Monday, October 31, 2011

Movember



It's time for Movember.

My second year growing the 'stache to help raise awareness for men's health, specifically prostrate cancer. I read an alarming statistic that 1 in 7 men will have prostrate cancer. I'm ready to grow my mo, for the entire month of November, helping to change the face of men's health.

It's always difficult for me to grow a stache but given the time frame I manage to cultivate one on my upper lip.

Visit my Movember page here and please donate to a very worthy cause.

Thank You!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Great Ride: The Brits Winter Cycling Cap



What a positive response after launching the Brits Winter Cycling Cap!


Carolle and I managed, from our leftover 100% British wool supply, to produce the last 6 caps currently on our Etsy site. Unfortunately, our supplier has no more stock but we did produce a small run of 14 caps. The first week we sold 7 caps and the response has been overwhelming from our Etsy feedback page...


Really nice craftsmanship. I'm so pleased with it, and I'll definitely be back for a summer cap. The service was great also. Fast delivery and a nice hand-written note for that personal touch!




A. This cap is awesome. Very well made and comfortable. B. Customer service was outstanding!




Decided last night to treat myself to a lovely Brits Winter cap - only to find they've all gone! Is that really it for the Brits? Have I lost out because I didn't take Richard's warnings of 'Limited Edition' seriously enough? Guess that'll teach me not to dither in future!


(We have already contacted this customer and sent off his Brits Winter Cap!)


Carolle can spot a very good fabric she can smell from a mile away. And I look at it from a cyclists point of view; style and function. When Carolle saw this fabric, there was only a few meters left and end of a roll. The first reaction was right away this cap can be a winner. Especially, with the 100% British Wool trim woven in the fabric construction it's a definitely sign of fabric high quality.


Carolle babied it gently hand washing and pressing it. I was under the impression that 100% Wool requires dry cleaning. I was wrong. We prewash all of our fabric to make sure it will not shrink and after a good sweat (ride) it in you can wash it gently by hand and let it air dry.


Thanks to our customers, the Brits Winter Cycling Cap has been the leader of our peloton this Fall season!





Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pour Un Maillot Jaune







Claude Lelouch created this spellbinding documentary on the 1965 Tour de France.

A captivating and wonderful account of the world that revolves around the race. From the journalists asleep on the back of the motorcycles to the final moments of the great Federico Bahamontes abandoning the race on stage 10 and stepping into the camion balai and retiring from the sport forever. Felice Gimondi wins the race from the eternal second Raymond Poulidor forever France's tragic hero, favored to finally claim victory due to Jacques Anquetil deciding not to ride.

Enjoy!














Friday, October 28, 2011

SOLERing on a new road

Aiming high...
Juan Mauricio Soler winner stage 2 Crans-Montana,
2011 Tour du Suisse.



One man, who I respect, carries himself well in the face of adversity is Mauricio Soler.

The Colombian rider spent the last 4 months in hospital after a near fatal accident on stage 6 of the Tour du Suisse. Like many of you I feared for his life. Good news, he's released from Navarra hospital and at home in Pamplona with many rounds of painful rehab ahead of him.


Aiming higher...
Soler with his wife, Patricia.
(Movistar)


Watching him win stage 2 to Crans-Montana then wearing the leader jersey was extra special and proved that he was on the comeback trail to brilliance. I remember his amazing win to Briancon and winning the polka dot climbers jersey in the 2007 Tour de France, got my attention that a dawn of an new age of Colombian grimpeurs are back.

I wonder if he will ever return as the bike rider we remember him by?

But, there are hints, if not confident words to believe in miracles...

Soler's wife Patricia said, "Doctors tell us that the spirit of a cyclist is also serving him well for his recovery."

And Mauricio Soler said, "I'm putting all my energy into this, but it has to be this way, I don't see any other one. We have to be patient, only time will tell about that. It would be fantastic to return riding, but now I'm most interested on my own recovery."

I believe.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Testing Our Newest Winter Cycling Caps

L'Enfer du Nord winter cycling cap from Galstudio


The Autumn is a good opportunity to launch three of our newest winter cycling caps from Galstudio.

Cooler temperatures (brrr!) is the cold call for the warm gear. Enter the L'Enfer du Nord winter cycling cap. I wore it today in the rain and cold, comfortably under my helmet. As the name suggests, it's a hell of a winter cap in dark grey made of wool/polyester.

