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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

Fall vacation plans and TdF 2018

https://velopeloton.com/2018-tour-de-france-route/

ASO has already announced that the Tour de France starts in Vendée region. The first three stages have been made public and we know where they start and where they end including the rough routes. The fourth stage's start is made public but the finish is not yet announced.

I have to be very careful, very careful. I have to observe the official site regularly in order NOT to miss the sign.

It was 2011 that I had a very traumatic experience at the beginning of the event (the Tour de France). The team presentation ceremony was held in one section of a theme park called "lu Puy du Fou." The entrance to that particular section was free but an invitation ticket was required. We, who wanted to attend the show, were supposed to register online. It was a simple procedure and it was rather unnoticeably written on ASO's site. I did not notice the notice. Consequently I did not have the invitation.

This time (in 2018) we don't know if the team presentation ceremony will be held at the same location but I will be very very careful not to miss the cue.

Stage 1 Noirmountier-en-l'île - Fontenay-le-Comte
Stage 2 Mouilleron-Saint-Germain - la Roche-sur-Yon
Stage 3 TTT Cholet - Cholet
Stage 4 La Baule -

These are the officially revealed stage information.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Fall vacation plans and TdF 2018]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. 2017/08/30(水) 23:20:21|
  2. Bike Races
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Sion (Valais) Switzerland

CantonsSwitzerlandWikipedia.jpg

CantonsSwitzerlandWikipedia2.jpg
(Please click on the image to magnify if you like)

Those two images are clips from Wikipedia site describing the cantons of Switzerland.

The bottom one shows the cantons of Uri and Ticino, which include Hospental and Airolo, two foot towns of St. Gotthard Pass (or Passo del San Gottardo).

The top one show the canton of Valais, which includes Sion.

The predominantly spoken languages are shown in the last column. On the table label they are marked as "Official Languages."

I have been to these cantons several (at least two or three) times before. I know what it is like to be there. You expect people to speak two or three languages. The predominant language in the local area and most likely German (and optionally English by those who work in tourism industry more or less).

Once I was in Ticino and went to a camping site. The place was run by an Italian (by tradition) family with a typical German family name, Schröder (at that time the name of Chancellor of Germany). The madame spoke Italian and German (but not English). I communicated with her by means of the latter.

I have been Crans-Montana (not far from Sion) twice during two separate Tour de Swiss trips. Almost all the road signs and ads were in French as I remember them. I could speak to the locals in English and most of them understood me perfectly as I vaguely remember.



I got curious; I was checking the general (average temperatures-high/low in October in Switzerland) conditions of what weather I would expect in Switzerland if I decided to stay extra few days on my way home from Italy early this coming October, particularly along the route I take to Bergamo Italy or not far away from it where beautiful climbs not too busy with passing automobiles.

I searched the candidates on the net and found these names St. Gotthard, Col du Sanetsch and Grosse Scheidegg. They were among the top five most voted favorite climbs in Switzerland according to at least two sites that I could find.

First of all, St. Gotthard pass is exactly where I have to pass through anyway one way or another (one way being the long foul smelling tunnel and the other open-air good old mountain pass just above it). How convenient! According to the description of the climbs (the pass has two sides, of course), there won't be too much of traffic since serious business-like vehicles will go through the much faster tunnel.

Secondly, Col du Sanetsch is also said to be breathtakingly beautiful and since the road leads to a dead end lakeside path, the traffic would be also light.

Scheidegg is supposed to be a beautiful place but I figured that it would too long for a ride in October (the day is getting shorter).

So I was leaning to first two places for the destinations for the side trip.

I have to know what the weather would be like in early October in those places. If it is too cold there is no point of visiting there for a bike ride.

Internet, or the Net is a wonderful invention. I will get the information within a few seconds.

The weather of Switzerland in October (in general) are generally with daytime highs like 5 degrees (mountain passes) to 20 degrees Celsius and nighttime lows varying from -1 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius. Surprisingly, the daytime temperatures were the highest around Sion. So Sion seems to be the best bet when it comes to choosing the trip destination for outdoor activities in October in Switzerland.

I may stay two nights in Sion (there's a youth hostel, auberges de jeunesse in French). There's also one in Crans-Montana.

I will check the sunset time in those areas in early October, too just in case. I have to be at the youth hostel before it gets too dark.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Sion (Valais) Switzerland]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2017/08/28(月) 22:23:10|
  2. Things European
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Project Milano - Torino / IL Lombardia trip Part III

What to do and how to do them.

