Friday, January 30, 2009

Strongest Tour of California So Far...

VeloNews had a nice overview of the riders...
....“It is clear that this year’s Amgen Tour of California has the greatest field ever assembled in our country. We have legendary champions like Lance Armstrong, an extraordinary array of the best professional cyclists riding today and many of the most talented young riders in the world,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports.

The unprecedented field of riders expected to compete in the fourth-annual event, which drew a record 1.6 million spectators in 2008, includes two Tour de France Champions (Armstrong, Sastre), a Giro d’Italia Champion (Basso), 10 World Champions (Armstrong, Boonen, Cancellara, Michael Rogers, Cavendish, Brett Lancaster, Stuart O’Grady, Francisco Chicchi-Jr, Yoroslav Popovych-Jr. and Janez Brajokovic-Jr.), 26 Olympians and eight Olympic medalists (Armstrong, Cancellara, Hamilton, Leipheimer, Gustav Larsson, O’Grady, Rogers and Hayden Roulston) and 25 past and current National Champions......
Click here for the rest of the article

Blackburn Flea comes out on top for Bike Couriers

Hugo Giron, Bike Courier did a review of bike light for the NY Times. Here is what he said about the Flea.

"The Flea was definitely my favorite light," Mr. Giron said of the ultracompact Blackburn. "The design was small, the lights were super bright, and they were convenient because they would attach to anything." Mr. Giron said the Flea's hook-and-strap self-mounting system was secure but easy to remove, and the lights would fit in his pocket when he dashed into a store for a delivery. But "the really rad thing" was the Flea's charger, which uses a 1.5-volt battery to juice the front lights for 3 hours steady (6 hours flashing) and the rear for 6 hours (12 hours flashing). "These lights were the bee's knees," Mr. Giron said. "They were so small and ridiculously bright."

Click here for the rest of the article

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Team Astana bike signed by Lance Armstrong on EBay

Trek Australia donated an official Team Astana bike to auction with 100% proceeds to the Cancer Council of South Australia (CCSA). To add to the auction results, the Premier of South Australia has agreed to donate $3 for every dollar raised. This is a huge fundraising effort that exemplifies Australia’s commitment to make cancer a priority!

This auction ends Saturday! Go to Ebay to place your bid

Location for Party Swamis & Rumor change for Finish Sprint

Sources are telling us that Stage 8 finish sprint is being changed and "Party Swamis" may be right on the the finish sprint. Here are the rumors...

1. "Party Swamis" is officially next door to the media center for the Tour of California. Good news for our media efforts and our team - Fly Vaustralia Presented by Successful Living.

2. It is not confirmed, but the race route will finish down Escondido Blvd. and not Grand, therefore Party Swamis will have race side positioning instead of a block away and across the park!!! This is killer news if it is true, stay tuned....

Here is the google map

View Larger Map

PVC Surf Rack for Bike

If you do not have the money for a Carver Surf Rack, but you know your way around PVC check out this rack for your board.

Click Here for more info

Friday, January 23, 2009

Armstrong welcomes Landis return

Landis and Armstrong making nice for the Tour of California.. Click here for the article

....Armstrong said Italian Ivan Basso, the biggest name in the peloton to be snared by the Operation Puerto drugs scandal, should also be given a second chance.

"There's no point in criticising Basso or Landis - they've paid their penalty... that's normally the way society works and let's forgive and forget and get back on down the road," he said.

Landis and Armstrong are likely to face each other at the Tour of California on February 14-22, and the former said he is excited about Armstrong's comeback.

"His comeback is good for the sport," Landis said, adding that he had been watching Armstrong's progress in the Tour Down Under in Australia.....

"You know, he's just one of 200 other cyclists there, but I'm getting an idea of his condition by how he's doing in the Australian race."

Armstrong added: "I think it's good that the strongest riders in the world are in the best races in the world.

"Floyd is a friend of mine, he's a former team-mate and he has a lot of fans.

"I've heard that he's riding well. From a sporting perspective he'll be strong there (California)."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Look at the paint detail of Lance's Madone Frame!

Check out the detail here..

There is a rumor that there are a few hidden messages in the graphics (none of them shown here). Trek Team liaison Ben Coates promises he will share their meanings when he posts photos of the complete bike. Watch for more photos in the weeks to come!

See more here...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More info for seeing Stage 8 & Free Parking at Harrah's

Got an email from from Kevin Carter, Special Events Coordinator for Harrah's Rincon Casino. He is inviting all Swamis to feel free to park at the Casino and ride to the KOM. He will be sending me around 100 "Rack Cards" that will have a food coupon on the bottom. So if you get stuck on Palomar and cannot make "Party Swami" make sure you get your Harrah's coupon from me in early February.

