Friday, 27 May 2011

Bike Porn Friday: German Orgy!

Last weekend Dr. Doug traveled to Münster, Germany for the wedding of a friend. Münster is the place where the treaty that ended the Thirty Years War was signed, as was the treaty that secured the independence from Spain of the Netherlands.

Münster is also the self-proclaimed "Bicycle Capital of Germany." The town is quite literally littered with bicycles. In some places the sidewalks were unpassable due to the number of bicycles locked up on them. Rusted out bicycles gave the impression that people had simply forgotten where they'd parked. Cyclists were continually zooming around the roads and bicycle paths. Here's a picture of a bunch of bikes around the corner from the hotel:


Monday, 23 May 2011

Mt Baldy and more Lemon Drizzle news!

Although there is some sort of cycle race going on in Italy, the non-Eurosport subscribing members know nothing about it (and we suspect that the Eurosport-subscribing member is not watching, if only due to the execrable commentary).

However, ITV4 brings us relief with the very entertaining #ATOC, or Amgen Tour of California. Radioshack seem to have taken their (and almost ours) mind of 60 Minutes with a brutal performance on the hills, with a fine GC win for Horner. More interesting, perhaps, for the Trois V was the great coverage of the ascent of Mt Baldy, a col (actually, it's not a col as you have to turn around and come back down) that I now want to climb. Meanwhile, here's a salute to 'uncle of the Trois V', who's been there already, and without the ridicululous fools who dressed up in Sumo suits, etc. (ok, it's a different mountain, but you get the point):

Closer, to home, we are also pleased to have the excuse to talk about Victoria Pendleton and Lemon Drizzle cake in the same sentence.



Monday, 16 May 2011

Monkey Trouble

People sometimes wonder what it looks like to see the TroisV speeding around lap after lap of Regent's Park, or descending a sharp hill on the Epping Loop, so last time out, we had a camera crew follow us. You're welcome, Mom!


Friday, 13 May 2011

Bike Porn Friday: Key Lime Pie!

Here you go, everybody, the newest bicycle of the TroisV. It's the much-trumpeted "Key Lime Pie," a 2010 Condor Squadra. Why yes, that is a Campagnolo Centaur groupset. Why yes, those are Mavic Aksium wheels. Why yes, everything else on there is porntastically expensive. Why yes, those are the cheapest water bottle cages they had. Why yes, Dr. Doug is sucking in his gut. He'd better get riding.


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Stuff about Stuff: let's talk about lubrication

The Guardian's Bike Blog had a North London singularity of a story today: Sustrans, Countryfile and The Grauniad all combined in sub-Top Gear style story of varied forms of transport across Wales. It reminded me of our battle with NCR4 on the Tristesse Endura. You may, Dear Reader, also be reminded of our troubled chains on that ride, just as I was: Hudson Bay's dramatic chain break and my squeaky approach to Swansea (Dr Doug will no doubt recall). And so, on to the main business of the day, a short review of that all important swig of pinguidity: chain lubrication.

Sadly lacking a free pair of Dromarti Sportivos to review, I have had to splash out my own hard-won cash on a series of bottles of oil, wax and unidentified forms of lubrication over the last year. These are my thoughts.

1. Cycle Oil (far right). Some sort of generic brand, probably purchased from Evans, by the size of the sticker on it. In sum, not very pleasant. Good for bits and pieces on the bike, such as the hub of your Mavic Aksiums, if the pawls are playing up, but thick, messy and sticky for a chain. Gathers dirt and ruins trousers.

2. Green Oil White (second from the right). I like this. It smells nice. It is environmentally sound, and pretty local. There are vaguely amusing notes on the packaging, a la Innocent Drinks. However, your chain will squeak, even after repeating cleanings (I can recommend their chain cleaning product), and you get though a fair bit. I should note it's a wax, not an oil, which is carried on ethanol over the links. Your chain runs well, and stays clean (as do trousers), but isn't up to the strain of a road bike. On the Brompton, it is brilliant, and is the lube of choice for that. Not really been tested in the wet, however.

3. Purple Extreme synthetic lubricant. Not shown. Perhaps my favourite. Based on oils (?) used to lubricate deep sea drill bits, it's clean, lasts a long time, doesn't attract dirt, and shrugs off a fair bit of wet. Only drawback is that you need to clean your chain after a ride, and it ain't so great for a commuting bike, as it leaves a mark.

4. Green Oil (next in from right). Eco-credentials. More 'amusing' blurb on the package. Pretty good, lasts well, works, but attracts dirt and leaves nasty marks.

5. ProLink Chain Lube. The choice of the Zen of Bike Maintenance guy, I gather, and comes strongly recommended by Jon. Upsides: it's clean, quiet, looks like it lasts long, and lubricates really well. Downsides: it flushed out dirt and lubricants from your chain, splashing black tar around the place until the chain is clean. It's taken me three cycles of lube, spin, wipe, to get the stuff on to my satisfaction. I also stupidly snipped off the applicator thingy. Don't. It will go everywhere, leading to the final Downside: it smells of petrol. This ain't no Green Oil White, which I would gladly shower in. Once you get used to how to apply, and don't snip off the applicator, then this is likely to be a winner. Just need to test in the wet.

Verdict: Purple Extreme nudges ahead for practicality, ProLink gets official approval for sportive and commuting use by the Trois V, while Green Oil White gets a big kiss from my Brompton.


Trois V!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today our Club Mascot is one years old. To celebrate, Dr. Doug and Dr. Matt went to Condor Cycles to collect The Key Lime Pie. You'll have to wait until Friday to see it. We stopped by Club Mascot HQ to show it off and get it blessed, but the Club Mascot seemed unimpressed/scared/bewildered by the number of family members hanging around in the hottest flat in London. Seriously, it's warm in there.


Friday, 6 May 2011

Royal Bike Porn Friday

We can't believe it's just a week ago; but it is. The bunting is rolled up, the flags put away, and even the should-be honeymooning are back at work (or back at not-being-at-work). But still, we can't keep our minds off that image. You know the one, of the goings on behind.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!

So this weekend has been the longest Sunday. I think it started on Friday. Today, the May Day bank holiday, we planned to ride. But to where? "Planned Engineering Works" scuppered most plans, including something called "The Essex Pancake." Matt tried to get us to ride out to Whitstable to eat shellfish and sit in a hut. This also was ruled out. In the end, Mr. Jon and Dr. Doug rode out to Richmond Park for a lap.

And they were very glad they weren't riding to Whitstable, in the teeth of a very strong wind, beneath plane tree after plane tree, basically chewing and coughing on the air, rather than breathing it.

Anyway, it was more of a lollygag than a training ride, but we had fun.

The important point here is that Dr. Doug was somewhat confused by Mr. Jon's morning text message, which relayed an assumption that the Speedy Bike Club U.S.A. jersey would be today's sartorial choice. Only on arrival at "The Southern Meeting Point/Club Mascot's House" did this piece of digital communication become clear: whereas Doug just rolls out of bed, chugs some coffee and climbs onto his bike, Jon watches the news.

Anyway, USA! USA! USA!

Oh, and: