Dec 31, 2011

New Years Eve Ride

Taking a pit stop...
Unseasonably sunny in December.

Guy and I closed this busy 2011 year with our UBC ride stopping at Cafe Zucherro on fourth Avenue.

It was unseasonably dry and sunny, despite the cold conditions (felt like 0C), it was a perfect day for a ride. A good time  to chat about news, have a double espresso and ride. Cafe Zucherro may well be our favorite cafe stop along our UBC loop. I almost forgot how good their double espresso is... absolutely gold.

Overlooking scenic Georgia Strait.

The burly Italian barista, once again, was most welcoming and colorful, keeping us entertain. We were the only cyclists in the cafe and he quickly zero in on us saying he wouldn't ride in such cold weather. All I can think was, "Wear layers". He shook our hands and wished us a Happy New Year. What a gentleman!

Winter riding is about quality and we took advantage of the dry road conditions for some relaxation hammering. I always like the NW Marine Drive hill, not steep but very scenic overlooking English Bay. We stopped to admire the view on SW Marine Drive and with the sun breaking through the clouds it was pretty special.

I used my newly acquired Endura Roubaix Gloves and they performed admirably. One small critique is that the gloves are not cut high enough to ward off the cold chill. All in all, I'm happy with them providing enough grippy plastic on the palms and fingers for a comfortable and secure ride. Importantly, there is terry cloth on the thumb to wipe off excess sweat.

Used my Endura Roubaix gloves (love the name) for the first time...
one word, Perfect!
Also, the brand new ITM tape is extra nice!

It's fun when we're riding at a good clip, I call it floating. We flew onto Kent Ave then I made my turn, for home, on the Ontario Street Bikeway. A memorable and fun ride to end 2011!

So, with only a few hours left we'll all look forward to 2012...

A hearty Thanks! to all that follows my blog and to the new folks that stop by!

Wishing All... A Happy New Year!

Dec 30, 2011

On Winter Riding

No one to chase.

Winter riding is something I think about and seldom do. 

I try to get out on the bike as often as I can.

Depending upon where you live, the weather is a factor whether you go out or not. I'm thinking work falls a close second in terms of deciding whether you have the time or energy to ride. We all work right? Just going out, breathing in fresh air and riding is the name of the game (and pleasure) at this time of year. The intensity is lessen but fundamentally sound to go out for a comfortable spin. Extra fun if you go with a friend or more. I'm thinking of the expresso or beer stop along the way.

Solo riding is good too. Leaving your stress behind and riding with your own thoughts is the perfect therapeutic environment. I don't remember how many times I rode by myself and came back feeling rejuvenated!

I'm lucky, I suppose, living on the west (wet) coast having just to cope with another riding day of wet gloomy weather. A rain cape, a warm Galstudio winter cap and water proof booties does the trick. Two years ago, we had a freak huge snowstorm and I can remember being house bound for about ten days. It rarely snows here but when it does, Vancouver becomes somewhat comical, snowed in and cycling is non-existent. 

Which comes to tomorrow, Guy and I will finally ride together. I'm thinking hard here... we haven't rode together since last August. I'll be testing Christmas gear I received and I'll make sure to bring along my camera to take pictures for an upcoming post.

A New Years eve ride, and although the forecast is calling for sunny skies (I'd better check that again) it's going to be good riding with Guy .... again!

Dec 29, 2011


Great news for Mauricio Soler...

As he moves up on his road to recovery, the Colombian government, the Coleportes body which sponsors the  Coldeprotes Pro Continental team, will provide financial/medical support for the injured grimpeur.

A wonderful Christmas present after his return home to Bogota. It's too early to say if the 28 year old will be back on the bike but I have hopeful optimism.

His road back is looking better!

Dec 27, 2011

My Cycling Christmas

Tifosi glasses, Gore Bibshorts, Endura Roubaix Gloves & 
ITM bar tape.

I love online shopping, a matter of convenience for hard to find quality cycling gear.

How is a cycling enthusiast, like myself, resist good deals online? Why resist, I gave in!

This is what I received in the mail and it all arrived, promptly, before Christmas. Ok I didn't get the bar tape color I ordered, but I'm using it.

I'll have product reviews in subsequent posts!

Dec 25, 2011

The Galstudio Boxing Day/New Year Sale!

The Lowest Prices EVER!

I'm please to announce The Galstudio Boxing Day/New Year Mega Sale!

That's right. This sale is more than just a Boxing Day Sale. Galstudio is under going a major change and you can read Carolle's post here for all the details.

If you ever considered purchasing our fine handmade cycling caps or rubber inner tube accessories... Now Is The Time with ridiculously low prices...

All of our Galstudio inventory will be discounted up to 50% on most items.

Hurry! There will never be a better opportunity than now to take advantage of this one time sale!

