Jun 29, 2009

A date with date squares.

One of the essentials for my musette bag!

Carolle has made me delightful date squares and are they ever good! And wholesome too. Big in iron and on taste. Great before or after a ride. What makes this so good is the addition of one orange; the juice plus the zest. Also, added walnuts with oats. All in all a nutritious before or after ride snack!

Jun 28, 2009

The Reed of Berriz.

The Reed of Berriz climbing steadily on his Olmo. 1983 Giro d'Italia.
From: 'Tour 83.'

One of the classy Spanish climbers of the eighties & early nineties was, Marino Lejarreta. Known as, 'The Reed of Berriz.' He was the only rider in history to complete all three Grand Tours in a single year four times in a career. An incredible accomplishment spanning the years; 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991. His highlight victory has to be his Grand Tour win in the 1982 Vuelta a Espana.

In the 1983 Giro, Lejarreta battled to finish in a fine sixth place. The previous year, at the World's at Goodwood, he showed his promise of good things to come by rallying on to finish in fifth. He captained the 1983 Alfa Lum-Olmo squad which were equipped with the beautiful Olmo Professionista in team red metallic with Columbus SL tubing. Below is a lovely example of the bike used by Marino Lejarreta and his Alfa Lum-Olmo team!

1983 Olmo Professionista (Team Replica bike) by Giuseppe Olmo.

Jun 27, 2009

Tuft's coming back!

Svein Tuft in his patented tuft mode at this year's 3 days of Depanne.

I was talking to Guy(Le Grimpeur) via email about Svein Tuft's tough luck not to be selected on Garmin's Tour team. However, it's good to see strong & steady Ryder Hesjedal & Kiwi Julian Dean for the Tour. Tough luck that Svein's off the team for Le Tour. He'll be missed as he has the super motor to help guide the team in the time trial & his invaluable support as a super domestique. Injuries have slowed him this year especially the serious concussion at the Tour of California. But, yesterday at the Canadian Nationals in St-Georges-de-Beauce, Quebec, he's like his old tuft self by winning the 40 kilometre men's elite time trial! His fourth gold medal in the last five years. Teammate Christian Meier was second.

Funny story about Meier and Tuft is that they live in a separate trailers beside each other near Langley, British Columbia. The Garmin team calls them the trailer park boys after the Canadian mockumentary tv show.

Garmin has stated that Tuft will be in for the Vuelta and the World's in Switzerland. And with a little tuft luck he'll do another great ride this weekend in the Canadian men's road race...on his comeback road!

Jun 26, 2009

Cycles for Heroes.


The other day I discovered, by chance, a distinctive German based bike company whimsically named, Fixie Inc – Cycles for Heroes.
If the catchy name isn’t enough to pull you in I don’t know what would. There’s so many independent bike makers out there, this one tops cool. Only steel bikes here with roadie sexiness with peculiar monikers; ‘Chip Race’ & ‘Betty Leeds.’ Add the lovely well named fixies; ‘Black Jack’ & ‘Peacemaker.’ And throw in a cyclocross, proudly red in color called, ‘Pure Blood.’

Going for Seconds…

I’m closing in on getting a second bike. And, I’m interested in a singlespeed thus embracing a simpler, urban all season commuter 2-wheeler to fight back the harsh weather of the wet coast. My first choice was to go for another Italian road bike but practicality has taken over me like a second skin of lycra. I keep asking myself, ‘Why not an Italian frame?’ If I can find one but it has to be able to wear full fenders, that’s critical. And, no question it will be steel. The beauty of it all is that there is so much to choose from. And, mind you I’ve been looking …and licking my chops.

Stay tune… my quest continues!


Jun 25, 2009

Laurent Fignon...

Tour de France 1983
with Jean Rene Bernadeau.

Tour de France 1983...
Flying high with the Maillot Blanc... the best young riders jersey!

Let’s hope he pulls through and beats this brute!

Jun 24, 2009

Milani Fixed.

Milani Velocita' Urbana.

Milani Cycles located about 50 miles northwest of Milan makes high quality handmade bicycles since 1927. Founded by former racer, Celeste Milani, these beautiful machines are still lovingly crafted in Italy.

The classic steel, Replica is from the same humble racing origins back in Milani’s days. Now, Molybdenum Chromium steel is used. No matter, the bike is a throwback to classic days riding on steel.