Use this to help determine how to see as much of the race as you think you can.

Our continued work to see as much of Stage 8 as possible. I do not have a solution, but more information...

Here is the official street closure info for Stage 8. Keep this official link to get any changes.

Street Closures Saturday, February 21–Monday, February 23, 2009
Grand Avenue from Maple to Kalmia; Maple & Kalmia between Valley Parkway & 2nd Avenue will be closed from 6 a.m. Saturday, February 21, to 5 a.m. Monday, February 23.
Broadway between 2nd Avenue & Valley Parkway will be closed from 8 p.m. Saturday, February 21, to 12 a.m. Monday, February 23.
Grand Avenue between Escondido Boulevard & Juniper; Grand Avenue cross streets between Valley Parkway to 2nd Avenue will be closed from 8 a.m. Sunday, February 22, to 5 a.m. Monday, February 23.

Rolling Street Closures Sunday, February 22, 2009
Bear Valley Parkway between San Pasqual Valley Road
& East Valley Parkway
Noon–1:15 p.m.
East Valley Parkway between Bear Valley Parkway
& Lake Wohlford Road
12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m.
North Lake Wohlford Road between Valley Center Road
& El Norte Parkway
2:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
El Norte Parkway between Washington Avenue
& Escondido Boulevard
3:00 p.m.–4:45 p.m.

Back story of Escondido getting Stage 8

Here is a NC Times article about how the Stage 8 made it to North County.
Will Tour of CA return?
Mattson and Bettin said strong community participation and avoiding any significant problems will probably be key factors in whether race officials return to Escondido next winter.

"There are no guarantees they will be back," said Mattson, explaining that some cities have been abandoned since the race was founded four years ago. "My goal is to do everything possible to get them back."

Mattson is the main reason the race will be here in the first place. She said tour officials decided last spring that they wanted to expand into San Diego, but they were unsure where.

When Mattson got a request for proposals that was sent to nearly every chamber of commerce and visitors organization in the county, she immediately began brainstorming and eventually landed an exclusive contract for the local stage of the race.

"I knew Escondido and Rancho Bernardo had both been hit hard by the (October 2007) wildfires, so I thought they could use the exposure the most," Mattson said.

Tour officials were also attracted to using Palomar Mountain, which will include the highest point ever featured in the Amgen Tour of California event.

But Mattson said the race will only return if it is embraced by local businesses and residents.

"We need to show them our community flair," Mattson said.

Surly Long Haul Trucker in Winter

Saw this - Daniel LeLievre & Derek Marshall are traveling from Seoul, South Korea to Sagres, Portugal on Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bicycles. goal of this ride is to raise $50,000 for the fight against world hunger.

We do not see much winter here in San Diego, so I thought it would be good to relay their thoughts about their bikes and riding in winter.

Some things they learned from the ride:
  1. SKS Fenders, or fenders in general, really make for a cleaner ride. Derek doesn’t have fenders and was covered with mud after about 2 minutes on the bike. I was perfectly clean, although my front Ortlieb panniers were covered in mud.
  2. Adding some extra inflation to your tires increases speeds while under heavy load. I was rolling pretty heavy on the ride and my speed was down about 2km per hour. I stopped and pumped up my tires with my Topeak Road Morph up to near max capacity. I was rolling with the wind and got an extra 4km per hour out of my bike.
  3. A simple 3-layer clothing system seems to keep us warm. I’m wearing a pair of synthetic moisture-wicking long underwear (tops and bottoms), a think wool jacket on top, and a Gore Wind-stopper Jacket on top of that. For my legs, I’ve got the long underwear, a regular pair of boxer shorts, and wind-protective pants. Add some wool socks, a pair of cycling gloves, and waterproof shoe covers, and that’s it. We were riding in light rain, 34 degree weather, and a 20mph wind. No problems. I really think the addition of the Wind-stopper jacket has solved my problems.
  4. The Surly Long Haul Truckers are holding up nicely. I have over 900km on my bike while Derek is still breaking his in. I have had no problems thus far with any part of the bike. So far, all of my racks, panniers, and water cages are holding up just fine.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lance's First Race of 2009 in Adelaide

Lance has been in Australia for the past week promoting his Livestrong Foundation and Saturday he did the 50km Cancer Council ­Classic, held on a compact circuit in the center of Adelaide and run off at a rapid 47kmph. It has been 1,274 days having elapsed since his last professional race (for you statistic sport fans).

