The old rings.

Front Chainrings and The Theory of Relativity

Front Chainrings and The Theory of Relativity

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Disregarding my Schwinn Typhoon, I started keeping score with my 1976 Peugeot PX 10 LE. It came with a Stronglight 52 x 45 and a 14 x 21 five speed freewheel. I always thought this Peugeot was set up for the pavé of northern France with those gears and wire-wrapped and soldered 3x tubular wheels. Yet according to Peugeot’s advertising, this is what the boys rode in the Tour de France. Chapeau! Since this was my first real bike, the coolness of this Rule #5 rig was lost on me. The uncoolness of Mafac brakes and Simplex derailleurs was not lost on me and over time I swapped out many of the French components for Campagnolo ones but the Stronglight crankset was worthy and it stayed the longest. I found a drilled-out 42 inner ring. Surely Bernard Thévenet would approve of that. It was not such a taskmaster as the 45 and scored very high on the cool scale.

Eventually the 52s went to 53s and the 42s to 39s and there they stayed.

Post-Peugeot I lived on the sandy moraine called Cape Cod. It is rolling, easy-to-ride country; there were no steep, long climbs and the default 39 inner ring was too small for the Cape. Some switched back to 42s but our LBS had a handful of Campagnolo 44 tooth inner rings and a few of us installed them. It didn’t occur to me at the time but I was reverting to a more modern version of my original Peugeot gears. This was not a chainring for the early season but once summer arrived, it made perfect sense. The shifts between the front two chainrings were subtle and smooth. It was all good until we ventured over to a proper climb on the nearby island of Martha’s Vineyard. That climb, known to us as the hill-o-death, started off steep and never eased (this was pre-Garmin world, an estimated 15% grade). It actually was the kind of climb where if you were going to have a heart attack, it would be here. The 44 worked, it just meant most of it was done out of the saddle and the pain cave entrance was lower down. But, it may have been a faster way to get the job done. There was no in-the-saddle spinning going on; it was just more heaving of bike and body trying to turn over the shortest gear the 44 would give up.

I came to Maui armed with the 53 x 39. Earlier on Kauai, I once felt shame and horror as an older dude with stick legs passed me on the Waimea Canyon climb. Those sorry sticks were whizzing over a vile compact crankset. It gave me pause. But on Maui the 53 x 39 got the job done, until I did Maui’s version of the hill-o-death, The Wall. I got up it, but it wasn’t pretty or easy. Something was going to break doing that: knees, heart, chain, pedal, more likely part of me, rather than the bike. I was on Maui for the long haul and the Wall was not going anywhere so I opted for a compact crank.

My above prologue leads me to this, my theory of relativity. The terrain dictates the chainrings. You want a 52 x45 on your bike, stay away from the Pyrenees. If you have a compact crankset on there, there had better be some big ass climbs out your front door. But here at Velominati we like to quantify our suffering. My math is as weak as my VAM but I’m working on a calculation with correction factors which would determine what kind of crank one should have on their bike.

((GLx %Gr) 1/age) Bf x BPf x Df

Where:

GL = length of toughest grade encountered on Sunday ride.

Gr = Steepest sustained section of GL.

B = Belgian Factor, also known as Museeuw. The need to always ride in the large ring, always.

BPf = Big Pussy Factor, inverse of Bf. The inclination when a climb begins to sit when one might stand, to shift down rather than up.

Df = The Dutch factor, this is a terrain correction for sea level riding, as the Dutch do along the North Sea.

 

 

// The Bikes

  1. @ErikdR

    @johnthughes

    @ErikdR My nickname for my girlfriend, Lady van de Kempen, I am an American and have been living in Belgium for about three years now. She is from Belgium, from a region east of Antwerp known as de Kempen(loosely translated, “the country”).