I couldn’t help but get excited when I saw the Velocita’ Urbana fixed gear bike. How simple and steel it is. It's definitely a stunner...

I secretly want one!

Jun 22, 2009

The bloody hero.

Herrera becomes the hero for Columbia!
From: 'Tour 85.'

In the 1985 Tour, Lucho Herrera was in the leading pack steering towards the finish line on stage 14 in St. Etienne. He was dominant riding ahead of the chasing pack. And took two minutes from Hinault and distanced himself in the mountains classification points to become Columbia's first KOM. But suddenly, a crash! Herrera picked himself up and dashed across the line picking up his second stage. Bloodied, the little Columbian fighter became an iconic heroic figure for his troubled nation!

The legendary hero... today.

Jun 21, 2009

Introducing: The Musette.

I'm balancing well with the brand new 'Battle to the line Musette!'

Collaboration with a fellow artist is an amazing way to share and create. As they say, 'two heads are better than one.' Carolle and I would love to introduce.... The Musette.

Inspired on the 1960's cycling musette. We've created a slightly larger & roomier light weight bag. Now the size is 11x15" with a 40" strap including a strong easy to grab zipper. No buttons as the zipper provides a secure finish. You can hold a few more energy bars and most anything else. We chose a classic black cotton polyester twill fabric to compliment my artwork, to make it stand out. Carolle used a heat press material applied and stitched on the musette framed with the image from my Campy 42T inner chainring.

Contrary to other musette designs, we conceived a ergonomic angled strap that hugs the back in a natural & comfortable way. We're offering these unique & cool musettes now through Galstudio.

We believe that our classic musette bag compliments your own look ... on & off the bike!

Jun 20, 2009

Cycling Caps at Jett Grrl!

There's an excellent bike store on the edge of Chinatown/Strathcona, Vancouver. Situated at 247 Union Street, we discovered, "Jett grrl bike studio." And, what is refreshing is the attentive and friendly service by owner, Tracy Myerson. She's incredibly busy building wheels and always has a nice steel bike on the stand to repair. The shop is humming along as Tracy took time to look at Galstudio's fashionable cycling caps and now they're on for sale. Jet grrl has the reputation of providing honest, fair, quality workmanship unmatched anywhere. And, Tracy is a certified bike mechanic offering repair workshops all in a relaxed & friendly environment.

Jet grrl offers the steel bike aficionado a fine selection including: Traitor, Soma, Pake, IRO & more. And, Italian steel is offer too. I saw a Marinoni, Coppi and Gucerotti for sale... a collector would drool over. There is also a fine stock of parts & accessories. I bought myself an early birthday present. A very nice twin 6 cycling jersey! All I can say is get yourself down there, have a look at what's on sale & be prepared to enjoy Tracy's knowledgeable & friendly service.

You'd be glad you did!

That's Tracy working behind the counter!

IRO steel frame.

Galstudio's flashy cycling caps beside
wooden fenders & cool seats!

Fine display of parts!

Jun 19, 2009

The Witch Doctor.

Le witch doctor.
Well known for his many victories & cleverness!

One of the most enduring nickname(s) in cycling is Frenchman, Jean Stablinski. He had a few.

Edward Stablewski was a son of Polish immigrants in the coal mines of Northern France. His was an obvious reason to escape the back breaking poverty of the mines to become a racing cyclist. When he turned 16, he became naturalized French and rode his first race. At the age of 21, he signed his first professional contract. Most significantly, he changed his Polish name to a more French name, Jean Stablinski.

His wins were quite amazing. Five stage wins in the Tour, 1958 Vuelta overall victory, the first Amstel Gold Race in 1966, 1962 World Road Champion, Trofeo Baracchi(with Anquetil). And countless top ten placings. He won an incredible four National Road Championships came second twice and nicknamed, "Monsieur France." During his career which spanned from 1958-1967, he was part of the same teams as his friend Jacques Anquetil, he excelled as a crafty road tactician. Often working in the service to Maitre Jacques as a support rider. He was also known as, "Stab." But, my favorite two nicknames are, "the witch doctor" and "the fox," for his talented knowledge of the race!

About to switch the French National jersey for the Rainbow...
The Fox out smarts his opponents on his way to
winning the 1962 World Road Race, Salo Italy.

Jun 17, 2009

Roubaix Champion!

Muddy & unbowed.
The Classic man winning in the Classic race....Classicly!

