TdF 2018 Roadbook and the hotels

TdF 2018 Roadbook obtained

Finally I got it! I have to find out some important details as quickly as possible.

The first one is the hotels where the teams are staying for some days (05/07 to 08/07, Team Presentation to TT Cholet).

I predicted that they would be staying at the same hotel until they check out in the morning of ITT stage in Cholet. Indeed some teams are staying in Cholet all the time. Some teams are staying just a few hundred meters from the Team Presentation venue.

Others are scattered around la Roche-sur-Yon. Team Quick Step Floors are staying in Challans, almost 50 km away from la Roche-sur-Yon. Quick Step Floors is very important for me and I have to be there on Friday.

In Japanese:続きをどうぞ [TdF 2018 Roadbook and the hotels]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. 2018/06/27(水) 19:52:44|
  2. Tour de France
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To do list before going off on a vacation

To do list

1. Tell the local post office to hold the mail until I am back

2. Pay the vehicle tax

3. Do some work on my bike

It costs to have may mail kept at the local post office for a long duration of time but I have no other options.

I am still waiting for a package to arrive. I ordered a thing that I found on Amazon France. I did not pay much attention to the sender's info as the item gave me a false impression that it would arrive soon. The fact was the sender was in China and it would take 3 weeks, 4 weeks or more to get here!

The package has a USPS tracking number attached to it but the tracking does not work because obviously it is still on board a slow boat (because of the cheap shipping fee, it must be on a slow boat from China) and has not arrived ashore, presumably Hamburg, Germany or elsewhere.

I am assuming that the final transporter would be the local post service and by asking the post office to withhold my mail, it will be kept safe at the local post office until I come back if it does not arrived before I leave.

If the final delivery agent is other than local post office, I don't have a way to keep it safe. They (the final agent) might send it back to China because of my absence.

I also set the SMS notification for this item, so I may receive a some kind of notification on my phone. I maybe able write to the delivery company to hold it until I come back. I am just hoping so.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [To do list before going off on a 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. 2018/06/26(火) 23:45:53|
  2. Tour de France
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H&R tread extenders on Mazda MX-5 (ND)

H&R tread extenders (spacers to push the wheels outward)

The Tour de France is coming and I am not ready! Today (Sunday 24, June 2018) I managed to have the small metal objects installed on my car. I had a couple of hours between the work shifts and the weather was good. I drove to a quiet small parking lot near my work and began jacking up my Mazda MX-5. I regretted not having prepared the screwdriver (or a similar metal object this morning), which I needed in order to stop thr front wheels from rotating while the car is jacked up.

Those rear wheels can easily locked with the parking brake but the front wheels freely spins (as my MX-5 is a rear drive vehicle). Luckily I found a small paint roller in the boot, which I will be using during the holidays soon. The thin metal of this paint roller would do!

(This is not the one I had but very similar)

The spacers that I have are two 20mm thick ones and two 25 mm thick ones which would go to the front and rear respectively.

I had prepared a tube of copper powder paste for this occasion. This paste is applied on the contact surface between the hubs, spacers and wheels to prevent them from sticking together as a result of corrosion between different metals. It is also safe to apply this paste on the threads as it contains more copper and less grease. Applying grease on the hub bolt thread is considered kinda no-no in most cases.

The work was light and done in one hour or so even with a leisurely manner. I made sure that I torqued everything to the specified spec although retorquing them is strongly recommended after running for some hundreds of kilometers. I will do this before the planned holidays.

Now the tire edges appear to be a smooth continuation of the fender contours. The car now looks meaner than before.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[H&R tread extenders on Mazda MX-5 (ND)]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2018/06/24(日) 21:54:42|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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TdF 2018 is just around the corner!

Mazda MX-5 First inspection - checkup
It is almost one year since my MX-5 was delivered to me. I wanted to have the oil and the oil filter changed before my vacation in this coming July. My MX-5 was actually delivered on 24 of July 2017. I asked to have it done in June and it has been done.

It cost me dearly but it was not too bad as I am now sure that I can drive (more than?) 6,000 km during this July without having to worry about anything at all.

