Friday, June 29, 2007


Yay Megan! Litespeed is the time trial bike Lance used before Trek came up with a decent one for him. Now Trek makes a great TT bike.

Yay Diane! Testa a Testa means leader of leaders.

Here is a photo of my friend Sam who knows Italian. That is Olivia with him last summer when she was two. Bella!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Testa a testa

Today I received my new Campagnolo Chorus brake calipers for the bike I'm going to build. (when I can afford to buy the parts) I'm not disappointed with the quality as they are beautiful. That's why I stick with Campagnolo. There is an aesthetic in bike parts that the Italians make that is missing from brand X. Plus I know they will work great.

However I was disappointed that they didn't come in a box. Campy makes great boxes and I always save the boxes. They were wrapped in newspaper and in a plastic bag. I figured that since I got them for half off perhaps I didn't pay enough to get the box? I was going to throw the newspaper away but then I noticed that it was an Italian news paper! And it was from the sports page and had a story about Monza and had a photo of a Ferrari on it and a caption that read TESTA A TESTA, and talked about Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso. Formula 1 racers.

Testa means leader in Italian so I assume it means the two leaders, or something like that. I have a friend who is Italian and speaks Italian and could tell me for sure. He is also a serious cyclist. So I thought that was kind of cool. They used the sports page in Milano with a picture of a Ferrari on it to package my brakes!

This is a good sign! And this is a good illustration of why Japanese parts just aren't the same. (I'm not saying they aren't good)

Here is a little Tour de France trivia and also a TDF trivia question: Lance Armstrong was the first person to ever win the Tour de France with a bike equiped with Shimano/ Japanese parts, He was also the first to win on an american bike. He actually rode two american bikes. Trek of course was the main american bike, but what was the other american bike that he rode in a time trial? (it had a Trek decal on it but it wasn't a Trek) So take a guess! I'll give you a hint, It was made out of titanium. I'll give you the answer in my next post.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Danielson out of the tour

The Discovery team for the Tour de France has been selected and they've left out Tom Danielson. Team director Johan Bruyneel said that Danielson had stomach problems and didn't perform as needed prior to the tour. So he went with stronger riders to support Levi Leipheimer as team leader. But I think Montana native son, Leipheimer will have a tough time winning the tour. If Discovery pulls it off, it will because of advance planning and smart choices and picking the right people.

I guess that is the same with life choices.

But Alexander Vinokourov will be a real threat on the Astana team. Without Basso in the tour he is probably the strongest rider with the excption of his teammate Kloden. I've always liked Kloden. At this point none of these guys are above suspicion of doping. If Leipheimer is ever found to have doped then I'm going to have a real problem with the whole thing. I know he is a strong rider from his riding in Montana as a kid before he could have ever possibly have doped. But who knows what is really going on?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New brakes

I had a weird photo posted here but I took it down. It was a bicycle frame and an antelope. It had to go.

Today I bought a set of Campagnolo Chorus brake calipers for my spare bike frame. CHORUS BRAKES Gosh that's a long link. Campy just changed the design of their brakes and I don't like the look of the new ones, plus one of the two is not dual pivot to save weight. I can tell you that there's nothing worse than cheap brake calipers on a bike and other cheap parts for that matter. Honestly and these are pretty much the nicest calipers ever made if not a little heavier than the Record ones or the new design. And as you can see they are pretty much half off at $129. The problem I'm going to have is getting a high end Campy crank for this frame now. I want a Record or Chorus one. I'll find one, but that is the area where things are really changing, and I need a specific crank arm length. 172.5 So we will see. I've waited several years and now is the time to move on this if not a little late. So I'll buy expensive parts without using them. But when I put it all together it will be a very nice ride.

Monday, June 25, 2007

On the rivet

I assume that this guy was an elite competitor in the Ironman triathlon due to his low race number and how much faster than everyone else he was going. He is "on the rivet" as his position on the saddle is so far forward. (you might have to click on the photo to see what I'm talking about) In the old days when everyone had leather saddles they used to have copper rivets on nose and the back. (take a look at the old Brooks Professional leather saddle on my vintage GITANE ) When a rider gets that far forward, it means he or she is really pushing. They design these time trial bike frames with the saddle more forward than a regular road bike but they can't seem to get them forward enough. They need to come up with one that slides back and forward when needed. (you heard it here first!)

