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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

A Day Trip to Germany Done!

As previously announced, I drove to and back from Germany. My buddy (when driving), nüvi told me that there were about 220 to 230 km before me. I started around 09:00 in the morning and I was supposed to arrived at the destination around 12:00 when I started.

Things won't happen as expected on the road; there are always things unexpected on the route.

First, there were stretches where construction (repairing the surface asphalt) going on and I had to slow down a bit. About 30 km before the destination, cars and trucks before me came to a halt. I thought it was because of merging traffic or something first. It turned out to be a burning BWM SUV on the side of the road (on the German soon-to-be-tollway freeway). About 200 meters ahead of me, I saw a black smoke rising. We stopped. I saw one rescue team truck passing from behind. Then I saw two fire engines and then a Police wagon. Finally another fire engine passed us. After the arrival of these fire engines (supposedly equipped with water/chemical tanks), the smoke went out. We were allowed to pass the site. A fire fighter was still spraying some chemical or water under the open hood as we passed.

In all, I think I stopped there about 20 minutes or so. Of course, I saw this ruined BMW SUV as I passed. I was expecting some old and battered PKW or LKW (German words for automobile and truck) but it was rather a shiny luxury SUV. Its front part was burned down so the car was kinda kneeling down (as thefront tires were burnt and gone).

I think the Insurance company for the poor driver will be asking the manufacturer, BMW some hard questions.

Was it caused by some defective parts or lack of proper maintenance or ??

Anyway, I arrived the destination around 12:50 or so. I planned to keep away from the destination city where I need to pay for the entrance fee (so-called Green Zone emission control tax) but yet another road repair led me to the route I had not wanted to pass.

I drove into the destination town and hid my car in an underground parking where the Police or parking control personnels were usually scare (haha!). I did the business quickly and then ate. I left the town after 2 hours or so.

I rode back home safely. On the way back there was a stretch were I had a really strong rainfall.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [A Day Trip to Germany Done!]の続きを読む
  1. 2015/05/29(金) 19:56:40|
  2. Things European
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LIMITS power meter INDIGOGO crowdfunding

Limits technology

Less than three days to go by now (Thursday, 28th May). The funding has been filled up to 223 % at this moment. If it reaches 250 %, the initial version made available to the backers (including me) will support the Bluetooth function in addition to ANT+. Will it make it (to 250 %)? I hope so. Please someone chip in!


The holy Tour Guide Book

Today (at least in UK, and I believe more or less, all over the world) the Tour de France Official Guide Books goes on sale. These are the ones sold to the general public. They don't have the real details of the Tour. The real thing is the ones distributed to the media, the teams and other people working closely with A.S.O.

The real official handbooks contain the detailed info of the parking arrangement (media, VIPs, teams, race cars, publicity caravan and others) at the start and finish. They contain the names and the location info of the hotels where teams are staying. They contain the detailed maps of the start and the finish area. They contain the detailed location info of the course (Sprint, GPM, feed zones and others).

I want access to it. I want to know where the teams are staying. I want to know exactly where they are feeding.

Usually I get the info I need from someone or somewhere in one way or another.


Germany
I used to live in Germany. I am visiting the town I used to live tomorrow. I want to close my bank account there. I will drive to the town (belonging to another State, Germany is a bit like the USA, and each State has different holiday calendars, etc.) next to it on the other side of the river. I may walk across the bridge to get to the destination town to do the business.

The reason why I am not directly driving into the destination town is because of so-called the green zone rules. You have to pay some fees to get this green zone sticker to drive into some towns. It is the thing to raise more tax. The pretext for raising more tax income is the emission control, or environmental consideration or whatever it is.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [LIMITS power meter INDIGOGO crowdfunding]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. 2015/05/28(木) 15:00:06|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Crank length matters and non-round chainrings on the market

I recently purchased a used set of Osymetric chainrings (the first generation a.k.a. flat sheet of metal version) and intend to use them when I leave for vacation in July as the Tour de France begins. As these non-round (twincam) chainrings need a different somewhat higher setting for the FD, I will have to change the shift cable, which I may work on in June.

Just in case you haven't realized the recent change in this company's situation or didn't care about Osymetric (France, the original. I think Osymetric USA is a licensed manufacture of this French company), let me remind you that starting the second, new and improved generation of Osymetric chainrings, Stronglight has stepped in as the manufacturer of the chainrings. I guess they (Stronglight, also a French company) are able to machine them more intricately and at the same time in less time (a.k.a. more cost effectively) than Osymetric company itself, which seemed to be an artisan style micro manufacturer.