    Aha, op zo’n manier – thanks. You lucky man…

    Prior to moving to Denmark (more than 20 years ago already; how time flies), I lived in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. From there, Antwerpen could be reached by car in just over an hour, perhaps an hour and a half. My brother and I often went there for a Friday-evening. Good times; great city…

    Ha, Just came back from Copenhagen a few days ago. My grandparents immigrated from Denmark in the early 20th century and I still have family there(cousins a remove or two), but they had come years ago for visits in the States, and now take visits from me. Had a great time at Christiania’s 40th birthday party on Thursday last. =) I am hoping to haul my bike up there next spring/summer and do some riding. As bad as the Flemish winds get…I am guessing they are even worse in the northern reaches =)

  2. @HMBSteve Very Nice shot.  Looks like a great climb.

  3. @johnthughes

    @ErikdR

    @johnthughes

    @ErikdR My nickname for my girlfriend, Lady van de Kempen, I am an American and have been living in Belgium for about three years now. She is from Belgium, from a region east of Antwerp known as de Kempen(loosely translated, “the country”).

    Aha, op zo’n manier – thanks. You lucky man…

    Prior to moving to Denmark (more than 20 years ago already; how time flies), I lived in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. From there, Antwerpen could be reached by car in just over an hour, perhaps an hour and a half. My brother and I often went there for a Friday-evening. Good times; great city…

    Ha, Just came back from Copenhagen a few days ago. My grandparents immigrated from Denmark in the early 20th century and I still have family there(cousins a remove or two), but they had come years ago for visits in the States, and now take visits from me. Had a great time at Christiania’s 40th birthday party on Thursday last. =) I am hoping to haul my bike up there next spring/summer and do some riding. As bad as the Flemish winds get…I am guessing they are even worse in the northern reaches =)

    Shit yeah; the winds – especially north-westerners, in spring and autumn, and south-westerners in summer – do get pretty rough sometimes. Many years ago, together with my cousin. I rode from the Netherlands to Denmark, which was great – and then back again, which was torture. Through south-Jutland, that part of northern Germany that is known as ‘Ost-Friesland’, and the north of Holland, we faced a howling southwesterly wind every single day for 6 days in a row – I’ll never forget that as long as I live.

    Feel free to get in touch when you are in these parts*. Seriously: I’ll be happy to point you in the direction of some beautiful rides. Denmark is a great country for cycling (particularly Jutland, i.e. the mainland, and the islands of Funen and Langeland).

    * @Frank & @Gianni have my mail address, I think.

  4. Rapidly approaching midnight here (as well as in Belgium, I suppose). Over & Out for now.

  5. @Teocalli

    Am I the only one who is torn between stopping on a climb to take a photo and the urge to keep going as to stop would spoil the achievement?

    Nope, happens a lot. Today’s was a little different though in as we came over a crest & started a pretty steep descent back in to a gorge this epic vista opened up with fog, sunrise & all sorts, problem was the descent was that steep that I was already going fast enough that pulling the bike up wasn’t an option. View atop the previous climb wasn’t terrible though.

  6. @unversio

    This is the week to mount up the 54/44. Crank length is 175. Me 6″² 3″³

    The question that remains is: are you built like a rabbit or a horse? And I’m talking about legs, FYI. Crank length has nothing to do with height, but inseam.

    I’m 6’4″ and only an inch taller than you, but I am willing to bet if I rode your Merckx, I’d raise the saddle by a half meter.

    Crank length has to do with the circle your legs can draw, not the gear you can pull. The analog of this is telling someone which tire width they run and a what pressure, without relaying the weight of the rider and the severity of the tarmac.

  7. I hope I have the time in the next day or two to read through all the RAD thats been posted here. That said I am investing in 41, 42, 44, and 46 tooth inner chainrings. And a 44T outer ring for CX.

    I realize that going small is in vogue and that the world is overpopulated by pussies and people who pay attention to “facts” and “science”. That said, that science is clouded by doping and all other manner of skewed data.

    The only thing I really know is that when I was following Johan Museeuw’s wheel in 2012, I couldn’t keep up with him when going uphill. I noticed he was in the big ring (and so were some Keeper’s Tour companions) and so I changed into that same ring. Suddenly I stopped reaching for gears and was comfortable and holding wheels.

