Thursday, April 20th 2017 on the climb of la Redoute

I drove to La Redoute this morning arriving there around 08:40. I first went to the Carrefour Market Aiwaille (pronounced somewhat like EYE-Y-U) at the foot of the climb. Customarily I buy lunch and some beer called La Redoutable (please refer to this URL https://laredoutable.be). They (bottles of beer 330 ml) were on a special sale. Buy 8 bottles and get a logo glass! I bought a carton (24 bottles) and got 3 logo glasses. I have seen them on various supermarket shelves but here, only here I saw this special deal. Who would miss this kind of opportunity? I did not.

I did not get any lunch but got a big fat bottle of mineral water to dilute the paint (and drink).

I saw a BMC rider with number 71 on the bike. Was it Greg Van Avermaet? He came alone with no Team support car behind him.

I met Bram Tankink (Team Lotto NL - Jumbo) shortly afterwords. I easily recognized him immediately. He also came alone with no Team support car behind him. I yelled at him, "Do you want your name on the road?" He said that he would appreciate it.

Actually, this is the second time (two years ago he also came alone) I did it for him. I think I will meet him again on Friday when the whole team come together. I will shout at him that I have done what I promised to do.

Two fully AG2R-La-Mondiale clad men came up the climb. They also rode the team issue Factor bikes but they are not one of the team riders. I guess they were avid cycling fans who work for AG2R or so. They were close to the team in some way.

One of them gave me a bidon. I thanked him. They came down shortly after and the guy reminded me that I owed him. He demanded that I paint AG2R on the climb. I surely fulfilled my duties.

Team Sunweb came with a Team support car (MINI Clubman) following them. I guess almost all of the riders came. Some of them asked me to paint Sunweb on the climb. The support car driver (one of the team directors, I assume) also pleaded. I said to him, "I will do it but in return for bidons or something."

He got out of the car and gave me 4 (four) bidons. I promised him to do what he paid me for.

I did multiple Sunweb painting. One of them reads, "I love (pictogram: a big heart) Sunweb (Thx 4 bidons)." As you can see 4 stands for "for" and "four."

Some feminine teams came. I recognized, Orica-Scot, S.C. Michela Fanini, Wiggle-Hig5 and possibly Astana Women's Team.

Orica-Scot girls came on the bike with a support car behind them. I waved at them and they waved back at me. One of the riders (in a National Champion Jersery so it must be Katrin Garfoot) waved at me so amiably and cheerfully that I felt I owed her her name on the climb. At that time I could not find out who she was. Now I know (later the same day), I will paint her name on the climb on Friday.

S.C. Michela Fanini girls also came on the bike. They came up and down. One of them demanded her name on the climb. He shouted with a gesture, "Mo-ni-ca." I shouted back, "with C?" I painted Monica but later found out that her name was Monika. Monika Kiraly from Hungary. I will correct it on Friday.

Wiggle-High5 riders came up in two support cars. I waved at them and they waved back at me. One of them must have been my compatriot Mayuko Hagiwara. I felt that I owed them also so I painted all of girls names.

I saw Astana cars but did not see the girls. Were they inside the car hiding?

I painted for the spectators (staying there in motorhomes). I got three beers for the work. You may find my work on TV.

Marianne Vos, Nina (who? the woman who asked me said he was a rider), Romain Bardet

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Thursday, April 20th 2017 on the climb of la Redoute]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/04/20(木) 21:31:57|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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A dash cam and (so-called) the Ardenne Classics

A dash camera wanted

I have been looking for a dash camera for a while.

There was a legal issue in Luxembourg and a few years ago I read that installing a dash cam on board a car while driving in Luxembourg may get the driver in trouble with the police. Data protection laws or something had some paragraphs that might or might not prohibit car drivers from recording the view with a onboard camera.

I don't really know if this issue has been resolved. I guess it is OK to carry a dash cam onboard to record the view while driving in Luxembourg by now.

I have experimented with my tablet (Archos Oxygen 70) to see if it is usable as a dash cam. It is OK. A 7-inch tablet is a bit bulky attached to the windshield but it can be done.

Now that my tablet has another job to do, namely being a DVB-T2 receiver, I want to have a dedicated dash cam in the future.

So-called the Ardenne Classics

Amstel Gold Race, La Fleche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège week is coming.

I am scrambling to replan the agenda. This year there are two major changes to this semi-classic Dutch race.

First, there is a women's race taking place along men's race. Secondly, the last lap leading to the finish around the Cauberg area has been changed and won't pass the climb of Cauberg.

Not passing the Cauberg for the last lap is a bit of disappointment and this change will or may favor sprinters but this change is still acceptable.