It was easy to name the Badger Winter Cycling Cap and hard not to forget his never say die ride in the 1980 Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Hinault finished that cold race, triumphant fighting through pain, and nearly frostbitten... soloing to victory the Badger way. This cap in a smart looking brown tweed herringbone is made from soft polyester/spandex. And, like all of our winter caps comes with a warm ear flap that is double layered and made from 100% cotton jersey knit.

And, lastly our most popular limited edition, The Brits Winter Cycling Cap. We discovered a small supply of this beautiful dark grey plaid 100% British Super Fine Wool fabric. A most welcome warmth in cold weather. The detail is in the stylish, elegant wool plaid with a fine red line. Smart looking on and off the bike but don't wait too long because supply is limited while quantities last!






The Badger...


The Limited Edition Brits Winter Cycling Cap.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Maillot Jaune 2012



Here's a few images from Le Coq Sportif of the new 2012 Yellow Jersey, looking fantastic for their return in the Tour de France. The hint of the French tricolore is classy!








Sunday, October 23, 2011

Merckx's Second Worlds

The Cannibal... The Dominator.
(Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis)


I love the expressions from the fans...

Fantastic image of Eddy Merckx beating Felice Gimondi to win the 1971 World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Farewell to the Race of the Falling Leaves

Autumn,
the traditional... change.



The passing of the Tour of Lombardy is symbolic like the change of seasons.

For 2012, it changes name to Il Lombardia and will move from the traditional October to September. This will occur the first Saturday after the World Championships. The UCI claims the move may make the race more competitive as riders  come to Italy with World Championship form.

For me, the Fall is time of transformation; leaves turn red, cooler temperatures, and fewer rides.

I always admire the tradition of the Tour of Lombardy. Remembered as the grand finale of the season the perfect race to end the racing season, with the enduring nickname race of the falling leaves. This wonderful race still remains as the last Monument of the season but loses it's Autumn luster to the new upstart Tour of Beijing.

And the date change would mean a new nickname... the thought of it already has me reeling.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Miyazawa-san

Rising Sun...
Miyazawa-san, wearing the Japanese National Jersey, going strong for the win,
Izegem Koerse, 2011.


Veteran Takashi Miyazawa will ride for World Tour team, Saxo-Bank-Sungard in 2012.

Haven't heard of him?

Miyazawa is just a handful of talented Japanese riders in the pro peloton. He's 33 years old and rode this year for Pro Conti team, Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli. This season has proved fruitful, he won the Izegem Koerse and finished fifth in Paris-Brussels.

But before he joins his first World Tour team, this Sunday he lines up to ride the Japan Cup where he can do some damage. Known as a puncheur, Miyazawa is perfect for the short steep climbs. The Japanese fans will go ballistic if he does win it. Remember his attacking style at Milan-San Remo this year?

I'll give credit to Bjarne Riis for signing the veteran and giving him the chance to become part of a World Tour team.

A very good move in the right direction for World Tour stardom for Takashi Miyazawa.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bourlon's Great Escape

Lone flyer...
Albert Bourlon 1947 Tour de France
(Presse Sports)


Hans gave me this amazing photographic magazine of the Tour called, Tour Iconic Images.

Inside there are many fine images by the famous Paris-based picture agency, Presse Sports. Here's a fantastic image of Frenchman Albert Bourlon. I did some research and happily discovered this striking image of Bourlon taken during stage 14 Carcassonne to Luchon. The stage was long... 253 km long and Bourlon broke away almost from the start and rode solo for the duration of this hot long stage, to win the longest solo in post-war Tour history.

I like this image of a bygone era, a time of;  very long usually hot stages, wool jerseys with front pockets, dust goggles to protect from the hazardous dirt roads and tin bottles stoppered with corks.

Like many riders of his time, his cycling career was cut short due to the intervening years of the Second World War. I believe Albert Bourlon is still alive today, he would be 94 years old.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crowing once again!

Troisième étoiles...
French sporting icons Yannick Noah & Bernard Hinault welcoming back
Le Coq Sportif!
(lequipe.fr)




The exciting 2012 Tour de France route was presented today along with an old favorite...

Le Coq Sportif returns as the official jersey. Magnifique! The French icon clothing manufactuer first supplied team jerseys at the 1951 Tour.

Bernard Hinault and French tennis great, Yannick Noah presented the new yellow jersey. I'm reading, Slaying The Badger by Richard Moore and interestingly these two French champions were the last of their kind. Yannick Noah was the last Frenchman to win the French Open in 1983 and Hinault was the last time a French rider won Le Tour in 1985.

