Gent-Wevelgem 2014 Memoreandum

Baneberg: I thought it was my first time to be there. I was dead wrong. I was there at lease once (possibly twice or ??). I just did not remember the name.

It was first time, though, that I ever walked up and down the actual winding section of Baneberg. It was a short but not sweet climb as the riders climb up here a couple of times and they ride a lot of meters and do other climbs, too.

I left Luxembourg around 06:00 ('O'-six-hundred) and picked up a friend in Belgium at 06:30. We headed north and had a break somewhere near SPY (a Belgian city that has nothing to do with espionage, I guess and it should be pronounced as "s-pee", I think and this word also rhymes with the activity I had there!) on the motorway. By this time it was sunny and the temperature was 11 to 12 degrees Celsius (52-54 F), which is warm outside and a bit hot inside the car.

It was dark and the temperature was 3 degrees Celsius when I left home and I turned the heater on and now by 09:00 I had already turned the heat off and let the fresh air inside the car. It's already Spring!

I arrived in Deinze around 09:45, I think. They change the road closure procedure in the start area every year. This year's road blockage was different from that of last year's. OK, I went around and found a parking place. It was around 10:00.

We went to the stage where teams were being presented to the crowd. IAM was there on the stage.

I went to the tents (BMC merchandise shop and Procyclingshop.com). I said hello to them. I am a good customer to them. I did not get what I wanted to get, namely, Trek Factory Racing jersey or the podium cap. I did not say anything but the woman in charge (please visit their site to see who that is) immediately said to me, "We don't have Trek Factory Racing jerseys,... if that was what you were going to ask... I think in a week, hopefully."

Yes, they know me well enough by now. Hahaha!

I am visiting them next week. We were near the stage but did not see the presentation to much. We were busy watching the riders come and go on the passage to and from the stage. Small boys and girls extended their arms holding a notebook begging for autographs. Some riders were kind enough to stop (riding their bikes between the team buses and the stage) and took time to give them autographs and others NOT. I took some of the riders giving. I will post them here to show their generosity and gracefulness to the world.

Two years ago (as last year I did not come here) I witnessed Mark Cavendish (in his rainbow jersey at that time) stop for a little girl to give his autograph who was just beside me. People around her (including me) were very impressed and gave a wowing sound as he did so. That little girl certainly did not know who he was and what that rainbow jersey meant. Perhaps, that little girl reminded him (MC) of his own little daughter (Delilah, right?) and could not resist NOT stopping. That day he made a bunch of his supporters (including me, I have to admit) just like that.

By the way I have a rather big flag of this. 90 cm by 180 cm, perhaps?
It is in my possession but it does not belong to me. It belongs to a friend of mine, who is, I think from this region and living and working in the USA. We got to know each other during TdF back several years ago. They (this person and his friends) came to TdF at least twice (that I know of) and this second time he forgot to take this flag home. Now I have it. It is a flag of Mark Cavendish's native place. The isle of Man, right?

I respect and like riders doing this extra. I also respect some riders for their coyness of not easily and overly giving their autographs.

You may not be a star rider but just a domestique (helping/supporting rider in the peloton) but you will a hero to them (boys and girls) if you stop. Please don't be shy or coy to stop and give them your autograph.

I would also say that (as Popovych does) you should give your normal scribble and write easily decipherable block letters to make sure that they would know who you WERE. Popovych gives a scribble and "popo".

Or you can do other ways. That graceful Carlos Sastre always gave me a beautifully intricate and perfectly readable handwriting of "Carlos Sastre" .

After the departure, we went to Baneberg (already written) and visited this Cafe/Bar/Restaurant (Berg en Dal - I guess you can find by googling or Google Earth) and had a sip. It was a beautiful day.

Around 13:50, we went to the middle of Baneberg and saw race feminine pass and then Cancellara and others pass. Dusty! Don't forget bring your sunglasses to protect your eyes when it is dry!

We left for Wevelgem around 15:20. Arrived there 16:10? I took my portable DVB-T to watch the race.

The final stage of the race was marred by the crashes. After the finish, I saw Andre Greipel arrive at the team bus in the team car. Even from a distance through the window pane, I could see why people call him (or he is nicknamed) 'Gorilla'. He was certainly not too happy about the crash.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Gent-Wevelgem 2014 Memoreandum]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. 2014/03/31(月) 14:31:56|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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DST (Daytime saving time) and Gent-Wevelgem

Wow, it is that time of the year! We (living in areas with DST) are going to lose one hour tomorrow at 02:00 O'clock. I thing 02:00 O'clock is 03:00 at the same time.

I have to go to bed one hour earlier to make sure I am well rested when I wake up around 05:30 in the morning. I will leave for Deinze (by way of a location to pick a friend up) around ) 06:00 and pick this friend up around 06:30.

I hope (and I think) I arrive at Deinze around 09:30 to 10:00. I am not driving too fast.

Some check list:
Load up the waypoints to Garmin Nüvi 2340.
Charge the batteries of Camera, DVB-T mini-TV and iPhone.
Set the alarm at 05:00 (early morning shower)

It is already past midnight and I am going to go bed now.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [DST (Daytime saving time) and Gent-Wevelgem]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. 2014/03/30(日) 00:47:05|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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Huawei E5776? (Orange le Domino 4G Airbox) is working now.

I think my Orange le Domino 4G Airbox is Huawei E5776. Anyway, I bought this March 26 afternoon and wanted (tried) to use it at home in the evening. It did not work. I did exactly what the flimsy sheet of paper (instructions) told me to do (included in the box). It did not work.

