Monday, 28 February 2011

Unreal and horrific...

Brazil Critical Mass a couple of days back, luckily nobody was killed - the driver has not yet been charged with attempted murder, it is believed he had a sick passenger and was trying to get to hospital, but the cyclists refused to move... which doesn't make it right....
Almost as alarming is that a guy with a mobile phone camera is running around filming while also telling other people to get a phone and call ambulances and the police...

NAHBS roundup


2011 NAHBS Surpasses Previous Attendance Records, Announces 2012 Venue

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2011 NAHBS Award winners. Photo courtesy: markdawsonstudio.com
AUSTIN--The North American Handmade Bicycle Show has set several new records in what many agree is the most successful show in the event's seven-year history.
NAHBS founder and president, Don Walker, said, "I am over the moon right now. The amount the show has grown in the past 12 months has exceeded all of my hopes and expectations. And with the show going to Sacramento, California, next year, I have a feeling we're headed for another big one 12 months from now."
The Sacramento show is scheduled for March 3-5, 2012.
At total of 7316 people visited the show this year, narrowly surpassing the previous high mark of 7200 in Portland, Oregon, in 2008. Media attendance was at 134, compared to 100 in '08, and 174 exhibitors were present, 24 up on the 2008 high water mark.
The 2011 NAHBS Awards winners are as follows:
Best Road: Ellis - Touring bike 
Best Track: 6-11 - Lugged MS2 stainless steel 
Best Offroad: Black Sheep - 26" wheels, racks front and rear 
Best Tandem: Erickson Cycles - Titanium Mountain Bike 
Best Carbon Fiber: Carl Strong - Road frame 
Best Steel: Bishop - Track bike with 953 stainless tubing 
Best Titanium: Kish - 24" BMX bike 
Best Lugged: Bilenky - Horton City bike 
Best Filet brazed: Mike Dominguez - City bike 
Best TIG Welded: Independent Fabrications - Mountain Bike 
Best City Bike: Signal Cycles - City bike 
Best Paint: Kirklee -"Starry Night" road frame 
Rookie of the year: Rosene - MS2 stainless steel Mountain Bike 
People's Choice: Naked - Gentleman's recreational bike 
BEST IN SHOW: Mark DiNucci - City bike
Photographs of the NAHBS Award winners are on the home page atwww.2011.handmadebicycleshow.com

Bangers & Mash

Teluk Batik Jamboree, March 13th 2011 - Malaysia


The Sky (team) bus

One riot


Time Bandits 3


Time Bandits Volume 4, NW Cup Number 3 from Transition Bikes on Vimeo.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Classic Jimmy Saville

GP Insubrica

Het Nieuwsblad, the finish

House takes Tour of South Africa home


The Cell C Tour of South Africa - Stage 7 –  Paarl, Western Cape

Rapha Condor-Sharp  Wins Inaugural Cell C Tour of South Africa

Fresh in from Europe, Team Rapha Condor-Sharp added their own sense of heat to the tour in a scorching 40 degree Paarl on Saturday at the seventh and final stage of the Cell C Tour of South Africa when Kristian House was announced overall Tour winner.

The 104km, 10 lap circuit stage which opened with a one lap neutral start.  As the peloton entered Main street, it was all go when Shaun Nick Bester launched an unsuccessful attack shortly after the start, which lasted for a short  500m until he was reeled back in by the peloton.

The third lap saw the first major breakaway of the day take place around a cheerful Paarl when a 9 man group broke clear of the leading pack, holding Sven van den Houte, Kevin Reza. Daniel Teklehaimanot, Waylon Woolcock, Richard Baxter, Nic White, Kevin Evans, Ian McLeod and Peter Seyffert. 

MTN Qhubeka and Team Rapha Condor-Sharp were chasing from the peloton as they had no teammates in the breakaway group.

The gap stayed at about 2min for about 4 laps when the peloton closed the 41 second advantage bringing the race back together preparing the finale inaugural Cell C Tour of South Africa for exciting sprint finish.

