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31 Dec 2010

2010 in a list

You can use the search function on the top of this page to find more about the things mentioned in this post.
  • Best race: 6 hour race with Jivalté, Cycle Vision
  • Worst race: Tilburg, I was sick.
  • Top speed with tail wind: 68.5kph in Jenease, 62 without tail wind.
  • Best rational buy: Flevobike Oké-ja
  • Also bought: Jenease and Yoska
  • One week of flu meant no holiday for me this year.
  • I assembled and checked many Nazca's. I plan to do many more in 2011.
  • Financially seen, December was the best month. A new job and a tax refund.
  • I'm still working on the carbon racer.
  • 3 Nazca's, 1 Sinner, a Flevobike and a home-made 'bent.
  • 1 vote for the green party during the July elections.
  • Great and longest ride: my 306km night ride.
  • I sleep on an Auping bed base since a few weeks.
  • No friends/family died, one came close.
  • This blog had about 13.500 visits and 22.000 page views, average visit time: 1:34
  • I sold 6 lights.
  • I had my hair cut from, approximately,  30 to 7 centimetre.
  • The Northern Velomobile ride was organized by me.
  • 150 or so of this years kilometres where ridden on a 28" Gaucho.
  • My first Spezi 
  • I went to an Ellen ten Damme concert.
  • I bought 2 Beatles albums: Magnificent (edit: Magical) Mystery Tour and Rubber Soul.
  • I wrote a manual to replace the handlebars of an uss Nazca.
  • I don't know who made the photo below, but it's made after the most exhausting race of the year. It was the semi final of the velodrome racing at Cycle Vision. After this, I won (!) the loser final. That does mean that I didn't qualify for the grand final...

26 Dec 2010

Christmas rides, 2011 coming near

Yesterday I went out with Jenease for a 40km through a quiet and white Drenthe. There was so little traffic that I choose to ride on the road, instead of on the cyclepath. Doing so, I also was able keep a nice average. The cyclepaths on this route where good enough to ride on, but not much faster than 25kph or so. Close to 40 was no problem on these deserted rural roads. Snug warm, listening to the radio, the joy of diving into small patches of snow and to kick the tail out every now and then.

If you feel like playing with google maps, here follows an idea of the route. Assen - TT circuit - Laaghalen - Hooghalen - Amen - Ekehaar - Eldersloo - Rolde - Balloo - Loon - Assen

The great thing is that my Mango has no problem dealing with the snow and salt. The aluminum parts of the front suspension and the rims have a layer of vaseline to protect them, the body doesn't need extra care and the chain is perfectly shielded. I was so happy to ride that I didn't stop to take a picture.

Today, I did use my camera during a little ride in my city's forest. Just a 10km ride in that typical sort of silence winter brings. Easily toodling (?) around at a slow pace on my Oké-ja.

It being Christmas, boxing day in the English speaking world at the time I write this, means that the end of the year is approaching. Time to post this 'card' you see below. I shot all the photos within 2km of my house. Assen can be beautiful, you just need to now where to look. (click it for large version)

20 Dec 2010

More Oké-ja things, lights and studs

Because of the winter weather and my new little commute, the Oké-ja gets used a lot more. That made it a bike to equip with a dynamo light system. A shiny Nordlicht (just like on Yoska) from the webshop "Dutch bike bits" and a "2x8 Dynolight" out of my own little factory. I mounted the prototype, number zero. Now I finally got to see how my lights perform. To make the system complete, I made a matching tail light, with capacitor.

I'd used similar head lights before, but never actually ridden with a 2x8. There was a sense of relief when I saw that it gives a nice bundle and enough usable lux. It does what it should do. Better said, I really liked it! The bundle is about seven metres long and three metres wide. There's some light outside that too. The two I'd already sold should make their owners happy in the dark. Anyway, I still have two in stock. You can read more about them in this blog post.