The symptom was it gave this message (on its small LCD screen or on the status/settings screen accessible from the connected web browsers), "SIMLOCK" or "This device is SIMLOCKED, yadda yadda yadda."

I took it to the shop where I bought the device. They did something (tried to put the SIM PIN code or PUK code) but did not work. I had to go to the other (located 150 meters away?) shop where a technician was. This technician worked on my device about 20 minutes? and finally the device started to work.

Now (March 27, afternoon) I can write this via this Orange le Domino 4G Airbox.

The connection seems to be stable so far. The status/settings page tells me that I am connecting with H+ or 3G network but not 4G. The reception in my home area is weak. I am kind of living in the valley. As you may already know, the central area of the capital of Luxembourg (Luxembourg city) was a natural fortress. A lot of cliffs and ups/downs are there. If you happen to live close to those cliffs, you get weaker TV (DVB-T) perception or weaker mobile phone coverage.

(a clip of a screenshot)

To get 4G speed, I have to go somewhere with a clear view.

Even with 3G connection, I have far speedy internet connection with this modem. I am happy and I think 129 euros I paid really was worth it.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Huawei E5776? (Orange le Domino 4G Airbox) is working now.]の続きを読む

テーマ:周辺機器 - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/03/27(木) 23:48:05|
  2. Miscellaneous stuff
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AGR (Amstel Gold Race) 2014 Watch Plan Part I

It is time to do this, the planing for AGR 2014. The organizer has posted the map and the time table at least partly. There is a Dutch version of the time table but there is none in English page.

I downloaded the map and the time table from the official site to check them out. They were updated to 2014's edition. I found a small problem, though. There is no mention of the feed zones (usually twice). I assume (assuming makes an ass out of 'you' and 'me', I know) that they are the same.

This year I may 'try' to change the way I watched the race for the last 4 or 5 years. For the last several years I did the same, first greeting the riders at the start (Maasstricht), driving to Bergseweg (No. 4 climb, well if you call that slope a 'climb'), driving further to the first ravitaillement (feed zone) and then driving back to the finish area (Cauberg).

This year, however, I intend to try other climbs or places. Will this work? I am not sure.

This entry was initially written on Tuesday, March 25. I thought I could finish writing it before the date changed. I could not. I wrote something but the Huawei 3G modem cut me off the net and the writing was lost. I did not feel good about it so I went to bed.

This 3G modem is far far stable with Lubuntu (Linux) but very fragile with Mac OS X. Huawei's driver software is to blame or OS X Mavericks is to blame, I don't know.

So today, March 26, I went to the local Orange Luxembourg shop to ask about the 4G modem. I have been a customer with this mobile telecommunication company for about thee years by now (?). At that time I first had the contract, 3G modem was the latest gadget. Now 4G is offered everywhere. I needed a better faster 4G connection.

My contract is "Internet Everywhere" with unlimited (actually it is limited) data option. This same IE unlimited cost 25 euros per month as my old contract costs me. Can I keep the same contract and get the high speed connection just by buying the 4G modem (Huawei Hotspot 4G modem)? That was my connection.

The answer was simple. Yes, I can. All I have to do is to buy the device and they give me the new SIM card. The SIM info is transferred to my contract info. That's it.

I haven't tried the device yet. I will do so later today when I come home. I hope it gives me the value I paid for. 129 euros.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [AGR (Amstel Gold Race) 2014 Watch Plan Part I]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. 2014/03/25(火) 16:01:35|
  2. Bike Races in the Netherlands
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Paragon NTFS for Mac purchased

The grace period (free trial days) expired on Sunday and it (the program) gently reminded me of my options that I could pay for upgrading or forget about it (by uninstalling it).

As the title suggests, I paid for it. 19.99 US dollars, which translates into somewhat 16 euros in our local currency. As I use Lubuntu (Linux) and Mac (and ceased using Windows completely - happy!), external USB HDDs can be shared by the both sysrems only by using a commonly supported filesystem. Linux's native extFS would have been preferable but it would cost me dear. Paragon demands 39.99 US dollars for extFS for Mac.

The NTFS is the native filesystem of the Windows clan. So I'm not totally free from Billy G's spell after all.

After installing the software, you will find this new icon in the System Preferences panel.
(image01: Mac OS X System Preferences)

Here, you can type in the Product Key and Serial Number if you have ones. I got them in mail immediately after paying for the product. They are not shown here. Sorry.
(image02: Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X)

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Paragon NTFS for Mac purchased]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/03/24(月) 18:53:20|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Gent-Wevelgem 2014 Watch Plan Part II

Here is the excerpt from the time table.

Deinze 0km 11:20
FD01 62km 12:58 12:50

1 Casselberg 114.7km 14:17 14:01 (France)
2 Casselberg 120.3km 14:26 14:09 (France)
3 Catsberg 137.4km 14:51 14:32 (France)
4 Baneberg 146.3km 15:04 14:44 (Belgium)
FD02 148.2km 15:07 14:47
5 Kemmelberg 154.2km 15:16 14:55
6 Monteberg 158.2km 15:22 15:01
7 Baneberg 185.3km 16:03 15:38
8 Kemmelberg 193.3km 16:15 15:49
9 Monteberg 197.2km 16:21 15:54

Wevelgem 233.0km 17:15 16:43

Here is the excerpt from the time table from Women's edition.