In this respect, I strongly recommend you to visit this site (http://caw-designs.com/). It is the CIAMILLO's site. I own (bought via ebay) a used pair of Negative G. He wrote that he decided to let all the employees go and make everything by himself making his company an artisan style because the quality that his ex-employees achieved was far below his standard.

I agree with Mr. Ted Ciamillo (in more than one way) as one of my Negative G is indeed missing a final shaving making it a kind of defective (slightly, though). I guess one of his ex-employees was sleeping at the CNC machine console and the one who was working at the final check before assembly was also thinking about his vacation and not about the work in front of him (or her).

Don't take me wrong! My point is that I admire his decision to be responsible for all the aspect of his work. There will be no excuses, no compromises and no buts. I am just a big fan of his products and him.


I recently purchased a Rotor crankset which was originally intended for BBright standard. I purchased additional parts and tool to convert it into a BSA compatible version. I am using the Rotor 3D+ for the moment. In this process I changed the crank length back to 170 mm from 175 mm. FSA's ISIS crank was 175 mm long.

The proper crank length is calculated by using one of those mythical (or scientific) formula. I tend to ignore the theory behind those formula.

Longer cranks help me put more power into the rear wheel by the simple principle of fulcrum. Longer the lever, the greater the effort (with the same load). Here, load is the torque your legs are putting on the pedals.

When I purchased this FSA crankset back in 2008 or 2007, I thought I should test the effect of this longer lever. I knew the antithesis of using more than necessarily longer cranks, namely cumbersomeness of cranking up (or optimizing the cadence in terms of having a better position).

Well, f**k the theory! When I am climbing up Alpe d'Huez or Mont Ventoux, I am not thinking about my cadence at all. I'm already out of the gears, ie; I'm using the lightest gear combination. What is on my bleeding mind is "how much more torque do I have to put on the pedal to make the crank go round?"

Torque is the load and the move forward (upward) is the effort. When I have a limited amount of load (my muscle's output), the longer lever matters.

So now how I feel when cranking a 170 mm length crankset. They feel heavier than the former 175 mm lenght crankset, indeed. I feel it. 5 mm makes a great difference.

I know that to make the most of this 170 mm length Rotor crankset, I have to use a bigger rear cassette like those used on mountain bikes. To accommodate one of those, I have to buy and install one of SRAM's WiFLi rear deraileurs.

Should I?

I recently found out that KCNC International (a Taiwanese company) also started selling an Osymetric lookalike. As KCNC is a CNC machining specialist, their chainrings are intricately shaved. They are still cheaper than Osymetric ones, though. [Crank length matters and non-round chainrings on the market]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. 2015/05/27(水) 14:12:27|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Significantly less state tax income for Luxembourg after Amazon quits ....

Finally, it happened. It seems that Amazon Europe (or whatever it is officially named) agreed to pay tax on the profit made on the transactions made in Germany and not to pay it to Luxembourg.

It won't be long before France (one of the biggest complaints on this issue) starts collecting the missing tax from Amazon Europe. The reason Germany was the first to strike a deal with Amazon Europe was, absolutely my guess, that the deal was acceptably reasonable. The reason why France has not struck a deal with Amazon Europe could be the demands from the French authorities were too demanding.

I don't know anything about the real deal that they reached (or the deal they never reached : France-Amazon). It is only my guess.

I am curious because I sometimes buy things from Amazon and it is Amazon.de (Germany). There is no Amazon.lu (Luxembourg) so I have a choice among choosing Amazon.de, Amazon.fr or Amazon.??. I buy from Amazon.de because I can understand German better than French and from Germany I get a fair rate of shipping to Luxembourg, where I live.

So, my purchase won't be considered a purchase within Germany or what? I am just curious.


I am saddened by the news that the couple whose life inspired the movie, "A beautiful Mind" died in an accident. I loved the movie. May their soul rest in peace (together)!


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Significantly less state tax income for Luxembourg after Amazon quits ....]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. 2015/05/25(月) 14:15:33|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Easier said than done...

Easier said than done.

Do you watch and like one of those "Harry Potter" movies? I don't. I don't like them because I simply don't believe in so-called magical powers. You mumble one of those mysterious incoherent words and you make things happen? No way!

If I say so, most (if not all) people agree. Yes they agree!

Do you agree? If you say,"Yes, I do", you are stupid. You have absolutely no insight into things in this real world.

Haven't your boss say something incoherent to you? And still you have to do make things happen? Haven't your parents told you to do something you don't want? Haven't your .....