    Big ring is mo’betta so long as you can turn the gear. I am chainging to a 42 for Seattle riding, and a 46 for the Cobbles. As for CX, 44 is the Score. It rhymes, which means logic and science hold no sway here.

  8. Im with Gianni on this one, 50 X 34 all the way, covers all situations from the flatest of flats to a couple of our 18% ramps.

  9. I’ll run a 50×34 when SRAM release their 10t cog for road then you could have a sweet 10-23 to run with it. I would recommend trying bigger tyres for those on compact groups, a 25mm tyre gives you another 109 mm in roll distance.

  10. @piwakawaka

    I’ll run a 50×34 when SRAM release their 10t cog for road then you could have a sweet 10-23 to run with it. I would recommend trying bigger tyres for those on compact groups, a 25mm tyre gives you another 109 mm in roll distance.

    Correct, already doing it !   23 up front 25 out back

  11. @Barracuda

    Great photograph! Can I ask: Where is this, exactly – and what is that impressive piece of engineering in the far background?

  12. @Barracuda

    @piwakawaka

    I’ll run a 50×34 when SRAM release their 10t cog for road then you could have a sweet 10-23 to run with it. I would recommend trying bigger tyres for those on compact groups, a 25mm tyre gives you another 109 mm in roll distance.

    Correct, already doing it ! 23 up front 25 out back

    Front and rear for me, feels like more tyre, ‘cos there is, run the front at 100psi, rear 110, I’m 77kg really rate the down hill performance with a bigger softer front, seems to track much tighter through turns,feels like there is more grip than the 23’s, took a few rides to get used to the bigger gearing!

  13. @ErikdR

    @Barracuda

    Great photograph! Can I ask: Where is this, exactly – and what is that impressive piece of engineering in the far background?

    Victor Harbor – South Australia, Waitpinga Hill Climb, Granite Island Causeway in the background

  14. @Barracuda OK, thanks! Granite Island, eh? Now that sounds like a good place to go for a ride…

  15. @Gianni

    @Nof Landrien

    All compact (50×34), all the time since 2002. (Although I’ve stopped with the EPMS.) 50×34. Rule of thumb for the rear: >3,500 metres climbing in a day slap a 12-27 on; more than 2,500m climbing in a day put the 11-25 on; otherwise an 11-23 does pretty much everything.

    If the smallest cog on your cassette has more than 26 teeth (gear inches with a 39 inner ring = 39.5) then I suggest you come out of the glasshouse before you start throwing stones at compact users.

    I climbed the Giant of Provence with a 53×39 11-23 in 2000. It wasn’t heroic, it was just stupid.

    I feel like I imagine Luther felt at the Diet of Worms.

    +1 beauty!

    A friend of mine climbed Ventoux this year on a 53×39 11-25 and had a similar experience of arriving at the summit 20 minutes down on me (52×36 12-27) and another fellow rider (50×34 12-28).  We lauded him for his hard man efforts but the response was that it wasn’t heroic, just stupid (slightly over the “right amount” of dumb?).

    The next day he swapped in my 12-27 and I completely cracked trying to stay with him from Bedoin to watch the summit finish.

  16. @Bianchi Denti

    @Chris

    @Beers No offense taken. If people being wrong on the internet bothered me, this is the last place I’d come to.

    I will give it a go, my climbing does need a bit of refinement. It’ll have to be hill reps though, it’s pretty flat round here.

    It might also be that your glutes are stronger than your quads. Some quad exercises for a few months may help increase your standing pedalling power.

    Another option is that you quads get tired much faster than your glutes, so you run out of standing power quickly. This could be a position problem, or a physiology problem.

    I’m only chipping in because I was the other way round for years (standing = faster, sitting = much slower), until I got my glutes firing. My massage therapist mate @Josh figured out how to help my glutes work through the duration of a ride, rather than seizing up at the first sight of a hill.

    It may be contrary to Velominati instincts, but I spend much more money on body maintenance than I do on bike parts these days.

