27 November 2010

Proven ways to improve performance levels

Lately, mainly because I am focused now on academic achievements rather than physical ones and perhaps because it isn't much much to ride a bike on wet roads, under grey clouds, threatening to pound merciless tons of icy water on barely prepared riders in minus temperature. And all of this in the flat lands of Bremen and its surrounding. I had to think of ways how to get back into better shape and survive the winter season.


Veteran riders know that there is one method commonly applied when performance levels are following the function curves of y (level) = 1/x(time). The nice thing about this method is, that you don't need to overdo yourself on the bike, something that is rather unpleasant as described above. It is very simple: Buy a new bike. And what can be more pleasant to buy a new bike in the country of Germany where it seems that every cellar and every attic is filled to the very top with vintage frames from Italy, France and England. I am not a big fan of petroleum-based frames, even my dear aluminium Cervelo is out of favor in the harsh environment of North Germany. However the Reynolds 531 tubing of my Gazelle is performing well. So I thought that I need something similar. Now here it is:
First ride, properly dressed up in Japanese construction worker pants.


A beautiful Peugeot racing bike from the seventies in grey, pimped up with some orange accents in the form of Schwalbe Ultremo tyres and new orange handle bar tape. Everything else is right from the original bike: Mafac brake levers, Huret derailleur, Suntour shifters, Maillard high flanged hubs ...... 


This is just perfect to cruise around in the old streets of Bremen, parking in front of the city hall dating back to the 16th century or paying a visit to a friend living in an rundown art deco villa from the early 20th century.


And it is also perfect for the challenges that area awaiting me in 2011, in particular for the Transalp. David and me are pretty much ready and excited to sign up in December 1st for the event. I need a good bike to bring me over the alps and I thought a triple crank set would just be what I need to speed up the 20% slopes in Austria and Italy.


Of course this bike is much to beautiful to be ridden. It will be stored in our garage under a black tarpaulin and I will dare to take a look from time to time. In the meantime the Gazelle has to bear the brunt of snow, ice and rain in Bremen.


Some more bike porn pictures from the seller, a vintage pro shop in Muenster. I exchanged the tires and the replaced flat bar with the original drop handle.











2 comments:

David L. said...

Beautiful bike ... just gorgeous.

Don't shred your beautiful "Japanese construction worker pants" in the chain/chainrings ... hope they are short enough.

And the triple is not a bad idea. Rickard Lindqvist, a Swede we rode with on some stages, had one ... and as the week went on he was going up hills faster than Jerome and me. I may use the one I got from Phil of TCC for Transalp and L'Etape. Then again, if I can lose some weight, maybe the compact crank is good enough. I did wear out the 34-27 gear in 2009, and there were some places where I could have used an 11th cog on the cassette. You would probably want 10 instead of 5 gears on the rear cassette.

I guess I still prefer my petroleum based bicycle to coal/iron based ones.

James said...

Michael,

My father actually raced the White version of this exact from back in the late 70's early 80's and what started it all off for me and the lust/love affair with road bikes.