Team D’Angelo & Antenucci-Nippo took its third win of the tour, the stage 7 winner being Bernado Riccio followed by Maartijn Verschoor and Yohann Gene in second and third respectively

Competition winners for Stage 7:
KOM – Daryl Impey (MTN Qhubeka)
Best African Rider – Johan Rabie (Team Bonitas)
Samsung Young Rider – Christopher Jennings (Team Verandas Willems-Accent)
Points – Yohann Gene (Team Europcar)

The Cell C Tour of South Africa Overall Competition Winners:
KOM – Daryl Impey (MTN Qhubeka
Best African Rider – Johan Rabie (Team Bonitas)
Samsung Young Rider–Christopher Jennings (Team Verandas Willems-Accent)
Points – Yohann Gene (Team Europcar)
Team Winners – Team Europcar

The Cell C Tour of South Africa - Stage 7 –  Paarl, Western Cape

Rapha Condor-Sharp  Wins Inaugural Cell C Tour of South Africa

Fresh in from Europe, Team Rapha Condor-Sharp added their own sense of heat to the tour in a scorching 40 degree Paarl on Saturday at the seventh and final stage of the Cell C Tour of South Africa when Kristian House was announced overall Tour winner.

The 104km, 10 lap circuit stage which opened with a one lap neutral start.  As the peloton entered Main street, it was all go when Shaun Nick Bester launched an unsuccessful attack shortly after the start, which lasted for a short  500m until he was reeled back in by the peloton.

The third lap saw the first major breakaway of the day take place around a cheerful Paarl when a 9 man group broke clear of the leading pack, holding Sven van den Houte, Kevin Reza. Daniel Teklehaimanot, Waylon Woolcock, Richard Baxter, Nic White, Kevin Evans, Ian McLeod and Peter Seyffert. 

MTN Qhubeka and Team Rapha Condor-Sharp were chasing from the peloton as they had no teammates in the breakaway group.

The gap stayed at about 2min for about 4 laps when the peloton closed the 41 second advantage bringing the race back together preparing the finale inaugural Cell C Tour of South Africa for exciting sprint finish.

Team D’Angelo & Antenucci-Nippo took its third win of the tour, the stage 7 winner being Bernado Riccio followed by Maartijn Verschoor and Yohann Gene in second and third respectively

Competition winners for Stage 7:
KOM – Daryl Impey (MTN Qhubeka)
Best African Rider – Johan Rabie (Team Bonitas)
Samsung Young Rider – Christopher Jennings (Team Verandas Willems-Accent)
Points – Yohann Gene (Team Europcar)

The Cell C Tour of South Africa Overall Competition Winners:
KOM – Daryl Impey (MTN Qhubeka
Best African Rider – Johan Rabie (Team Bonitas)
Samsung Young Rider–Christopher Jennings (Team Verandas Willems-Accent)
Points – Yohann Gene (Team Europcar)
Team Winners – Team Europcar

Riding the Grossglockner Pass, Austria


Just recently they tried to introduce a 5Euro toll to ride the Grossglockner (but a protest got is stopped(, so we figured we take this ride down recent memory lane...

Yodelleeooo! Lederhosen and pointed hats, it could only be Austria. Steve Thomas steps out on a date with the mighty Grossglockner Pass.

Err, umm, no; this definitely was not “Baby Dance Bar”. My rendezvous had been thwarted for the night. So much for my understanding of the German language. Somehow or other in a desperate attempt to dodge a torrential evening downpour I had indeed ended up in a dance bar. But baby, no – the horns blew and the lederhosen clad dancers yodelled their very best for the assembled and ageing coach tourists. I had to grin; it was probably for the best, considering I’d ridden out the mighty Grossglockner Pass earlier that day.
It was half way through my weeklong biking trip to the Austrian Tyrol, where my main mission had been to conquer the Grossglockner; one of the biggest of all mountain passes in Europe. I’d only once before visited this most mountainous of countries, and that was on a mountain bike. This time I’d shown up on skinny tyres in a bid to seek out this mythical mountain beast. Legend has it that this is not only one of the highest, and toughest, passes around, but that it is also one of the most spectacular mountain roads anywhere on the planet.