    I think there’s a lot of sense in what you’re saying. Since switching from messing about with mountain bikes (largely a gravity assisted avoidance of climbing type affair) to road bikes, I’d say that a lot of the serious work to I’ve put into upgrading my guns has been on the rollers which, at my skill level, is entirely in the saddle. It’s probably also left me low on grunt and relying on a high cadence. When the sufferfest session tells me it’s time for an 8/10 effort at 60 rpm, that simply cannot be done on the rollers, there isn’t enough resistance.

    Quad exercises are certainly required as are more low cadence sessions. Now is also the time to start if KT14 is going to be done properly.

    @Bianchi Denti

    It may be contrary to Velominati instincts, but I spend much more money on body maintenance than I do on bike parts these days.

    This is true but bike parts are just so much prettier and shiny.

  17. @Chris

    ……. that simply cannot be done on the rollers, there isn’t enough resistance.

    Quad exercises are certainly required as are more low cadence sessions. Now is also the time to start if KT14 is going to be done properly.

    I mix my winter turbo sessions with intervals on the rowing machine and have the two side by side.  It seems to help give me a bit more zip (that being an entirely relative term I hasten to add) when I need the power and it’s also good for core strength which you don’t really get turning over the turbo on a static bike.  Also helps to break up the sessions with a bit of variety.

  18. @johnthughes did you by any chance check out the party at Børneteatret on last thursday?

  19. @Teocalli I hate those things. It’s not that they aren’t any good, quite the opposite but there only seems to be two intensity settings, vomit or pass out. There also doesn’t seem to be anyway of taking your mind off the task at hand (other than hypoxia), anything more than 10 minutes listening to the doubts in the back of my mind would be torture. At least on the rollers I’ve got balance and form to think about.

    Besides, if I had the budget for a rowing machine…

    (Just in case there’s some rowing nut about to say that form is all important, I know but I just don’t’ care it’s too boring and proper rowing is a sport for people who can’t handle the future)

  20. @ErikdR

    Anyway: the Moser has a 42-52 chain ring combo, and a ‘straight-6″² at the back (13-18). Perfect for the pancake-flat Dutch ‘polder’ landscape it was made for, then. Here in Denmark – and more specifically, Eastern Jutland with its relatively short but steep climbs, it’s a different story. Until now, I’ve been riding it with that same, original gearing, because I think it looks so fucking cool. But, as my knees keep reminding me every time the road points up, I am an idiot.

    And to be honest: the bike may look cool, but the way I have to wrestle it up the nastier inclines, out of the saddle and weaving from side to side, most probably doesn’t.

    Yeah I remember when we were driving around the forests outside Aarhus with my uncle a few years back, all I could think was that it would be awesome countryside for riding in…

  21. @ErikdR

    @Barracuda OK, thanks! Granite Island, eh? Now that sounds like a good place to go for a ride…

    nah it would probably take less than 5 minutes to ride around the whole island…but if you want to try that climb I’m pretty sure our fishy friend has that lined up to start the Cogal in February (should give you enough time to organise flights to escape the Danish winter).

  22. @Chris Ha ha!  Nice one.  Good point re the budget – I’ve had mine for longer than I have been back into cycling (which is actually quite a long time).  So that is my only excuse for not better investing the money.

    I agree with the 10 mins though – tends to be my maximum mental endurance too.  Though on the bike I use a turbo rather than rollers.  The thought of getting it wrong on rollers and suddenly going from zero to infinity and beyond in the conservatory didn’t seem a good idea when I bought mine.  So I don’t have the form to concentrate on.

    Of course the other thing rowers might say is that they always like to arrive in the future with a surprise (not that I’m a rower).

  23. @Mikael Liddy

    @ErikdR

    @Barracuda OK, thanks! Granite Island, eh? Now that sounds like a good place to go for a ride…

    nah it would probably take less than 5 minutes to ride around the whole island…but if you want to try that climb I’m pretty sure our fishy friend has that lined up to start the Cogal in February (should give you enough time to organise flights to escape the Danish winter).