That's a very pretty bicycle also. I love the sound those carbon disk wheels make with each pedal stroke. Whoosh whoosh whoosh. I don't think I want to go on any training rides with this guy!

This is the Penalty Tent. I didn't see anyone incarcerated in it. Perhaps it's like hockey and you go there if you get in a fight. :) I have no idea what this is for, but I think we could use one at hunting camp! If you get sent here you can have lunch at a resonable price. Paul Bunyan is a local burger joint that has been in Coeur d Alene as long as I can remember.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Ironman triathlon came to Coeur d Alene this weekend. Competitors from all over the world were here.

This was the first guy to transition from the swim to the bike. They were so strong! I arrived too late to see the swim. :(

These were the second and third women to complete the bike leg and transition to the run. She has just ridden 112 miles and she looks totally fresh! She's going to run 26 miles! My gosh the women were strong and beautiful.

And speaking of beautiful women, I met Courtney who traveled here from far away with her newborn twins and her husband Brett, who was in the triatlon! She gets the bicycle log award for best sport! That is one of her twins under the green blanket and the other one is in the pram next to her.

At the transition from the bike to the run there were women who would slather on sun screen. These women really enjoyed this!

Victor Zyemstev of Ukraine won. I hope you see this Veronica! (you too Natalia)

Mike Lovato of the United States got 3rd. USA! USA! USA!

I've never been too interested in triathlon. This is the first time I've ever seen one. There were around 2500 competitors. I can see why people are so crazy about it. It's pretty cool, and motivates me to be on my bike more.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Mental map

I seriously need to spend more time on my bike. One day I went 19 miles, but the rest of the days I just went to and from work and that's only a little over 8 miles. Better than nothing I guess but not enough to really be in shape for cycling.

Hardly anyone is commuting on a bike here in my local area. They might be cycling downtown I don't know. But in this light industrial area it is a very small number of people who ride a bike to work. There is so much sprawl. I usually only see one other person at the most but I'm sure there are a handful. Most days I don't see another cyclist who is going to work. There are hundreds of big SUVs and trucks with one occupant in comparison. I see many of the same vehicles every day. The bike path is always empty and the freeway next to it, and the secondary roads are always full of cars trucks and SUVs. More and more I see a Toyota Prius in the mix. The other day there was an accident and the westbound lane was backed up for miles and miles. I wanted to feel good about that since I was on a bike, but there was really nothing good about it.

You start to get a different perspective of things when you ride a bike to work. The road department swept the shoulder clean earlier this week. That makes my life easier. I have to ride on the road for about a mile and a half before I get to the bike path. Now I watch each day as new litter shows up on my route. I make a mental map of where the broken beer bottles are so I don't forget and ride over the glass. This morning I counted five new empty cigarette boxes in a one mile stretch and one new broken beer bottle. Numerous cigarette butts. I assume that this litter is thrown out of cars and not coming from bike riders, but who knows?

I'm surprised they even built a bike path and bother to maintain it. It could honestly be said that people don't use it enought to justify the expense and the money would be better spent making more roads for cars. A couple of weeks ago the weeds were overgrowing the bike path. So they came along with a mower and mowed on each side of it. But they left all of the debris just laying there on the path. I was kind of worried about getting a flat. It's a good thing we don't have thorns here. Eventually the wind and weather blew the path somewhat clean. There's no doubt that whoever cut the weeds isn't a cyclist and just doesn't care.

Update. I got ready to ride my bike at noon and noticed I forgot to pack my tire pump in my pack. No pump. Not good. I never go anywhere without a pump and spare tube. I haven't had a flat all year so I figured I'd make it home ok. I got on to the section of trail that they cut the weeds on and I was flying along at about 25mph with the wind at my back. And my smooth drivetrain developed a vibration and so I came to a stop. Flat rear tire. No pump. Not good. I had the cell phone but the cell phone was dead. So I hiked up this hillside with my bike to the road and stuck my thumb out. My bike shoes don't allow you to walk very far due to the cleats. It was about two miles back to work. The first two trucks that passed didn't stop. The third one did. I got a ride back to work in a great big truck with one guy driving it. :) Nice guy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Deer on the bike path

I jumped a whitetail deer this morning on the bike path while I was riding to work. First the deer ran right in front of me as the clicking of my freewheel spooked it. It jumped a fence that is beyond the trees on the right of the trail and beyond that is the freeway. I was worried it would try and cross the freeway as it would have gotten hit. So I stopped and got my camera out. Then it did come back and ran across the trail the other direction, but at least it was going in a safe direction. There's a road in that direction also but with far less traffic going much slower. You can just see it's tail and rear quarter on the left.

