Squadra di Vecchi Tori

Post Tour hangover ? by kiwicyclist
August 4, 2011, 6:55 am
Filed under: General

Suffering Tour withdrawal symptoms?

Yeah I’ll bet many of you are – well I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff to post up in the next few days by way of an update and to complete the Tour write up.  As a distraction, if you are in Melbourne you should get out and watch the final of the Dirty Deeds Cyclocross series – to be held back at Harrison St Velodrome towards the end of the month.  I read the writeup on the second race that took place a few weeks ago and it looked like a cracker – these races keep getting better and better and I’m disappointed I’ll miss the final race by only a couple of days.

My family arrived the Monday after the Tour finished on the Champs Elysees and we have continued travelling in France after spending a week in a cramped apartment near the Musee D’Orsay. 

I’ve managed to not crash the car driving on the right hand side of the road and my cunning plan of getting my bike on the roof, my bike bag collapsed and lashed to the roofracks and having a suitcase full of stuff shipped back to Melbourne to avoid being slugged (again) with huge excess baggage fees – all while avoiding divorce – is coming along quite nicely.

We are currently based in the Loire valley and I’ve managed to get out on a few rides that are a total contrast to the mountains – nice and flat which probably suits my waistline that is taking a post-Tour hammering from French pastries, bagettes, cheese and wine – I can’t understand why most french people I’ve met eat like horses with apparent impunity. 

In a slightly perverse sense we are missing out a bit here as there is very little post Tour excitement of any kind around here or in Paris during the following week for that matter – in contrast to the celebrations and excitement going on back in Oz.  If  Volker had won perhaps it may have been different here.

Anyway, plenty to write about and some of it cycling related.

Blog update coming soon when I finish sorting through the photos I am rapidly accumulating.   Suffice to say the Chateaux here in the Loire  are jawdroppingly incredible, the weather has been amazing and we have finally found some decent restaurant food after encountering mostly tourist tat in Paris. 

Au revoir for now.



Commonwealth Games – cycling schedule by kiwicyclist
October 5, 2010, 4:37 pm
Filed under: General

XIX Commonwealth Games Delhi Schedule

Cycling events to be contested at the XIX Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 are:


  • 4,000m Individual Pursuit
  • Kilometre Time Trial
  • 40km Point Race
  • Keirin
  • Sprint
  • 4,000m Teams Pursuit
  • 20 km Scratch Race
  • Team Sprint
  • 168km Road Race
  • 40km Individual Time Trial

  • 500m Time Trial
  • 25km Point Race
  • Sprint
  • 3,000m Individual Pursuit
  • 10 km Scratch Race
  • Team Sprint
  • 112km Road Race
  • 29km Individual Time Trial

XIX Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010: Cycling Schedule

Day 1: Tuesday, 5 October 2010
M/W Local Time (Delhi) AEDT Time
4,000m Individual Pursuit – Qualifying/Finals M 11:30 – 15:45 17:00 – 21:15
Kilometre Time Trial – Final M 11:30 – 15:45 17:00 – 21:15
500m Time Trial – Final W 11:30 – 15:45 17:00 – 21:15
40km Points Race – Heats M 18:00 – 19:00 23:30 – 00:30 (Wed 6 Oct)


Day 2: Wednesday, 6 October 2010
M/W Local Time (Delhi) AEDT Time
Keirin –  Rounds/ Repechage/Final M 11:30 – 15:30 17:00 – 21:00
40km Points race – Final M 11:30 – 15:30 17:00 – 21:00
Team Sprint – Qualifying/Final W 11:30 – 15:30 17:00 – 21:00
25km Points Race – Final W 11:30 – 15:30 17:00 – 21:00
Sprint – Qualifying/Heats/Repechage M/W 17:00 – 19:30 22:30 –  01:00 (Thu 7 Oct)


Day 3: Thursday, 7 October 2010
M/W Local Time (Delhi) AEDT Time
10km Scratch Race –  Final W 11:30 – 15:30 17:00 – 21:00
Sprint – Heats/Semis/Qualifying/Finals M/W 11:30 – 15:30 17:00 – 21:00
4,000m Teams Pursuit Qualifying/Finals M 11:30 – 15:30 17:00 – 21:00
20km Scratch Race – Heats M 17:00 – 17:30 22:30 – 23:00


Day 4: Friday, 8 October 2010
M/W Local Time (Delhi) AEDT Time
3,000m Individual Pursuit – Qualifying/Finals W 11:30 – 14:45 17:00 – 20:15
Team Sprint – Qualifying/Finals M 11:30 – 14:45 17:00 – 20:15
20km Scratch Race – Final M 11:30 – 14:45 17:00 – 20:15


Day 6: Sunday, 10 October 2010
M/W Local Time (Delhi) AEDT Time
112km Road Race W 09:00 – 12:30 14:30 – 17:30
168km Road Race M 13:00 – 18:00 18:30 – 23:30