Ieper/Ypres 0km 12:25

1 Kemmelberg 36.4km 13:28 13:22
2 Monteberg 40.4km 13:34 13:28
3 Baneberg 67.5km 14:17 14:06
FD 69.4km 14:20 14:09
4 Kemmelberg 75.5km 14:29 14:18
5 Monteberg 79.4km 14:36 14:24

Wevelgem 115.2km 15:32 15:15

(image01: The climb section from 2013's edition - clip from the PDF distributed by the race organizer)

(image02: The climb section from 2014's edition - ditto)
The complication is that women's race starts in Ieper/Ypres and race around Ieper, after finishing the climbs they will return to Ieper and then head to Wevelgem. That means roads around Ieper are often (not the whole time but just before the passing of the riders) closed. I don't know if I can freely move around Ieper.

I don't know the intentions of the race organizer but they have changed the layout of the climb section in 2014.

(image03: My planned parking in Deinze - I parked my car almost always for the last 5 or 6 year? Of course not last year - to the second feed zone via Ieper/Ypres to watch women’s race start: 73 km and 'projected' drive time is about 1 hour - Garmin BaseCamp screenshot)

(image04: I intend to park my car here to get a quick retrieval route to get to Wevelgem - Garmin BaseCamp screenshot clip)

Additional two images added.

(image 06: Maybe I should park my car here. Closer to FD02)

(image 07: Or maybe here. Closer to Baneberg.)

(image 05: From FD02’s planned parking - I hope I can park my car here - to Wevelgem’s finish via two detour points in order to avoid colliding into the race course: 48 km and 41 minutes - ditto)

My move:
Leaving Luxembourg for Deinze: 06:00
Arriving in Deinze: 09:30
Leaving for Ieper: 11:25
Arriving in Ieper: 12:10 Possibly watching the women race start
Arriving at Ravitaillement No. 2: 12:50

Arriving in Wevelgem: 16:15

It takes sometime more to decide what to do.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Gent-Wevelgem 2014 Watch Plan Part II]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. 2014/03/24(月) 14:59:45|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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Finally the package arrived from Hong Kong, China.

This morning I peered into my post box as I do it so almost every morning. I found a letter, which I immediately thought it could contain a receipt from a tax authorities (automobile tax that I paid a couple of weeks ago) and a notice slip with a tracking number that seemed familiar to me.

The package was waiting for me at the local post office. The tracking number indicated that it was from Hong Kong. I had written here that I lost a package from Honk Kong, which contained a US keyboard that would go on my HP ENVY 4-1000. The package was supposed to be delivered to me by March 25 2014 (ordered January 25). It did not arrive.

I contacted the seller and the seller kindly and generously agreed to send a second package containing the same US keyboard. It was a couple weeks ago.

It was handled by the Hong Kong post on 13.03.2014 (March 13 2014). It arrived at the local post office March 20 2014. It took only a week for the package to fly from China to Europe, then processed through the customs process and delivered to me.

I really wonder now what had happened to the original package. Did it disappear? Was it by accident loaded on that Malaysian jet that had disappeared up in the air?

Well I am happy now and I will give the ebay seller a good rating for this.

Case solved!

I am working on the watch plan of Gent-Wevelgem. Trek Factory Racing has already announced the (planned) participating riders.

Boy Van Poppel
Fabian Cancellara
Grègory Rast
Hayden Roulston
Jesse Sergent
Markel Irizar
Stijn Devolder
Yaroslav Popovych

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Finally the package arrived from Hong Kong, China.]の続きを読む
  1. 2014/03/21(金) 09:50:56|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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iPhoto and Aperture: Photo sharing via Internet

Sharing your photos on the internet with your friends is the topic of this entry.

Picasa, Flickr, Instagram, just one of the well-known names.

Picasa backed by Google, Flickr backed by Yahoo and Instagram by Facebook.

iPhoto's sharing is through iCloud storage space. iCloud is not a photo sharing site but could be used as a photo sharing site if you buy Apple's software like iPhoto or Aperture.

I am not a good photographer at all.

I wonder why iPhoto, which is cheaper at 13.99 euros, is whopping 1.15 GB big and Aperture, which is more expensive at 69.99 euros, is only 557 MB big.

I also learned that Picasa has a Mac application. Other services like Instagram or Flickr offer iOS applications.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [iPhoto and Aperture: Photo sharing via Internet]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/03/20(木) 14:56:58|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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RVV (De Ronde Van Vlaanderen) 2014 Watch Plan Part I

GW's plan is not finished but I started planning on RVV. Just take a look at this screenshot made on my MacBook Pro with 'Monosnap.' It consists of Garmin BaseCamp and a PDF file distributed by RVV's organizer.

The waypoints in BaseCamp (RVV ****) are based on the info from the RVV edition 2013 and the PDF is new one for 2014 edition. You see the difference?

By the way, the number or numbers before or after the names are the passing order(s) of the climb. I have to use an extra "0 (zero)" before names so that they align well in order.

The climb sections are not identical. Names are almost the same but the passing orders are different.

Now I update the info in BaseCamp and then make a track of the climb section.

This year's plan in a nutshell is that first I will drive to Brugge and then drive back to Oudenaarde area.

With a help from Wikipedia, I successfully located the climbs which had been unknown to me. Now here is the clip of the Garmin BaseCamp's screenshot. The climbs and feed zone from 2013 edition which are not in use in this year's edition are set aside for future possible use.
(Click on the image to enlarge!)