Both men, sporting icons from the eighties looked pumped and showcased the new yellow jersey. Yannick Noah is a popular singer and of course, Bernard Hinault works with the Tour de France organization.

Two French icons, bringing back a true French sporting icon... something worth to crow about!



Tour icons wearing Le Coq...
1951 Tour winner, Hugo Koblet and Abdel-Keder Zaaf (66th overall).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Giro di Lombardia

Hurricane Oliver...
storming to victory!


That was an exciting final Giro di Lombardia.

Swiss, Leopard-trek rider Oliver Zaugg scored his first professional victory riding into the limelight from domestique to worthy champion.

Making a confident move near the top of the final climb of the Villa Vergana, he distanced himself from Basso, Martin, Rodriguez, Niemiec and Pozzovivio. He said his radio didn't work after his surprised attack and he had no idea of the gap forming. Going full gas he managed an historic win: his first and Leopard-Trek's last win as a team. I enjoy it whenever a domestique has his place in the sun, it rarely happens and when it does... it's marvelous to watch.

Zaugg's kamikaze rush to the line was perfect as he beat a very dangerous, and on form, Dan Martin and Joaquin Rodriguez (3rd) by eight seconds. Mark my words, Dan Martin is a major threat to win a monument and it will be sooner than later. Honorable mention goes to Ivan Basso for a smart and strong fourth place.

A great finish to my second favorite Monument, Paris-Roubaix being the first, next season it changes dates to September 29. There's also a name change to Il Lombardia and ends as the grand finale of the season. Along with the new name change must surely come a new nickname. I couldn't guess what to call it. I was so set admiring it's traditional nickname "the classic of the falling leaves."

I'm trying to convince myself the change will be good.


Final podium...
Daniel Martin, Oliver Zaugg & Joaquin Rodriguez



Friday, October 14, 2011

2012 Giro



I have a good news bad news post.

Here's the bad news: We'll all have to wait (patiently) for the 2012 Giro set for next May.

The good news: here's an excellent, highly motivating look to get your Giro mojo going!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Barry Back up to Sky

Barry in his key role as one of Sky's top domestique,
2011 Giro d'Italia
(Graham Watson)


After the world championship road race in Copenhagen, Michael Barry mentioned or didn't mention where he might end up next season.

I was left wondering, and I'm sure most of you who watched, that his days with Sky maybe over. Well,  he's re-signed with Sky along with Juan Antonio Flecha and Christian Knees. Boss, David Brailsford couldn't be happier to sign the three world-class talents and to have them continue their careers with Team Sky.

Barry rode very well this season, notably in the Giro d'Italia (54th), GP de Québec (14th), GP de Montréal (54th) and Tour of Beijing (14th overall).

I'm looking forward to seeing Michael Barry return in the primary role as the experienced domestique. A role he made 'work' for him.

And, if experience is a key to success then Sky has it in aces!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meier Going Over The Edge

Meier riding this year's ATOC.



The new GreenEDGE cycling team has signed Christian Meier. 

A very good move for the former 2008 Canadian Road Champion and 2007 National Espoir Road Champion. He will move from the US United Healthcare team and join a star studded roster on the much anticipated Australian owned cycling team. 

Twenty-six years old, Meier will reunite with Svein Tuft and, I believe, for further success. Both Canadians rode together for Garmin-Cervelo and Symmetrics Cycling Team.

The GreenEDGE team looks ready for the World Tour and that means the top races, a fine opportunity for Meier to grow and win in!


Garmin days...
(l to r): Meier, Tuft & Hesjedal.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Merckx's Masi

The Italian way...
World Champion, Merckx (on his Masi) riding with Ferdi Bracke,
1967 Trofeo Angelo Baracchi TTT 



One item of interest that I discovered of Eddy Merckx's 1967 season with Peugeot-BP- Michelin was his fixation for his bike. Thanks to one of my favorite websites on vintage bicycles: velo-pages.com

Merckx was well known for his obsessive tinkering of his bicycles. His wife, Claudine said that he would awake in the middle of the night to go re-measure something on his bike. A well known worrier, Merckx had to have his bikes perfect. His bouts with insomnia were many compared with his equally many victories on the road.

The Cannibal didn't like how the stock Peugeot PX-10 bikes rode. So, he asked the great frame builder, Faliero Masi to custom build a bicycle. It was badged and painted, of course, in Peugeot decals but at the heart it was all Masi.

It stood out; no chrome forks/rear stays, no black paint on the lugs, and it sported a Masi decal on the seat tube.