The Ironman Triathlon is coming to town this weekend. This section of trail was used for the bike leg of it last year.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I rebuilt a carburetor

Tonight I rebuilt a Holley carburetor on an old four wheel drive for a friend of mine. I didn't tear it all the way down but I did replace the key parts including the powervalve and accelerator pump diaphram. I removed and cleaned out the jets. Then I put it back on and Wa La! The old thing started right up and ran perfect. It hadn't been running in several years. So I was darn proud of myself. It was only a two barrel carburetor so it wasn't that complicated. Four barrel ones are much more complicated. The photo is before I rebuilt it. Now it is all shinny clean, and it purrs like a cat!

It was kind of relaxing and interesting work, and it was a nice evening to work on it in the shade. I guess I'm a shade tree mechanic. I need to become a better mechanic anyway. My friend was gone at a BBQ, so I got the four wheel drive running and then I drove it around and parked it a different way so that when he returned home tonight he will know I got it running if he takes notice. He will notice it in the morning anyway.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Two bucks

I saw these two bucks in Montana this weekend. They are in the velvet and should get pretty big antlers by the time fall rolls around as they are just starting to grow their horns. They were quite a ways away from me so you will have to click on them get a better look as I had my camera on maximum zoom. They looked to be two and a half or three years old. The one on the left might actually be a little older than the one on the right. His antlers have a wider spread and are starting to branch. The one on the right has a bigger body but he is younger I think. They live on tibal land so they can't get hunted by anyone except native americans. Those white spots in the field are daisies.

I've seen quite a few wild animals in this part of the reservation. I saw a WOVERINE here a few years ago. They are nasty nasty animals with a serious attitude and very high on the food chain. It was trotting along in the ditch and so I slowed down and then it went right in front of the car and then off into the land on the other side of the highway. The picures on Wikipedia don't do it justice. I wish I'd had my camera ready when I saw it. I always do now.

I also saw these bighorns last year. There is a herd in this area. I saw them a few weeks ago but no big rams like this one. Bighorns are big powerful animals. I had one run right past me on a trail in Glacier Park a few years ago. They are bigger than people think. One time I was watching a group of big rams walk up a hillside and past some mule deer. There was something timeless and majestic about the way they looked as the two groups passed. I thought there might be a conflict but there wasn't. The native americans don't hunt them.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Highly unusual pelt

As you might know, my cat Spunky is a Hemingway cat, or otherwise known as a polydactyl cat. She has extra toes and also an extra attitude. That's why I like her. Here is what her right paw looks like. She has a highly unusual calico pelt.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


You have to stand around in Montana a long time to have a woman cyclist come by. When they do, you have to get the shot, so this was a treat for me. These two girls have just climbed up out of the Hot Springs side and then went down into the Camas side. There used to be a road race here for a few years called Ecology Challenge. They might have been training for that. They got a kick out of me taking their picture. Clearly they are racers. The girl in front is on a Klein and the girl in back is on a DeRosa. Nice equipment...

And away they went. Story of my life... Ok, enough photos from here for a while.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Here is another photo I took of the camas prairie in Montana. I used to stop at the same spot every time I went through that valley and take a photo as it always looked different. Then one time I went to my usual spot to take a photo up on a pile of rocks and there was a rattlesnake at my feet.

If you click on this photo to see it bigger, it will give you an impression of how big this space is, and you can see the ripple left by Lake Missoula when the ice dam broke at the end of the last ice age.