Wikipedia is a great source of information as far as my needs are concerned (finding locations associated with cycling).

(http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolvenberg_(heuvel) )

Kaperij a.k.a. Bosgat:


OK the homework is not finished. I will look in to the time table and check the passing time.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [RVV (De Ronde Van Vlaanderen) 2014 Watch Plan Part I]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. 2014/03/19(水) 23:32:26|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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Gent-Wevelgem 2014 Watch Plan Part I

Yesterday (Sunday, 16 March) I worked on the Garmin BaseCamp (on Mac) for a while. I wanted to plot some places as waypoints for Gent-Wevelgem (hereafter, GW) 2014.

Casselberg 1/2 and Catsberg climbs were plotted successfully with a help from Google Earth. As Google Earth can provide the altitude information to see if the road (path) is a climb or not.

Ieper (Ypres in French) has been on my mind for a while since March last year. Last winter was a cold snowy one. I have already written about it many times here. I could not drive to Wevelgem by car last year. I took a train to get there.

Already back then I thought about taking another train from Wevelgem (or Kortrijk) to Ieper. Ieper is the closest train station to those climbs (Kemmelberg, Baneberg or Monteberg). I thought about taking my bike on the train to get there and come back on the train to see the finish. Unfortunately there were not so many trains operating on Sundays so I abandoned the plan altogether.

Later when A.S.O. announced the parcours (route) of the Tour de France, the name (actually only as Ypres in their documentation) Ieper turned up again. I looked up the name on Wikipedia and found the historic significance of the city. As 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of WW I, A.S.O. clearly wanted to feature this city.

GW also features an edition of women's race on the same day. I found out that they (women) start in Ieper.

Now I really want to visit the city. Can I do it on Sunday, March 30? Or should I wait?

The time frame:
Men's race starts in Deinze at 11:25.
Women's race starts in Ieper at 12:25.

There's one hour time difference.

The route from Deinze to Ieper is like 64 km in distance and 45 minutes in time according to BaseCamp's calculation. If I drive quickly after men's start, I may be able to make it to women's start. It is not too important to see the start of the ladies.

Here is the area around Kortrijk. Deinze, Oudenaarde, Wevelgem and Ieper can be recognized here. The light green line is the route between Deinze and Ieper. Almost in the middle of the route, you may find Wevelgem with an icon "P" as I marked a waypoint there as a parking place near the Finish.

(Image01: clip from a screenshot Garmin BaseCamp)

An enlarged image of the area around Ieper and ***bergs.

From Ieper, I can drive or take my bike to those climbs easily. It is only 13 to 15 km.

GW-Baneberg 4-7 means that Gent-Wevelgem's Baneberg (a climb) which is the 4th and 7th climb on the course.
(Image02: clip from a screenshot Garmin BaseCamp)

The "knife and fork" icon is the 2nd feed zone.

Now I will check the time table of the men's and women's race and see if I can move around the area without being blocked by the road closure.

This is the clip of the climbs area in the women's edition.
(Image03: clip from the PDF map by the race organizer)

This is the clip of the climbs area in the men's edition.
(Image04: ditto)

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Gent-Wevelgem 2014 Watch Plan Part I]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. 2014/03/17(月) 16:07:13|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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Un-delivered packages and Gent-Wevelgem

Recently I have troubles with the package delivery by the post.

Trouble One:
I ordered a keyboard replacement for my HP ENVY 4-1000. I purchased from a German on-line store and naturally it came with a German keyboard. I don't want a German Keyboard (no French keyboard or any one of those localized ones) but I want a US keyboard. A US keyboard has fewer keys than any other. It means that important keys are bigger and "in place." I blind-type so those keys have to be bigger and in place.

I ordered it mid January and it did not arrive. I contacted the ebay seller and they kindly agreed to ship a second one. The second one has not arrived yet but I hope it will in time.

Trouble Two:
I ordered a in-car DC-DC convertor for my MacBook Pro. It plugs into the car 12 V DC socket and it has a MagSafe plug on the other end. It also has a USB port for charging an extra device like iPhone or iPod touch.

It did not arrive in time. This time the ebay seller contacted me first asking if the item had arrived. I replied that I would first go to the local post and ask if they had one "un-delivered." They did not. Then I replied that I would wait until Tuesday 18 March. I will send a very sad e-mail message to them on Tuesday evening asking for a replacement.

I am very sorry for those sincere ebay sellers. I am very sorry that this happened. Where have they gone? I mean the packages. Where do they go? Why do some packages disappear?

On a separate note, the road bike race Gent-Wegelgem is around the corner. Last year there was a change in the route because of the cold weather. The route was shortened. Usually the race starts in the city of Deinze (not Gent). The previous night it snowed.

I could not go there by car so I purchased a train ticket (and a bike-carry-in ticket) to Kortrijk, Belgium. It would have been nice to get to Wevelgem by train but there was no connection to Wevelgem on Sundays. I got off at Kortrijk station and then got on my bike. The first thing I saw when I went up the short stairs of the station was a big logo of "SaxoBank-Tinkoff." There was a material truck directly in front of the station exit. I arrived there early and had time to help Alejandro, the mechanic do some chores before leaving for Wevelgem. I worked for about an hour with Alejandro. He treated me with a cup of coffee.

It was the first time I brought a bike in Luxembourg and Belgium train. It was an educating experience for me. Back in days I lived in Germany I did this a lot. I went to a lot of places in Germany with my bike and even to Switzerland with my bike.