A few days later (after the inspection and all) I received an e-mail from Mazda Europe (or Mazda Benelux the organization overseeing the dealers in Benelux countries) detailing the report of the inspection.

I have never received this kind of service from my previous car manufacturer, namely Ford. Mind you that the dealership that I bought my Ford Ka (as a new car) and my Mazda MX-5 (ditto) is the same dealership and I have been talking to the same service people.

Team Presentation Venue
On the ASO's site the venue has not been named. So I looked for it on a different site, which I believed, would carry the information that I wanted to get. The tourist office of the city, la Roche-sur-Yon. And voila! Sure enough it had what I sought for.

The team presentation will be held at the center of the city, right in the middle of the city. There is a square (in English, plaza, maybe) surrounded by a street called "Place Napoléon." This is the place where this small ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 5th.

Campgrounds around la Roche-sur-Yon
I looked for the right campground near la Roche-su-Yon and I think I found it. I tend to avoid ones with extras like swimming pools, bars and cafes or anything of those kinds.

The reason? It is simple. They (extras) tend to make the tarif (a French word for tariff or price) go up. Someone like me who just wants to sleep there, those are not needed. I don't use the swimming pools as I don't have time.

The one I found seems to have none of those extras. Fine, very good. The price seems to be lower than those with extras.

Gadgets on-board
I decided to use an adhesive-magnet mount on the small space on the steering boss below the winker lever. You can see the charging cable for the Garmin nüvi dangling below the Garmin GLO.

Currently the Garmin nüvi is sitting here. It is not obstructing my view and the best part is I can use the tip of my left hand finger to fiddle it with my left hand on the steering.

I have been wondering how I should stick my iPad mini 2 on the dash or on the windshield in case I need it for navigation. I think this is how it should be done. Here is the Mazda Connect display.

I should just put the iPad mini 2 in front of the display. It needs something to fix the iPad mini 2 securely. This setting is OK. I fixed it there by some thread and used the TomTom app to navigate me to a location nearby. It was OK.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[TdF 2018 is just around the corner!]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. 2018/06/21(木) 20:33:01|
  2. Tour de France
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TomTom (TeleAtlas) map update has arrived

TomTom map update

One week (not exact but) later since Garmin map update and Mazda onboard navigation map updates (both containing Navteq map data), my TomTom app on the iPad mini 2 told me that update was available.

I noticed it on Sunday, 17 June but it could have been made available on the day before. I regularly check the map update and I think I checked its availability on 14 or 15 of June. At that time the update was not available.

I have Western Europe map on my iPad mini 2 and it said the size was 5.95 GB. It took not so long before the update was complete.

I am not planning to utilize the latest map data while traveling through France this upcoming Summer although I might use the app to search for camping sites, supermarkets or other locations when others (two Navteq-based navigation devices) won't produce any promising search results.

My iPad mini 2 is a Wifi-only version (not like a cellular model) and can not obtain GPS signals on its own. I purchased the Garmin GLO just in case I need my iPad to be a navigation device. I also devised a way to fix it inside my MX-5 when the occasion arrises.

You won't go traveling in France (a vast area) without having at least two GPS devices on hand. If you have only one device and if it fails, you are left with nothing and lost. I have 1. a Garmin nüvi, 2. Mazda MX-5 on-board navigation system, 3. TomTom app (Go Mobile) on iPad mini 2, 4, old TomTom app (Western Europe) on old iPhone 4 and 5. old TomTom app on iPod touch 4 Gen.

There are five devices with me while I am on vacation. On top of that this year I intend to have a paper atlas of France with me to check the elevation.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [TomTom (TeleAtlas) map update has arrived]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. 2018/06/18(月) 19:09:35|
  2. GPS Navigation
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TdF 2018 Stage 4 and other stages (update)

More details have been revealed!

Now the Tour de France is only a few weeks away, the site (www.letour.fr) has been updated since the last time they did (adding the Intermediate Sprint and last 1 km profiles) a few weeks ago.

Now finally I can observe the course of Stage 4 and others.

