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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 problem with Limits power meter

Well, I have a problem. I may have a defective piece.

I have not fitted them (left side power meter and right side spacer) on my bike yet. I just screwed my pedals (Speedplay Zero) into them by hand. The left pedal went in smoothy as it should.

The right pedal did not go in. I could just one turn or so and then the pedal got stuck. I could not turn any more by hand and I should not use a wrench to force it in. It should go in to the end of the thread by hand. You should use the wrench just to tighten it in the end.

Do I have a defective spacer?

I wrote a message to the support by using the contact form on their site. I hope they will get back to me by Monday or Tuesday next week. I suggested that I was willing to send the suspected defective piece to them so that they could inspect it. I did not write that the shipping fee would be on them but they should expect it. I am not paying for it.

Today is Sunday, February 26.

I hope they send me a replacement piece soon.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[A problem with Limits power meter]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車用品 - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/02/26(日) 00:41:21|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Has it arrived finally?

Update -- almost a day later -- February 24

I had to go to one of the GLS's warehouses in Belgium to get the packet. It was in a town called Habay-la-Neuve. It was not too close to Luxembourg but I had to do it. I got it and now I can confirm that it was really LIMITs power meter.

On their site (www.uni-track.be or www.uni-track.lu) my packet was listed as "stored in a warehouse in Bascharage, Luxembourg" but it was not. I went there and learned that it was not there.




I missed the delivery attempts by a packet delivery company called GLS twice. I will stay home Tomorrow (Friday, February 24) to get it.

This GLS is a small company (or is it big?) based in Belgium but not in Luxembourg. It has warehouses in Belgium so I have to go to Belgium to pick the packet if I decide.

The content of the packet is unknown to me at this point but I can say that it will be (or must be) the Limits power meter.

It has been a long time.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Has it arrived finally?]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車用品 - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/02/23(木) 23:47:25|
  2. Bikes and related things
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European regulations or just popularity?

I am back from my car dealer. I was there to submit some papers necessary for the loan application. I decided to put € 10,000 of down payment down and pay the rest for 48 months. This way I have the safe of mind that my measly monthly income won't be depleted after paying the rent, this instalment and other necessary things and still have some left. Oh, yes I will have to pay for the car insurance, too.

I hope the load is approved. After all, € 10,000 of down payment is not so little. Anyways, when it is approved, I will sign the papers sometime next week.

My MX-5 will be delivered in June, early June, I guess. I bought the Winter tires complete with wheels. They will be delivered along with the car but how do I bring them home? Hahaha! This car is ridiculously tiny and I am not sure if I can find the space to load all four wheels on board. Maybe I have to do extra rounds to bring wheels home.

No TV in Europe?

I wondered why DVB-T(2) reception is not available on MX-5 in Europe? It is in Japan. Is it for safety regulations in Europe or just popularity issues? DVB-T is relatively widespread here in Europe but not so popular. DVB-T2 is replacing its predecessor now. People don't watch DVB-T here, instead they have cable TV hook-up everywhere.

I will be very happy to have that function on my MX-5.

I miss the time I was in living in Southern California driving a battered FIAT 124 Spyder. It was an old car even back then but it was fun. I had to scrap it as it was too old and did not function well in the end.

Mazda now makes the new FIAT 124 Spyder for FIAT. I did not consider buying this Italian brother because it is a bit pricier and first of all overall design does not appeal to me.

My MX-5 comes with a set of Samsonite bags.
MazdaMX-5Samsonite2.jpg
(image taken from my dealer's site)

MazdMX-5Samsonite.jpg
(image taken from my dealer's site: Click to magnify!)

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [European regulations or just popularity?]の続きを読む

テーマ:車選び - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/02/12(日) 00:21:42|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Mazda MX-5 (Miata) is my next car!

So you have it. I reveal the name of my next car (not yet sealed the deal) and it is Mazda MX-5 also known as Mazda Miata (or locally in Japan Roadstar).

Mazda2017jetblack.jpg

My car is the fourth generation one. It seems that in North America or in Japan ND is widely used to specify the generation (NA, NB, NC and ND). In UK it seems that people prefer to name them as Mark I, II, III and IV.

My choice is 1.5 L engine one with 6 MT, of course. Who would drive it with an automatic transmission? My choice of colour is black. This colour is listed as Jet Black in the Belgian brochure (Luxembourg, too).

In the German brochure (downloaded from www.mazda.de) it is called Onyxschwarz Metallic. In French brochure (downloaded from www.mazda.fr) it is called Jet Black Mica.

The equipment grade that I am going to have is called SKYCRUISE. It is top level layer of the series. It is in my taste too much but if I can afford it, I won't complain.

The equipment level is as I said it above 'too much'. It has the leather interior and other automatic things (Air Conditioner and so on). Its seats have heating built-in.