Yes, magical power does exist. That is why I hate one of those movies. There must be someone or some people behind those magical powers to make things happen.

Nietzsche wrote something like this. I don't remember the exact quote but something like 'you can easily thing you are like god if you are not reminded of what is between your legs.'

People think you can make things happen by just mumbling. Isn't that so true?


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Easier said than done... ]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. 2015/05/24(日) 17:57:11|
  2. Bikes and related things
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The art of wheel building

I am learning how to build wheels. Of course, for fun and practical reasons.

Like for the moment, I have a non-functional rear wheel of Mavic Cosmos as it was hit by right rear and then front tires of an SUV when I was in Belgium to watch De Ronde van Flaanderen (the Tour of Flanders).

I can hopefully repair it by replacing the rim (Mavic Open Pro black 28H) and new nipples (reusing the nipples are not recommended).

I have a Shimano WH-3N71 (dynamo hub wheel). In the future, I may have to replace the rim when the braking surface wears out.

On those occasions, the knowledge and the skill of self-building wheels may come in very handy. They (knowledge and skill) won't come easy. So I better start learning now.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [The art of wheel building]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. 2015/05/23(土) 16:07:33|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Garmin Map Update 2016.10 available now

New update available now. This version is named 2016.10. The last one was 2015.40. I have to download the "Full coverage of Europe," which is about 4.2 GB in size. It is very important to have the latest information of the road before the Tour de France.

I need this map on both on my Gamin nüvi and my MacBook Pro (base for nüvi). The updating process takes a long long time to complete. Downloading takes a couple of hours to several hours depending on the network speed. Installing the map on the device (nüvi) takes a whopping long period of time, overnight.

I need the update so I endure.


The tour de France is coming.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Garmin Map Update 2016.10 available now]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2015/05/19(火) 14:55:47|
  2. GPS Navigation
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Mavic Akisium One rear arrives

... with other small things that ordered together.

Without checking its center nor wobble, I installed the cassette sprocket, tire and of course inner tube. Now I could ride.

I did not care for the specification details before ordering it so I was a bit surprised to see that it had flat profile so-called aero-profile spokes. And they were painted in black.

It came with a spacer, skewer and s manual. I scanned it to see if my setting ( Shimano/SRAM 10-speed) required the spacer. It did.

It looks cool and not too heavy. I would very much like to know the spoke tension values on it. I don't have the right tools. I wish I had.

It has only 20 spokes on it. This means that the each spoke on the free body side sustains a huge load of tension. I am just being curious.

Now the Mavic Cosmos rear will be dismantled and cleaned. This hub, spokes and nipples will be used for practicing wheel building. First thing I do (after dismantling and cleaning) is to accurately measure the dimension. If I had the accurate dimension of it, I can calculate the spoke lengths for any kind of rims I choose.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Mavic Akisium One rear arrives]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. 2015/05/18(月) 22:16:19|
  2. Bikes and related things

Lightweight wheels, but not that 'Lightweight' wheels

One of my favourite sites is this. Unfortunately it is in Japanese. The author is a bike shop owner. He bike shop does not handle complete bikes or other parts in general but wheels and other made-to-order customization orders.

pass13.blog.fc2.com

He is a guru (if he does not mind me calling him so) wheel builder in Japan. His blog inspires me to build my own wheels.

Because the site is a blog site, his knowledgable insight into wheel building and historical aspect of various manufacturers' wheel building are scattered in many entries. I wish he wrote a book.

(I am currently) Looking for the materials like hubs, rims, spokes and various tools.

Circus Monkey is a new finding.


Seriously, what kind of wheels will I make?

I have one set of Zipp 404 tubular wheels. This is the one I take when I go up the mountains like Alpe d'Huez or Mont Ventoux. They are light enough but maybe not stiff enough.

I have everyday use wheels like Shimano WH-3N71 (dynamo hub front) and Mavic Cosmos (front and the rear wheel was damaged) and soon will have Mavic Aksium One rear wheel. These are for training purposes.

So what I need now is a wheels for cobbled road and rough surface roads. Maybe in near future I decide to participate in one of those amateur races held before the real professional elite races (Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, etc.).

What I need is lightweight, stiff and rugged wheels. Clincher wheels would be the natural choice as when I get a flat, I have to repair it on my own during one of those races. I love tubular wheels and tires. So I'd like to build them with Ambrosio Chrono tubular rims. They will be tough enough to be used on cobbled roads.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Lightweight wheels, but not that 'Lightweight' wheels]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. 2015/05/17(日) 00:44:52|
  2. Bikes and related things
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TdF 2015 Stage 18, Stage 19 and Stage 20

tdf2015-st19-profile.jpg
(image borrowed from ASO's site. Monsieur ASO, don't sue me, please!)