Dec 22, 2011

Climbing back to the top

I'd love to see him back!

Juan Mauricio Soler is back in the news, returning to Colombia after a long recovery from that near fatal crash during the summer's Tour de Suisse.

Before his crash on June 16, it seemed the former 2007 KOMs Tour de France winner had shaken off his long history of injuries and illnesses by winning stage 2 Crans-Montana on June 12. Of course, his road to recovery will be a daunting one full of challenges, but I remain hopefully optimistic.

But, seeing him in the video was enough to put a smile on my face. He's come far and headed, I hope, back to what he was ...a great climber!

Return to Colombia.

Dec 21, 2011

Journey to a Dream

Thanks to Cliff Bar and Nigel Dick for this excellent insightful video of Garmin-Cervelo's talented team!

Dec 20, 2011

First Test: Mudflap

Today was absolutely a beautiful day for a ride (sunny, windy & 5˚C).

In a way, a first test for my new rear mudflap. As you see the road conditions were mainly dry. Of course, there were huge sections of roads with plenty of water/road grime to happily negotiate through.

Carolle and I designed it measuring 7 inches long and 3 inches wide. It's 4 mil ply. You can make it longer if you choose. The natural bend of the fender presented a concern of how it would sit. Coroplast is a rigid corrugated plastic that is 100% waterproof. You can purchase it at most art supply shops.

Carolle's expertise working with the material for the special events industry was an asset. We decided a thin piece (that sits on the flat channel inside of the fender) of coroplast inlayed 3 inches and glued (hot glue gun needed). No bolts, zip ties or rivets needed. We cut the mudflap so it's one piece for strength. 

To fit around the natural curve of the fender, Carolle scored the plastic stopping 2 inches from the base. We used an Xacto blade (make sure it's sharp or it won't cut) gliding along the edge of a steel ruler being careful not to cut through the plastic. Having the coroplast as flat as possible, at the base, is important to deflect as much of the spray from the faces of fellow riders.

After my windy ride I had a closer look and the mudflap hung in there solidly and looking at the grime collected... it did it's job!

The Coroplast was scored, so it will fit the 
curve of the fender.

Safety first...
The white coroplast is also very visible!

Dec 19, 2011

Mudflap Prototype

I was helping my friend Duane move and he gave me three full sheets of coroplast.

It's an amazing material made of corrugated plastic that's strong and waterproof. In the talented hands of Carolle, she was able to craft a nice and wide piece and fit it on my too small rear fender to give it a proper mudflap.

Now, where's the rain? The test ride upcoming!

Dec 18, 2011

Special Guys

Robert Millar
(via supercycleclothing)

"I don't know if it's something about climbers, but Pantani, Claveyrolat, Jimenez and Robert, they were all a special guys. When I say special. I mean freakish, extreme. They were extreme in everything - eating, losing weight, training, suffering. Also, they spend  a lot of time on their own."

Dag Otto Lauritzen.  

Marco Pantani

Thierry Claveyrolat
(Courtesy Jack Classen)

José-Mariá Jimenez
(Courtesy Guy Dedieu)

Dec 17, 2011

Chapeau Ferdi!

Ferdi Kubler is a living legend. He is the oldest Tour champion alive, at the age of 92.

During his riding days he was known as 'The Cowboy' with a love for the Stetson hat. From 1950-1952 was his most successful years on the bike rewarding him with huge wins: 1950 Tour, Liege-Bastogne-Liege (1951, 1952), Fleche Wallonne (1951, 1952), Tour de Suisse (1951), Tour de Romandie (1951) and World Road Champion (1951).

An impressive palmares in a short two year span.

Chapeau Ferdi!

Here's an excellent video on Kubler winning the 1951 Tour de Suisse.
With an equally fine performance by Hugo Koblet. I know why
they called him 'The Pedaller of Charm.'

Dec 15, 2011

GreenEDGE Hit Squad

Now that Svein Tuft has signed for the Australian 'hit squad' GreenEDGE, the Canadian TT champion seems to be finally where he wants to be.

After reading the enjoyable and informative article by Anthony Tan from Velonews, I'm left to ask far can Tuft go?

He's 34, not exactly young in cycling years, but he has the uncanny ability to do well in the time trial. He's a seven time National Time Trial Champion, a silver medal in the 2008 World Championship TT, prologue win at the Eneco Tour and second overall at the Tour of Denmark (including TT win).

This year he rode for Steve Bauer's TeamSpiderTech and achieved a rare double winning both the road and TT National Championships. He also won a one day Belgium semi classic, the Grand Prix Zottegem. Proving, perhaps a big classic win is in the cards. Can his time with Steve Bauer bear fruit? Remember Bauer was a master on the cobbles, he came close finishing second in the 1990 Paris-Roubaix.

