Wednesday, August 31, 2011

ridiculous bikes I saw doing PBP

My since of ridiculous is probably different than other people's, but here are some bikes I would not want to ride 750+ miles on, in a row.

tandem made from 2 inexpensive department store mountain bikes.

90%+ of the bikes were off the rack road racing bikes, with skinny tires, no real lights, or mudguards.

Sure this is a nice Colnago, but the rack is made of metal, sticks, and tape. really, there is branches from a tree. plus no toeclips.fairly aggressive gearing. She finished, but past the cutoff.

Colnago c-40, with seatpost mounted rack. really.

she finished ahead of me on this. . .

of course.

and as cool as this single tube pneumatic is, it didn't look all that comfortable.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

various ways of resting during pbp

I tried them all! By wednesday, it was common to see about a rider every couple of miles laying on the side of the road. I would assume to the casual car driving by, it looked as if they had recently crashed. Sleeping alone on the side of the road did have it's advantages, you didn't have to hear the snoring that was ever present at the controls.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Alex Singer Bicycle shop

I did take more pictures, I will post more later, just a taste. they had quite a fleet of bikes on display, I assume for PBP, but it may be a more permanent display?

Friday, August 26, 2011

PBP finished

Fin. It was great. I finished with over 30 minutes to spare. One might say that is close to the cutoff time, but I had a great time and wasn't too worried. I took hundreds of pictures and even poised my bike in nice settings like this one below. The bleu farce paint from Peter Weigle inspired me to stop at numerous blue painted houses and maisons and chateaus. I will write more about the ride in the future, and will post more pictures. Pat and cecily also finished really strong - at 84hours exactly!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pbp rain

Not as bad as 2007, but raining.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, August 21, 2011

PBP - tracking riders as they ride

Well, it is not the same as riding Paris-Brest-Paris, but the next best thing- following the progress of a rider, me. I am well determined to complete and every passing day, my goals get a little loftier. On the official PBP Website, you can follow me from checkpoint to checkpoint, wondering what I'm thinking about, guessing how many pan au chocolates I have eaten, and hoping I will update this blog in real time with amazing pictures of 6000 like minded cyclists.

So here is the LINK, and my rider number is 4428

my two friends I am riding with(Pat Gaffney and Cecile Adams)- 6386 & 6385

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chateau du Versailles

Nice bike ride to Versailles and the then to PBP bike inspection and official check-in.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cycles Laurent bike shop in Paris

Paris is home to a lot of bicycle shops and Cycles Laurent has been owed by 3 generations of the same family.
they have a lot of cool memorabilia on the walls, but like almost all Parisian bike shops, they sell and service newer bikes.

Shaftdrive with wooden fenders, the handlebars are questionable?
I don't know if I have ever seen a shaftdrive originally set up that way

weird curved seattube frame on the wall almost hidden.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hanford built up in Paris

It is resting comfortably by the window on the 2nd floor of my Parisian flat, absorbing the French air filled with delicious bakeries and history. The bike is fully loaded, with everything that I am going to bring on PBP, minus the water bottles. I am looking forward to picking up a pair of water bottles tomorrow at a local bike shop.
Patrick is finishing up reassembling his Bilenky tandem. We are going to do the 'shakedown' ride on Saturday.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Off to France, au revoir philadelphia.

I'm at the airport waiting for my flight to Paris, contemplating the journey ahead of me. I look forward to Saturday, and our bike ride to the bicycle inspection and PBP check-in. I am excited to ride through Versailles and past the historical chateau. Of course I am very excited about the start of the ride on Sunday evening. I have told myself I must start out casual, no need to overexert myself early on, just a nice steady pace.
That of course is easier said than done, especially difficult when 6,000 cyclists are around you and you are pumped with adrenaline.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Customer's bike- 1979 Richard Sachs 'Touring' bike

A good customer of ours brought this gem by the other day. It is a not like the usual red Richard Sachs custom bikes, but a touring model. Not a true touring bike with cantilever brakes and lowrider mounts, but close enough. It has dropout eyelets, longer stays that comfortably accept 700x32cm tires and the rear Eclipse rack is mounted to the seatstays. The bike is also an early Sachs, somewhere in the low 400s, as an independent frame builder, making it a rare find. Good score Aaron!