As you may know (or have guessed) that Austria, Switzerland and Germany (all German speaking countries partly or wholly) have a similar train system or at least their systems are linked. All of these countries charge substantial fees to carry in a bike on the train. Their trains most of the time have designated cars for bikes. They (designated cars) have wider entry/exit than other passenger cars. Wider passages and etc.

In Belgium and Luxembourg the train system are different from those "Germanic" countries.

In France, for example, a passenger with a valid ticket does not have to pay for the carry-in bike. TGV has different system. Luxembourg seems to follow the good French system.

In Belgium you have to pay for the carry-in bikes. In Belgium local trains (short-distance) did not have a designated place for bikes. You can carry your bikes on the train but you may find it very inconvenient to do so unless you have a folding bike.

I bought the carry-in bike ticket at the Luxembourg Central station but technically you can buy it on board the train in Belgium. You may save some money by doing so.

This year, I am very sure I will drive to Deinze. Winter is gone and it is Spring already. No snow!

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Un-delivered packages and Gent-Wevelgem]の続きを読む
  1. 2014/03/16(日) 23:34:41|
  2. Things European
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iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD and iWeb (now defunct? iLife)

I wanted to some experiment and I did. The results were a bit disappointing but expected.

I recently acquired this MacBook Pro, upon which I am writing this entry now. It came with (the original owner, from whom I got this kept the original box and all of the accessories) an "Installation DVD and an Application DVD." The original OS X version is Snow Leopard 10.6.1 (or something, maybe 10.6.2). The seller installed OS X Mavericks before selling it so I never bothered with this installation DVD. The application DVD included iLife applications like iPhoto, etc.

I wondered (and that was why I did this experiment) if I installed these iLife applications on my system, I would get the updates for those applications. I knew that iWeb had been long discontinued.

OK, I dispense with the process. Those new versions of iPhoto and other applications are the descendants of these old versions. I did not get any updates (automatic or non-automatic, free) when I checked for updates.

So naturally I deleted all of those applications. End of the experiment!

I don't need any of these applications. It may be convenient to have iPhoto around to use the iCloud storage to share my photos in the future. It costs 13.99 euros. I will think about it.

Cycling topics:
I got a piece of e-mail from Trek Factory Racing (fan club) announcing the Fan Club Meeting at "De Ronde van Vlaanderen" on Sunday, April 6. Trek Travel is behind the scheme. There is a barbecue lunch/big screen TV event on the parcours of the race. I am not participating. On that particular day, I have 1 guest on my car and I don't have time for this meeting.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD and iWeb (now defunct? iLife)]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/03/16(日) 01:10:58|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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It's spring and time to overhaul my bike!

I almost forgot that I was to overhaul my bike in Spring. Our spring came suddenly. I was packing my bike in my car before leaving for Mantes-la-Jolie (Paris-Nice) when I realized I was supposed to have done the overhauling before spring classic races began.

I bought some SRAM components to upgrade the current settings. I initially built the bike with SRAM Rival and Apex components (10-speed on the rear cassette). Since SRAM began shipping 11-speed (or 22-speed) components, I could find good deals on 10-speed components.

I have no wish to upgrade to 11-speed for now. I purchased 10-speed components (RED grade and Force grade). They are read to be installed.

I will find time before Gent-Wevelgem.

There is a very interesting piece of article on wort.lu. It is about the publicity caravan of the Tour France. For the last three years, Luxembourg's tourism promotion caravan was part of the publicity caravan.

In this article, last year the government payed 240,000 euros for it. Let me do the math here.

I remember there were four cars (or five?) participating in the caravan. Each car was occupied by two people. I cannot be too sure about the occupants situation but something like that. So let's say that 8 to 10 people were following the Tour for almost 4 weeks. They were paid for their efforts. Those cars surely cost substantially as they were customized. They gave the public "petits cadeaux" (free giveaways). Everyday they stayed at a hotel room.

1) The accommodation cost around (15,000 to) 20,000.
2) They (some of them were volunteers) were not paid but they had to eat and were given the clothes to wear. This cost around (15,000 to) 20,000.
3) Automobiles rental, fuel and other charges (cleaning and so on) cost around 80,000.
4) Those free giveaways cost 50,000.

So far the sum is only 170,000. What is missing? 70,000 euros for what?

I don't believe they gave out something valuable. Is it so expensive to organize a caravan with only 4 (or 5) cars with such cheap-looking giveaways? I believe this 70,000 euros went to a consulting company that helped the ministry of tourism to organize the caravan.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [It's spring and time to overhaul my bike! ]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. 2014/03/12(水) 00:09:05|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Paris-Roubaix 2014 Plan

Paris-Roubaix 2014 edition's details have not been made public yet. ASO has only announced that some of the cobble stone sections are used both in TdF 2014 and Paris-Roubaix 2014. Those cobble stone sections are the ones also used in Paris-Roubaix 2013 edition. I have already their locations in Garmin BaseCamp as 'waypoints'.

I would like to know the whole picture. I want to know exactly which cobble stone sectors the peloton will tackle now. I have to make the tour plan for my friends visiting from Japan.

On the other hand, detailed information is made available to the media (press and photo) and the teams so that they can prepare for the race. If you know some people in the know, you will get the information before the general public do. This year, I will use my connection to do that.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[Paris-Roubaix 2014 Plan]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. 2014/03/11(火) 00:22:36|
  2. Bike Races in France
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Neutral Start and Actual Start

I complained about the start location not being where it should be. It was not totally right for me to say that ASO deceived me.