I call the GreenEDGE team a 'hit squad' comprising of an impressive group of top riders hungry for victories in their inaugural season. Joining Tuft will be ex-Garmin teammates; compatriot Christian Meier and Julian Dean.

So much left in the tank for Tuft and exciting he's riding on the GreenEDGE team ...quietly plotting further success on the World Tour stage.

Going for a Tuft Ride!
2008 World Championship TT.
(via PezCycling)

Dec 13, 2011

Fifties Panache

Bobet (yellow) & Kubler (green points),

The 1950s was cycling's Golden Age.

A who's who list of exciting heroes emerged from the Tour de France...

In 1950, the Swiss Ferdi Kubler was a TT devil winning the overall and proclaimed by Jacques Goddet as a 'cycling demon'. His compatriot, Hugo Koblet, in 1951 nicknamed the 'Pedaller of Charm' won solo to Agen crossed the line, ran a hand through his hair calmly checking his stopwatch, waited for his exhausted rivals. Koblet invented a matinee idol look known as the 'Italian Style' and won with a unique panache.

suave and checking the time gaps, 1951 Tour.

Fausto Coppi returned in 1952 and annihilated everyone winning by almost half an hour, rode magnificently taking three great mountain stages. The great Italian was in a race of his own. Tour organizers re-invented the race in a huge way. A search for new terrain led to new mountain passes - Alpe d'Huez, Mont Ventoux, Puy-de-Dome and Sestrières - bringing more grandeur to the event.

It was still an innocent time, the cyclists raced with collars, front pockets with buttons, metal bidons stoppered with cork. Just like Hugo Koblet, they wrapped goggles around their arm.

The French public was yearning for a hero to call their own.

Despite saddle sores, Breton, Louison Bobet triumphed in 1953 finally winning the Tour on his sixth attempt. In 1954, the Tour started for the first time outside France, in Amsterdam. Bobet was there winning the stage to Briancon and extending enough time over a threatening Kubler. He won his second Tour and the hearts of France. Federico Bahamontes was making his first Tour debut in dramatic fashion. His talent was riding fast uphills but he was a poor descender. He stole an ice cream from an ice cream seller, ate it at the roadside waiting for his chasers. Bahamontes quirky demeanor caught the attention of the public and his teammates. "He's a very good climber, but completely mad," said teammate Jesus Lorono. Bahamontes climbed well, so well he won his first mountains classification.

French hero, 1954.

French hero, Bobet came back in 1955, again riding through the pain of saddle sores to be the first to win the Tour three times in succession. He became a Tour legend. In the oven of the Ventoux, a heat exhausted Ferdi Kubler had to stop at a café, got back on his bike ...riding in the wrong direction. He abandoned and never rode the Tour again.

Gaul in the spectacular Alps, 1956.

The French came back in 1956, this time Roger Walkowiak surprised all with his resiliency and smart tactics to win. The following year, in 1957, the time trial was the domain of the young genius Jacques Anquetil (22), together with a super strong French team won his first Tour. In 1958, Monsieur Chrono pulled out due to a pulmonary infection giving way to a splendid Charly Gaul who won all three TT stages and the brilliant stage in the freezing rain to Aix-les-Bains. After 24 stages without a rest day, Gaul was the convincing overall winner. Federico Bahamontes came to the 1959 Tour looking to excel in the mountains. He won the mountain TT up the Puy de Dome and distance himself from the infighting of the French teams to win his second KOM's and become Spain's first Tour winner. As the 1959 Tour came to a close, two former French Tour stars ended their careers; Louison Bobet abandoned and Jean Robic was disqualified at Chalon-sur-Saone for missing the time limit.

The birth of a legend, 1957.

As the fabulous Fifties came to an end, a certain elegance and innocence disappeared. Great cycling heroes amidst the backdrop of the picturesque French country came forth, riders who represented the glory, suffering and soul of the Tour de France.

Il Campionissimo, 1952.

Dec 8, 2011

Italian Soul

My 1987 Nuovo Record friend...
rear/front derailleur & pedal. 

After reading the insightful article, The Italian Job by Bruce Barcott I could never be more steadfast for my devotion for Campagnolo.

I'm part of the middle age set, raised on the passion and the old world charms of the Italian component maker. The lure intense. The Vicenza based component maker is endearing to me and represents a business oddball. Staying true to their roots, especially in this profit margin, out-sourced mad business world, maintaining manufacturing from Italy and Romania. While Shimano and Sram chase profits offshore.

Tuillio Campagnolo...
the master of the first release.

In 1927 Tuillio Campagnolo found himself in great difficulty, on the assent of Croce d'Aune Pass, he tried to take off the rear wheel to change the gear ratio. The legend tells us that he said, "Something has to be changed back there." He patented his first release in 1929. In 1933 he founded Campagnolo becoming the choice of the greats: Coppi, Bartali, Merckx, Hinault...