    I had a quick look at ‘Google Maps’ to check the place out – it did, indeed, look somewhat under-whelming. I’m puzzled, though: if the island is that small (and there’s not all that much going on, from the looks of it – apart from that Café and gift shop on the East tip), why have they built that whopper of a causeway? is it a huge tourist attraction of sorts, by any chance?

  24. @Chris

     

    (Just in case there’s some rowing nut about to say that form is all important, I know but I just don’t’ care it’s too boring and proper rowing is a sport for people who can’t handle the future)

    Well, ’tis. But you know a sport’s retrograde when cyclists write it off as old fashioned. And slow, boring, for exceptionally tall freaks, slow, and boring. Cycling’s way better.

    BTW, the glutes/quads thing can be positional more than training – the further back your saddle is, the more active the posterior chain, the further forward your saddle is, the more our quads are activated. The sweet spot is in there somewhere.

  25. @Mikael Liddy

    Yeah I remember when we were driving around the forests outside Aarhus with my uncle a few years back, all I could think was that it would be awesome countryside for riding in…

    Yep – East coast of Jutland, that’s the home turf, at the moment. (I live about 90 km south of Aarhus – i.e. a bit closer to the German border – in a town called ‘Kolding’.

    As you probably know, the West coast of Jutland is pretty flat and marshy – and gorgeous, in its own way – but the East coast has some nice rollers (carved into the landscape during the Ice Age, if I’m not mistaken). Worth a visit – Some nice rides to be found here.

  26. @norm Nice Elastica quote slipped in there!

  27. @wiscot

    @norm Nice Elastica quote slipped in there!

    Sleeper?

    You’re a big man
    But you’re out of shape
    I could help you
    Get it back again

    We should both go to bed
    Till we make each other sore
    We should both stay in bed
    Till we make each other roar

    You’re delicious aha
    You’re delicious aha
    You’re delicious aha haa

  28. @minion Posterior chain? I’ll have to look into that. Will a google search on that turn up NSFW results?

  29. @wiscot

    @Chris


    I was actually referring to the get carter carpark for @Teocalli‘s great carpark climbs of the world.

  30. Will I be immediately excommunicated by the keepers for suggesting a single ring (so lighter with no front mech)? eg 46 up front and 11 / 28 out back? Essentially the same range as my old school 53 /42 with 13 / 28 that took me over European ranges with camping stuff. 

    I look forward to my flogging.

  31. @norm

    @wiscot

    @Chris


    I was actually referring to the get carter carpark for @Teocalli‘s great carpark climbs of the world.

    I was with you on the Gateshead monstrosity and the get Carter reference (great movie, can’t imagine why anyone thought a Stallone remake was a good idea.) but I thought I’d be pedantic about @wiscot’s song reference.

  32. @ab Everything that comes round goes round as they say – look at mountain bikes.  err – should I wash my mouth out after saying that?

  33. @Chris

     can’t imagine why anyone thought a Stallone remake was a good idea.) 

    Showed a bunch of my US friends the original Italian Job – they had no clue there was an original (and better) version.  Then again most of them were not born at the time it was released……

  34. Just to link the Italian Job to the context of this site – what was the bike Michael Caine threw into the substation……(and don’t expect me to know the answer).

  35. @ab

    Will I be immediately excommunicated by the keepers for suggesting a single ring (so lighter with no front mech)? eg 46 up front and 11 / 28 out back? Essentially the same range as my old school 53 /42 with 13 / 28 that took me over European ranges with camping stuff.

    I look forward to my flogging.

    @Teocalli

    @ab Everything that comes round goes round as they say – look at mountain bikes. err – should I wash my mouth out after saying that?

    Like coming right around to the single chain ring/single rear cog aka single speed! I use mine as my commuting machine.

    Speaking of glutes and quads, I ride thru a river valley on my way to work every day: spin down, grind up, both ways. I think this routine has improved my stroke.