I think it's a cool space. I like being in it. When you are there, it gives you a sense of ownership even if you are only a traveler, as you are one of the only people for as far a you can see. That's why this is one of my favorite places. People wave at eachother when they pass on the highway.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Two lane highway

going my way,...bla bla ba... I can't remember the rest of the words to that song. :)

It was cold and rainy this weekend for the most part here in the northwest but I did go to Montana and got in one bike ride and also mowed the lawn. At night I made a fire down by the lake and watched the wind and waves.

On my way back home there were two cyclists on the camas prairie of Montana not far from Perma. Perma is at the foot of those mountains in the distance. I knew they would be coming down this hill so I pulled over and got this photo. This highway used to be were the road race part of the Ecology Center Bike Race used to go. This cyclist has a back pack on. (Click to see bigger if you want) I couldn't tell if this was a woman or a man as they went by so fast. I got the impression that they were primarily mountain bike riders based on their clothes and equipment and the way they climbed up the other side of this hill, despite the fact that they were on road bikes. I've seen a lot of people transition from mountain bikes to road bikes, and it takes them a while to do it gracefully, but this is what cycling in Montana looked like today.

They say that at the end of the last ice age, a big ice dam broke or something and spilled all of the water out of Lake Missoula and created the Columbia River Gorge. The ripples in this valley are a result.

This is one of my favorite places. I've photographed this valley a lot. I'll post some other shots later.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

What then?

The news about pro cycling gets worse by the day. Ten raids were conducted in Belgium on homes of Quick Step riders, and investigators found large quantities of doping products. Quick Step is the power house team of Tom Boonen and reigning World Champion Paolo Bettini, and it first came into controversy when former world champion Johan Museeuw admitted doping during his career. Quick Step has been known to focus on the one day classic rides like Paris Roubaix. I want to say that Museeuw won Paris Roubaix thee times but I could be wrong about that.

To make matters worse, Belgian and former Quick Step rider Frank Vandenbroucke, former winner of Paris Nice and Lieg-Bastogne-Lieg tried to commit suicide last night. He got caught with doping products in 2002. He's been riding for the Italian team Aqua Sapone, but didn't start the Giro d'Italia because he hadn't recovered from a knee condition.

And there's this. The Spanish "Operacion Puerto" whistleblower Jesus Manzano, has implicated Alejandro Valverde. He went on to say that the Spanish lab in would give teams heads up for when the "vampires" would come around to test the riders on teams including the Discovery/ Postal team. There's a lot more detail to it all but that's kind of it in a nutshell.

Willy Voet, the Belgian physiotherapist for the French Festina team has outlined the organization of how that team systematically dopped. They even had to work the cost of it all into the teams budget. This is an amazing read. VOET on Cyclingnews. You can read a synopsis of the Festina doping scandal HERE

So now I'm thinking about the situation with Lance and Discovery / Postal. (the Voet link is required reading beyond this point in my post if you really want to understand where I'm coming from) We've got Riis admitted. Armstrong associated to Dr. Ferrari. We've got former Postal riders, Tyler Hamilton caught. Heras caught, Andreu admitted, and testified in Court against Lance, Landis (caught?) Basso caught up in Operacion Puerto. (while he was with CSC, Riis's team. The Festina team, The Telecom Team, and now the Quick Step team. Oh yeah, the Kelme Team.

Who am I leaving out? Oh yeah. Jan Ullrich who finished second to Lance all of those years. The list just goes on and on.

But not Lance. Even if he won clean, it's a team sport. If Andreu, Landis, Heras, and Hamilton, were doping, then what does it say about his five wins? They helped him win. (?)

If Lance did dope, and I'm not saying he did, what a huge burden to have hanging over him. Let's say it becomes obvious that all of the teams were doping and he is the only hold out. What then?
The photo is of my vintage collector bike, a 1970's Gitane Team. Full Campy Record group, except I have modern pedals on it and newer rims. Classic French racing bikes don't get much better than this one. The paint is flawless. It rides nice but it is a thoroughbred and a little unforgiving. You really start to feel it after about 20 miles. I don't ride it very often.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wings of an angel

I think these clouds are feathers.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Neti pot

My allergies have been really kicking in lately. All of the pollen that must be in the air right now. So I've been really sick. And I shouldn't blog while I'm sick. I was horrible to work with also.