I am visiting Italy for 5 days (4 nights to sleep in Bergamo) and enjoying these two road race events. I plan ahead of the time what to do and how to do them in order to do them effortless and cleverly at the same time saving money and energy.

Milano - Torino Thursday, October 5. 2017
Start: Milano (Milan)
Finish: Torino (Turin)

1. I am going to visit the Start in Milan.
2. I am going to drive to the Finish in Torino.

The race makes two rounds in a circuit course. The climb leading to the finish is about 5 km long and quite steep. I am going to climb up to where not so many crazy people are waiting for the race to come.

I will bring Blink S2 (supposed to be by my side by then) and a couple of TV tuners. I will walk up but climb down on this electric longboard.

My concern is where to park my car. It is Italy. I don't want to have someone vandalize my car. I will not bring my bike to this race event on Thursday. If I could fine a parking manned by attendants, I will pay for the parking.


Il Lombardia Saturday, October 7. 2017
Start: Como
Finish: Bergamo

1. I will not drive to the Start in Como.
2. I will drive directly to "Valico di Valcava."
3. I will drive back to the Finish in Bergamo.

There are very interesting spots on the course like Madonna del Ghisallo, an iconic must-visit-once-in-life place for any cyclists and cycling race fans. I will use the day between these two events (Friday, October 6) to visit this place. I will also check out the "Valico di Valcava" climb on Friday to see if I can find a suitable parking at the foot of the climb.

As a side note, I will write this. Torino is a home for FIAT. FIAT stands for "Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino." I may (or may not) see a lot of FIAT automobiles there. I may also see numbers of Fiata, or latest FIAT 124 Spiders there. They are brothers to my Mazda MX-5.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Project Milano - Torino / IL Lombardia trip 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. 2017/08/27(日) 01:31:30|
  2. Bike Races
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Project Milano - Torino / IL Lombardia trip Part II

Memorandum

I have this URL as one of my favorite bookmark items (www.climbbybyke.com). I was planning even before the actual race watch plans were complete for the post-race-watch activities. My idea was to climb some climbs in Switzerland if the weather permits.

Here are three candidates. I will look into them closely later.

St. Gotthard Pass (Passo del San Gottardo)
http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Passo-del-San-Gottardo&qryMountainID=5503
http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Passo-del-San-Gottardo&qryMountainID=5502

Col du Sanetsch
http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Col-du-Sanetsch&qryMountainID=9571
http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Col-du-Sanetsch&qryMountainID=5309

Grosse Scheidegg
http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Grosse-Scheidegg&qryMountainID=5367
http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Grosse-Scheidegg&qryMountainID=5368

Checking the weather in October in Switzerland, I found that Sion ... to be added later ...


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Project Milano - Torino / IL Lombardia trip Part II]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2017/08/25(金) 14:09:33|
  2. Bike Races
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Project Milano - Torino / IL Lombardia trip

I am planning this small trip to Italy via Switzerland early October to watch 2 road bike race events and enjoy riding some of the climbs myself.

Here's the rough itinerary.

Sunday October 3 (Binche-Chimay-Binche, Belgium)

Monday October 4
Leaving for Italy early in the morning around 04:00

Entering Switzerland and buying the highway vignette around 12:00

Arriving at Gotthard tunnel entrance around 14:00

Leaving the highway and passing the old pass

Arriving Italy around 17:00

Arriving at the B&B after negotiating the Monday evening traffic in Milan and Bergamo around 20:00

Tuesday October 5
Milano-Torino race day

Leaving the B&B for Milan around 06:00

Arriving at the start in Milan 07:30

I am not sure if I am going to drive all the way to Torino.

Wednesday October 6
Check out the parcours (race course) of the next day's event on bike? Visiting some of the sightseeing spots like Madonna del Ghisallo or so?

Thursday October 7
Il Lombardia race day

Friday October 8
B&B checkout

No plans for the moment. I may stay a bit in Italy or drive back to Switzerland and do something. [Project Milano - Torino / IL Lombardia trip]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. 2017/08/24(木) 20:37:18|
  2. Bike Races
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Cerium Oxide and late vacation

Cerium Oxide

Cerium Oxide is the chemical compound sold as an agent for polishing the surface of glass.

Why am I talking about it?

Because I stupidly made scratches on the driver's side window of my Mazda MX-5. I am an idiot and I am very unhappy about it.

I looked for the solution for my error and now I had to resort to this method; scrubbing the glass with this compound until those nasty scratches go away.