The site seems to be under on-going construction and some stage's page has a time table tag but when I click on it, almost nothing appears for the moment.

Anyway, these course maps help. I can plan more details of my drive routes.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [TdF 2018 Stage 4 and other stages (update)]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. 2018/06/12(火) 12:35:55|
  2. Tour de France
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Mazda MX-5 Navigation map and Garmin map updates

Fresh map updates

I have just noticed (as I frequently check its availability) that Garmin map for my BaseCamp and my on-board device has been updated to 2019.10. It means that this is the first version for the year 2019. It is only commercial purposes to let the consumers believe that the map on the navigation devices sold on the shelves is the latest. In fact the map must be based on the data collected earlier this year (2018).

Anyway, this is very important for me as I am set to make a grand tour this coming July following the Tour de France.

On a related topic, I also noticed that the map data for my Mazda MX-5 had been also updated. I received an email saying the latest update was available.

As I have already written these two maps derive from the same source (Navteq). The fact that the update notices have arrived almost at the same time means that there could be a set date that the source organization (controlled by a consortium made up of 5 German automakers) imposes on various map providers.

I have also noticed several times that TomTom (TeleAtlas) updates have been more up-to-date than Navteq ones. I may or may not receive TomTom update on my iPad mini 2 before the Tour de France.

Using Mazda Toolbox on MacBook Pro
Updating the map on the SD card was successful and now I have the latest map data. It was easy.

Using Garmin Express on MacBook Pro
Updating the micro SD card inside the Garmin nüvi takes a long time. For some unknown reason (or simply my mistake??) the map data on my MacBook Pro (Garmin BaseCamp is installed on it) for Garmin BaseCamp was not updated.

I could successfully update the data on the micro SD card inside the nüvi, though.

I will try once again to update the map data for BaseCamp later.

Some items purchased from Amazon Germany and Amazon France
(All the images below were clipped from the images on respective Amazon sites)

This is a Action cam mount that doubles as a skewer nut so that you can mount an action cam on the side of the wheel hub.

This image shows how an action cam goes on the mount.

Verdict: disappointing!

The idea behind this gadget is very fine but the actual product needs some tweaking. What kind of tweaking? The gap between three-tooth comb is somewhat (slightly, like the thickness of a thin paper) too wide. Since the mount is made of Aluminum, they won't bend even under pressure when you tighten the screw (not included).

I think I have to bend the three-tooth comb inward using some vise or a hammer, maybe.

This image shows how it is constructed.

This is another action cam mount that goes on the saddle rail. It also doubles as a CO² cartridge holder (can hold up to one cartridge).

Verdict: Somewhat surprised and then sighed a bit (my fault).

The product is good. It is not too weighty. I can install it on my disused saddle, which has light-weight metal rails. I can not install it on the all carbon saddle (currently in use) rails as the rail have no extra space. The rails are just long enough for the saddle cramp. The fact that I can not use it on my carbon saddle was my fault that I did not check my saddle before ordering it.

This mount is also made of Aluminum alloy but the its three-tooth comb is cleverly constructed. Three teeth are not equally made. One is significantly thinner than others and this thinner one bends a bit.

So the product is fine!

I will bring two saddles on my trip and when I need the action cam to record the rear view, I will swap the saddles.

Oh yes and the surprise part was that I found two sets of it in the package although I only ordered one (and paid for one, of course). So it was a nice surprise!

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Mazda MX-5 Navigation map and Garmin map updates]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. 2018/06/12(火) 00:04:53|
  2. Tour de France
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TdF 2018 Stage 4 and other stages

Information padded

I am expecting the guidebook (TdF 2018) will be published in about a week or so. I am also expecting the PDF version of the guidebook will be floating around the same time.

I need more detailed information on the stages and hotels where the teams are staying.

I have been watching the site (www.letour.fr) for it and I have been disappointed. Only Today (June 7) I was rewarded a bit.

Stage 4 (La Baule - Sarzeau) has been a mystery stage since the beginning. I only knew the names of the town hosting the start and finish. Other than that no details had been provided until Today.