Knowledgeable prompts had centred my attention on the twin ski resorts towns of Saalbach and Hinterglem, which lie in a peaceful valley not too far from the chic lakeside resort of Zell am See, this is effectively the doorstep at the foot of the Grossglockner. The town (Hinterglem) it’s self is ultra bike friendly, and even has it’s own bike hotel – which is used by many leading amateur teams as a training base, ideal! Also spending the week training in town was multiple Namibian road champ, and top mountain bike marathon racer, Mannie Heymans. When he heard of my plans to ride out the pass his eyes lit up, and so did the eyes of local bike guide Heinnie, and a date was set.
With a ride like this it’s crucial to get good conditions, as when it’s bad on this pass it is seriously bad, and there had been 20cms of snow on the pass just a few days earlier. With all of this in mind and a 10-kilo camera pack on my back we elected a split assault on the pass; take pics of the guys today, then face the perils the following day. And boy did that ever turn out to be a sensible call, as I’m pretty damn sure the pack and constant stopping for pics would have killed me.
Later that day the deadly duo returned from the ride and shoot, both in quite a state, which was kinda surprising considering their fitness levels; “ Oh the wind; we had a head wind all the way out, and then a head wind all the way home. And that pass was something else!” lamented Mannie; “In the morning the wind rises, and as the temperature warms up it turns around…” Grunted Heinnie. Oh dear, not only was I not so fit, but I was going to have to face the beast without so much as a wheel to sit on, gulp.
Following a bizarre night at a biker bar and a close encounter with the growing number of Harley Davidson riders converging in town and it was time to set pedal for a lunch date with the beast of the Tyrol. Sure enough the wind was in my face from the off. Although I was sure the road pointed downwards I was still pedalling hard. This whole valley was a lot longer than I’d remembered from the previous day’s four-wheeled outing, which didn’t look good for the return leg.
Skirting around the stunning lake at Zell and the sun was shining hard through the wind, though the high swirling clouds somehow offered me a vague hope that it would pour down, forcing mw to turn back honourably. A wrong turn led me to ask directions from a parked lorry “Very bad rain, the pass is closed.” nodded the driver. Either way I was now in Bruck and it didn’t look too bad, so I figured I’d best go and see anyway.
The road through Fusch was quiet sure enough. Maybe he was right after all. Although I’d been climbing gradually for a while now the real slapping was only just about to begin. An evil section through the trees bites for a few kilometres at the ankles of the pass. This is perhaps the most demoralising section of all; I knew it was tough, but being the first climbing of the day it hurts so much more, and you know that you haven’t even started in real terms.
Passing through the tollgates and the valley opens up; it truly is stunning, and inviting – no matter how scary and painful you know it will be. The lower slopes are relentless and steep, though thankfully by the time the gradient eases you’re almost settled into a rhythm. Or should I say resigned to the prospect? It was long and draining grind. Along the way were loads of cyclists on tour, fully laden with panniers stacked a mile high and weaving across the road or pushing their heavy loads along the spine of the mountain beast, oh boy, had they ever got one long old walk ahead.
The higher the road got the more open and dramatic the vistas became. The low clouds swirled around the surrounding mountains, which was so mystically imposing. As the hairpin bends and the “oh so long” kilometres passed slowly by so the snow line drew closer. The sun had dried the road nicely, but the snow banks on the bends stood six feet proud, amazing!
Chilled, relieved, and satisfied I turned around from the summit and headed for home. It was a long and hand-cramping drop off the pass, but nail biting in with the deal. Emerging from three-lined tunnel on the road to Fusch and my wheels hit a vat of treacle. Yes the wind had turned tale on me, damn.
My back ached, my eyes watered, and my thighs burned like crazy - all the way home. By the time I turned into the valley towards Hinterglem I figured the cake was about cooked. Huh! No way, for almost ten miles I had the treat of a face slapping head wind, and every single meter of that ride was up hill. With my bottle empty and fuel tank in the red those last few kilometres were not pleasant, perhaps even as tough as the Grossglockner it’s self, but, a couple of hours later and I had a grin from ear to ear. It really was a mother of a pass, and just about as spectacular as they come! Now for a Wiener Schnitzel and some lederhosen thigh slapping, what better way to round off a big day out in the Tyrol?



 Steve’s bitterest hill report

The Grossglockner
Height 2429 meters
Distance 25-30 kms
Gradient, max 13%
Bottom gear 39 x 27
Grade a true mother of a beast

Intimidating, that’s the best word to sum up the prospect of riding the great Grossglockner. In real terms you start the climbing from Zell am See, though some consider Brick, and others Fusch as the start point of the climb. I’m gonna plumb for Bruck, as that’s where the hill climb race starts from.
It’s a steady roll out, until a couple of kilometres after Fusch; that’s when it starts to get nasty. It’s really steep, and yet you’re not even at the toll “entry proper” of the pass! From the toll it just gets tougher, and tougher. The first few kilometres are super tough and step, which is pretty mind blowing. After a short while you kinda get into a rhythm as the vista opens up. This is one long thin air mother of a climb, which goes on forever. As you climb higher that clear mountain chill sets in, and your lungs ring out for help and your thighs go numb. Then just when you think it’s all over the last gruelling section appears from behind an alpine refuge. Those last few hundred meters are torturous, but at least the end is nigh, and what an end it is!