  36. @frank

    @unversio

    This is the week to mount up the 54/44. Crank length is 175. Me 6″² 3″³

    The question that remains is: are you built like a rabbit or a horse? And I’m talking about legs, FYI. Crank length has nothing to do with height, but inseam.

    I’m 6’4″³ and only an inch taller than you, but I am willing to bet if I rode your Merckx, I’d raise the saddle by a half meter.

    Crank length has to do with the circle your legs can draw, not the gear you can pull. The analog of this is telling someone which tire width they run and a what pressure, without relaying the weight of the rider and the severity of the tarmac.

    (Ricky Bobby voice) “With all due respect…” Crankarm length (length of a lever) plays a role with enacting more force at the end of the lever. Then your ability to pedal that circle diameter comes into play thereafter.

    Shake n’ bake!

    “That just happened!”

  37. @Chris

    @norm

    @wiscot

    @Chris


    I was actually referring to the get carter carpark for @Teocalli‘s great carpark climbs of the world.

    I was with you on the Gateshead monstrosity and the get Carter reference (great movie, can’t imagine why anyone thought a Stallone remake was a good idea.) but I thought I’d be pedantic about @wiscot’s song reference.

    Yes, although that line doesn’t come from the carpark scene if you want to get really pedantic.

  38. @frank Wile E. Coyote grabs a stick to create a first class lever. He inputs 445 J of work and the output work of the lever is 430 J. Calculate the efficiency.

  39. @freddy Yup that’s exactly what I meant.  He my old retro 5 speed could become modern again!  Maybe I should take off the front double I put on in the 70s

  40. @HamDer

    @johnthughes did you by any chance check out the party at Børneteatret on last thursday?

    In the afternoon we caught some cake at Manefiskeren(I think, huge cake). Then in the evening it was just beers on the patio at Nemo. Everything was so packed. Super fun though, great attitudes, happy people.

  41. @ChrisO

    @Chris

    @norm

    @wiscot

    @Chris


    I was actually referring to the get carter carpark for @Teocalli‘s great carpark climbs of the world.

    I was with you on the Gateshead monstrosity and the get Carter reference (great movie, can’t imagine why anyone thought a Stallone remake was a good idea.) but I thought I’d be pedantic about @wiscot’s song reference.

    Yes, although that line doesn’t come from the carpark scene if you want to get really pedantic.

    Fuck. Picked up by the pedant’s pedant (or should that be pedants’ pedant? I think not). Time to go for a beer.

  42. @johnthughes ahh¨, not bad indeed. i just wanted to know if you attented the party i was spinning records at :) funny ‘lil’ world!

  43. just did the alpine loop in harrisonburg va  on my 53/39 and13/26 in the back  everyone had compact and huge cassette in the back

  44. @ErikdR

    @Mikael Liddy

    @ErikdR

    @Barracuda OK, thanks! Granite Island, eh? Now that sounds like a good place to go for a ride…

    nah it would probably take less than 5 minutes to ride around the whole island…but if you want to try that climb I’m pretty sure our fishy friend has that lined up to start the Cogal in February (should give you enough time to organise flights to escape the Danish winter).

    I had a quick look at ‘Google Maps’ to check the place out – it did, indeed, look somewhat under-whelming. I’m puzzled, though: if the island is that small (and there’s not all that much going on, from the looks of it – apart from that Café and gift shop on the East tip), why have they built that whopper of a causeway? is it a huge tourist attraction of sorts, by any chance?

    Despite the way it looks in the photo, the causeway is similarly underwhelming. Basically it exists purely for a horse & cart to take tourists back and forth from Victor Harbour, the gap it spans would be less than a kilometre. Based on the island name I assume it may have been there originally to allow mined granite to be carted off the island…

  45. @ab

    Will I be immediately excommunicated by the keepers for suggesting a single ring (so lighter with no front mech)? eg 46 up front and 11 / 28 out back? Essentially the same range as my old school 53 /42 with 13 / 28 that took me over European ranges with camping stuff.

    I look forward to my flogging.