I searched for it on Amazon (Germany) and ordered a kit (polishing agent / polishing buff). I will use my battery operated hand drill to polish the glass. I hope those fine but nasty scratches vanish.

I will additionally polish the front windscreen and rear glass to make them clean and free of any stain and then apply a fresh coat of old Rain X.

Late vacation

Better 'late' than never!

I am now planning my vacation trip. I may be driving to Italy

03 Oct
Binche - Chimay - Binche / Mémorial Frank Vandenbroucke (BEL)
(http://www.binche-chimay-binche.be/fr/accueil.html)
Detailed information not yet available

05 Oct
Milano-Torino (ITA)
(http://www.milanotorino.it/en/)
Participating teams
AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
BAHRAIN – MERIDA (BRN)
BMC RACING TEAM (USA)
CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM (USA)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
ORICA – SCOTT (AUS)
QUICK – STEP FLOORS (BEL)
TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN (SUI)
TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO (NED)
TEAM SKY (GBR)
TEAM SUNWEB (GER)
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA)
UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAE)

ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC (ITA)
BARDIANI CSF (ITA)
COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS (FRA)
NIPPO – VINI FANTINI (ITA)
WILIER TRIESTINA – SELLE ITALIA (ITA)


07 Oct
Il Lombardia (ITA)
(http://www.ilombardia.it/en/)


Is it OK to drive with summer tires in Switzerland in October?
switzerlandwintertirelaw.jpg

This tells me that I don't really have to put on winter tires in Switzerland. Nice! I hope it does not snow or gets too cold to be icy in early October!

I have to buy a vignette for 2017 that will be valid only for 2 months until the end of the year in October.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Cerium Oxide and late vacation]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. 2017/08/24(木) 15:23:31|
  2. Bike Races
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Waiting for the rain and Android 8.0 Oreo

Android 8.0 Oreo

My Google (LG) Nexus 5X is guarantied to receive this update, Android 8.0 Oreo (and subsequent 8.* bug fix updates). After this 8.* updates, Google won't promise any more updates like Android 9.0 or so. It is OK.

999 km and more

mx5-999km.jpg

The odometer hit 999 km this evening on my way home from work. Now it is over 1,000 km. I am planning to do the break-in for the first 1,5000 km or so. I have not revved past 3,000 rpm yet. After hitting 1,500 km, I will gradually rev the engine and start to hear the engine roar.

Today, I had a small experiment inside my car. I brought my 4G USB Modem (mobile phone network modem) inside the car and connected the Mazda Connect to the Internet.

I learned that this way I could get some information from the net while driving. For example, the navigation software can get the weather and traffic info. The gas price info did not function but technically it should work somewhere where this info is available on the net.

It might be a good idea to have this small 4G USB Modem on board when travelling in Luxembourg. This 4G modem can connect to the net inside Luxembourg. I don't think it can roam outside Luxembourg. It is just for fun and not too practical.

Speaking of the navigation software onboard, I will check to see if the map updates are available. The URL I need is http://www.nng.com/partner-materials so says the navigation software's about information screen. If I remember correctly, the map and its updates are free for the first three years and after this I have to pay some dough to get the further updates. I am not sure if I will pay after three years as my Garmin Nüvi device is the main navigation device. I don't use the Mazda Connect navigation software for any important routing.

mx5navigation-website.jpg

Speaking of navigation software, my iOS app, TomTom Western Europe, will have another major update in September (supposedly then updated for iOS 11 platform) and after this TomTom will drop the support for this app. They are gently urging old users (of those various region specific navigation software versions) to upgrade to TomTom Go mobile or whatever it is called. As a bonus for us (old users), the first 3 years we get the software license for free. After this we have to pay (about €50 for further 3 years or so).

I will see. My iPad mini 2 has TomTom Western Europe on it. As my iPad mini 2 is a wifi only version, it can not navigate at all. I am considering getting a Bluetooth (connection capable) GPS signal receiver.

It will be nice if I can use cheaper GPS receiver but iOS does not allow it. For iOS devices, only expensive GPS receivers will do the trick.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Waiting for the rain and Android 8.0 Oreo]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/08/23(水) 14:13:33|
  2. Android devices
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Dear Diary

To be written later!

Fuses or confusing

medium-small-mini.jpg

I was at a local DIY type store (a smallish store) the other day to look for some small electric parts needed to wire a small electric gadget on my beloved MX-5.