I am going to apply for a loan. It will be approved, I think. For that I am willing to pay some down payment.

Oh, my car comes with a set of Samsonite travel bags or something. They come in four pieces and they are specially designed for the boot space so that they all fit in the boot. Would I need them? I think I don't but they are there.


I have watched tons of YouTube videos featuring Mazda ND MX-5. Some are more informative than others. I watched videos made by people in the USA or UK simply because they are done in English.

Today I watched a couple of videos done by Japanese for the first time and notice something.

MZD Connect (the LCS screen entertainment/navigation/computer/etc. system) has some different feature in Japan. It can receive TV signals. The TV goes on the screen when the car is stationary for safety reasons. Actually, it is available when the parking brake is on. I guess it means the system can be easily fooled by some electrical devices.

It is very sad that the screen seems to have no 'normal' auxiliary input interface. It accept some types of music sources but not visual sources.

I know that it can certainly accept video input as one of the options includes camera for the rear view when backing up. It is hidden from us. I hope some people come up with the solution to hook up any video source into it.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Mazda MX-5 (Miata) is my next car!]の続きを読む

テーマ:車選び - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/02/10(金) 01:46:58|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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My Ford Ka requires some repair work and it costs fairy a lot (to me)

Now I am back from my car dealer and writing this.

So Yesterday I dropped off my car there and left. The man at the reception said they would look at it and let me know how much it would cost to fix it.

This morning I got the phone call and the other man at the reception told me (in French so I did not understand 100%) that they found two major-ish problems. In total it would cost me more than €700. Wow! I am not happy but I agreed that they could go ahead with ordering the required parts and that I could pick up my Ka and drive while I wait. I have now a service appointment next Tuesday.

So my business at the reception was done in 5 minutes or less.

After this I did not come home but stayed there to look at the car I wanted to have. There it was, my next car on display!

I did not enter the car because doing so without the sales representative will alert them. I did not provoke them. I just looked it closely from outside knowing that the sales personnel would/might show up to help me. Sure it worked. A man in his late fifties or sixties came to talk to me. I have seen this man several times and I knew (I did not know exactly but I had assumed) this man was in charge of the make of the car that I wanted.

I bought my Ford Ka from this car dealer but it also sells two (or three) makes. It is very convenient that the car I want is also handled by the same dealer that I have been a customer of.

I asked if he spoke English in French. He said that I spoke French and he spoke French, too so there would not be any problem. So I told me of my intention to own this car in front of us. I said I might want to have it after May as when my friends arrive this coming April I would still need the car.

He said it would be around June if I reserve the car now. Obviously he did not have any customers at hand at that time and he kindly invited me to his office to have a chat.

We had a chat. I asked the questions that I already came up with and got the answer. He said he would make an offer including the price that he could give me for the trade-in (my old Ford Ka).

Like I said (grammatically "as" I said), it is convenient to buy a car from the same place that knows exactly what my car is. He could access the detailed data of my Ford Ka on the computer on his desk. It did not take too long till he came up with the price he could offer for my trade-in. He printed a sheet of paper that carried some figures.

I liked them. He added that the current loan rate was low but it would go up after this coming Saturday.

What should I do? So I asked him to proceed. First he had to "reserve" the "spot" for the June delivery. I guess that they (the manufacturer) have designated numbers of cars that they can put on a ship that shuttles between Japan and Europe. Now my reserved car has secured a spot on the ship arriving in end of May or early June (presumably Hamburg, Germany).

I needed some paper to give him to finalize the paper work. It will be done on Friday. What have I done?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [My Ford Ka requires some repair work and it costs fairy a lot (to me)]の続きを読む

テーマ:車選び - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/02/08(水) 23:41:11|
  2. Ford Ka
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Is it about time? (for a new car)

The last entry was about this issue. A lot has happened since then. In fact just a day or two later at night after work I turned on the ignition and heard an electric monotonous tone. I looked down on the console panel and saw a bunch of warning lamps on and the text saying, "check engine."

In disbelief and with that 'this is not happening but it is just a glitch in the matrix' hesitation, I turned the engine off and turned it again. It was real. It was not clear what was wrong with the engine. I gently revved it and could see that the engine hesitated and was reluctant to rev. Something was wrong.

I could drive home and went to bed thinking that the next morning everything would be peachy. I was wrong. I knew I had to go see a mechanic and have the analyzed.

As this day was one of the days that I had to use my car to commute, I could not drive to the dealer where I bought the car, I drove to work. The next day is the same but I don't work in the afternoon so I can ask for some technical service.

I have been thinking about buying a new car. I drove close to 108,000 km in almost 6 years I drove a lot and my Ford Is was a very good buddy for the past years. It is a small car but it served me well. As it was small, it taught me the importance of packing light during my camping trips that spanned over 4 weeks. Quickly drying clothes and efficient cooking gears were two key points for the solution.