My boss told me about something that was on Oprah called a NETI POT. It looks kind of gross. I haven't done it yet but I'm thinking about it. I guess you squirt warm salt water up your nose through one nostril and it goes up and around through your sinuses and comes out the other nostril, and cleans you all out. Curious. It kind of makes sense. I'm pretty sure it's a mess up in my nose. I guess you don't have to take meds then as it gets rid of all of the pollen. I just wonder if there is a down-side? Other than squirting water you your nose of course.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Tattoo you

How may I help you?

The battery on my Hyundai konked out. So I decided to go to WalMart to get a new one.

I realize there are people who won't shop at WalMart due to labor issues and other business practices. On the other hand, here is an american company that got it right when it comes to competing in the global market place. And they set the standard for inventory control. None the less, it is aggravating to shop there at times. We all have our stories, but I think I've found a chink in their inventory armor.

I went to the automotive entrance as I had to get a cart and unload my old battery for a core exchange. There was an associate collecting carts and moving them from the drop off point to next to the door. So I took one from him so I could transport my battery core into the store. Then when I got to the entrance he said, looking right at me, something like "these carts go here next to the door." And I"m like "What?" And he repeated what he said. Then I asked, "do I need to return my cart here?" "These carts go next to this door and those carts go next to the front door." And I'm like "What?" And then he looks at me upset and says "I'm talking to myself!" I wanted to say, "What the heck! Are you crazy!?"... But then I realized that he probably was crazy and so I didn't say anything and went in with my cart, looking back, in case he tried to attack me for taking the cart in the wrong direction.

When I got in the store there were several people waiting. So I got in line. There were two lines. One for service, and the other for parts. I got in the parts line. There was a redneck and a punk infront of me. Not to be judgemental. The redneck had a tank top on and a mullet and the punk had his hat on backwards and all kinds of piercings. "You guys been waiting long?" I asked. "not too long." the redneck said. Oh,.. the redneck had three great big bags of dog food along with his auto parts in his cart. (not that people who own dogs are automatically rednecks!) They just look like rednecks when they have three great big bags of dog food at WalMart along with auto parts....

So finally it's my turn to get served. "need a battery for my Hyundai." So this old grandmother lady with a vest that says on the back HOW MAY I HELP YOU, looks in this book. And we get to the Hyundai section and they don't have a battery for my car or most of the other Hyundais.

"We don't sell one." "You've got to be kidding!" I say. I could sort of understand it if I drove a Range Rover or something but a Hyundai? The lowest end car that you can get?!!! So I looked the batteries over and bought one the same size as the one I returned. But I found out when I got it home that the terminals are reversed so I couldn't hook it up, (until I clipped the zip ties on the cables.) What the heck? Get with the program Korea! WalMart is bigger than you!

That's pretty bad when your car is so cheap that WalMart won't even sell a battery for it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Camping photos

Here are a few photos from my camping trip at lake Pend Oreille over the weekend.

This is the view from the boat coming out of Button-hook bay at the south end of the lake. You can anchor your boat or tie it up at the pier and spend the night here.

I went on a mountain bike ride around the park on the roads and trail system. These guys were playing a game
of volleyball at the picnic area that overlooks the bay. The girls all had long skirts on. Gives new meaning to beach volleyball attire. I thought they looked really cool despite how hot out it was. I actually thought they looked hot! Very feminine. They were having a lot of fun. I wish I could have joined in as I love volleyball. Click to see bigger.

The trail goes right along the shore in places. I only saw a few people hiking and a few people on bikes so there were no bike and people conflicts. There are more conflicts at the boat launch, but as you can see there aren't that many boats out.

During WWII Farragut was a naval training center and the government took over the land. After the war it became a state park. If it were still private, then this would all be developed and the public couldn't enjoy it like we can now. The other side of the lake is national forest and there is very little access and often too steep to build. It's nice to see nature instead of great big summer homes.

The yellow stuff in the water is pine pollen. There was a ton of it and more than usual. They say that it doesn't cause allergies, but I woke up this morning really stuffed up. I went swimming at this spot as it was really hot out for this time of year. The water was warm on the surface, but really cold only a few feet down.

And this is the men's changing room at the swimming area. You can probably get arrested for this! I didn't think about what would have happened if someone had walked in and I had my camera out, but I had to get the shot. :)

No risk too great here at bicycle log!