When I was measured for my custom 1987 Marinoni, I was so happy to partner the Italian/Quebec frame with Campagnolo. It was a no brainer. Like the majority riders during the eighties I was weaned on Campy as the traditional choice. Components exotic and beautifully crafted to last and made from old world artisans. Ok, I'm a romantic by heart. I couldn't afford the top of the line Super Record but I knew the Nuovo Record gruppo would suit me just fine. It worked heartily and solidly for me for over twenty years. I know it's only cold metal but there's a warm soul lurking here.

Campy pioneer.

Now, I've still kept it Campy changing to the new Veloce groupset, going to new technology foregoing the down tube shifters and adopting the Power Torque System. I've gone for their amazing aluminum Khamsin wheels. The result a second marriage as good as the first time.

The heart and soul is the same. And that's where Campagnolo will endure crafting well made, highly innovative components. Perhaps they can't match their competitors profits but for 78 years... they thankfully continue to serve their passionate and loyal fans.

My 1987 Marinoni...
Campagnolo Veloce & Khamsin inspired.
Image courtesy Hans Sipma Photography

Dec 6, 2011

A Flemish Giveaway

The Flemish 100% wool winter cycling cap
Image © Galstudio

Psst! Want a chance to win a beautiful Flemish 100% wool winter cycling cap by Galstudio?

Just go to the 3b's site, check out our new Xmas podcast for all the details!

Mountain Lion

Luis Lucho Herrera. 1988

Dec 5, 2011

Bauer & the 7-Elevens

7-11 yellow for Bauer.

Steve Bauer rode for GS Mengoni in the early eighties and he often tussled with Team 7-11.

Geoff Drake, the author of the excellent book Team 7-Eleven, stated, "Canadian powerhouse Steve Bauer was a constant antagonist for the the 7-Elevens until he finally joined the team."

I remember reading a issue of Winning, Bauer and Davis Phinney were rivals but in this particular criterium (I wish I could remember the name of the race) they rode against European Pros. Together the two amateurs put on a good show forcing the Pros on their heels. I believe Phinney won that. Eddy Merckx was there and commented that the Pros should always win against the amateurs. In this case the amateurs got the better of the Pros.

Bauer and Phinney would often duel against each other in the American criterium circuit often jostling for victory.

In 1990, Bauer joined the 7-Elevens and came very close to winning Paris-Roubaix, losing by one centimeter to Eddy Planckert. At the 1990 Tour, Bauer went on a tear on stage one and was part of a four man breakaway finishing 10 minutes on the field. Together with a strong prologue and team time trial, Bauer held the coveted yellow jersey until stage 10.

A brilliant Tour de force... for 7-Eleven!

Sean Yates was part of the 1990 7-11 Tour team.

Dec 3, 2011

Warm ride with the Flemish

Back from my ride...
The NEW 100% wool Flemish winter cap 
by Galstudio

I'm finding some time in my busy schedule to finally go out and enjoy the simple pleasures of cycling.

Yesterday, was a rare sunny day and cold (around freezing) so I set out for a ride around the University of BC and up the winding 4th Ave hill. I had a quick pasta lunch before leaving thinking it would give me enough to sustain my 20 mile spin. It did but my legs were heavy. Call it lack of riding.

The Flemish
(image © Galstudio)

These days my riding is all about just going out on the bike and enjoying. It's so fun just spinning and looking out at the ships in the bay and breathing the cold crisp air.

One indispensable piece of cycling attire is the cap. A must need item. And with the weather temperature steadily dropping, the winter cap is part of my cycling wardrobe. This is my second test ride with the new 100% Wool Flemish winter cycling cap and it scores big time on my scale.

We decided to produce another all wool winter cap after the crazy success of the the limited edition Brits cap (now discontinued).

I have two wool cycling jerseys and there's an intrinsic value to wearing wool. It provides warmth, wicks perspiration and feels and fits well. Our Flemish winter cap is lightweight and so warm that you can just concentrate and ride. It's my favorite winter cap.

We re-design this new winter cap with two sizes: Small/Medium (21 - 22 1/2") & Medium/Large
(22 1/2" - 24"). So, when ordering please specify size. And we also re-design the ear flap (made from 100% cotton jersey knit) to make a better fit.

It's a classic cap in classic plaid, the type of cap that would be well suited even in Flanders. My enjoyable cold weather rides in and around Vancouver... is more enjoyable with the 100% wool Flemish winter cap!

Another important feature...
Made to be comfy under a helmet.

Dec 1, 2011


What's all the fuss? Click on it and enjoy!

I was reading a story on Campagnolo with my morning coffee and discovered this video on the 2012 Giro.

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