The big question hanging over Stage 19 is; Col de la Croix de Fer or La Toussuire?

Stage 19
Col du Chaussy 1533 m:
(http://www.dangerousroads.org/europe/france/1513-col-du-chaussy-france.html)

Col de la Croix de Fer 2067 m:


Both of the climbs will certainly present a spectacular drama but I can not be at both of the climbs (Or can I? According to the Garmin map, there seems to be unpaved paths between them).

Researching the Col du Chaussy, I found the very pretty pictures of small but intricate switchbacks at the beginning of the climb. The URL I put above also tells you that this climb is considered to be one of the dangerous mountain paths because of its narrow steep road.

Wait a second! This beautiful switchbacks are only a couple of kilometers from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and the final climb of La Toussuire begins from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. It means that I should set up my base camp in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and I can be at the awesome switchbacks on my bike and then after the peloton passes I can climb to La Toussuire later. Perfect plan! Maybe.

The screen shot clip below shows the route and it is only 25 km long.

tdf15-stage18-watchplan.jpg


Extra.
Sapim's spoke tension meter. It seems that it is less known than those from Park Tool, DT Swiss or Hozan.
Sapim-TensionMeter01.jpg

It comes with a nicely padded case with a metal piece to be used as the test piece to re-tune it.
Sapim-TensionMeter02.jpg

DT Swiss's spoke tension meter. This is the analog version and there is a more expensive digital version, too.
DTSwiss-TensionMeter-analog.jpg

This Sapim's tension meter is a re-branded version of Icetoolz from Taiwan (?). I found an almost identical tension meter branded under that name. Is it made in Taiwan or mainland China?

The icetoolz's version is slightly different but the difference is only cosmetic.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [TdF 2015 Stage 18, Stage 19 and Stage 20]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2015/05/14(木) 21:47:16|
  2. Tour de France
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Stage 6 Abbeville - Le Havre 191 km

Using the Garmin BaseCamp (and choosing an option to make a bicycling route), I made a route between Abbeville (the start) and Le Havre (the finish). The default route was like below and was 180 km long. Not bad.
stage06-guess-180k.jpg


The actual route is announced to be 191 km long. Glancing the map, I realized that I can make the route better. In what way better? I imagine that it would be easier for the police (and the Gendarmerie) to control the traffic, easier for for the general public to move around and better view for the spectators if I move the route closer to the coastline. This way, there would be fewer intersections blocked.

This route below is almost 200 km long. I guess the actual route will be similar to this.
stag6-guess-200k.jpg

I assume that the feed zone will be around Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer. There are camp sites along the coast. I won't have any problems finding a place to stay.

The actual route will be flat. Maybe windy along the coast. I will try to get to the feed zone to watch the race.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Stage 6 Abbeville - Le Havre 191 km]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2015/05/14(木) 13:00:12|
  2. Tour de France
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Hozan C700 (Spoke thread chaser) and others

I am serious. I start making my own wheels near in the future. To begin with, I need many things.

First of all, knowledge! How to make wheels: how to select material, how to lace the spoke, how to calculate the spoke length, how to ...

Second of all, the right tools! Nipple wrenches, a spoke scale, a center gauge, a truing stand and ultimately a spoke tension meter (which is very expensive).

Thirdly, patience! It is rather a complicated task compared to nuking a cold pizza piece.

A spoke tension meter is a luxury tool. There are relatively inexpensive meters like this one below. This one is available at around 75 euros.
parktoolsspoketensionmeter.jpg
(Park Tools spoke tension meter)

Spoke length calculation is also an art of it own. There are sites from DT Swiss's site to various sites providing the calculation aids. Sometimes, though, you have to make special length spokes on your own. If you know all the dimensions of the hubs and rims, you can calculate the needed spoke length on your own. What if some of the dimensions are unknown?

For example I have a Shimano WH-3N71. It is a Shimano built system wheel with a dynamo hub with 20 spokes. It is my everyday use front wheel. I can trust that it can provide the electric energy to fire up the front light when it gets dark. I own a full set of first generation Magnic light set but I don't use them too often as the adapters are not so cleverly made. I wish I had better made adapters.