For me the women's race is a bit of problem. Not because I don't like it and on the contrary I love it but the road closure schedule will change and I have to look into the changes closely to avoid ... to be added later...

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [A dash cam and (so-called) the Ardenne Classics]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/04/14(金) 15:04:52|
  2. Bike Races
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A space saver tire has arrived and Brabantse Pijl

DPD fiasco (?) and the 125/70/16 space saver tire/wheel set

Yesterday on coming home (an hour before midnight between 12th and 13th of April, 2017), I checked the e-mal to find out that despite my warning e-mail (I guess totally ignored), DPD Luxembourg attempted to deliver the tire/wheel set to me on Wednesday.

I was not there, therefore it did not reach me.

The email from DPD was to tell me what they had done and to tell what I could do to get it. I indicated (via their web form) that I would like to have it deposited at one of their pickup locations in Luxembourg city.

Not knowing for sure that my wish had been granted or it had been already deposited, I dropped in on the designated place.

There it was! I picked it up and came home by bus. How much does it weight? My body weight scale tells me that it weighs about 11.4 kg (25 pounds).

On inspection I found that the tire had been used slightly. Maybe the previous owner of this 2005 Toyota MR2 was not so luck (and had occasions to use it). Otherwise it is clean. It came with a neat bag (cinching half cover?). I am happy with it and I am sure it will fit my MX-5.

De Brabantse Pijl

to be added later

DVB-T2 tuners for Android devices

I have two (seemingly) different devices for the same purposes (to watch DVB-T or DVB-T2 broadcasting on Android devices). Here are their overviews, features and Pros and Cons.

to be added later (with photos)

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [A space saver tire has arrived and Brabantse Pijl]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/04/13(木) 14:48:49|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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No roaming in EU, Goodbye my Ka and DVB-T2 tuner 2

Added a few passages to correct what I had written

De Brabantse Pijl

It is before midnight and it is currently Tuesday, 11th of April 2017. Tomorrow morning by 10:00, I will be in Leuven, Belgium. I have been to this race three times and this year it will be my fourth.

I know Jasper Stuyven's fan club will be there as they were last year. Last year I was there with a friend of mine but we were not cheering for any particular riders. This year Philippe Gilbert will be there and we will be for him.

No roaming starting June 15th, 2017

It is a done deal now and we (European mobile users) can use our phone across the borders just as we do in our own country of residence. No roaming charges anymore! There are some strings attached, of course. Mobile companies (of bigger countries) will keep monitoring foreign SIM users to see if they are not exceeding the 'normal' usage.

For me, it will be more Internet connection time in Belgium, the Netherlands and France while following the bike road races. I am using a prepaid SIM so it (no roaming) will not make a big difference but still I am happy.

Goodbye my Ka

I will give my Ka to the dealer as a trade-in by the end of this month. I will be carless during May until I get my new car in June.

It start making rattling noises while moving. It seemed that it came from the front right (passenger's side) area. I knew that it had something to do with rotating parts as the noise went faster as the car drove faster. I also suspected it had something to do with the drive shaft as the noise came when I let the accelerator pedal go and the noise got quieter (almost non audible) when I engage the accelerator. It had something to do with loose parts.

Yesterday (Monday) I drove to my dealership to deposit the car for inspection. I had a phone call later that day to tell me that they found nothing suspicious.

Today (Tuesday) I went to pick my Ka up and the man told me that there were no major mechanical problems except that the drive shaft did have bigger 'play.' He said that it could be causing the noise and that if I wanted he would order some new parts.

I said that in less than 2 weeks I would be giving up this car for a trade so I did not want to do any repair wok. He understood.

DVB-T2 tuner 2 (two as in Grease II)

I lost a brand new DVB-T2 tuner (for Android devices) in Compiegne, France last Saturday.

(Added entry)

I did not! Wednesday morning as I was going to get in the car to leave for Belgium, something caught my attention; I noticed something. There was this DVB-T2 1 (one as in Terminator 1) hanging from the roof rack on the driver's side.

I think I definitely dropped it in Compiegne as I was getting off and someone who had parked beside me picked it up and kindly hanged it up there. It stayed there Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for 4 days and I did not notice it and I drove around 600 km without dropping it. Amazing!

(Original entry)
Today I picked up a brand new DVB-T2 tuner (for Android devices) at the local post office. I had order 2 of them separately from different sellers. I would test it if it can be controlled via "Air TV II" app.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [No roaming in EU, Goodbye my Ka and DVB-T2 tuner 2]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/04/13(木) 13:57:29|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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Paris-Roubaix, here I come!