Day 9: Wednesday, 13 October 2010
M/W Local Time (Delhi) AEDT Time
29km Individual Road Time Trial W 10:30 – 11:45 16:00 – 15:15
40km Individual Road Time Trial M 13:00 – 15:30 18:30 – 21:00



UCI Track World Cup – Melbourne 2-4 December by kiwicyclist
September 27, 2010, 6:10 pm
Filed under: General


If you were worried about not getting your cycling viewing fix after the world road champs coming up this weekend in Geelong then mark 2 December in your diaries as pre-xmas track racing is coming to Hisense Arena in Melbourne once again. The latest UCI track world cup round is being held in Melbourne over three days starting on 2 December and I plan on going to at least one of the evening sessions on the Friday or Saturday.

This is world class track cycling at its very best and well worth getting down there for a look.

Link to the event details above.


Long time between drinks by kiwicyclist
July 15, 2010, 6:27 am
Filed under: General, Rides

Yup, bit slow getting an update on the site I know.

Call it TDF distractions getting in the way, lack of sleep or inspiration.  ANYWAY aside from working on a nice winter layer of blubber and hoovering up as much of the TDF as possible some of us are still dragging ourselves out of bed several times a week for some winter riding.  In fact most Thursdays a small group of us are staging our own ‘King of the Mountain” competition doing Yarra St repeats off  Kew Boulevard.  We are up to 6 ascents in a session steadily working our way towards 10.  (If that sounds like a fair effort it pales in comparison to Matt Lloyd’s rumoured record of THIRTY ascents in a single session).

Each session has been followed by a lot of email trash talk afterwards – the longest of which lasted for 2 whole days.  For example we know that one of the group must eat a lot of carrots because he has excellent eyesight in the dark to see a pair of heels disappearing so far up the hill ahead  and one has had his manhood challenged for riding a 25 cog on occasion. 

The talk has led to suggestions of an omnium being held to even out the odds and to cover all specialities – call it the ‘not the TDF Toro challenge’. 

Details will be revealed in the coming weeks but it may involve a combination of (a) no. of  (seated) ascents in a single session up Yarra St (for those who do not live in Melbourne it is 16% at its steepest) using a gear no smaller than the 23 rear cassette – and no compact crankset shame allowed (b) a time trial along the length of Kew Boulevard (c) a flat stage for the sprinters/tt specialists, say Black rock to Pattisons lake turnoff, (d) fastest up the 1 n 20  in the Dandenongs and perhaps some other events – most pots consumed over the bar of the Malvern in a half hour  perhaps? –  straight line sprint on kids 16” bikes? – suggestions are most welcome – post in the comments section below.

Speaking of the winter layer and for some the need for inspiration to get up early and ride, the Squadra team kit has arrived at last and some us have discovered our size selection was ‘aspirational’ to say the least – guilty as charged in my case.  Nevertheless the kit looks the business and we are grateful for the hard work done by the squadra kit committee.

The suppliers were Champion Systems Australia and the entire process was fairly quick and easy at around 6 weeks from providing the design to the final product arriving from Hong Kong to Melbourne.  The quality is great, the price excellent value and given the number of sets of kit we originally ordered (around 20) we can order additional individual items pretty easily.  Champion Systems Australia can be found here: http://champ-sys.com.au/ 

Special mention should also go to Pidge who designed the logo and layout.  He runs his own graphic design business and can be found here http://www.pidgeon.com.au/

 Some early shots of the kit – better to follow later.


Marcus was rash enough to suggest whichever of the two of us won a race wearing the new kit first would have to buy the other a beer – so I’m looking forward to calling on that offer this coming Friday.

My results from C grade track Tuesday night – 1st scratch race, 1st progressive points race and 3rd in the motorpace.

Some photos from the night.

Nice vintage bikes:

And some of the action from the night – A grade:


Dirty Deeds Cyclocross – race 1 27 June by kiwicyclist
June 21, 2010, 5:10 pm
Filed under: General

As I’ve mentioned a while back,  I will be competing in the 3 race cyclocross being run under the auspices of my cycling club on Sunday afternoon.  I will be riding this: https://torosvecchi.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/cross-bike/

I had to make a mechanical assistance pitstop into Shifterbikes on Saturday to have the bike attended to after spending a frustrating 2hrs cursing my bike, tools, lack of mechanical know-how etc the previous Sunday trying vainly to change the front crank and shorten the chain by taking out some links.  

Sometimes you have to know your own limitations and although I like to give myself credit for trying, there are many things mechanical I should clearly not try and shortening my chain is one of them.  Lesson for the uninitiated – don’t try to remove the attachment pin all the way out as its virtually impossible to get them back in – which is why I had to take my dismantled and somewhat the worse for wear bike in to see ShifterDan to get the damn thing fixed.