The start location described in the map is the actual start, which is where the race judge waves the peloton to let them know that the neutralization is done so that anyone can attack.

I believe the race judge actually shook the flag there.

The map was meant for us, general public, not for the media, press or teams. Why do they put up the map that means almost nothing to the general public?

Parc du Château de Rambouillet was the Start location. I did not know but after a bit of wandering I arrived at the location. I caught a glimpse of the castle in the distance. It was a fancy castle and looked fine although I had no interest in it.

I had to stay at hotels for the weekend because camp sites were not open yet. They (northern Europe area) are open between April and November. Usually closed between December to March.

Hotel Formula 1 and Balladins Hotel offered free Wifi and I was happy with that. I bought for a short while ago an adapter that plugs into automobile 12 V DC power outlet. It has not arrived yet. It looks like this.


Next stop for me is Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, March 30.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Neutral Start and Actual Start]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. 2014/03/10(月) 21:07:28|
  2. Bike Races in France
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Paris-Nice 2014 Stage 01 in Mantes-la-Jolie

Now (Sunday, March 9 17:55 local time Paris) I am at a hotel "Balladins" at Trappes near (in other words, not too far from) Paris.

This morning I got notice from work that I would not work on Monday so I booked a hotel room in a hurry. This hotel was not too expensive and was close to Rambouillet, the start of Stage 02.


I did not know this hotel before. I just found it on Booking.com.

I will be honest. This hotel cost me only 38 Euros per night. The previous night I stayed at hotel F1 and it cost me 29 Euros. The price difference is only 9 Euros but what difference 9 Euros can make!

At F1, you have a privacy of your own room but you have share the bathroom. Bathroom (toilet and shower booths are located somewhere on the same flower near your room) . F1 is like a youth hostel with your own bedroom.

Here at Balladins, you have your own bathroom.

They both offer free Wifi in your room. I realized they both same the same system. The login screens are almost identical; except for their hotel logos and others. There must be a company operating this system.

Sometimes ago, I heard that in France it is obligatory to collect users' personal information if one should provide a public wifi service. I don't remember exactly what was behind this law. Was it a counter-terrorism measure? So even though you get wifi for free, you have to use your browser to fill in some piece of information. Your name, country of your residence, your email address and so on.

Here at Balladins I was given a login name and password and asked to write them down. I don't remember getting this message at F1 hotel. I don't really know if they were operated by the same company. Anyways.

Today was a hot day. I checked out before 10 o'clock in the morning and the temperature was already 11 degrees Celsius. I think the daytime high was around 19 degrees Celsius. I spent the whole day with a T-short. I rode with short sleeve jersey and short bib shorts. I just put on a thin vest. It was hot under the Sun.

So the race went well. I did not know who won the race until I came here at the hotel and got connected to the Net. I had a vague idea that it could have been Bouhanni who won the race. I was standing by the Trek Factory Racing team bus when the race finished. Many riders who did not win came past me. I knew John Degenkolb did not win, nor Tyler Farrar or Thor Hushovd. They all rode past me to their team buses.

Later I saw a FDJ's team car passed and I got a glimpse of a tiny stuffed cow (?) held by someone inside the car. I don't think it was Bouhanni himself but one of the soigneurs, I guess. When I saw this tiny thing, it dawned on me that I saw Bouhanni earlier in the morning and he could have won the bunch sprint.

I was right. He really won.

I went up the climb, côte de Vert. The climb is made of maybe 3 to 7 % in gradient. It was an easy climb.

The real winner of the day was Christophe Laborie of Bretagne - Seche Environnement. He escaped from the bunch and kept the solo job until he secured the mountain classification. It was a stunt and it worked.

I could not get Trek Factory Racing's team kit. I should have bought them in Luxembourg before I left.

Oh, one thing. The start was not where they said it would be. The map of the course (Stage 01) said that the start was not the same place as the finish. I don't understand why they changed their mind and changed the douse without telling me! I am not happy about it. Eventually I found the right start, which was the same place as the finish. I upload the map ASO provided on their site (www.letour.fr). This is the evidence that they lied.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Paris-Nice 2014 Stage 01 in Mantes-la-Jolie]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. 2014/03/09(日) 19:05:07|
  2. Bike Races in France
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March 8 Saturday at Magnanville / Mantes-la-Jolie / Vert

I arrived at "Aire des Ardennes Woinic" at just 07:30 in the morning (of Saturday). Amazing I said so and it just so happened.

Anyway, I arrived at the foot of "cote de Vert," in other words, the small village of Vert at around 11:20. This is also amazingly accurate.

I started looking around. The temperature was already 13 - 15 degrees Celsius by then. When I started from Luxembourg at 05:10, it was 1 - 2 degrees Celsius. It went up to 18 degrees Celsius or so in the afternoon. Nice!

I had to go to a local supermarket to buy a bucket to start painting. 10 litter (3 gallons) bucket was too heavy to carry around.

Traffic was light on the cote de Vert but still there were cars coming up and down. I was there to paint the road for two hours or a bit more but .... my roller was touching the surface of the road for 20 minutes or so. Rest of the time I was standing on the side of the road. Not an efficient nor productive paint job as you can see. If the road is open to the traffic, it is always like that. Patience is required.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [March 8 Saturday at Magnanville / Mantes-la-Jolie / Vert]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. 2014/03/09(日) 09:11:07|
  2. Bike Races in France
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Paris-Nice 2014 watch plan part IV

Now, Friday, March 7, in the evening I am home and writing this. So far I have done my homework.

