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Posts Tagged ‘tour de france’

Admit it, we have all dropped our chain or overshifted to where we had to get off the bike and put it back on properly. Heck, remember Chaingate 2010 @ the Tour de France? It even happens to the pros.

andy schleck chaingate 2010 tour de france

What I haven’t noticed is that I am becoming more adept at riding and shifting the chain back into place without even thinking. If the chain drops by the bottom bracket, I just shift into my 50t, and pedal slowly until it catches. Recently, since I had to fine tune my bike for trainer-specific riding/shifting, I have had several instances of overshifting the chain out toward the pedal. Very embarassing…

One of the other members of spin class was surprised at how easy it was for me to get it back on the chainrings without hopping off the bike.

There are a ton of places and articles that explain what you need to do when these incidents happen, and Coach Levi says it best:

If your chain drops onto the bottom bracket shell:

If you are pedaling along, shift down to the small chainring, and immediately lose all resistance at the pedals, there’s a good chance that the chain dropped off onto the bottom bracket shell.

If this happens, the first thing you should do is relax! You don’t need to panic or screech to a halt, just roll along.

Begin pedaling easily, and gently shift the front derailleur up like you’re going back to the big ring. Typically this is enough to get the chain back onto the small ring and spinning smoothly. (You don’t want to actually shift the whole way back up to the big ring.)

However, if the chain bunches up, you have a bigger problem…

If your chain digs onto the bottom bracket shell (chainsuck):

If your attempts to shift the chain back onto the chainring fail, it’s probably because the chain got jammed into the bottom bracket shell. When this happens, the chain bunches up and completely jams. This is known as chainsuck.

When this happens, you should stop pedaling! You’ll need to slow to a stop, get off the bike, and lift the chain off the bottom bracket shell and onto the chainring. Sometimes you may need to physically pull the chain out, if it is jammed in there tightly.

If you don’t want to get your hands greasy, take a tire lever and use that to pry the chain free and drop it onto the chainring.

If your chain drops off the big ring onto your foot:

Finally, what do you do if the chain flys off the big ring and ends up hanging outside the crank arm? Or perhaps it ends up on your foot?!

In this case, you gently roll along and use a similar shifting technique, except that now you are shifting down toward the small ring. So you will pedal gently and shift down, hoping the chain comes back up and over to the big ring.

This actually happened to me in the inaugural Tour de Susquehanna. I shifted the chain right off onto my foot! I had to slow down quite a bit, but by some stroke of luck, I was able to unclip my foot and lift the chain slightly (with my foot,) then it shifted back into place!

It won’t always work that well, but it’s worth a shot.

It’s the little things like this that are sometimes difficult to teach another person, because you just learn to adapt and overcome while out on the road.

Are there any other instances or types of errors that you fix without even thinking about anymore? If so, let me know in the comments!

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Saxo Bank has created 25,000 of these little promotions to give out, to get people excited for le tour; I was lucky and received one in the mail the other day! So happy!

saxo bank mail hand inflatable cheering victory hand

saxo bank mail inflatable cheering victory hand tour de france

http://i25.tinypic.com/23o1fk.jpg

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TV / Internet was down for about nine hours today; posting this a bit late. With this vital necessity gone, I decided to finish up Bill/Carol McGann’s second Tour de France book.

I hit the 1990′s and their prose about a rider that kind of sparked for a while piqued my interest.

Claudio Chiappucci was around the same time as LeMond, Hampsten, Indurain, etc. I think he was a captain/domestique for Indurain at the time. This guy had panache and took off without a whim sometimes. He kind of reminds me of Jens Voigt. His attitude and riding style was totally different than the conservative sniping attacks of Indurain, and maybe that is what is so interesting.

Here is some footage of him in the 1992 Tour.


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Training has come a long way for cycling since the first race in May 31, 1868 at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, Paris. The primary training method for years was based on volume and intensity.

Volume riding is the amount of riding you would do. Intensity is a term to explain how hard you ride or train; think about high rates of perceived efforts. Typically high volume riding involved long rides without major wattage output on the off season, or on days you were not racing. As your training continues, volume starts to decrease, and intensity increases. Trading off from volume and intensity has been the staple of almost any kind of endurance sport.

Later, starting at a time when I cannot pinpoint a certain date, a type of interval training became the norm. The different types of cycling training were broken down and performed one by one on a seperate day. Ex:

  • Monday – Rest
  • Tuesday – Long Rides
  • Wednesday – Climbing
  • Thursday – Race Training
  • Friday – Relax Ride
  • Saturday – Race
  • Sunday – Rest

These days cyclometers, heart rate monitors, power meters and other types of training measurement are available.We know know that rest is just as important as the racing and training itself. The usefulness of modern training has made professional racing more efficient. Less grueling training has to be done, and we are not seeing as many riders racing to train during the spring classics. Racers are recovering better (drugs or not) throughout the year, and are not all wasted by the time that off-season starts. (more…)

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The first rider to win five Tours de France, Jacques Anquetil was a calculating madman who either tore the field apart, or determined when he needed to strike. Easily Anquetil is placed into the pantheon of riders along with Coppi, Merckx, etc. (more…)

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I think it was Greg LeMond who stated that cycling is a great way to escape life. Grinding the pedals further and further away permits you to distance yourself from anything weighing your life down.

Ever since the European cycling explosion was created, we have seen many workers, boys, and lower class individuals tempting fate in order to gain some fame, publicity, or cash. When it comes to our classic riders; Tom Simpson’s father was a coal miner, Fausto Coppi was an errand boy for a butcher, and Jacques Anquetil was the son of a factory engineer. All of these people aspired to make more out of their selves. Even now, there are some riders with… it was either… Katusha or Liquigas… that has a rider that was previously a roofer/shingle installer.

Even though cyclists do not earn nearly as much as professional futbol or tennis stars, the fame and publicity is overwhelming for some. Mark Cavendish even started out at a very meager life, wanting to become a track star, yet couldn’t afford it. His talent eventually shined through and was chosen for training by British National Track Cycling Team. In less than five years, he has become possibly the hottest velocista with Columbia HTC. (I mean, did you see the train leadout at the Champs Élysées @ ’09TdF?)

This escape from mediocrity or normalcy is something that so many want. Tyler Durden once said that ‘we all want to become rock stars and movie gods,’ yet there is a chance to become something big. These few riders listed as examples have biologically favored heart sizes and the training to become cycling stars. They have over-become their working class heritage and as long as they know how to invest well, they have and will live happily.

Becoming a movie star isn’t for everyone, nor is cycling. Find your talents or skills and go for it. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Live to succeed.

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Being the cultured cyclist that I am, I saw Padraig’s post about a new book set on Red Kite Prayer. I’m not sure I even finished the review before heading over to BikeRaceInfo.com to buy them.

First of all, let me start by saying seven-hundred pages between the two books! SEVEN HUNDRED PAGES. In English at that! About Cycling! And when I say cycling, I don’t mean “The Complete History of Lance, Lance, Lance, and Some Other People Who Rode Bikes.” No, this is the Α to Ω of cycling literature.

The book starts out in the gritty post revolutionary times of France, and tiptoes around to explain the Dreyfuss Affair to us, while showing us what Henri Desgrange went through to make news to promote his little newspaper all the way to what the tour has evolved into today. The best part about ordering these books was that I was not sent some cheesy robo-automated shipping/payment confirmation. The authors contacted me and let me know that they would be willing ot autograph the books, and that they were going to be sent on their way on X date or so. Just having them do a mom and pop selling of their book and handling it their selves is a reason to buy these books. (more…)

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