The snow and ice also are a reason to see what it is like to have a studded tyre at the back. The grip it gives is like nothing you've ever ridden. The Marathon Winter is noisy on a clean road, but the stability it gives on ice and snow is wonderful. As long there's snow and alike, this is a great addition to your everyday bike. It'll probably be replaced with a fat Marathon Plus. Again, that's reliable, worry free and comfortable, perfect for a 'bent like this. That gives my the possibility to enjoy every little ride as much as possible.

18 Dec 2010

my Flevobike Oké-ja and snow

Snow is fun, but it makes riding a bike less easy. Back in the days, when I still rode up-rights, snow would greatly reduce the fun and speed of which I'd ride a bike. Still, I'd be riding. Because it's possible and I have no alternative. Cycle paths are kept clear enough to ride and keep us away from sliding cars.

When the velomobile came in to my life, snow became a highlight, and it still is. Three wheels mean stability and the chance to slip and slide as much as you want. It also protects me, and the chain, from the cold and the wet. For shorter distances however, a two wheeled bike is easier. More agile and usable for delivering mail.

When I brought my Oké-ja home from Bussem, the last 3km or  so where in a white world. It turned out that this bike handles very well when there's little grip. Now, I ride it 3 to 4 days a week to work and I use it to deliver mail. My conclusion is, is that an Oké-ja (or something similar) is the perfect 2-wheeled bike for snowy conditions.

The feet are low, the seat is very upright. Yet, is still offers enough comfort for rides up to roughly 10km. The chain is well protected and the gearing is an internally geared hub. With this bike I can ride at a reasonable pace, even when there some ice on the road. The low feet position means that I can easily reach the ground when the tyres loose grip. The seat positioning gives good balancing. No worries, no ride that requires your full 100% concentration. I just pedal and enjoy the view of my hometown Assen dressed in white.

It'll be great to ride the Pioneer again. My Fuego, Yivalté really needs a ride. But as long as I enjoy winter, the Oké-ja and Jenease will do the job.

I wrote about the Oke-ja before. There now sold be a different company. The new name is Velo Fun. I did once ride my Pioneer in the snow. That was challenging, but I did end up with a nice video.

Studded tyres seem to be a good thing too, check 'em out here.

12 Dec 2010

Terra Cycle idler for Jenease

First of all, news about me. I've got another job for three days a week. It's for a local shop/warehouse and I'm their furniture delivery assistant. More income, more work, more life, more future. We'll see what happens after three months, that's when the contract ends. For now, I'm happy with it.

Work is needed to have an income. And that income is spend on various things. A significant part of my total income is spend on 'bent related stuff. My latest buy is a TC idler for Jenease. I did hesitate, these things don't come cheap. But the experience I had with the TC idler in my previous Mango was so good, that I knew what I was missing. You can read about that idler here.

I send a question to Icletta to ask if a ten speed chain would require something special.  The answer, from Kirk, mostly written by Pat Franz, was more than complete. Dérailleur chains have the same inside width 3/32" or 2.38mm. The more gears you have, the thinner the side plates are. I should have known that.... Anyway, conclusion, a 10 speed chain will run just as good on a toothed idler as a 9 (or 7 and 8) speed chain does. So, after some more thinking, I did buy it. A 14 tooth titanium Elite idler.

The photo shows my chain line set-up. The idler has 'float' and the chain runs smooth and feels direct in all gears, like it should. The power side chain tubes are attached to the return side tube. It feels a lot better than my previous idler, a plastic flevo one. I already had a special bolt with a thread-less top section. TC can make you one if you order an idler from them.

This little special 'bent part costs almost €100,- and that's a lot of money. But even ol' cheapskate me thinks it's worth it. All your power has to pass this little idler. And it's price is only a small percentage of what a velomobile costs. It'll last extremely long too and is worry free.

Yesterday, I went to the Ligfietsgarage to install another new part in Jenease. It's something new and I'm the guy who's going to test it. I'm waiting for the final parts to come in, but it should be a great addition to my Mango. When I walked in, the first thing I noticed where 2 other Red Editions. On the photo you'll see: 3 R.E.'s, a Sport and a Classic. That's a lot of healthy fruit!.