The site now gives me the profile of the last 1 km and the intermediate Sprint point. So the Sprint point is set in a town called Derval. It is located 97.5 km from the start. I can make an educated guess that the Feed Zone is located just after that. Now I know the location of the Feed Zone.

I would be in Cholet after Stage 3 and would head to Derval. The route will be around 110 km. I can find a camping site not far from there. Maybe I will stay there.

What they (ASO) did was adding the profiles of some intermediate Sprint points and last 1 km stretches. Some of the Sprint points are not located next to the Feed Zones. So I did not get much useful information after all.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [TdF 2018 Stage 4 and other stages]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. 2018/06/07(木) 20:33:14|
  2. Tour de France
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End of the road (= macOS upgrading path)

End of the road

My three MacBooks (Pro mid 2010 and two late 2009s) are not eligible for macOS 10.14 and so on. This will be the end of the upgrading path for my MacBooks.

On the other hand, my iPad mini 2 is still viable. It is included in the list of upgradable iOS devices for iOS 12 this coming Fall.

I assume that iOS 12 will be the last version of iOS for my iPad mini 2.

Apple will continue to provide us (macOS High Sierra users) with updates (security updates and bug fixes) for a while before announcing that it is over eventually.

iOS12 sounds promising even for my iPad mini 2, which sits at the lowest end of the list because it (iOS12) is supposed to be efficient and runs even more quickly on the devices than its older siblings (really?).

Eneloop Pro AA

I bought 8 of them from Amazon Germany. I have known the name Eneloop for a long time. I wanted to buy one of those for my DVB-T2 TV (August DA100D). I found that there were "Pro" version of them. I assume that this Pro version cells are stronger (more capacity). This portable TV set requires 6 AA cells to function. I have 8 of them so two will be extra. I can use two of them for other places.

This TV set is arriving at me at any time by now. I am looking forward to it. I hope it will catch the digital terrestrial signal in France this coming Summer. I paid dearly for that device. I hope it works well.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[End of the road (= macOS upgrading path)]の続きを読む
  1. 2018/06/06(水) 00:25:48|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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La Course by the Tour de France 2018

La Course by le Tour de France

From cyclingnews.com (http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/teams-announced-for-2018-la-course-by-le-tour-de-france/) I cite the following passages that describe the course.

"The women will race for 112.5km, starting in Annecy, and the route includes four ascents; Coll (sic) de Bluffy (1.5km at 5.5%), Côte de Saint-Jean-de-Sixt (5.5km at 4.9%), and then the Col de Romme (8.8km at 8.9%) and Col de la Colombière (7.5km at 8.5%) - before a 12km descent into Le Grand-Bornand.

The women's race will use a total of 78 kilometres of the men’s stage, with 28 kilometres between Annecy and Thônes then the final 50 kilometres between Bonneville and Le Grand-Bornand."

Since the course details have not yet announced by ASO, I have to decipher what is written above on my beloved Garmin BaseCamp with helps from some sites like climbbybike.com (www.climbbybke.com).

I found Col de Bluffy and Saint-Jean-de-Sixt (a town). The rest of the climbs are part of the men's course so they had been already plotted on Garmin BaseCamp.

I can assume that women's race start earlier in the morning (just before noon?) and finishes around 14:00 in Le Grand-Bornand. Women's race will finish there just before the publicity caravan arrives at Le Grand-Bornand.

In my earlier entries I had written that I did not know where to go to watch the race during Stage 10. Now I know where to go. I will go to Col de Romme or Col de la Colombière because I can catch both women's and men's race there.

Teams participating the race:

Ale Cipollini
Astana Women's Team
BTC City Ljubjana
Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
Canyon-SRAM Racing
Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling Team
Cylance Pro Cycling
FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope
Lotto Soudal Ladies
Mitchelton Scott
Movistar Team Women
Team Sunweb
Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank
Team Virtu Cycling
Trek - Drops
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
Valcar PBM
Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team
Wiggle High5

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [La Course by the Tour de France 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. 2018/06/03(日) 23:25:25|
  2. Tour de France
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