Anyway, what should I do if the WH-3N71's rim goes worn out or bent beyond repair? Will I discard the wheel? No, I won't. I will re-use the hub to build a new wheel with new spokes, nipples and a rim. Do I know the necessary dimensions of the hub? No, unfortunately no. I have to measure the dimensions myself but it has a not standard construction.

hub-wh-3n71.jpg

How do I calculate the spoke length?

For rear wheel rims, I may decide to use asymmetrical rims. They will give you a better balanced spoke tension with right and left spokes. How do I exactly know the correct length?

On you tube you can watch an excellent video by Bill Mould titled "Velocity A23 Off Center Rim." I have read the advantages of building rear wheels with asymmetrical rims.

When you want to make spokes with an arbitrary length, what can you do? Call the ghostbusters?

The correct answer is to use one of the right tools by Hozan.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Hozan C700 (Spoke thread chaser) and others]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. 2015/05/14(木) 01:09:33|
  2. Bikes and related things
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New rear wheel or new wheel set to buy

I had an unfortunate small accident during de Ronde van Vlaanderen (Flanders tour). My rear wheel (training wheel) was damaged. I have to buy a new rear wheel or a set of wheels, which ever is cheaper.

Shopping criteria:
1) cheap
2) durable
3) no ride quality needed (as it is just for training)

Shimano wheels are the natural choice, Shimano WH-R501 wheels to be specific. 24 mm rim height or 30 mm rim height, that is the question.

What happens to my damaged Mavic Cosmos rear wheel? I will dismantle it and rebuild it. I try to correct the damaged rim. I am not too optimistic to expect the rim to be perfectly corrected. I just want to rebuild it so that I get used to assembling a wheel and then truing it. I need some practice. In the future, of course, I want to build my own wheels as I wish.


I have been wanting to build my own wheels for a long time. This time (shopping for the rear wheel), I will purchase some other tools for wheel building, namely a spoke scale and several spoke (nipple) wrenches.

Maybe I will get a Mavic Aksium rear wheel.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [New rear wheel or new wheel set to buy]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. 2015/05/11(月) 14:52:08|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Tour de France 2015: Stage 9 ITT 28km

stage09-25km.jpg
(clip of screen shot made in Garmin BaseCamp)

So this is the route between Vannes and Plumelec generated by the Garmin BaseCamp. It is 25 km long and the actual ITT route is announced to be 28 km long. So I think they should be almost identical.

Let's take a closer look at this route, shall we?

Considering the burden of "immediately after the stage having to leave for Pau driving for about 700 km over night", I really would like to stay somewhere I can swiftly reach the main roads leading to Pau.

The info is at this moment sketchy. I only know that there is a climb finish.
tdf15-st09-dkm-prf.jpg
(image from ASO's www.letour.fr site)

Assuming that the route I made on the Garmin BaseCamp is almost identical to the actual route, I analyse the profile of the course. The profile is bumpy according to the Google Earth. The start city is at about 20 meters above the sea level but there are points on the way where the altitude goes up to 130 meter or so.

There is also a small village with a name 'Monterblanc' almost like Mont Blanc. To my big surprise, this village's altitude is high at about 130 meter above the sea level. OK, this may be a good place to stay.

tdf15-st9-escaperout.jpg

Monterblanc is one of the few villages on the way, there are roads stemming from Monterblanc. I can possibly use one of them. From Monterblanc Pau is whopping 730 km away. I have to drive more than 10 hours, possibly up to 12 hours.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Tour de France 2015: Stage 9 ITT 28km]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2015/05/11(月) 00:48:35|
  2. Tour de France
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Elsy Jacobs 2015

There is a short sweet stage race held in Luxembourg and I am not talking about Tour de Luxembourg. It is Elsy Jacobs (http://elsy-jacobs.lu).

I managed to see the last stage held around a small town Mamer and this year there was no surprise guest (Fränk Schleck was the surprise guest at the race two or three years ago). If you are curious, please look for "Elsy Jacobs" in my blog in the past entries.

It rained. It was not cold but getting wet was not fun for the riders and we, spectators alike.

I took a short video aiming at Mayuko Hagiwara of Wiggle-Honda. The video is on YouTube.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Elsy Jacobs 2015]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2015/05/10(日) 02:10:58|
  2. Bike Races in Luxembourg
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Tour de France 2015: The Alps

Quick notes: Limits technology is raising the initial fund to start the business. One of the latest updates announced that they would include Bluetooth support in addition to the ANT+ support in the initial product if they could successfully raise US $ 250,000.

At the moment (May 9) the total is about US $184,000. The missing gap is about 80,000 roughly.