In other words I had to wash already scanty (thus easily drying up) clothes and underwear on every available occasion. I had to settle with dried pasta or the likes, dried meat stuff and canned or jarred food for nourishment on the way (or simply put anything that lasts without resorting to a fridge).

This is not a good eating habit but during the camping trip, there is no choice.

My camping packing has become lighter than ever. It did not happen in a day. I have "Thule's huge coffin-like roof box", "Elite Sanremo (first generation)" and "Saris Bike Porter Trunk 3-bike". I paid a lot for these.

There's always a challenge coming towards you. I mean the car that I want to have is even smaller (in terms of luggage space) than Ka. It has puzzled me a great deal to figure out how to put a bike, wheels tents, cooking gears and clothes in (or out) this car.

Here are the stuff that I took with me in 2015 to follow the Tour
a decent amount of cooking equipment (Trangia, Jetboil original/Helios and their gas canisters)
a bike (wheels, a helmet, shoes, bike wear and minimum tools)
tents (one for sleeping and another for shower)
stock of food and water for 3 to 4 days (when the stock got low, it was time to shop)
a sleeping bag and a pillow with an extra thin blanket
a MacBook (Wall and DC12 adapters, a mouse)
mini TV sets (Wall and DC12 adapters)
minimum toiletries stuff
a folding chair
a hair clipper (yes, hair grows)

and so on.

4 weeks is about a month and a lot happens!

It is very clear that my next car will make me leave a lot them home. Here are the list of stuff that I won't or cant leave home.
1) Stock of food and water
2) my bike, wheels, a helmet, shoes, bike wear, bear minimum tools and spare parts
3) tents and sleeping bag
4) cooking gear (Jetboil original and Trangia with gas burner)
5) clothes, underwear and toiletries kit
6) a MacBook (to use Garmin BaseCamp) with Wall/DC12 adapters
7) Android tablet with a DVB-T2 tuner
8) Wacaco Minipresso (a hand pump espresso extractor)
9) a folding chair
10) Did I forget something?

OK, it is pretty much the same as I took with me in 2015 (4-week camping tour). They are so essential and it is almost impossible to make the list shorter.

Should I stock up only French baguettes and Nutella and water so that I can leave all cooking gear home? No warm food? Stale bread every day, day in, day out? I don't like it.



In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Is it about time? (for a new car)]の続きを読む

テーマ:車選び - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/02/07(火) 23:29:00|
  2. Ford Ka
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Cars sold in Belgium (Luxembourg), France and Germany

Luxembourg is a strange country in my opinion. Maybe it is much like Lichtenstein or Monaco.

Lichtenstein relies on Switzerland for its financial, military (defence) and diplomatic functions. Lichtenstein's money is Swiss Franc.

Monaco is not really an independent country but a part of France in this respect. Anyway, this is not what I want to write about.

I have repeatedly written here that Luxembourg relies on Belgium in many things. Or should I say Belgium want to make business in Luxembourg.

I wrote long time ago that iTunes Store Luxembourg (online and there is no physical Apple Store in Luxembourg) is actually a Belgian iTunes Store. The strangely fractioned prices show that the Luxembourg prices are just merely a recalculated (because of the slight difference in TVA or VAT in English) version of those of Belgium's.

I also wrote that many if not all automobile distributors (like Ford.lu, etc.) are avatars of Belgian distributors. So on the list price table cars have ridiculous prices like €39,248 (a car randomly I picked up). Obviously in Belgium it is priced at like €40,000 or €39,990. I did not bother to check.

Dealership option prices are neatly trimmed but some factory option (paint or so) prices are still fractioned.

I am doing some catalogue reading for my Project X, that is selecting the right car for me.

The automobile that I have in mind has three grades (equipment level differences not concerning the engines) in Luxembourg and Belgium (essentially the same).

It has 3 grades in France. It has 4 grades in Germany.

I am happy to know that the Luxembourg offers the lowest prices among our its neighbouring countries. The price difference between those in Belgium and Luxembourg is just a matter of the VAT tax rate.

If I were living in France or Germany, I would have given up the car I have in mind now.

One thing I noticed while reading the details of the PDF catalogue: the lowest grade did not offer leather steering wheel. Oh my Jesus! I want a real leather steering wheel covering but don't want those unnecessary gadgets. Do I have to choose the middle grade just for the steering wheel with leather?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Cars sold in Belgium (Luxembourg), France and Germany]の続きを読む

テーマ:車選び - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/02/02(木) 22:41:56|
  2. Project X
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Bike racks from Sea Sucker

I added a new category for my blog "Project X" and it means the project I am working on. A new automobile that will replace my current Ford Ka that is 6 years old by next March.

Project overview:
I have an automobile in mind but I have some problems. It does not have much space in and out.