Mostly Campagnolo Nuovo Record components except for the Avocet headset and seat post. Quite unique.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bike ride from Paris to the start of PBP

So let's face the facts- Paris-Brest-Paris does not start or finish in Paris. It once did, but it would be a logistical nightmare to attempt to do now. So it starts in a suburb of Paris, Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines. I am staying in Paris, I have rented an apartment on Airbnb and really enjoy staying in Paris, who wouldn't? A lot of riders choose to stay close to the start, in Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines, engulfing in PBP culture and fellow riders.
So Jan Heine of Bicycle Quarterly recently blogged about riding from Paris to the start of the ride, and even has a cue sheet. I am hesitant to ride the route to start PBP, but I am thinking of riding it to the check-in and bicycle inspection the day before, Saturday. I think it will be a good to loosen up some jittery nerves and to give the bicycle a shake down, after being reassembled.

Best part of the route is riding past the Chateau of Versailles.

The route is blogged here, I highly recommend following his blog postings.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My PBP tool kit

After many years of wrenching on bikes and thousands of miles riding, this is the mini-toolkit I have come up with for randonneuring and for Paris Brest Paris. 568 grams total, about 1lb and 6oz, not too bad.
(2) cables- one shifter and one brake- 38g
tire lever- 13g
Allen hex wrench set- 75g
spoke wrench- 17g
multitool set
(chain tool, 8/9/10 wrenches, little pliers)- 161g
bag of various nuts/bolts/zipties/chain master link, spare taillight batteries- 58g
Y socket wrench (8mm/9mm/10mm)
*crank tools(ta extractor and campy crank bolt tool)-143g

*Normally I don't carry the Campagnolo crank bolt wrench and TA crank arm extractor, but I do have to take off a crank to fit my Hanford in the S&S suitcase for travel, so I thought it would be best to bring the crank bolt wrench, and while I'm bringing that, I might as well bring the TA extractor, as anything is possible and it is a unique tool.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Hanford all ready for PBP

I took my Hanford out for one of the last rides in the US before PBP, and even with a overly stocked front handlebar bag, the bike always performs flawlessly. I am now meticulously scrutinizing what will go in the handlebar bag and debating on a small rear saddle bag. I have been deciding on what tools to bring, how many inner tubes(i think I decided on 3), and I think I finally decided on arm and leg warmers, no tights.

I decided not to use a dropbag(a service offered to bring a bag to a certain checkpoint) because I feel it is a little against the spirit of self-sustained riding. This has left me with a dilemma, because I need to bring 2 spare pairs of shorts and a few pairs of socks. It might sound like a luxury, but nothing feels better than a fresh pair of shorts after riding in the same pair for 24-35 hours. I don't want to cram the clothing in the handlebar bag, and my only seat bag is way too big and I know if I had the space, I would probably start to fill it up. So I will look around work for something that might work.

I'm also thinking about posting the contents of my handlebar bag, so other randoneurs can compare. I know that I am probably bringing more tools than the average rider, but at the same time, I usually offer my services to help others if I can and the tools assist me with that.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bike Shop stickers

So I finally started a Tumblr of bike shop stickers that I have been taking pictures of. The initial idea was a Tumblr of just the stickers, but I have expanded it to try and see if the shops are still in business and to include their website.
It is an interesting concept on a couple different levels. First, seeing all the different local shops that have come and gone over the past few decades and really understanding how difficult it is to run a bicycle shop. Second, the distance some bikes travel to get to our shop to be worked on. I once thought Michigan shops were cool, but now we get California. . Belgium. . and England. International. Lastly, the life these bikes live. Some were sold back in the 1970s and have not left the postal zipcode they were first purchased, while others have traveled the country and show it, but are still very functional bikes with a lot of life left in them.

So here is Bicycle Shop Stickers tumblr.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wartime headlight

During World War 2, cyclist still had to ride their bikes to get from place to place and still needed lights on their bikes. To avoid being seen from above by enemy planes, they came up with the idea of concealing the light beams. I am not sure how effective it was, or more importantly, how necessary, but here is an example of one such headlight.

They even used the black-out headlights on the car in the movie "Captain America"