During the 1967 season, Merckx showcased his enormous talents winning; Milan-San Remo (he also won in 1966), Trofeo Angelo Baracchi TTT (with Ferdi Bracke), Fleche Wallone, Ghent-Wevelgem, Criterium des As, two stages Giro d'Italia and the World Professional Road Race (Heerlen).

In 1968, he made his big move to the Italian Faema squad settling in comfortably riding his beloved bicycles made by ...Faliero Masi!


The Italian Caper...
Merckx + Masi = 1969 Tour de France!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Flanders Moment

Cold & cobbles... it's Flandrian time!


Thanks to Peter from the Twitter sphere for sending me this fine video on Flanders.

I couldn't help but compare it with my cool Autumn morning ride equipped with oversocks, merino wool jersey, full finger gloves and winter cycling cap. Dare I say, this morning felt like a Flanders type of ride.

Thankfully without the falls!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Sustainable Poster

I'm excited to show you...
the Sustainable Poster,
courtesy from Joe Natoli.


A fun part of my blog is that I'm fortunate to get to showcase exciting cycling related products.

Two weeks ago, Joe Natoli of bpointcreative.com contacted me asking if I would be interested to post his Sustainable Poster on Cyclingart. You know, I love artwork and this is striking poster art created by Joe for his friend's cycling club focussing on sustainability in the industry.

A worthy cause that I embrace. In fact, Joe created this poster for RidersOne, a cycling team that advocates for a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

So, I asked Joe to send me a poster and he graciously sent me one. It arrived today wrapped securely in a cardboard box. It measures 16" X 20" printed on matte archival stock suitable for framing.

You may purchase it here.

Thanks Joe for this incredible poster and for the signed card in Letterpress print style... I'm going to find a prominent spot on my wall for this!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On... Sacred Ground

At the end...
Affirmation.
(Bryn Lennon)

I finished reading the absorbing article, 'Sacred Ground' by Joe Parkin in the Fall issue of Paved Magazine.

My favorite one day race by far is the classic Paris-Roubaix. My first education into the world of cycling was watching (eyes glued) to CBS Sports Sunday Paris-Roubaix 1984. It was the first and not the last time that I witnessed Sean Kelly manhandled every rider over his favorite pave. He easily sprinted past Rudy Rogiers in the hallow Roubaix velodrome, for his first Paris-Roubaix win.

Josef Fischer...
the first of the religious order to win over le pave.


To me, it was my first time watching this mystical race, a bewildering display of endurance racing (7 hours plus), riders struggling and falling over mud slicked pave. A crazy blend of athleticism balancing on the thin line (the width of a tyre) of whether a rider will or will not survive the surreal conditions.

When I saw Kelly and Rogiers entering the cold concrete velodrome I thought what a fitting way to end 7 hours of hell.

A re-birth to Spring...

1896 was the very first edition of this great race first won by the German Josef Fischer. Riding an oversized heavy bike, almost hard to fathom, to win. I understand the Roubaix Velodrome is the third since 1943. I remember in the eighties the organizers decided to move the finish on the road beside the sponsors, Le Redoute office. It never worked the same way, the velodrome providing a near religious ending to cap off an hellish race.

Equally important is what greets the survivors, a deserving shower in the ancient concrete shower cubicles with plaques of former winners to remind them all to return back ...to sacred ground.



King Kelly... God like 
over le pave.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Thinking of Gibsons

Fresh air and good riding.
© 2011 Cyclingart

Now that the Autumn gray weather has settled in, I can't help but think of our sunny time in Gibsons. Here's a view overlooking Thetis Island.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Cycling Passion

Michael Barry is going forwards to a new team for 2012
teamsky.com


Last week I posted a post race video (here) of Michael Barry's world championship road race and his plans for the 2012 season.

He actually hinted that his plans were to race but only smiled when asked if he was re-signing for Team Sky.

The good news is that Barry will return for 2012 but he isn't ready to reveal the team he will ride for... at least for now. That's where we can speculate where he will wind up with. He will be 36 this December and will ride his last race of the season for Team Sky at the Tour of Beijing (Oct. 5-9). At the end of this season he will leave Team Sky after three solid seasons as a domestique.

For his new team, he says that he will be playing his role as team captain and domestique. My take is he would fit well into Steve Bauer's Team SpiderTech and it would be a fitting way to end his classy career and also bringing invaluable experience to the Canadian squad. His goal is to make it to the Olympic Games in which I have no doubt he'll do.

No matter which team he'll ride for, we can be happy that the veteran Michael Barry will be returning to his favorite love of cycling...  his le metier!







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