First I looked for them on the shelves in the electric parts area and found none. I moved to automobile stuff area and found them but they were sold in a package of assorted pats. I did not want to pay more for unneeded things so I settled for a small package that included not so optimal parts.

My purpose was to hook up this thing to the fuse box located just next to my left foot.

This thing is a 12V DC to 5V DC USB converter which has two USB ports.
12vtousb5vcomverter.jpg

This thing is a splitter from the fuse.
fuse-fork-wire.jpg

I was dismayed when I found out that my MX-5 uses different fuses than "Medium" type. I have to come back to measure the fuse to know exactly which type those fuses are. I was a fool not to check the size of them before I purchased the splitters.

fusesmx5.jpg
According to the PDF manual, MX-5 seems to use "Mini" type fuses.

Torque wrench

Just next to the small wiring parts that I purchased in the previous story, there was a torque wrench meant to be used for changing the tires (or wheels) on an automobile. It was kind of cheap with an extension and two sockets (17 / 19 mm). It was around €35. I did not buy it. I am not sure of the quality of those eminently inexpensive tools.

In Japanese:続きをどうぞ [Dear Diary]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/08/21(月) 00:23:26|
  2. Diary
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What would you do if you had a month of vacation?

Cabriolets!

fourcabriolet.jpg

I have had this impression (not statistics nor intense observation) that there are more cabriolets in Europe than in Japan. There are plenty of them here including mine for instance.

I also have this impression (ditto) that (if I make the ranking of the makes with most cabriolets) Audi, Mini and BMW (in this order) make the top three makes who produce many cabriolets.

If you combine Mini and BMW together (as they are basically one), the ranking will be Mini/BMW and then Audi. My impression would be quite different if I lived in Southern Europe where the weather is sunnier and Italians have a say in automobile production.

Here's the proof of sorts. I parked my car in front of one of my work places and looked on and then found this scenery. There are four cabriolets in sight and two of them are almost identical (or exactly the same make and color). There were two Audis, one BMW and one Mazda. This is what I am talking about.

One month of vacation? No problem!

This blog site is hosted by FC2 (I don't know if it is a abbreviation of the company's name which runs the service or not but anyway).

This blog service suggests themes for the blog entry for bloggers to compete in a competition of sorts. I have never participated in it and have never read the details of this theme suggestions.

The current theme is the 2,307th one and it reads as the title (I just roughly translated the Japanese sentence in to English on my own but it could be different in its native translation if it does exist).

This is meant to be for Japanese people who can not have a month of vacation. By law or by some regulations, they can but if or when they do, they would easily lose their job. This is one of the traditions that have existed in Japanese society for a long long time maybe since its debut into the Western culture when Japanese "Samurai" government opened its door to the Western world around 1860.

I, on the other hand, who abandoned the society in which I was born, raised, educated and worked for some time can take a month of vacation here in Luxembourg.



In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [ What would you do if you had a month of vacation?]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. 2017/08/18(金) 11:02:33|
  2. Bike Races
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Carron® PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene) coating and Other topics

Carron® PTFE caoting (polishing and cleaning)

The ad on Amazon (Germany) carried the image that I uploaded in the previous entry. It did not specify what it was made of or composed of.

A quick search on YouTube produced several motion pictures uploaded by Carron® itself. Those movies showed me a new package design of the product and there you can clearly see that it is based on PTFE technology. Now I could find out how PTFE had been appreciated by those aficionados.

A quick search on a Japanese site (since Japanese are really fussy about those products) got me this. PTFE (Polytetrafuloroethylene, when applied on aluminium, it is called TEFLON) technology, presently, is not the latest but relatively an old news. Glass coating is the latest.

Anyway, I have to wait some time for the Europeans to catch up.

Fabsil by Grangers

FabsilGrangers.jpg

A YouTube video introduced me to this product. It is basically an outdoor oriented tent surface waterproofing chemical. It can be applied on soft canvas top of vehicles.

It is not so expensive. I will try this one next time I need a waterproofing chemical.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Carron® PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene) coating and Other topics]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/08/15(火) 22:58:02|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Rainy days in Luxembourg (and Central Europe, too)

Waterproofing

It has been raining not continuously but intermittently maybe several hours a day since ?? for two weeks by now?

I was not impressed by the way this product (Impregno Cabrio) waterproofs the soft top of my car so I wanted to give another product (or other products) a try.

I have two products in the waiting room. One is a very similar product also from Germany (also made and marketed by a German company) called Paintsystems Fast X (Paintsystems is the name of the company).