Armstrong, who, before crossing the line in 64th place – 23 seconds behind the winner, admitted to having "a lot of anxiety" about his first race back but "zero doubt in my mind that I have done the right thing" in returning to the sport.

Watching from the pits, Johan ­Bruyneel, the director of Armstrong's Astana team, said: "It's a special day, an important moment. After a lot of talk about his comeback, now it is a fact. He has a number on his back; he's a racer again."

Click here for the complete article

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Final details of Lance's bike

Here are the details of Lance's bike from Trek Bike -

........Lance Armstrong's Tour Down Under bike is a stock Madone red series carbon frame with a full custom paint job. Although the bike went from a twinkle in the designer's eye to painted and built in less then a full week there was nothing easy about it. It took over 30 hours to paint the bike, not including curing time, that is strictly airbrush gun in the painter's hand pointed it at the frame...... Everything on the bike was painted in house at Trek by one of our Project One painters. There are no decals on the bike, the bike is 100% paint! When you see it up close it really is a site to behold, knowing that it was hand done makes it even more incredible.

Getting the bike to Lance has been an adventure in and of itself, delays, shipping mishaps, changed flight plans, canceled flights, driving in the snow, running through the airport.....and finally handing it off to Lance.......

Click here for the rest of the story, complete with cool pictures

The Haro Z20

Robin's daughter, Kelly has been coming into the shop since her mother started. She is a great kid and we talked her into giving her perspective about bikes. Kelly will be blogging with us as "girl on Wheels". She will soon be writing under her own byline... But here is her first blog for ECBS......

Kelly's first entry...
A cross of mountain-meets-street bike, the Haro Z20 can handle rough terrain as well as hard concrete making it perfect for all freestyle and BMX fans. Some of pros include a hand brake plus coaster brakes so you can use whichever your comfortable with, a smaller more compact frame for maneuverability in those tight spaces we sometimes find ourselves in, gets great air, and comes in stunning colors like this neon pink that are sure to get attention.

Bontrager Race X Lite shoe review:

Check out Pez Cycling's review of the new Race X lite shoe. Looks like the prefect shoe for our warm, mild San Diego weather.
........One of the best things about the roomy inside is a really good ability to accommodate orthotic inserts. I have ESoles top line (full custom) insoles and they are double+ the thickness of the inserts included with the shoe as standard. The RXL swallows em up and leaves room for a foot in each shoe too, which sounds logical but simply ain’t the case with a lot of other shoes…

Then comes the venting…

This time of year, these things just flat freeze my feet (that’s a good thing). I did an hour on the trainer and then, with sweaty feet, went for a road ride at 50 degrees and you could feel the venting in a BIG way. These are some of the best venting shoes I have ever used. No trouble at all putting on overshoes for winter, but come spring and summer these will be dream shoes…...
Click here for the complete Bontrager Race X Lite shoe review

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The making of bikes U.S. vs. Asia

Trek is one of the few bike manufactures that produces some (Madones) still here in the States...

Trek Madone on YouTube & National Geographic

If you have a few minutes check out this great Youtube video of the making of Madone frames. It's from a program on the National Geographic channel detailing the revolutionary frameset of the Madone series. Check it out:

The video offers a rare look into Trek's carbon fiber production facility (A place that was only opened to the public back in 2003. It's an interesting look at the bikes and how they are made. The testing of the bikes is in person, and spoken face-to-face with some of the individuals in the video. I think you'll enjoy it.

Bicycle Frame Building Video from China & Taiwan on You Tube

Finally, this post on YouTube, shows the construction of bicycle frames and the assembly of the complete bike. Not quite the same quality of machine as in the previous video - but no less interesting. China and Taiwan produce somewhere near 80% of the world's bicycles in facilities just like this one.

Thanks for watching!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Is riding a moutain bike the way to see the most of Stage 8?

Andy has a good way to see a lot of the race with a mountain bike...

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Subject: RE: [swamis] TofC and CHP trying to rain on "Party Swamis"


If you think that the MTB idea is worth exploring, here's my thoughts.

I would plan to watch the race at "collarbone corner" (the last U-curve on South Grade); this offers a couple of advantages:

1. Climbing 50ft up a trail gives access to State Park Road and a panoramic view of South Grade; you can watch the riders coming up, then go back down to watch them up close.

2. Mothers Kitchen & restrooms are walking distance and accessible via State Park Rd.

3. At any time after the race goes by (not dictated by crowds or CHP) you can go back up the trail, ride a few miles to the park and down the Nate and watch the whole thing again from Cole Grade.

Check it out on Google Earth, let me know what you think.


If you are going to do this, a hardtail 29ER would be the way to go...