    No flogging sir. Sorry to disappoint. This is the road version of Britt’s enduro bike. I like to hear of people screwing around with their equipment. I remember Rob taking his front derailleur and large chain ring for a race up Mt Washington but never considered it as a possible solution for all riding. Bravo!

  46. @frank

    I realize that going small is in vogue and that the world is overpopulated by pussies and people who pay attention to “facts” and “science”. That said, that science is clouded by doping and all other manner of skewed data.

    This is an excellent point, Frank! Why are there so many pussies? No standards, I say.

    I was sub teaching 10th grade last week at a local, expensive, respected private school where most of the teachers have Ph.Ds. In a world geography class groups were presenting on communal work/living experiments around the world. A group was presenting on lobster farming in Mexico. I asked where, considering that whole two ocean thing.

    One student told me I was “doing it wrong” and that their regular teacher didn’t do it that way, making them oh, you know, look at a map or anything. Then all her classmates started chirping in as well, telling me the location didn’t matter. Fucking hell. High school world geography and any mention of a map/location is “doing it wrong.” Little fuckers.

    (I discussed with the regular teacher and he confirmed what I knew; he tries to not make the focus strictly on maps & facts, but all the groups should have indeed known where on the globe their community lived.)

  47. @Mikael Liddy

    @ErikdR

    @Mikael Liddy

    @ErikdR

    @Barracuda OK, thanks! Granite Island, eh? Now that sounds like a good place to go for a ride…

    nah it would probably take less than 5 minutes to ride around the whole island…but if you want to try that climb I’m pretty sure our fishy friend has that lined up to start the Cogal in February (should give you enough time to organise flights to escape the Danish winter).

    I had a quick look at ‘Google Maps’ to check the place out – it did, indeed, look somewhat under-whelming. I’m puzzled, though: if the island is that small (and there’s not all that much going on, from the looks of it – apart from that Café and gift shop on the East tip), why have they built that whopper of a causeway? is it a huge tourist attraction of sorts, by any chance?

    Despite the way it looks in the photo, the causeway is similarly underwhelming. Basically it exists purely for a horse & cart to take tourists back and forth from Victor Harbour, the gap it spans would be less than a kilometre. Based on the island name I assume it may have been there originally to allow mined granite to be carted off the island…

    OK, I see – Cheers!

    As for the Cogal in Oz in February: I would sure like to try something like that at some point – but ‘unfortunately’ I have a 4-week-long ride lined up in the USA in the summer of 2014. I fear that most of my holiday time (and budget) will have to be earmarked for that little jaunt. But 2015? Who knows…?

  48. @HMBSteve

    @Teocalli – That is a great pic and reminds me of many of the rides out here in the Bay Area. Awesome that @johnthughes took the shot while butterflies were flutterring through his spokes. And, no, you are not hte only one. I really enjopy the climbing scenery and have regretted not stoppoing for a pic on many occasion – the potential onset of the Man with the Hammer just keeps me motivated to move forward. Here is one I had to stop for, however; just before the final descent (into the abyss?) on an early morning warm up on the coast between SF and SC. (BTW – I use a compact)

    Is this the coast-side of West Old LaHonda?

  49. It had Campagnolo Super Record, the Tesch 101.  We had a circuit race at the Zigurat in 1987.  It had a small hill every lap.  I made the mistake of working on it the night before.  But it must look pretty, precious.  And I didn’t have a girlfriend, so I occupied my time by working on my bike and riding.

    The Campy SR front der was cool. But I stripped the fixing bolt at 10 PM the night before the race.  I actually had a Dura Ace front der in the bin, and I saw it had a threaded insert whereas the SR was thread aluminum. But a DA part along side Campy?

    Still, that hill was likely small, so I figured I do without the 42 chainring.  Just left off the front der and put the chain on the 53.

  50. I do not even know the way I stopped up right here,
    however Ibelieved this put up was once great. I don’t understand who
    you are however definitely yoou arre going to a well-known blogger should you are not already.
    Cheers!

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