OK, I did some math. Not all those early bird perks qualifiers (who pledged their non-biding promise to buy the product) have claimed their perks. For the moment 374 out of 800 have actually paid up.

If the rest 426 people should pay, the sum (total fund raised) will be, voila!, just over $250,000.

Well, technically it all adds up. I don't think those 426 chickens will commit.


OK, the Alps.

tdf2015alpsstages.jpg
(clip from the PDF file downloadable from ASO's site)

Overview of the Alps stages:
(Stage 16, 201km, Bourg-de-Pèage/Gap)
Second Rest Day Gap
Stage 17, 161km, Digne-les-Bains/Pra-Loup
Stage 18, 185km, Gap/Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
Stage 19, 138km, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne/La Toussuire - Les Sybelles
Stage 20, 110km, Modane Valfrejus/Alpe-d'Huez

Some clips from Garmin BaseCamp screen shots.

The second rest day (Saturday, July 21) is spent at Gap. The 16th stage is, I believe, a flat mass sprint finish stage.


st16-17-18.jpg

In this image above, you find two routes (one in green and the other in red) and some places. The green line is the route between Gap (top left) and Pra-Loup (top right). The route is 73 km long.

The red line is the route between Col d'Allos (Stage 17 - penultimate climb) and Col du Glandon (not shown here - Stage 18 - highest peak 1924 m). The route is 300 km long.


st17-18-transfer.jpg

In this image above the route between Col d'Allos and Col du Glandon is shown in its entirety.

st18-19-20-area.jpg

Alpe d'Huez and its surrounding area is shown in the image above. As you can see, Col du Glandon (Stage 18's highest climb) is just next to la Toussuire (Stage 19's finish). And also you can see that Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne (Stage 18's finish and Stage 19's start) is also the starting point of the ascent to la Toussuire.

In other words, if you feel lazy, you can stay in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and see Stage 18 and19.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Tour de France 2015: The Alps]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2015/05/09(土) 17:22:02|
  2. Tour de France
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TdF 2015 Watch Plan, the Pyrenees

Places I want to be:

1) Pau (Rest Day, Mon. July 13)

In the evening (around 18:00) of Sunday, July 12th, I will be somewhere on the ITT route between Vannes and Plumelec.

The individual time trial route is only 28 km long and we have tons of spectators along the way. People tend to gather where riders slow down like tight corners or climbs. Or people position themselves along long stretch of broad straight roads. If you are travelling in a mobile home, you want to park your vehicle at such places. People seldom wait on down slopes. Consequently, spectators will be packed tightly.

I would like to find a place where I can have enough elbow room but I am not so optimistic.

Another important thing to consider is the "escape route." What do I escape from? The after race traffic and the route blockage. I have a long way to go (about 700 km to Pau) and have no time to waste.

ASO has not yet published the detailed information of the route. I wish I had them right now with me so that I could plan more in details.

Vannes (the start) is closer to Pau than Plumelec is, which gives a bit of plight. Where will I be? Closer to the finish but far from Pau?

About 700 km to go. Riders will hop on airplanes to get to Pau. Other staff members have to drive there. I will also have to drive there. I won't be speeding nor will I be going fast. I will be arriving at Pau sometime in the next morning around 10:00. I will be forced to sleep a couple hours in the car seat on the way.

On the rest day, riders will be on a light training ride for about an hour or an hour and half. I would like to see them leave and come back to the hotel. After this I will leave for the next stop.


2) La Pierre Saint-Martin (Stage 10, Tue. July 14)
The next stop will be here.

I don't know whether the route to the top will be closed in the evening of the rest day. I will try to get there and drive uphill until I find a nice to place to park. I am not sure but I think the traffic could be cut off at Arette, the village at the foot of the climb.

This is the reason why I want to be there. The finish is located just a couple of kilometers from the Spain-France border. I have never been in Spain before.
lapierresaintmartin.jpg
(A clip of Garmin BaseCamp screen shot)


3) Col du Tourmalet (Stage 11, Wed. July 15)
There are two sides to the summit of Tourmalet. La Mongie side and the other. For the convenience sake, I will call the "other side" Super Barèges side because on the map there is a ski station by that name there.

I remember this Super Barèges side when I was there and the race route was climbing from this side. On the other hand I don't remember the La Mongie side at all. Perhaps I have never been there before.

I think that we, the spectators, can drive into the mountains up to La Mongie, where the Gendarmerie will stop all the traffic from going any further. I don't think they will cut the traffic off at Sainte-Marie-de-Campan, more than 10 km from the finish.