The other one has been already mentioned in the previous entry.

Body paint protection

carronLotuseffekt.jpg

This product's description is a bit sketchy and does not state the essence of this product's working. What is this product made of, anyway? Silicon based stuff?

I was curious when I read the sweet and terse description (usage). It can be used on the painted surface or glass surface. Can I put it on the body and the glass?

It says it lasts for (or up to) 6 months. I simply don't buy it but it will last for some time when the weather is tender (meaning not during winter or rainy seasons).

Torque wrench

A torque wrench is a handy tool if you know how and where to use it properly. A simple tire change (summer tires/winter tires or a flat tire) can merit from it as one knows that the lug nuts are properly and securely tightened.

When I have extra money to burn ("money to burn" is borrowed from my favorite song "Rebel Yell" by the way), I want to get one of those track widener spacers on my MX-5.

Wheel-SpacerDRM-1.jpg

This is from I.L. Motor Sport site (http://ilmotorsport.de/).

It is strongly recommended (mandatory) to use a torque wrench to tighten the bolts to securely install the spacers.

One day!

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Rainy days in Luxembourg (and Central Europe, too)]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/08/13(日) 00:13:46|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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BinckBank Tour (driving trip)

Driving to Lanaken

I did not take a route normally I took when driving up to Liège, Maastricht or Lanaken. I took a route which runs through the middle of Luxembourg up to Wiltz then swerved to the direction of Bastogne (Houffalize).

On the way I dropped in on a gas station in Pommerloch, Luxembourg. I had never been there before as long as I could recall. At this Q8 station, I filled up the tank and duly noted the purchase details and the odometer readings to put them all in an app called "Road Trip" on my iPad mini 2.

I did not know at that time that I was pumping my car in Pommerloch as I did not see any name. I looked for this village on the BaseCamp on my MacBook Pro mid 2010 after arriving home. I knew that I passed Wiltz and later a small village called Bourcy (Belgium) so I could narrow the search to a small area between these places.

Here are some pictures.
q8pommerloch.jpg
There were other gas stations nearby other than Q8 for the Belgians and other passing people. It is a common to see a herd of gas stations near or on the borders with surrounding countries.

mx5-0810-odometer.jpg
The left side meter on the console indicates the total distance and some other information. The car itself assumes that I am consuming around 5.5 litters per 100 km.

mx5firstfillingup.jpg
The pumps accepted payment by cards but did not offer any paper printout so I recorded the transaction on my phone.

Road Trip tells me that the fuel consumption rate was 5.47 litters per 100 km. As you can see the car had already guessed it correctly. Good to know that those numbers are correct.

Waterproofing spray
waterproofsprayaldi.jpg
A souvenir from Lanaken, from ALDI (supermarket) in Lanaken. I bought 4 of them each costing €1.76.

On the way to Lanaken it rained a lot. In Lanaken I noticed that the soft top canvas was all wet and soaked. There was no sign of waterproof effect. I wonder that the money and time I spent on waterproofing the soft top was worth anything. After a sustained rainfall will the waterproofing agent (some kind of wax, I guess) wash down completely?

I think the waterproof effect is completely gone now. Friday (the trip to Lanaken was Thursday) it also rained and the soft top showed almost no sign of waterproof effect.

I might be wasting my money and time with those watery spray chemicals. I will use the spray cans to see if they are any better.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [BinckBank Tour (driving trip)]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. 2017/08/10(木) 21:53:36|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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BinckBank Tour 2018 Stage 4 Lanaken - Lanaken 154.2 km (rainy)

BinckBank Tour 2018

The BinckBank Tour itself is being held in both the Netherlands and Belgium. On Thursday, the stage starts in Lanaken, Belgium and finishes there. The peloton ride through both Belgium and the Netherlands, I think.

It is unfortunately rainy. I am going to bring an umbrella with me.

I am leaving Luxembourg sometime early in the morning (before 06:00) and take a rather leisurely route before hitting E25 (highway) at Bastogne. I will be able to enjoy some of the forest roads in Luxembourg.

From Bastogne I will be driving on highways. I will be in Lanaken around 09:00.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[BinckBank Tour 2018 Stage 4 Lanaken - Lanaken 154.2 km (rainy)]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. 2017/08/09(水) 23:36:18|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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BinckBank Tour, Ostend and Amazon (Germany) shopping

BinckBank Tour 2017

URL: http://www.sport.be/binckbanktour/2017/en/

On Thursday, August 10, I am planning to drive to Lanaken, Belgium not far from Liège (Belgium) or Maastricht (the Netherlands), or for that matter not far from Luxembourg.

