofittedly) works fine for the moment. If I had money for a new iPhone, I would spend it on my bike.

[Winter is coming to Luxembourg]の続きを読む
  1. 2013/10/10(木) 16:30:33|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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  4. | コメント:0

False Alarm!

I rode home after work yesterday on a terribly squeaking bike. It squeaked so much. I had noticed earlier (on the way to work in the morning) that letting the right crank free made the noise go away. I could also pull the crank to make it quiet. In other words, if I pushed down the crank (as we normally do), the noise/vibration happened but not when I pull up the crank.

Naturally, I pulled up the crank (possible as the pedal and the shoes are bound) most of the time on my way home.

After arriving safely home, I began to check. First I wanted to remove the crank. The bolt (as I use an ISIS BB) fixing the right crank was so loose that I could remove it by hand, not need to bother with the tool!

So I found the reason for the squeaking noise.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [False Alarm!]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車(スポーツ用) - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/10/09(水) 09:27:17|
  2. Bikes and related things
  3. | トラックバック:0
  4. | コメント:0

Strange noise coming from RD area

This morning, I noticed a (almost constant) noise (and little vibration) from my bike. The vibration was stronger on my right pedal.

First, I thought that the FD blade was touching the chain. After a while (changing the gears and other maneuvers), I concluded that it came from RD, specifically, from one of the pulleys (jockey wheel).

How come?

I tightened the screws that fix the derailleur hanger last evening. They were tad loose. I don't know the cause of the noise but the rear derailleur's blade might be a bit askew. Did I hit the RD recently?

I try to fix it. I was thinking of buying a new RD (SRAM Force 2x10).

It could be worse. What if the derailleur hanger plate was bent? I can purchase a new hanger for 10 euro or something.

I don't have one of these tools for the moment but should I buy one?

I parktool-derailleur-alignment.jpg
Park Tool's interpretation of rear derailleur alignment tester.

lifeline-derailleur-alignment.jpg
Ditto by LifeLine (available at Wiggle)

shimano-derailleur-alignment.jpg
Ditto by Shimano (available at Bike24)

cyclus-derailleur-alignment.jpg
Ditto by Cyclus (available at Bike-Components)

Cyclus's tool is not too expensive. Should I buy one?

I remember now that on the second rest day of Tour de France 2014 at the hotel's parking lot where RadioShack-Leopard was staying one of the mechanics (Perhaps Mindaugas Goncaras) was using a similar tool to correct the alignment of one of the bikes.

OK, I will check the RD and see how it goes.

Headache! (sigh)

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Strange noise coming from RD area]の続きを読む
  1. 2013/10/08(火) 14:34:52|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Eurometropole Tour (Circuit Franco-Belge) Stage 4

On Sunday, October 6th I (and a friend of mine) went to see the fourth stage (the final) stage of what used to be Circuit Franco-Belge. Now it was called Eurometropole Tour. A new Sponsor?

Anyway, this stage race was just as it used to be. The final stage takes place between Mons and Tournai, both of which are well known to cycling fans. In fact, the first time I visited Mons was back in 2006 (I think) when Giro d'Italia had Belgian stages. Since then I have been there almost every year, I guess. Tournai was also the stage finish town of the Tour de France 2012.

Last year the weather was terrific! Sunny and warm so I took my bike and hopped on it to make the circuit course occasionally stopping to cheer for the peloton.

This year the weather forecast was not promising. Mons was supposed to be rainy and Tournai was supposed to be cloudy and bit chilly. On the contrary, it was fine everywhere we went. We actually spend most of the afternoon with T-shirts!

I took my bike but did not take a bike jersey or bibs with me fearing that I had no chance wearing them. I regret making this choice. I should have definitely taken them with me.

A fine October sunny Sunday totally wasted in terms with bike riding but the day was saved by the fact that the race was exciting.

Sprinters had chances taking the overall win. Others also had chances. The stage was contended fiercely by all the riders who wanted to win.

Time qualifications played a part in the race. There were small bumps in the final circuit and there lay some points (time qualification). The biggest time qualification came, of course, at the finish line but those small points also mattered.

John Degenkolb took one of those hill points and also won the stage. He was so close to taking the overall. After the finish, the overall winner was not announced immediately. The race judges had to calculate the situation carefully before announcing the overall winner. It turned out to be Jens Debusschere.

I took some pictures. The most interesting thing I watched was the used of SRMs (power meters), Rotor power meters and Garmin Vectors pedals on Garmin-Sharp team.

They had a Rotor-crank (compulsory as Rotor is one of the sponsors) with SRM on their race bike. They had a Rotor powermeter on their spare bikes racked on top of the team cars following the race. Some bikes (most of them had Shimano pedals, though) even had Vector pedals on top of them! What is happening there?

The way they used the equipment, I guess they trust SRM the most and that they are asked by their sponsors (Rotor and Garmin) to test their power meters on the field.

I don't know (I am not too sure) but the crowd was a bit smaller than last year. Too bad for the organizer. Lack of sponsors forced the downsizing?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Eurometropole Tour (Circuit Franco-Belge) Stage 4]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2013/10/07(月) 14:32:49|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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20% gradient of climb found

I found two of road signs indicating the gradient as 20%. I will show you the location using snap shots from "Google Maps".

There are yet steeper short climbs around the capital but there are no official road signs as those climbs are either too short or not meant for cars.

This sign stands at the end of rue de Marvill (by Google Maps) but rue François-Sébastien Tinant by Garmin's map. I don't know which is the right name. I have to take a look at the actual signs the next time I am there. There is another 20% sign at the bottom.

20percent-sign.jpg
(Image 1: Taken at the top of the altitude of 300 meters above sea level as the terrain map indicates)

20percent-view.jpg
(Image 2: The view of the hills. Image 1 was taken from here)

rue20percent.jpg
(Image 3: Garmin MapSorce. The red line indicates the climb)

rue20percent-google.jpg
(Image 4: Google Maps screen shot. Can you find the street?)


cobblestone-climb01.jpg
(Image 5: Steep and cobbled part of Eicherfeld)

cobblestone-climb02.jpg
(Image 6: Steep and cobbled part of Eicherfeld)

cobblestone-climb03.jpg
(Image 7: The stones are of clay-pressured-to-harden rock. Very slippery!)

---Please click on it to magnify---
ruedesgrottes.jpg
(Image 8: Garmin MapSource screen shot. The lower path is "Mille Gassel" and the upper path is the steep cobbled part of Eicherfeld)

ruedesgrottes-google.jpg
(Image 9: Google Maps.)

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[20% gradient of climb found]の続きを読む
  1. 2013/10/01(火) 00:50:28|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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