Update after a long absence

It has been a long time since I updated this blog. How long?

First of all, I want to write that I am back from the vacation and fine.

Secondly, the Tour de France was good but I have to write something unusual about it (later down).

Thirdly, my car needs a lot of attention and care.

This year's Tour de France was a bit different from the ones I know since 2006. I think I have been to the Avenue of Champs Elysees on the last day of the Tour since then.

Every year was different. I met people form Texas, USA back in 2006 during the Tour and some of them showed up on the Champs Elysees. They carried the USA flags, the Stars and Stripes.

In following years Floyd Landis was popular and people from the USA continued to France. I met some people. After that Cadel Evans and the Schleck brothers were in. So we had Australian flags and Luxembourg flags all over the place. Thor Hushovd was a regular participant and Norwegians were abundant.

When Christopher Froome and Bradley Wiggins were winning, people from the United Kingdom suddenly showed up (or became so visible). Hundreds (?) of Union Jacks were visible on the Champs Elysees.

So this year what happened? Champs Elysees was so quiet and almost no national flags. So strange! Italians may have wanted to come but they had already planned their summer vacations elsewhere.

My car, a.k.a. Ka by Ford, needs a lot of care. An unfortunate accident damaged the rear view mirror not he driver's side. The brake pad on the right front, I believe, is almost out or (already none). The rear tires are almost bald. The first inspection (3 years and half after purchase of a new car) is approaching.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Update after a long absence]の続きを読む
  1. 2014/07/31(木) 21:34:39|
  2. Bike Races
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TdF 2014 Diary: I am alive safely arrived at the inn

Driving on the wrong side, I mean left side, of the road was not difficult. Going through or specifically, entering the turnarounds was a bit difficult as I am used to turn my head to the left for the incoming traffic in the continent.

Luxembourg to Calais: 420 km
Dover to the inn: 450 km
Total of 870 km of driving

Dear Diary, 02/07/2014 (Continental style date format, in the USA it'll be 07/02/2014)

I left home around 02:50. I set the alarm at 03:00 and went to be around 00:00 but somehow I could not sleep well and woke up around 02:30. My car had been half loaded by the evening. I loaded the things that were valuable, the bike, computer and other gadgets, bike clothing and others.

The road was very quiet and easy to drive. The motorway was practically empty. I drove three hours and had a rest at a service/parking on the motorway near Marqain, Belgium. It was around 06:20. I had been there many times. I had been to this Q8 gas station and its boutique (Delhaize) so many times. I slept in the parking lot probably more than 20 hours by now. The route was Luxembourg-Namur-Mons-Tournai-French border-Calais. I had a nap until around 10:00 and then on the road again.

I arrived at Calais around 11:40 and before heading for the port, I went to shopping in Calais. I took some pictures.

Carrefour was a good choice I thought. Big supermarkets (hypermarket, the French call them) usually has a gas station attached to it and the prices are cheaper. I filled my Ka up and went into the shop. Breakfast and provisions, water-solution white paint (2.5 litters), window shield liquid and alcohol for Trangia burner.

I tweeted and updated my facebook by using the McDonald’s free Wifi.

This one thing had been bothering me. The reason it bothered me was that I was a fool, an idiot, an imbecile and a moron. I am so used to using the so-called Central European Time (Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and other major capitals included) that I forgot that the United Kingdom uses another time zone. In the UK, their clock is one hour earlier than my Luxembourg time.

My ferry departs at 15:25 and arrives at Dover at 15:55 but the duration of the ferry ride is 1 hour and 30 minutes. I, not realizing the time zone difference, while browsing the printed email confirmation, suddenly noticed this mysterious time schedule. I was going to go to the port around 14:00 (one hour before the depature) but thought if the duration time is 1.5 hours, the real depature time could be 14:25 and 15:25 could be a typo. Or the arrival time could be wrong?

I did not know what was the case. So I rushed to the port (I was at Carrefour Calais nearby) around 13:40. The check-in attendant assured me that I am well ahead of time and the depature time is in French time and the arrival time is in UK time.

Gee. Just two weeks ago while at the start of the penultimate stage of the Tour de Luxembourg, I realized that the time on SRM console of “Fabio Silvestre” was one hour ahead. I told this to my Dutch friends nearby and they told me that Portual time is one hour earlier. I see his SRM showed his home time.

I am writing this (above) part of my diary on board the ferry. I see a lot of ferries and other boats outside, some coming and others going the opposite way. This is a very busy channel.

Dear Diary, 03/07/2014

Last night I arrived at the Inn 21:50. It is a second (US style, in European standard, it is a first floor) floor of a small tavern. There is a small bar on the first (US style, in European standard, it is a ground floor) floor. There are 6 rooms on this floor. I guess most of them are just tiny room with a bed. One of the rooms are a bit spacious (checked-out and the door was wide open) with a TV set.

My room, No. 4, is about 2 meters by 1.8 meters, perhaps? A bed with a slim commodore? with a mirror. It is a tiny room. I don't care. I am staying here three nights.

The weather was great yesterday but today it is cloudy and it may rain later. Who care? I am in the UK and awaiting the the Team Presentation Ceremony. Oh there is no chair nor desk in my room so I am writing this sitting on the bed with my MacBook Pro on my lap, enough with the tininess topic!

Today, I am going to have a much much needed hot shower and go out. First I thought about riding my bike but there seems no time left as it is close to noon now. I am going to drive to Leeds, about 30 km from here. First direct arena, the venue of the ceremony show above mentioned, send me (of course the arena is a building and it can not send any email by itself) a notice email yesterday.

It points to the parkings nearby, how nice and considerate! And it tells us that no cellphone use during the show, of course. And it breaks us the bad news, no photographing and no recording of any kind allowed and they'll frisk you at the entrance of any contraband so don't bring big bags and also they prepared the cloak where you can deposit your contraband (cameras and etc), how very generous!

I expected this but no photographing? It is not a show where Freddy Mercury sings live (Of course not, he is dead and may his soul rest in peace, he's a great artist). Or do any British signers perform live?

Disappointed but expected.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [TdF 2014 Diary: I am alive safely arrived at the inn]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. 2014/07/03(木) 18:55:59|
  2. Tour de France
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YouTube video and Tour de France

I uploaded a short movie in mov format (shot on the iPhone) in my YouTube account. Nobody knows, almost nobody knows, my YouTube account. If by any chance you're curious, seek TheGoGosForever.

It' about the Luxembourg National Championship road race podium sparkling wine shower spray scene. Have you been sparkling wine sprayed? It feels good, especially when one or two of your favorite riders are there.

I'm leaving for Leeds in short. I go to bed now and wake up at 03:00. I want to avoid the morning traffic in Belgium.

Good night!

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[YouTube video and Tour de France]の続きを読む
  1. 2014/07/02(水) 05:08:34|
  2. Bike Races in Luxembourg
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