From Sainte-Marie-de-Campan, the foot of Plateau de Beille is about 200 km away. By the time I get there, it will be close to 22:00 or so.

4) Plateau de Beille (Stage 12, Thu. July 16)
I have been to Plateau de Beille twice already. Once (the first time I was there) I climbed on my bike halfway to the top. The second time I was there, I walked up almost to the top. I have never been to the top. This year, the third time, I plan to ride my bike to the top. I know that the last 1 or 2 km of the climb will not be available to us, the bikers. There is a chance that early in the morning before people start working I can get to the top without being ordered to get off the bike.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [TdF 2015 Watch Plan, the Pyrenees]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2015/05/08(金) 01:47:32|
  2. Tour de France
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TdF 2015 Watch Plan: Preamble

The plan for TdF 2015 will be rough, not as precise as that of 2014. Why? Because I have done my homework to make the travel as easy as possible.

The plan will be easily made than done last year as there is no need of booking ferry tickets. In 2013 and 2014 I had to book ferry tickets and in 2014 I had to drive on the right side of the road in the UK.

This year the Tour completes itself entirely within the Continental Europe. I have been to many or most of the important places featured in this year's version.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [TdF 2015 Watch Plan: Preamble]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2015/05/07(木) 20:17:58|
  2. Tour de France
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Thanks UPS Lux, the package from Power2Max arrived!

Finally, I received it. Inside the package, there were 1) Rotor 3D+ spider 110 mm, 2) the lockring and 3) the special tool for the lockring. Now I can proceed to convert the Rotor 3D+ crankset for BBright to BSA compatible crankset.

I need something else, though. A vise (fixed on a work bench) to fix the tool on to unlock the lockring. The tool is otherwise almost impossible to work with. The tool can be worked with a six-sided (32 mm or so) wrench but then it would take two men to do anything.


The tool was expensive but it turned out to be a very beautifully crafted device. It is basically a forged piece of metal and it was later CNC machined to make that intricate 12-pin claws
It was a difficult operation. The 12 claws did not tightly fit the holes. I had hard time. In the end, I wrapped the crank with a rag and hit it with a hammer. Finally it began to loosen by then, the backside of the spider arm had some sratches and my finger was a bit bloody. As I said earlier, it was a difficult operation involving some blood and sweat.

I then swapped the spider arms and the lockring nuts. Later at home I installed the crank on my Cervélo RS with a BSA BB with BSA30 cups. I think I successfully installed the Rotor 3D+ on my bike.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Thanks UPS Lux, the package from Power2Max arrived!]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. 2015/05/06(水) 16:18:27|
  2. Bikes and related things
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LIMITS power meter INDIGOGO referral competition

I have paid for the LIMITS power meter black version. It will be delivered to me sometime late this year or early next year (hopefully).

I have been wondering how long this LIMITS technology had been around. Obviously they first announced their products introduction to the market and asked those interested to pledge non-bindingly. I guess that they (LIMITS technology) promised to give those early birds greater discount when (or if) the product came into production.

The early bird price for those who signed in was less than 200 US dollars. I missed the opportunity as I did not know about the product until late April.

At the INDIEGOGO site, you can see the early bird qualifiers not so forthcoming as they (LIMITS technology) hoped. Those who pledged non-bindingly have not (so far) fulfilled their promises.

Obviously people at LT (from now on LIMITS technology will abbreviated this way to save typing work) were not so happy to see those shy people. On the other hand, people like me who knew about the product belatedly came to pitch in.

So now they (LT) decided to entice more people like me (other than early birds) to come forward. This was the background for this "Referral Competition Campaign," so I thought.

They say now that If I encourage someone I know to buy it for 249 or 259 US dollars (silver or black version), I will get 50 US dollars rebate. It will mean that I get the same price as the early birds.

Unfortunately, I don't have anyone who is very much interested in buying it. I wish I knew.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [LIMITS power meter INDIGOGO referral competition]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. 2015/05/06(水) 00:51:58|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Giro d'Italia starts soon and it is time to start something new.

The Giro is kicking off this coming Saturday and I know that the Dane, Lars Ytting Bak, is participating in it. I saw him this afternoon and had a brief talk. I wished him a good luck. He said he was leaiving Tomorrow, which is Wednesday, May 6th for Italy.


By the way, if you go visit TFR's official site, you can watch some beautiful pictures like shown below.
stroch-drawing.jpg
(This image belongs to TFR and photoed by Emily Maye. I did not ask TFR for permission to post this photo here but the drawing belongs to ME!!! She did not ask me if she could use my work - she did NOT have to, of course - but I don't mind at all. On the contrary, I am very happy that she took these photos.)