Big wheeler

Start

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Tour of South Africa, stage 6


Stage 6 – Hermanus to Ou Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch

Starting in Hermanus, the queen stage of the inaugural Tour of South Africa welcomed current SA Road Cycling Champion Darren Lill (DCM) to the finish at Ou Helshoogte Pass after a close sprint with rivals Johann Rabie of Team Bonitas and Jaco Venter, Team Verandas Willems-Accent.

The South African Road Champion put in a formidable attack, which no one could follow, at the start of the final Heelshoogte climb, then soloed to the finish.

An elated Lill commented on his ride saying, "My teammate Ian McLeod did a great job in keeping the pace high, I saw everyone was tired when we got to the final climb, and I was still good, so I decided to jump."

After already racing 90km, the biggest break of the day was up the Franschhoek pass where 360 Life rider David George put in an attack as soon as the ascent started.  George crossed the top of the mountain with a 50-second advantage on the fragmented peloton.

George who was lying 5th in the race overall was making his bid to win the race.  He was caught near Boschendal Estate with about 15km to go.

Riders kept trying to attack off the front but MTN-Qhubeka set a blistering pace. Lill decided to counter attack a move from Chris Jennings (Burgos 2016), and immediately opened up a sizeable lead between him and the peloton. Jaco Venter (Veranda's Willems-Accent) tried to bridge the gap but Lill was adamant at getting victory on home turf. Johann Rabie (Team Bonitas) out sprinted the chasing group for second place, whilst Venter finished third.

Rapha Condor-Sharp’s Kristian House will retain the Gold jersey on the final stage of The Cell C Tour of South Africa which will take place in Paarl tomorrow.
 manager John Herety said, "We played a dangerous game today, relying on

In other competitions:
KOM – Daryl Impey, MTN Qhubeka
Best African Rider – Johan Rabie (Team Bonitas)
Samsung Young Rider – Christopher Jennings (Team Verandas Willems-Accent)

MTB on Tarmac, Malaysia


Buzcocks

A chat with Co-Motion boss, NAHBS


Proust Questionnaire: Dwan Shepard, Co-Motion Cycles

What is your idea of perfect happiness?Dwan Shepard portrait
The satisfaction of a job well done, a bike well crafted, a garden well planned and cared for, a child growing independent
 
What is your greatest fear?
Being inconsequential
 
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Mark Twain. He understood character, and enjoyed the world in numerous ways.
 
Which living person do you most admire?
Dan Vrijmoet, my business partner. No one works harder.
 
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Laziness
 
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Disregard for other human beings or for the future
 
What is your greatest extravagance?
I like a good vacation now and then
 
On what occasion do you lie?
Telling my wife I am heading home from work, or I'm taking a "short" bike ride
 
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Hairs sprouting out everywhere except the top of my head
 
When and where were you happiest?
The day I learned to ride a bicycle
 
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I could be friendlier
 
If you could change one thing about  your family, what would it be?
We would stop arguing about petty things.
 
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being a good father
 
If you died and came back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
I don't know, but given a choice I think I'd enjoy being a hawk or eagle, soaring on the thermals.
 
What is your most treasured possession?
My mind. I'd hate to lose it, but if I did I suppose I wouldn't know.
 
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Lost time
 
Who are your heroes in real life?
People who embrace their work and do it as though it makes a real difference. It does.
 
What is it you most dislike?
The question, "couldn't you just ___?"
 
How would you like to die?
Are you threatening me?
 
What is your motto?
It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it.

Lance comes home to find a big chopper in his room, and some hairy bikers

Friday, 25 February 2011

Looking at me?

Classic TV ad - Lance Armstrong gets dirty

As Le Tour approaches  we thought we'd bring another classic cycling add to the BNA screen. This add played a huge parted in the rapid ride of cyclo cross in the US - and it is one of our all time favourites. But we can't quite see what it is that lance is so desperate to get away from - is it Floyd? WAD?