Thursday, August 10: Lanaken - Lanaken 154.2 km

It means that they (peloton) ride in a kind of circuit course.

Unfortunately the weather in Lanaken, Belgium on Thursday is dismal. According to Weather.com, it looks like this and it is not going to be a sunny day.
weatherlanaken.jpg

I am not sure if I should take my bike with me. What I need for sure is something against the inevitable rain drops.

Crossword puzzles

I enjoy solving crossword puzzles. I got into them when I lived in the U.S.A. Since then, I have kept the habit of solving crossword puzzles. There was a interesting answer that I solved by hunch aided by my knowledge of the geography of Belgium. I know city names of Belgium if they mean something in cycling sport. Like Liège, which hosts road races like Liège-Bastogne-Liège and also frequently hosts stages of Tour de France. There are many names that I know since they are related to road races.

So when I was to guess a name of a place, which ended in "D," I somehow managed to guess it correctly.

Clue: Nazi submarine base in Belgium
Solution: OSTEND

Amazon shopping

I am buying things needed for my Mazda MX-5 and some other things.


Other shopping plans

I have not decided if I should buy Boot-Bag from boot-rack.co.uk. It seems that it is inevitable that I have to buy this Boot bag vacation type to go on a long term car trip.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [BinckBank Tour, Ostend and Amazon (Germany) shopping]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. 2017/08/09(水) 15:15:57|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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Eléphant Bleu and waterproofing liquid

Self car wash

https://www.elephantbleu.fr/

I went to one of its washing locations in France. I happened to be in Esch-sur-Alzette, which borders on France. It was not a hot day but the we had sunshine. People were washing their cars either by a pressured warm water mist or a washing machine with rotating brushes.

I saw an MX-5 NC there.

I am looking for a self car wash in Luxembourg but so far found none. It would be nice to have my own garage and open area (driveway or something) where I can work on my car or just wash it.

As you can see from its URL, it is an French organization with a lot of franchisees in France.

I spent €2 to wash down the fine sands that had been building up on the car. Driving on rainy days have collected those fine sands from the splashes.

Now my MX-5 is a bit cleaner but needs more care later.

Self car wash locales remind me of the time I had in the United State of America, namely Santa Monica. I briefly lived in Santa Monica, one block off Santa Monica Boulevard. At that time, Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do" was frequently on the radio and I wondered if I could find the actual (or fictional) location like the one on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Washing one own car is like a sport or entertainment of sort. It is very popular in many countries and it could be addictive but not in Luxembourg? It seems that in Luxembourg, having someone else do the dirty work is more popular than getting one's hand dirty.

Waterproofing liquid

My 500ml bottle is getting empty already after several days! I did not see this. I have to buy the next batch soon. I was thinking of a 5-litter canister but perhaps a 10-litter canister or 2 5-litter canister will suit me better?



In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Eléphant Bleu and waterproofing liquid]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/08/06(日) 23:48:26|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Amazon (Ger.) vs ebay (Ger.) vs direct (from the company)

So the product I bought from Germany is this: (sold by Impregno http://impregno.de)

Cabrio05L.jpg
This is the 500ml spray bottle version of the product. I found it very easy to apply. What I don't know is how long it (the water repelling effect) lasts on the canvas top. I will see it in a few months.

Now I am thinking of stepping up. I may decide to buy the product in a bigger quantity as it will be cheaper in that way (price per quantity €/litter and saving the shipping charges) and I don't have to worry about the quantity and the frequency I apply it on my MX-5.

This time I bought it from Amazon.de (German branch of Amazon Europe). So I did a quick dirty research comparing the prices.

Let's assume that I am going to buy this whopping 5 litter canister next time. They also offer even bigger 10 litter canister but it will be too much.
Cabrio5L.jpg

I located the company IMPREGNO and it offers a direct sales within EU and Switzerland.

1. On Amazon.de Impregno offers a low price on the product and the shipping is cheaper than others.
2. ebay.de offers higher price and the shipping is even more expensive than others.
3. Impregno's net shop offers the lowest price but the shipping is as pricy as that of their own ebay shop.

Adding the product price and shipping charges make the following results. I should buy from Amazon.de. If I can send it to a location in Germany, I will save some money.

Shipping within Germany is free or bare minimum.

How should I proceed?

