book review - bikie | book review - inside the peloton

book review - the yellow jersey guide to the tour de france

book review - team on the run - the linda mccartney cycle team story by john deering

Le Tour a century of the Tour de France by Jeremy Whittle. Foreword by Greg Lemond. hardback illustr. Collins, £25.00 (uk)

We're talking coffee table books here, with lavish illustration and minimal text. If pictures are apparently worth a thousand words, then this book more than makes up in pictures what it lacks in the word department.
A lot of research went into this tome and Mr Whittle is to be congratulated for the effort he must have made, considering his other duties as editor of uk monthly, procycling.
The book is divided into decades, starting with the first Tour which took place in 1903, each series of photographs (predominantly in black and white) being preceded by a page or two setting the scene for your edification and viewing pleasure.
Looking at some of the bicycles and roads over which the early 'pioneers' rode, there is perhaps some justification for latter day heroes to complain that today's cyclists don't know that they're born. In most cases it seems that just completing the distance was enough, never mind actually racing.
The book is also a fascinating study in the changing face of the racing bicycle and it's interesting to compare the first photo of Maurice Garin, winner of the 1903 Tour, with the myriad of pictures in every modern day magazine of current 'top man' Lance Armstrong.
This is a book for the real enthusiast but with content that will remain timeless and worth looking at even when Le Tour celebrates its actual hundredth running.

rhapsody in blue

my regular reader will remember that, some considerable time ago, i mentioned that i had the opportunity to upgrade the aging colnago superissimo to something a bit tastier, ludicrously more expensive and well into the realms of exotica.
well, if you're still interested, i have made that leap, and the bike shed now has a new occupant to accompany the sadly unused muddy fox mountain bike and the soon to become a winter bike, superissimo.
my main ports of call were the big names of italy. i admit i had hankered after a pegoretti for a while particularly since they still make top class frames out of steel, and i really didn't want an aluminium frame, though based mainly on heresay, since i have never ridden an alu bike for any length of time (though my ds at vc port wemyss has pronounced himself happy with the alu coppi he rides).
de rosa make the corum from 16.5 deda tubing and have, in fact just produced a version with a carbon rear triangle (let's face it, who hasn't?) while fondriest have the status carb, again in 16.5 deda with carbon rear. however, along with others, there is something inherently untrustworthy about a frame made out of two dissimilar materials relying on bonding. remember raleigh dyna-techs?
if it were to be a bonded frame with the obligatory carbon rear, the titanium would seem to be a useful choice, since titanium doesn't corrode and the bonding is therefore unlikely to accede to corrosion at the point of joining. this latter fact kept me away from pinarellos, though the pinarello opera does use the 16.5 deda tubes mentioned before. either full titanium, such as litespeed or merlin, titanium/carbon again from litespeed, or pinarello's offshoot, opera bikes.
but, of course, there's always my preferred brand, colnago. ernesto offers an alu/carbon frame by way of the dream b-stay at not too high a price, or the ct1 with titanium main triangle and b-stay rear. but the obvious crowning glory of the colnago range is the very latest c40 hp with those little cutout triangles in the chainstays. so guess what i bought? yes, a beautiful silver/blue/carbon 54cm colnago c40 hp along with colnago's newest carbon fork, the force which has an impressively thick carbon steerer.
since the frame only turned up on wednesday, from long time colnago retailer, maestro uk, it is still only half finished on the workstand as i write. i have decorated it with a mixture of campagnolo parts (just say shimaNO): record aheadset (no namby pamby hiddenset on this frame), record bottom bracket, and record carbon ergo levers, with the chainset, front and rear mechs, and brakes coming from the chorus range.
since the c40 has a 28mm seat tube inner diameter, the seatpost supplied is colnago's own carbon pin, with angle adjustment via rear allen bolt and forward 8mm nut. perched on this is a blue trimmed san marco colnago saddle. stem is a colnago branded itm, and the latter have also supplied the bars with regular curved drops, since i can't stand the anatomic thingies. this will all be rounded off with blue colnago bar ribbon (a la mapei) and, since i did not need wheels, having two pairs of record/mavic handbuilts already, this will round off nicely since, by some strange quirk of fate, the current pair are shod with michelin pro race in a rather fetching blue. pedals are chorus pro-fit.
to be honest, with the prospect of leaping on board as soon as possible, the only thing stopping me is awaiting the arrival of some carbon spacers to set the stem to the right height. i have no intention of lopping off too much very expensive carbon steerer, before i make sure i'm comfy.
the bike was bought, with my own cash money, from mike berry at maestro uk,who's prices are a good deal below those offered by any other colnago dealer. in fact, only last week, on a brief trip to the mainland, i happened upon a colnago main dealer selling the very same frame for approximately 500 pounds more.
i was able to specify every aspect of the componentry to go with the frame and receive a quotation for the lot, neatly itemised, by e-mail. on despatch, mike e-mailed me the ups tracking number and i was able to anticipate the c40's arrival on the island, by checking with the ups website. impressively, on the day of arrival, the website stated that it had been released for despatch to bowmore. believe me, this is very unusual if, like me, you've waited anxiously for a (in this case a rather expensive) parcel to arrive, you would know what a comfort this is. since ups don't actually deliver to the islands themselves, it is usually passed on to a third party, often resulting in a very circuitous route, and hours of worry.
however, it's here, it looks amazing and i'll bore the living daylights out of everyone in the next post by road testing it.
don't say you weren't warned.
on a slightly different note, my regular reader will have noted the addition of a 'colnago c40' rollover to the left. this contains a reprint of a recent article featured in cycle sport magazine, which they were very kind to let me present here (because i'm a colnago geek) i have also found an excellent review of the colnago c40hp here

i have been asked to add the following link to the post by wheelygoodcause. they're a cycling club dedicated to arranging epic rides for charity and do not charge charities for the pleasure. They ride because they want to, and the next ride takes them from st malo to biarittz and then across the raid pyrenees. so i have. and here it is.

Remember, you can still read the review of 'the dancing chain' the utterly excellent book on the history of the derailleur bicycle by clicking here

any of the books reviewed on the washing machine post can probably be purchased from or

as always, if you have any comments on this nonsense, please feel free to e-mail and thanks for reading.

this column almost never appears in the dead tree version of the ileach but appears, regular as clockwork on this website every two weeks. (ok so i lied) sometimes there are bits added in between times, but it all adds to the excitement.

on a completely unrelated topic, ie nothing to do with bicycles, every aspect of the washing machine post was created on apple macintosh powerbook g4, ibook and imac computers, using adobe golive 5 and adobe photoshop 7. needless to say it is also best viewed on an apple macintosh computer.