I did them!


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Giro d'Italia starts soon and it is time to start something new.]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2015/05/05(火) 14:25:04|
  2. Bike Races
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Ardenne (actually Limburg and Ardenne) week wrap up Part II

I have already written about 4. in the last entry.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Ardenne (actually Limburg and Ardenne) week wrap up Part II]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2015/05/02(土) 14:47:57|
  2. Bike Races
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Ardenne (actually Limburg and Ardenne) week wrap up.

The gists of these three races.

Amstel Gold Race: Good weather and an exciting finish.

la Fléche Wallonne: Good weather, good Belgian beers but bad crashes.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège: So-so weather, some changes and yet bad crashes.


1. There were changes in Place St. Lambert (Liège-Bastogne-Liège's Start)
2. I felt that there were fewer spectators than (there were) last year (or past years).
3. I did not see Damiano Cunego Fan Club members.
4. There was a moment when a revelation came to me about 'Fan Cubs' of bike racers'.


1. This year, poor riders had to ride additional 100 meters or so due to the changes made in the start area. The start gate was moved back about 100 meters from the past position. I don't know if this additional 100 meters had any impact on the outcome of the race.

2. I just felt so. Sad but true.

3. I just did not. Sad but true.

4. It occurred to me when avid supporters of Fabio Felline (one carrying a flag of "Fan Club Fabio Felline" on his back) came to the TFR team bus at Liège-Ans (the parking of Carrefour) despite the cold rain. FAN stands for Family (members) And Neighbors.

It is true to many supporters club. That is the case with Schleck Fan Club, Phillipe Gilbert Fan Club, Jasper Stuyven Fan Club and maybe others. Because when I see those members of the fan clubs above mentioned, I always see their parents and other family members and their neighbors. It just occurred to me so.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Ardenne (actually Limburg and Ardenne) week wrap up.]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2015/05/02(土) 14:40:21|
  2. Bike Races
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LIMITS, the cheapest (so far) power meter from UK

Well, I had to. I had to buy them (or it). The power meter is once piece but they come in two, one real device and the other, a dummy piece.

The biggest concern surrounding this power meter was "the Q factor" increase. It (or they to be exact) will certainly increase the, so-called, Q factor, the distance between your feet.

I suddenly decided to buy the product when I saw someone write that the increased Q factor could be minimized if one used the Speedplay pedals. Yes, I do use the Speedplay Zero. I can reduce the Q factor by sliding the cleats on the shoes outward, which I already have done.

I hope I won't have any problems with the increased Q factor when I use them.

Limits Technology says that they will deliver the goods starting December 2015, which is not too far away from now.

I am excited.

I was looking for a rear training wheel replacement as my training rear wheel was damaged during De Ronde van Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders. I was wondering if I should get better wheels other than Shiman WH-R501. Now that I have bought the power meter, I can positively say that I will just want to buy a dirt cheap replacement wheel. I don't care about the wheels anymore.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[LIMITS, the cheapest (so far) power meter from UK]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. 2015/05/02(土) 00:11:02|
  2. Bikes and related things
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  4. | コメント:0

Shit happens and I don't like it

Today, it was May first, so-called May Day and it is widely a holiday all over the world (at least in the Western world).

There was once a one-day race in Germany held in (and around) Frankfurt am Main, Rund um Henninger Turm (I don't recall the exact name but it was similar to this). It meant "Tour around the Henninger Tower."

As the name suggests, it was a race starting and finishing at the foot of the Henninger Tower, a tower built in the heart of a beer company, Henninger.

I went to this race several times at that time as I lived in Germany not far from Frankfurt am Main. As far as I recall, at least three or four times? I think I even went to see the race after moving to Luxembourg.

When the main sponsor, the Henninger Beer, withdrew its sponsorship, the race continued under different names.

Today it is called "Rund um Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt." This year, 2015, it was canceled of a terrorist threat (Shit NO. 1). What a shame! What a shame!

Police arrested the alleged perpetrators.

Today there was a first stage (prologue) of Elsy Jacobs in Luxembourg. I was going to watch the race but could not go there as I had to work (Shit NO. 2)

Tomorrow I will try to see part of the race but it will be difficult as I have to work (Shit NO. 3).

Sunday, the last day of the small stage race, I want to see the action but it will be also very difficult as I have to work (Shit NO. 4).

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Shit happens and I don't like it]の続きを読む
  1. 2015/05/01(金) 23:01:37|
  2. Bike Races
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