Twenty five years ago, in 1984, Sean Kelly won his first Paris-Roubaix. The twenty-seven year old with the Skil-Sem team bided his time picking carefully through the many crashes & pavé to avoid falling. Muddy wet conditions seem to work for the tireless Irishman. He seem to enjoy the apocalyptic pavé. The bigger the better. Or at least, worse for his foes. After the 1960's, many of the cobblestone roads were paved with asphalt, so the organizers turned the latter part of the race to small farm roads and forest trails that date from the Napoleonic era. L'Enfer du Nord, the hell of the North was born.

A few days before, Kelly had just won Spain's demanding Tour of the Basque Country under very wet & cold conditions and he was looking forward to the same in Roubaix. He wasn't too disappointed. At the infamous Wallers-Arenberg forest, puddles formed due to the previous week's heavy rains. The sun rarely shines through the heavily lined trees to evaporate it. Kelly effortlessly powered his way through with only one adversary in tow, second year pro Rudy Rogiers. At the velodrome in Roubaix, Kelly easily outsprinted Rogiers for victory. The Irishman started his career and lived in Belgium. For he had fans in Belgium who adopted him as their own. With his win, Sean Kelly moved up to the sport's elite. A great champion twice; one for Ireland and one for his adopted ... Belgium!

Jun 15, 2009

Car Free - Bike Friendly!

Two wheels meet three wheels.

Last year started it all with Car Free Day-Vancouver. Four major streets were designated to become pedestrian walkways. The weather was beautiful and off we walked over to Main Street.

This past Sunday was an incredible turnout of friendly folks and their four legged canines. Oh, and of course the bike crowd shared their two wheel transports for a fun filled sunny day. I believe Vancouver’s moving towards a fresher, healthier community base banning the car for one day. It's a start. Like everyone else, I’d like to see it go further by having it go monthly during Summer. Can it be far away? Just seeing the faces on everyone it can be done. Carolle and I walked the 13 blocks of this fun block(s) party undisturbed by any four wheel vehicular activity. We were both tired but elated to attend a fine example of sustainable community living.

And, we can’t wait until next time!

All images © 2009 Richard Lee - All Rights Reserved.

Jun 14, 2009

Bauer Power-ing to a new high!

Steve Bauer introducing his new all Canadian UCI team,
Planet Energy Pro Cycling Team, this past February.

Bauer power is reaching new heights as Canada's Steve Bauer is leading the Planet Energy cycling team towards Europe. Another 'first' for Canadian cycling.

Ambitious and challenging...
Director sportif, Steve Bauer, aiming towards another Canadian high!

I remember that cool phrase, 'Bauer Power' written on placards as Steve powered his way through his first Tour de France for the La Vie Claire Team back in 1985. He definitely stoked Canadian cycling hearts as the first Canuck to ride the great race. He basically put Canada on the cycling map!

Steve Bauer is Canada's most accomplished cyclist wearing the maillot jaune for five days in 1988 & nine days at the 1990 Tour. Three time national champion, silver medal at the 1984 Olympics and bronze at the 1984 World Championships Barcelona.

Now, Bauer is director sportif of the Planet Energy team, formerly Team P.A.C.E. It's Canada's only UCI Continental Team driven by the passionate Bauer. Comprised of 14 Canadian riders: Olympians, Canadian champions and soon to be stars of the future. What a natural challenge for Bauer as he was an early Canadian pioneer for the sport competing against the European pros in the eighties. It has been a long time dream for Bauer to put together an all Canadian team to compete with the European elite. Ambitious is Bauer as this is part of a five year plan to get Canadians back to the Tour. Monetary challenges are often the case.

Bauer admitted, "We're on a tight budget of $700,000 CDN. Eventually we hope to have a team where everyone is paid a salary. To be one of the most competitive teams at our level in North America it would be $1 million plus because then we could acquire more of the top level Canadian riders. We have some of the best Canadians but we do not have all of the best. If we had all the best Canadians on the same team we could be competitive with some of the teams now in the Tour de France. That's what I want to do!"

It's a worthy testament to Steve Bauer that he has never lost any of his passion for cycling . I'm enthusiastic and probably not the only one, and I can't help but yell once again... "Bauer Power!"

Jun 13, 2009

Live from France... it's Le Tour!