While I was in there we chatted about the upcoming race – he is planning on riding a stunning geared black Yeti sram force equipped cross bike (running edge composite carbon wheels) which I anticipate will mean a likely win for him – last year he came second in the first ghetto cross race off Kew Boulevard riding a 7.5kg titanium singlespeed to Wade Wallace riding a geared Mooks – my money is on Dan for the win running gears. 

Me – I’ll be back in the pack or hanging off the back in the mud grinding away on in one gear – having fun trying something different for a change.

If you are in town and looking for some entertainment swing by, bring beer, cow bells and your lungs for heckling – it should be a laugh.   Registration is at midday and racing will be at 1pm and 2pm respectively for around 45mins or so each.

I’ll be wearing the Team NZ skinsuit.


Is New York the best bike city in the world? by kiwicyclist
June 3, 2010, 11:05 pm
Filed under: General, Rides

This evening I was indulging in a favorite pasttime, getting my haircut and shooting the breeze with my mate Eddie about bikes etc when the topic of New York came up – Eddie has just returned from a 2 week trip to the Big Apple and we spent most of the time discussing the merits of the Best City in The World.  I had urged him beforehand to do what I did on my last visit in November 2008 and rent a bike to get around.  Unfortunately his plans didn’t allow this but in the course of the conversation I was overcome with a distinct sense of nostalga for that trip.

I had travelled to NYC for a friend’s wedding, unexpectedly unaccompanied at the last minute by Mrs Kiwicyclist, and left to my own devices on a 5 day bender.    As I was on my own I had decided to make sure I got on a bike while I was there.  As luck would have it I found a hotel that had bikes to rent for $5/day.  I had researched various options and consulted Andy W (www.fyxomatosis.com) who had worked there as a bike courier – his advice was succinct and to the point – ‘get a bike, go explore and get lost’  – which is pretty much what I did.  

I spent the better part of most of the days (and some nights) meandering around the backstreets and byways of lower and mid Manhatten discovering many great spots along the way – how much better is life experienced in a foreign city by bike?   It cannot be beaten in my view.   I had my first experience travelling out at night on the bike to go to dinner, pedalling across from the Hudson River to midtown to catch up with everyone at a restaurant and then heading downtown to Soho to a bar after to catch up with friends.

The bike – more ‘beach boys hotrod’ than ‘gangsta speed weapon’ and perfect for getting around the Big Apple – singlespeed, coasterbrake, basket:

What made it so good was that New York has an incredible network of bike paths across most major roads, clearly marked in green with a separate curb at most intersections so that when you pull up to the lights there is a barrier between you and the cars – safe and sensible.  When you throw in the extensive one way system it feels even safer.  It impressed upon me how good cycling as a means of transport can be even in a congested city such as New York where the sheer numbers of bike riders has a certain critical mass and where the city provides well designed cycling infrastructure that works – it felt safer on their roads than it does commuting in Melbourne and changed my mind on how far I think we have to go here before our roads are as friendly to cyclists as they are in New York.

I also experienced a ‘six degrees of separation’ moment on the penultimate day of my trip – I had spent most of the day riding around exploring the Brooklyn area after negotiating the Brooklyn bridge and as the late afternoon wore on and I was making my way back up towards Chinatown I decided on impulse to head over to Williamsburg via the Williamsburg Bridge.  Followers of bikesnob http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/ will know that Williamsburg is the first stop on the “fixed gear hipster silk route” and I wasn’t disappointed.  It is a low rise area populated by bars and restaurants and bikes, lots and lots of bikes.  While enjoying a late afternoon beer a couple of guys pulled up on two beautifully maintained classic steel bikes – which caused me a ‘retroboy’ moment of excitement.  I mentioned to one of them that I had a friend in Melbourne “who was a Merckx fanatic that used to work as a courier here and could I take a couple of shots of the bikes for him ” to which they said- ‘that must be ‘ozzie Andy, tall red head guy – yeah we know him, he used to race us at Prospect Park – man that guy used to kick our asses..say hi from us” – what are the chances?

Williamsburg bridge:

Williamsburg retroboys:

Trackstar – serious vintage and fixed gear bike porn and occupied by the ShifterDan of NYC – Zac, wheelbuilder to the stars:


Meatpacking district:

I’ve ridden bikes in a few cities –  London (terrifying), Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide Auckland and New York to name a few and the clear winner is New York – the best bike city in the world?  –  a big call but one that is getting it ‘right’ for the humble commuter/tourist.

Next time you go, rent a bike, and go and get lost.


Lesson for SBD: Wilier and il Pirata still own Alpe d’Huez by mpozzi
May 27, 2010, 3:53 pm
Filed under: General

Pantani + Wilier (on Aluminum also) = Alpe d’Huez record accent 1997 of 37 mins 35 secs