K&N Air filter

I will do some follow-up soon on this topic. I just post an image of a sticker (begging an accidental mechanic who might peer under the hood to keep his hand off the air filter) on the air filter box.
mx5-airfilter-box.jpg

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Amazon (Ger.) vs ebay (Ger.) vs direct (from the company)]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/08/04(金) 02:05:12|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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21 mm (not 17 nor 19 mm), waterproofing proofing and Mazda questionnaire

21 mm, baby!

Ooooops! I was an idiot. By simply googling like "MX-5 ND lug nut," you will get the number, the magic number I was looking for was 21, 21 mm. The wheel lug nut size was 21 mm for ND Miata.

I bought a wrench with a 17 / 19 mm reversible socket.

I have to buy a 21 mm socket somewhere.

Waterproofing

Today it was not sunny but partly cloudy day with a lot of moisture in the air here in Luxembourg. I thought the canvas top was dry but maybe not so dry after all.

I poured a cup of water on top of it and the water became round beads on some part but went flat on some part. I have to reapply the chemical again and then see the result.

Questionnaire

I had an piece of email in my inbox. It was from Mazda Be-Lux headquarter (or Mazda Europe headquarter?). It was an inquiry about the service I received from the dealership in Luxembourg from which I bought my MX-5.

A customer satisfaction questionnaire, I think, it should be called.

I was not too happy about the experience that I had with the dealer so I wrote about it truthfully and concluded that I was not content.

Toward the end of the inquiry, the inquirer asked for my permission to use my answers with the dealership to make future improvement (if they could?) in the customer service related matters. I approved it.

I don't know if this questionnaire has been a waste of my time or not, at least not yet.

I hope it will help improve something if it does.

*********Added later**********

I answered the questionnaire in the afternoon of Thursday, August 3. I don't exactly remember the time. Surprisingly I had a piece of email from the dealership director.

Sharing the information obtained from this questionnaire meant that they could send my answers to the dealer directly, I guess.

The director apologetically wrote that he would get to the bottom of the matter as quickly as possible.

I hope that I did not offend anybody. I just wanted to help them improve the service quality. I thought they would do it discreetly but what they did was just relay the massage.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [21 mm (not 17 nor 19 mm), waterproofing proofing and Mazda questionnaire]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/08/03(木) 20:04:44|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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A jack, a wrench and a spray from Amazon Germany

Tire change equipment for my MX-5

It is Thursday, August 3rd Today. I had a notification that the jack and the wrench that I ordered from Germany (Amazon Germany) had arrived at the depot that I specified. I had also the waterproof chemical spray on its way to me (the van is out for delivery).

I wait for the arrival of spray and when I get it, I will go out and get those two items in the city.

One day earlier than I had expected and the also than they (Amazon) had said they would be delivered.

Later on:

The jack and the wrench are fine. The jack goes into the tool compartment and (as expected) snugly fits itself in the spot designed for the genuine MX-5 jack, which are sold in some countries by expanding the scissors. The jack was compact and light.

Here are some pictures that I took.
mx5-boot-jack.jpg
The jack snugly fits itself in the cove just as the alien (original Alien movie) hid itself inside the evacuating shuttle ship.

mx5-tool-jack-wrench.jpg
A simple jack and lug nut wrench with extending handle.

I hastily applied the waterproof chemical on the top. It does not smell contrary to my anticipation. It is basically an oil (or wax) solution diluted by some water, I guess. When water content evaporates, the oil (wax) residue stays on and in the cloth to keep the water (rain drops) from permeating the cloth. That is how I assumed.

Before applying this wax to the top, I gently brushed the top using a shoe cleaning brush sold at a local supermarket on the shelf where some shoe waxes were sold. The brush did help dust the soft top. I will keep it handy in the car for a quick dusting whenever I had a chance to do so.

I applied by spraying but soon realized that with a help of cloth I can apply it evenly on the soft top by rubbing the chemical in. Now let's see how it works!

I am not sure how good it repels rain drops or how long it repels them but I like this product already. It does not smell and easy to work with. I will apply it on a jacket (synthetic polyester material), an umbrella or backpack.

My hands were covered with the chemical but I found it easy to wipe it off. It is not so sticky.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ


[A jack, a wrench and a spray from Amazon Germany]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/08/03(木) 16:55:46|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Learning Luxembourgish and Acton Blink S2

Learning Luxembourgish

I listen to the audio tracks that accompany the book I currently learning from, "Learn Luxembourgish" by Liz Wenger as often as possible, on my way to work and home by bus, while I surf on the net or I have nothing else better to do.