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Hermida for Cape Epic


WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CYCLIST HERMIDA TO PARTICIPATE IN HIS FOURTH ABSA CAPE EPIC

HERMIDA WANTS TO GIVE IT HIS ALL

Well-known cyclist, Jose Hermida (32) from Spain will participate in this year’s Absa Cape Epic presented by adidas as part of Multivan Merida Biking Team 3. The event, which takes place from 27 to March to 3 April 2011, will lead 1 200 cyclists through vast distances, kicking off with a prologue in Tokai Forest and ending at the historical finish line of the prestigious Lourensford Wine Estate.
Hermida boasts a number of titles including the Elite World Champion (2010), fourth place at the Sydney Olympic Games, six World Cup round victories, runner-up in the European Championships and five times Spanish National Champion.
According to Hermida, who will be giving amateur riders a witty summary of the day’s events in the dining marquees every evening, the decision to participate in this year’s Absa Cape Epic is not easy to explain in a few words: “Firstly, I really feel comfortable at this event – it feels likehome. The organisation, the course, the other riders – or shall I say ‘enemies’. It’s a bit of all of this and also because I really like to ride it.”
Hermida will be riding with Ralph Näf, with whom he rode in 2007. Says Hermida: “Riding with Rudy van Houts was  fantastic last year and we even won the last stage. This year I’ll  be coming back with one of my best friends and also partner. It’ll be wonderful for us again to ride ‘full gas’ in this year’s Epic. The good thing about it is that we know each other really well. Most of the time we don’t need to talk much.”
To the question of how confident he is of a stage win, his answer is simply that he is always confident. “But, every year it’s getting more difficult to win a stage to win and a win overall is 8 times harder. The good thing is that we’re smart enough to wait for the right day, and then we always go for it – let’s see what happens this year.”
During season, the two train together all the time. “Hundred and fifty days of the year we travel around the world. After each season we really need to switch off and take a break from each other!  But then just after a couple of weeks we need to call each other just to cathc up.”
Hermida trains 15 to 25 hours a week and between 20 000 and 25 000 km a year, with one day rest a week. “And of course lots of motivation and passion for my sport. On the diet side, I’m lucky. I like salads and pasta a lot and for dessert tiramisu and capuccino.”
His advice to other participants is simple: “Have fun and ride with passion! The Absa Cape Epic will be short like that! In this event success is not always to win. Most of the time it is to reach the goal with your partner, so let’s say that the most important factor is to have a good vibe with your partner and to always keep going.”
His comments on last year’s race are short: “Only one comment - the first stage, especially the railway track section. I think many people will remember that, so enough said. It brings back not-so-nice memories.”
Hermida reckons everyone has to start at the bottom. “Young athletes need to know that we all started on the 2nd or 3rd page of the results list. Just keep going. You can get there!” To cross the finish line of the Absa Cape Epic is one of the greatest feelings in the world. “You reached your goal and feel proud of yourself and your partner. Its great! And in my case I won the final stage with Rudy last year – it was as if I’d won the Lotto! All your memories of the Absa Cape Epic – good or bad one – are for life, which makes them all good, I think.”
Hermida is married with two kids, so does not have much free time. “I spend all the free time with my familly and resting at home. I also enjoy  cross country skiing and karting (gokart) but the real truth its that my job is my hobby and my hobby my job and that’s really great.” His goals for this season will be to win the World Championships in Champery and the Overall World Cup. “It depends on me to do it or not.”


Sardinia back in 1971

Giro Sardinia stage 1

Sampson pedal launch at NAHBS

Sampson Launches Carbon Pedal at NAHBS
Sampson carbon stratics pedalDenver based Sampson Sports is choosing NAHBS as the venue to launch it's new Carbon Stratics pedal. Features include a 66mm-wide top surfce, a no-rock cleat design, and an optional titanium axle model that weighs just 95g per pedal, these are well worth checking out.

Hope on 2 wheels- NAHBS


Hope comes on Two Wheels

When Don Walker heard the story of cycling Greg Impellizeri, who lost his sight as the unexpected consequence of a medical procedure, he decided he had to help. "I got in touch with him and suggested I build him a tandem, so at least he can keep riding, even if he can no longer see," said Don. A few days later Walker heard from Brooke, Greg's girlfriend. "Bikes were Greg's world, and that world crumbled. You are giving him that world back... trust me, this is MAJOR. You are making more of a difference in Greg's life than you realize." she wrote. The tandem itself will be on display at NAHBS, a fillet brazed frame with clearcoat, and definitely is worth a look.
Don Walker tandem