A new paint bucket (10 Litter-water solution, of course for the environment) bought --- check!

Some food (mineral water, some bread and etc.) --- check!

I shaved my legs (not completely done, needs some more work) --- check!

Remaining homework:

A tubular tire has to be glued on Zipp 404
(Carbon rim brake shoes has to be made ready, too)

Change tires on the aluminum rim wheels (just in case it rains)

GPS (Garmin Nüvi 2340) device has to be loaded with waypoints for PN2014

Packing up for two-day trip (bike clothing and others)

I will depart sometime early in the morning of Saturday, March 8. Here is the time frame.

05:00 Departure from Luxembourg via Belgium because I don't want to pay for the French tollways.

07:30 Short break at "Aire des Ardennes Woinic"

12:30 Arriving at Mantes-la-Jolie and then drive to "cote de Vert"

13:00 Start painting on the road at "cote de Vert"

15:00 Finish painting

15:30 Check-in at the hotel in Magnanville

16:30 Start the bike tour around Mantes-la-Jolie

18:30 Finish the bike tour and going back to the hotel?

21:00 Going to bed?

Sunday, March 9
07:00 Get up and go!

18:00 Driving back home to Luxembourg

02:00 Arriving home??

This is the "Track" I made on the Garmin BaseCamp from the map provided by ASO. I transferred the track to my Garmin Edge 800. I can follow the track when I get there!

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[Paris-Nice 2014 watch plan part IV]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. 2014/03/07(金) 18:54:05|
  2. Bike Races in France
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16 GB of RAM on MacBook Pro 13-inch Mid-2010

Today I finally installed two SO-DIMM 204-pin 8GB memory modules in my MacBook. The modules were ready two or three weeks ago. I waited until today since I could not open the back lid. All I needed was a phillips screw driver.

According to here (Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screwdriver), Mr. Henry F. Phillips patented his invention, which today is widely known as the Phillips Screw. The screws that fasten the back lids are small. I bought a smallest Phillips type driver (ph00 so-described) and it worked like a charm. Previously I tried to unscrew them with somewhat ph0 type (slightly bigger than ph00) and there was one unyielding screw. With the right tool, unscrewing and screwing back was easy.

The modules worked. Now my MacBook recognizes the 16 GB of memory. Officially this MacBook Pro (MacBook Pro7.1) only utilize up to 8 GB according to the specification provided by Apple.

Today I had a small package delivered in my mailbox. It is a MacBook Pro DVD drive to SATA 2.5-inch HDD converter.

Today I went to a local hardware shop called Hobbi (Cactus supermarket group in Luxembourg) and bought the tiny drew driver above-mentioned and three "TEXTIL painter plus" markers. Two white and one yellow. As the name suggests, they are permanent markers intended to be used on textile (cloth). The ink (or whatever) withstands iron heat and repeated washes.


Yes, I want to use them to have autographs by the Trek Factory Racing riders. As their team kit jersey is predominately black, I have to use color markers other than black. I hope they work.

I have not decided if I should buy an SSD for Mac OS X. I will decide before this coming Summer.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [16 GB of RAM on MacBook Pro 13-inch Mid-2010]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/03/06(木) 00:03:35|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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paris-Nice 2014 watch plan part III

OK, the hotel room is secured. Now all I have to do is to get there safely.

I intend to paint on the road (with water-solution white paint so that no harm is done to the road, in other words, the drawn objects will disappear completely after two or three weeks).

I have some favorite riders in the peloton. According to the provisional listing of planned participants (http://www.letour.fr/paris-nice/2014/us/riders.html), many of my favorite riders will be there.

Fabian Wegmann

Tony Gallopin
Lars Bak
Maxime Monfort

Chris Anker Sorensen
Nicki Sorensen

These are the people who I am very sure will recognize me. 6 riders plus 8 riders from Trek Factory Racing equals 14 names. Additionally, I will paint some special message for the Schlecks.

For Andy, it will be something to do with his son and mother of his son (not officially married, so officially girlfriend), Jil. I have not come up with a good ideas what and how to draw the message. TEO is the name. According to the quick google search on the Internet, TEO is considered a Spanish name and related to Mateo or Teodor. It means God. From what I read in a magazine, the Schlecks tradition was to give English names. That is why the Schleck brothers have names like Steve, Fränk and Andy. They (Johny and Gaby even made sure that Frank is read as in English by adding "ä", which in German should be read like "e" because otherwise Frank will be pronounced in German way here in Central Europe.

Fränk's daughter is Leea. It is a compromised spelling, I guess. They wanted her to be Princess Leia (Star Wars) but the spelling gave them the trouble. Leia in German will be pronounced as "Liar." No one wanted to call the princess daughter a "liar" so they changed the spelling slightly. Is Leia (Leea) considered to be an English name? Star Wars series were created by American English speaking people. It should be considered to be an (American) English name, right?

Teo could be a short form of Theodor as in Theodor Roosevelt. He (Teo) could be nicknamed as Teddy.

For Fränk, it will be something like, "Welcome back! We missed you!"