Broadcast Central.
During the 1965 Tour, Jacques Anquetil, who decided not to participate,
is a commentator with the famous,
Robert Chapatte.
From: "Le Tour."

History was made during the 1964 Tour de France. Not only the epic battle between Anquetil & Poulidor erupted on the Puy de Dome but the introduction of live television, to the public happened.

Television cameras had first been present during the 1948 Tour, but only at the finish. The technology improved over the years but transmissions from the mountains coupled with bad weather was a thorny issue. Now in 1964, the live feed gave the eager public the conduit to view the Tour in a special way. Watching live TV, folks didn't have to go out and buy the newspaper the next day to see what happened. Television made cycle racing into a visual feast popular for the fans. And, importantly TV generated the much needed revenue attracting more sponsors.

Thanks to live TV, after the exciting 1964 Tour, bike sales increased and more young Frenchmen joined cycling clubs!

The 1958 Tour.
After film was exposed it was sent to Paris on train
to be published in the next days paper!

Technician's fixed cameras on the ground &
on helicopters. Not until 1962 TV cameras appeared
on motocycles!

Jun 11, 2009

Pinarello - that significant 1984.

My 25 year old sticker...
A fond memento of my 1984 visit to Cicli Pinarello!

Nineteen eighty-four was the last time I visited Treviso, Italy. My interest in cycling opened up with a visit to Cicli Pinarello. I knew very little of the bicycle maker. Frankly, my only knowledge was that American Alexi Grewal rode on what I remember as a Montello and winning the 1984 L.A. Olympics Men's road race. And that was mainly it. So, inside I went and entered into the fascinating Italian world of cycling. I must've smiled and grinned like a kid as Giovanni Pinarello gave me a tour of his wonderful bicycle factory. I saw a replica Montello model that Grewal championed his gold medal performance on.

I wanted to show these exquisite images of the 1984 Pinarello Super Record with Columbus SLX tubing and microfusion lugs in the gorgeous rosso corsa. Marvelously equipped with Campagnolo Super Record. That year Pinarello proudly portrayed a 'Campione d'Olimpico Campione d'Italia 1984 crest.' Vittorio Algeri won that right to wear the Italian National Champion jersey riding for Metauro Mobili Pinarello.

A nice memory from Pinarello, twenty five years ago!

1984 Olympic Gold Medalist, Alexi Grewal
on a Montello SLX.

The 1984 Pinarello Super Record SLX.

'Campione d'Olympico, Campione d'Italia, 1984'

1984 Italian champion, Vittorio Algeri on a Pinarello Super Record SLX.

Jun 10, 2009

Velo-City... the Revolutionary Exhibit!

I'm in a fantastic dream!
Many steel bikes here along with the historical 7-Eleven cycling jersey from Canada's Ron Hayman & Brian Walton's Milk Race (Tour of Britain) leader's jersey.

As Carolle and I eagerly sauntered into the Vancouver Museum, we were very happy to get out of the increasing heat. The air-conditioned environment was the perfect setting for the exhibit, 'Velocity & the Bicycle Revolution.'

Our eyes finally adjusted to the soothing darkness of the various rooms and we were quite mesmerized by what we saw! Vancouver's bicycle culture never look better. With the hard work from Pam, Toby & Nik of Propellor Design, we can all be proud. Toby mentioned to me that they worked about nine months straight and you know it shows! Inside one of the rooms we witnessed video & book installations that was so informative. I was pleasantly surprise to discover old cycling issues of Velo Magazine. What really caught my eye were the working bikes especially the well used 2003 Pake(pakay) fixie from courier, Toby Alford. I could relate to it as I thought back to my days as a bike messenger cruising through the downtown core & alleyways as a free spirit worker of the roads.

My heart was beating louder as I gaze up and saw rows upon rows of vintage steel road bikes. A few I recognize from Fritz's collection and others for the first time. Happily, there are too many to list here as I invite everyone, if you can, to visit this extraordinary exhibit that's on until September 7th.

Viva la bicycle revolution!

Mtb'er Alison Sydor (left) & Brian Walton's champion jerseys & medals.

A smart looking 'Vancouver Bicycle Club' wool jersey circa 1930's.

Beautiful photography is included such as the portrait of
Super Champion's Tyler Lepore!

It's all about one important aspect... enjoying the wondrous bicycle!

All images © 2009 Richard Lee - All Rights Reserved.
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