It is midnight between April 7th and 8th. Now at this moment the clock shows 00:00 on my MacBook. It is Saturday, 8th of April 2017, AD of course.

I am leaving for Compiègne in several hours. This time I am staying overnight in Compiègne. I did not find a cheap hotel room so I will stay at a camping ground. This means I have to bring my tent, sleeping bag and warm jackets to keep me warm during the night.

The weather forecast for the weekend is fine and this will make the morning particularly cold.

I have to pack quickly but lightly. It is only one night.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Paris-Roubaix, here I come!]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/04/07(金) 23:19:37|
  2. Bike Races in France
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DVB-T2 tuner (for Android), LIMITS support and Paris-Roubaix



I am driving to Compiegne, France early Tommorow (Saturday, 08/04/2017 - European way, 04/08/2017 - maybe American way). I will be there before noon. I have not booked a hotel room but I will rather go to a local camping ground not far away from Compiegne.

Sunday, I will following (and overtaking) the race all the way to Roubaix, France. I am excited!

LIMITS support

LIMITS support responds! LIMITS Technology lives!

I sent a support request a long time ago and now I received their response. It was a very friendly reply and it was so nice of them to send me a replacement part swiftly. I thanked them for it. How nice of them!

I wish those guys a gook luck. They need it and I need Bluetooth support and newer and improved firmware in return.

There is no irony intended here, really. I patiently wait for their progress and I sincerely wish them a good luck with their products.

DVB-T2 tuner
A DVB-T2 tuner has arrived. One of the tuners that I ordered on ebay. Both of them are coming from China. They are for Android devices like my own tablet. DVB-T2 (European standard, I guess) has begun to spread in France and Germany. In Benelux countries, as far as I know, the implementation of this new compression standard has been delayed.

I noticed last summer (July, 2016) that I could not use a DVB-T device in Paris, France. It was frustrating. Later I found out that France has begun replacing DVB-T with DVB-T2 starting the end of 2015. Paris, the capital of the country, has been given, no doubt, the priority and I think by Summer 2016 DVB-T ceased to exist in that area.

The population coverage statistics may tell you that France has made a great progress by Summer 2016. The replacement has been gradual.

Germany has taken a drastic measure. It has began broadcasting in DVB-T2 this April nationwide.

I am guessing that I have less luck catching a digital terrestrial signal in France with my old DVB-T devices by now. So I had to buy T2-ready devices.

I have done some preliminary tests and found that it worked, at least it seemed. I have to get to the area where either T1 (retrospectively) or T2 signals are reachable to see it it really works (or works badly or fairly).

Space saver tire

Finally I found it. A space saver tire for my next car, Mazda MX-5 (ND)! I got up early this morning (a nature's call) and glanced at the items that I am following on ebay on my tablet. "125/70/16" was the text string that I put on the ebay app. There was an item from the UK and it said it was a space saver tire taken from Toyota MR2 2005. I could see it had 4 bolts holes but the description did not mention its pitch circle. Is it 100 mm, 96 mm or else?

Later in the afternoon when I had time, I googled for "MR2 2005 wheel" and found out that it had indeed 4 x 100 mm system. I immediately purchased it.

The price was very agreeable considering the shipping fees and a nice cover for the wheel. I am happy.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [DVB-T2 tuner (for Android), LIMITS support and Paris-Roubaix]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/04/07(金) 15:52:29|
  2. Bike Races in France
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RVV 2017 and a parcel from the UK

RVV 2017

It was a very exciting race.

A packet from UK

I drove to DHL's facility near VdL (Ville de Luxembourg, that is the capital city of Luxembourg) to pick up my packet on my way to work.

DHL began (I guess recently) notifying the recipients about the incoming packets by SMS and it prompts the recipients to react. I had choices like picking it up at my selected points (only one available as already described above) or changing the delivery destination.

A big box but light. I opened up the big box to find three items exactly as I had ordered from Evans Cycles. I was a bit taken a back when I extracted the box supposedly containing the Saris Bones Solo as it was so light like it had nothing inside. WTF? Excuse my language but this was my first impression. I did not open the box as I was on my way to work.

Later I did open up the box containing the Saris Bones Solo inside the box already mentioned above. There it was! I found the black plastic bike rack. I found out that it was hollow, in other words, it had nothing inside in terms of structure. I was amazed and wondered it is robust enough. Then I realized that it was supposed to support only one bike.

I was really surprised with its lightness because I owed a Saris Bike Porter (3 bikes) and it was kinda heavy. I am sure that I made the right choice for my (not yet arrived) Mazda MX-5.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [RVV 2017 and a parcel from the UK]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/04/05(水) 16:37:09|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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