I realized that I have to add (at least) one more item to the "To Do" list before driving to Mantes-la-Jolie. I have to either shave the legs or epilate (depilate) by epilator. "Ouch" time, it is that time of the year already.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[paris-Nice 2014 watch plan part III]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. 2014/03/05(水) 00:09:00|
  2. Bike Races in France
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Paris-Nice 2014 watch plan part II

I have to think about how to enjoy the first stage on Sunday. The weather seems (I am referring to the weather forecast provided by Yahoo!) to be fine during the coming weekend. Sunny weather is predicted. Really? They are not so accurate here in Europe. OK, let me trust them (weather forecast providers) for a moment.

I have Saturday and Sunday off from work. I can use Friday evening for the last preparation for the trip and use Saturday for traveling and doing the reconnaissance of the area.

I think I am going to find a cheap hotel nearby for the night. I will spend the Saturday night there probably. Normally camping sites are closed until late April or so. My budget is tight so I am not going to spend too much for a hotel room.

I will arrive Mantes-la-Jolie Saturday afternoon and take out my bike and do the circuit course (only 30 km). I will look for a good spot on the climb of "Cote de Vert."

I can reserve a cheap hotel room via iPhone app KAYAK or Accorhotels. I am seriously planning a two-day trip to Mantes-la-Jolie.

Here is the check list before the weekend.
1) Find a inexpensive accommodation for Saturday night (hotel, hostel or camping site)
2) Stock up some food and water for the trip
3) Dig up the usual travel kit
4) Work on Garmin BaseCamp so that my Garmin Edge 800 and Nüvi 2430 are loaded with relevant waypoints
5) My ZIPP 404 front wheel needs a tubular tire glued on
6) Make sure that I have Saturday and Sunday off (no emergency call from the employer)

1) --keep looking on the Net.
Now I know (after a quick search) that camping sites are still closed (open end of March or beginning of April). Hotel F1 Mantes Magnanville (very close to Mantes-la-Jolie) is still available on March 8, Saturday for the night. I think I will book this room tonight after work.

2) --will drive to the local supermarket on Tuesday

3) --whenever I have time

4) --will be done by Thursday night

5) --will be fixed on Wednesday night

6) --will be done soon.

Trek Factory Racing has posted participating riders:
Andy Schleck
Bob Jungels
Danilo Hondo
Fabio Felline
Fränk Schleck
Grégory Rast
Laurent Didier
Matthew Busche
(alphabetical order, I guess)

Postscript: I have secured a hotel room near Mantes-la-Jolie.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Paris-Nice 2014 watch plan part II]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. 2014/03/03(月) 23:11:36|
  2. Bike Races in France
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Paris-Nice 2014 watch plan

Paris-Nice 2014

The first stage (http://www.letour.fr/paris-nice/2014/fr/etape-1.html) is a flat and a course including a circuit section (as I had already anticipated).

The circuit section is about 30 km long. The peloton passes 4 times before finishing on the side of lac de Gassicourt (Lake Gassicourt). There is a mall (a commercial complex including Intermarche, a supermarket chain) with a big parking near the lake. No doubt that they (ASO) are going to use the parking as the Equip parking, Press parking and so on.
(screenshot clip from Garmin BaseCamp Mac: area near the finish)

(screenshot clip from Google Earth: area near the finish - mall and its parking)

There is a category 3 climb (cote de Vert - about 130 m above the sea and the climbing point is about 50 m ditto) of 80 meters in height difference. This climb is about 10 km from the Finish (direct route not the course).

The feed zone is the same place as the finish.

So in the morning I will go to the start and then head to the cote de Vert by bike. After this I will head to the feed zone. I don't know if they (Gendarmerie) will let cars on the parcours. I doubt it.

The start area is not so complicated. There is a broader road connecting to the start area. Those team busses will be there.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Paris-Nice 2014 watch plan]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. 2014/03/02(日) 20:54:30|
  2. Bike Races in France
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Road Bike Race 2014 Calendar and some

Race Watch Calendar for March/April

March 02, Sunday: Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne (Belgium) -- Kuurne
March 09, Sunday: Paris-Nice (France) -- Prologue near Paris
March 30, Sunday: Gent-Wevelgem (Belgium) -- Deinze/Wevelgem
April 06, Sunday: Ronde van Flaanderen (Belgium)
April 13, Sunday: Paris-Roubaix (France) -- Compiègne/Roubaix
April 20, Sunday: Amstel Gold Race (Netherlands) -- Masstricht
Apirl 23, Wednesday: la Fléche Wallonne (Belgium) -- Huy
April 27, Sunday: Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Belgium) -- Liège

Trek Factory Racing's team kit is distributed by Bontrager (AKA Trek) throughout the world, I guess. Here in Luxembourg, Asport, is one of the shops who handle the goods. Asport (www.apsort.lu) sells Trek bikes, too, of course.

Asport does not sell goods at a discount price until they have a sale. Despite the fact that Luxembourg's VAT rate is lower than surrounding countries, things are not so cheaper than those in surrounding countries.

Bontrager's goods are not ubiquitous here in Europe. Trek bike has a better distribution network but Bontrager, not.
(image from Asport's site advertising Trek Factory Racing Team kit replica jersey)

Today I watched Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on TV live on La Une HD. It looked that the weather was harsh. Tomorrow Sunday the situation will be the same. I have to prepare for the rain cold miserable weather.

Ian Stannard won the race.

OS X Mavericks on my MacBook Pro is now the updated version 10.9.2. [Road Bike Race 2014 Calendar and some]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. 2014/03/01(土) 19:43:20|
  2. Bike Races
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