Today, I had time between things to do so I parked my car, Mazda MX-5 (a.k.a. Miata) in a parking full of green foliage and started reading the book with the soft top open. It was a nice day.

The book is 231 pages long and I just scanned through page 40.

I have really basic knowledge of German grammar. My French is really primitive. I have (or used to have at least) an extensive knowledge of English grammar. I have (well on the paper at least) Bachelor's degree in a foreign language that I don't wish to name here from my university days.

So, to cut to the chase, I assumed that Luxembourgish was basically a German dialogue heavily influenced by French vocabulary.

This so-called (the author names it so) n-rule struck me as totally strange or odd.

Everybody knows that it is just a matter of convenience to say an apple instead of a apple or an FBI agent instead of a FBI agent. This padded "n" comes natural to me or anybody who speaks English.

The "n-rules" in Luxembourgish is like this padded n before vowels (phonetically but not alphabetically) in English but is much wider in usage. It (n-rule) affects not only articles (like 'a') but in almost all aspects of the language.

It blew my mind away!

If you have to know what n-rule is, you have to start learning Luxembourgish.

Acton Blink S2

There have been numerous updates from Acton and by now we (Blink S2 backers in Europe) all know that we expect to have it delivered by the end of September. The latest update told us that the ship has left (from China?) for France and is expected to arrive in France on August 29. They (Blink boards) will be subjected to the French customs official and have to be cleared before forwarded to the import agent near Paris.

I am expecting mine to by my side by the end of September. A long wait! I thought I would have it by the end of March or April while the Indiegogo campaign was going on.

Mazda MX-5

I don't have the jack or lug nut wrench by me yet. I don't have the waterproof coating chemical spray by me yet. I may clean my car a bit and apply RainX on the window shield Tomorrow. I have time.

I have to take the old wheel/tire set from Ford Ka and take pictures of them to push them on ebay.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Learning Luxembourgish and Acton Blink S2]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/08/03(木) 00:42:34|
  2. Diary
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MX-5 effect, Dash cams and Wacaco nanopresso!

I find myself very happy and relaxed when I am driving this car even after a very stressful day.

Side notes: All of the three items that I had purchased on Amazon (Germany) have been dispatched and they are on their way to me.

They will be here by Friday.


Dash cams

I am considering purchasing one of these dash cams.

1. Garmin Dash Cam 55 (Garmin http://www.garmin.com/)

2. Viofo a119S (VIOFO LTD http://www.viofo.com/)

3. Z Edge Z3 (Zero Edge Technology http://zeroedgetechnology.com/)

4. Viofo WR1 (VIOFO LTD http://www.viofo.com/)

Garmin's and Viofo's cams have builtin GPS function and Z Edge's does not.

Garmin's Dash Cam 55 seems attractive to me as I have long used Garmin GPS devices since 2005 (or 2006?). It is pricier than the rest as it has voice command features, which is not really necessary.

Viofo a119S seems to be a bargain considering the video quality and it functions.

Z Edge Z3 is the least expensive device of the three and its value shines even more when it comes with a 32 GB microSD card. It does not have GPS logging functions and I ask myself, "Do I need it?"

Viofo's WR1 is the smallest of the bunch and it does not have a GPS function. It is also the as inexpensive as Z Edge Z3 (Z3 is still the least expensive one because it comes with a 32 GB microSC card).

What is great about this WR1 is that it has the smallest form factor. If you (I don't know if anybody out there is reading this but just for the sake of writing) know an ND Miata (MX-5), you realize that any objects attached to the window screen are almost too big and obstruct your view of the road ahead.

This WR1 would neatly tacked away behind the rear view mirror, I guess. It does not have a viewing screen on it and it is partly why it is so small and inexpensive. No screen means it is distraction free!

It seems to have motion detection and G sensor function according to the YouTube video that I watched but it does not say specifically that it has parking (surveillance) mode function.

Wacaco nanopresso arrived

I am not too happy about the extra charge that I have to pay at the local post office imposed by the customs office. €9 is the actual import tax (as it came outside EU zone, Hong Kong) and a whopping sum of €15 is the fee that they charge me for their work of intervening the delivery. I felt like I was being harassed by the officials. OK, I paid it without saying a word.

I did not have time to test it. I will do it Tomorrow.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [MX-5 effect, Dash cams and Wacaco nanopresso!]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/08/01(火) 23:38:48|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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  4. | コメント:0

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