This car is 100 % guarantied to be fun. There is no doubt about it. I don't know how to put my bike on his car. I don't know if I can take friends around when they visit Europe for road cycling races. There is simply no space for anything. I have done a lot of surfing on the Internet.

After a couple of days I found some bike racks and luggage racks that might solve my plight. Well almost. They are not cheap.

The key player in this game is Sea Sucker, a Florida based company that makes "kick-ass marine accessories, bike racks and board racks for cars, and small electronics mounts for holding iPads, iPhones and similar gadgets. (quote from their site)"

Komodo: (pictures also from their site)
seasucker-komodo01.jpg
(image 1)

seasucker-komodo02.jpg
(image 2)
This Komodo is a perfect solution for my bike plight. It is light and takes only a couple of minutes to install it on the trunk lid. It is lacking some security features (locking mechanism or so) but the ease of installation and un-installation offsets the lack of them. I mean you can put the bike and the rack away inside the car while yo are away. It comes with a price tag, a really hefty price tag.


This Revo Convertible Luggage Rack is from the Great Britain. It also features the vacuum suction cups and solves my luggage plight.
mercedes-slk-luggage-rack-revo-rack.jpg
(image 3 from boot-rack.co.uk)

There is a slightly cheaper solution to the product above.
CLK-Coupe-Spring-Black.jpg
(image 4 from boot-rack.co.uk)


I can not afford a Komodo. It is too expensive. Can I somehow imitate it or find a substitute?

sanremo-bicycle-carrier-elite-bike-transport.jpg
(image 5 from www.elite-it.com)
I have a set of Sanremo (not the one in this image but its previous generation product) with me.

SanremoTourlock.jpg
(image 6 from www.elite-it.com)
This Sanremo Tour Lock normally attaches to the roof rack as shown in this image.

First I thought of combining Revo Convertible Luggage Rack with Elite Sanremo Tour Lock. It might work. And then I thought of combining Revo Convertible Luggage Rack with Elite Sanremo that I l aready have. Will it work?

The combination of RCLR and Sanremo Tour Lock should work although the rail (of aluminium) may go whipping under load and road vibration.

One thing is sure; this RCLR and Sanremo combination needs some extra improvised parts to work. The rear wheel won't land on the rear wheel rack but the BB bottom and/or chainring will. I have to devise some adapter made of soft cushy material to marry them.

This way (RCLR and my old Sanremo marriage) will save me a huge amount of spending.
luggage-rack-sanremo.jpg

If I could fit a trailer hitch on the candidate automobile, I can use one of these. Alas the car maker does not offer that option. Actually a third party manufacturer offer a trailer hitch. I found two of them. One is available from a company in Germany. I don't know how much it will cost. I am not making the inquiry for the moment.
836-euro-axis-3-bike.jpg


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Bike racks from Sea Sucker]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車用品 - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/02/02(木) 17:26:51|
  2. Project X
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Smart was a very nice car

My current car that I am driving now was purchased in March 2011. That means that I have been driving it for almost 6 years. The odometer reads almost 108,000 km. Wow! You know that the Earth (our planet) has only 40,000 km in circumference. I have (virtually) driven more than twice around the earth.

The car is fine.

I chose to buy the Ford Ka because;
1) a diesel fuel engine was available
2) more inexpensive than others in the same class / category
3) small (in overall length) meaning that I can park in a tight place
(like crowded road side of moutains during TdF)

These were essential. After all, all of my free time (like paid vacation) was spent on chasing bike races. It is my passion.

Now I am thinking of (not immediately but in near future) buying the next vehicle for me. What should I buy? Or what can I buy?

What I liked about Ford Ka (RB9) and did not like about it.
Like
1) fuel efficiency /economy (great milage)
2) its compactness

Did not like
1) seat

The seat is very very terrible. There is no (almost) support at all! I find myself holding on to the steering whenever I go in the corner. In addition I put my left knee against the door to keep myself in seat.

The seat of the Smart I used to drive in Japan was excellent. It had support. It did not have any reclining (well almost none) function but it was the best seat that I have sat in my automobile life.

What do I look in a car?

I like;
1) small cars (in overall length and in weight)
2) inexpensive cars (well, I cannot afford expensive cars, thus Ford, hahaha)

I used to drive the Smart (its first generation and at that time it was not call "Four Two"). It was small and not too expensive. You see? I have been consistent.

I am willing to spend extra money to have a leather steering wheel. It is the most important and intimate part in the vehicle that you drive.

I am also willing to spend extra money to have a seat that supports. It is also the most important and intimate part in the vehicle that you drive.


My next car must have a supportive driver's seat.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Smart was a very nice car]の続きを読む

テーマ:車関係なんでも - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/02/02(木) 02:03:26|
  2. Ford Ka
  3. | トラックバック:0
  4. | コメント:0

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