Titanium – What can I say!

Wednesday Legs Cycling Kit

Our first Wednesday Legs Kit hit the roads a month back and has been a treat to pull on.

Made from top end Italian material from Nat over at Spin Cycle Clothing, the Wednesday Legs colours, the chevron logo and typography have been used to create a unique stylish design with splashes of bold bright colours at strategic locations on the shoulders, the back and the leg bands.

I undertook my usual research of suppliers in the Australian Marketplace, and to be fair, there were quite a few I could have chosen from  and received a good product.  I have gone for a quality product, price is obviously an issue but it’s not the main driver. This kit is seriously good.  I’ve ridden an earlier version of the Spin Cycle Knicks over a few summers now and they are some of the most comfortable I’ve ridden in.  The legs are slightly longer than the norm, although that seems to be more the norm these days…..

The kit is equivalent to the Spin Cycle Clothing Pro 2  kit – further details Spin Cycle Clothing – Pro 2

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Hers a shot from the recent Adelaide Dirty Dozen.

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These will be available for a short time. Confirmation of intent to purchase via email back to me will close on Sunday 15th October.

To keep the pricing down, there will be a minimum order of 5, so if we don’t get to the minimum number, we will not be proceeding.

Once we close out the orders, I will be back in contact to finalise purchasing and delivery.

Pricing

Individual items.

  • Jersey = $200 + GST
  • Knicks = $200 + GST
  • Wind Vest = $155 + GST

Kit

  • Jersey + Knicks = $360 + GST
  • Jersey + Knicks + Vest = $495 + GST

If we get over 10 orders in any garment, that garment will be reduced in price by 10%

Postage will be charged extra.

Size chart available from the Spin Cycle site here – Sizing

As this is managed by me, there will be no refunds unless there are issues covered by The Australian Consumer Law, so please make sure you are comfortable with the sizing, which is a race cut so your normal sizing may need to go up a size or two depending on what you are used to.

Feel free to contact me by email if you want further information. wednesdaylegs@gmail.com . 

Ouch

Great Britain junior rider Lauren Dolan crashed during the junior women’s time trial suffering lacerations to her leg, but exhibited toughness never seen on the grassy sporting fields by jumping on a replacement bike to finish the ride.

If your’e squeamish, look away now.

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Dolan was one of the early starters for the race, and posted a quick time through the first intermediate time check as the rain fell. However, she crashed heavily after reportedly hitting a pothole at the mid-way point of the 16.1-kilometre course around Bergen, Norway.

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She slid on her right side, lacerating her thigh and knee and sustaining road rash. Dolan got up and then completed the course on a road bike as her time trial machine was damaged.

Chapeau Lauren

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The Belgie

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Belgium, a small country in the centre of Europe, is a place where cycling is not a sport or a pastime, it is a passion and a lifestyle.

If you have ever raced a true Belgian Kermis, dreamt about it, or simply been engulfed by the cobbled Spring Classics, then you will clearly understand the meaning of a “Flandrien”.

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In Belgium, a Flandrien is the highest compliment bestowed upon a cyclist who embodies the country’s humble blue collar beginnings.

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Belgians are renown as being the ‘hard men’ of cycling. When you think of Belgium cycling, you think of E3 Harelbeke,  Gent–Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders, La Flèche Wallonne  and  Liège–Bastogne–Liège. When you think of Belgium, you think of cobbles, rain, the cold, the wind. When you think of Belgians, you think of Eddy Merckx , Tom Boonen, Thomas De Gendt and Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet amongst many others.

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And then there’s The Belgie.

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Named after and designed for the infamous Belgie ride – a multi-surface smashfest over the cobbles, tracks and grassy knolls of Melbourne – the Belgie’s aggressive race geometry paired with slightly longer chainstays offer cobbled compliance, enhanced rock-skipping traction and shitloads of speed.

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I was in the fortunate position to borrow one for a few weeks from the awesome people from Bio-Mechanics Cycles & Repairs, arranged for me by the just as awesome people over at Curve Cycling.

I must admit, I’ve been pining for a ride on a Curve Belgie for quite some time now after seeing a few locals strap themselves onto it this last year or so.

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Look at it, it reeks of style and class in a very much understated way. It’s that bike that sits quietly in the corner minding its own business, keeping quite,  until it is chosen to play on the team. That’s when the little guy comes out to play. It’s smooth, its steady, it laughs in the face of Adelaide’s infamous hills. It eats bitumen like it was dark chocolate, Belgium chocolate of course.

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This bike is the riders equivalent of a single guy borrowing a cousins baby and taking it for a stroll down the crowded park. It turns peoples heads, it makes them stop you in the street to ask you your name. It is beautiful in a classical way, but it is more than that, it is such a beautiful bike to ride.

 

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Thanks Keith for reminding me to horinzontalise the crank and verticalise the valve stems.

Riding out the shop and up through the hills was a little daunting.  As a loan bike, I was responsible for it, and at approx $9k and a bit, it was a big responsibility. One that played on my mind, particularly on some of the descents on the damp mornings of that first weekend. Something I didn’t tell Mrs Wednesday until halfway through the loan period.

My impressions – well, it is an absolute dream to ride.  It didn’t take long for me and the bike to be at one. It was comfortable, it wanted to be ridden, it didn’t matter what was thrown at it, it just smiled back at you.

On the road, it has a solid feel, something a CF just doesn’t give. It provides a level of surety on the road that I haven’t felt before with a bike, a degree of confidence that if you point it in a direction, it isn’t going to argue with you, it will just do it.

It ignores those vibrations on Adelaide rough heavy roads like a big brother ignores his little brother like he’s not there.

OK, it’s definitely no weight weenie, with titanium being heavier the CF but lighter than steel, but for this old stallion it is really the difference between a decent steak n chips and a few beers, or a salad and Sauvignon blanc the night before.

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The finish on the bike, as you can see from the pictures, is close to perfection. The raw titanium finish coupled with a little high gloss painting provides a bike that is proud of what it is and doesn’t need to boast. The exposed welds and attention to detail throughout are nothing short of exquisite and add to it’s stunning looks.

OK, its definitely no weight weenie, with titanium being heavier the CF but lighter than steel, but for this old stallion it is really the difference between a decent steak n chips and a few beers, or a salad and sauvignon blanc the night before.

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On the road, it has a solid feel, something a CF just doesn’t give. It provides a level of surety on the road that I haven’t felt before with a bike, a degree of confidence that if you point it in a direction, it isn’t going to argue with you, it will just do it. It’s lively but not flightly.

It ignores those vibrations on Adelaide rough heavy roads like a big brother ignores his little brother like he’s not there.

Considering I hadn’t been measured and sized for the frame, the medium frame suited me just grand.  A bit of height to the seat and deslamming the stem had it feeling just dandy.

So why titanium. Well, titanium is an exceptionally hard, durable and corrosion proof material. When you speak to Ti owners, not only do they swear by it, they quote that often used line that it is a lifetime frame material, a bike that puts up with abuse better than any other material.

Titanium is an exceptionally hard, durable and corrosion proof material. It is a lifetime frame material that puts up with abuse better than any other material.   Hand-made from 3Al – 2.5V Grade 9 Aerospace grade titanium tube-set (alloyed with 3% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium), this grade is optimal for the manufacture of bicycle frames and provides great stiffness and durability.

So, after a couple of enjoyable weekends riding in the Adelaide Hills with this close to perfection steed, I am sold.  I will, when my current steed is retired to the pastures, seriously look into a Ti replacement.  This will be my last bike, honest luv!

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The Stelvio

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The Stelvio Pas, official the third highest in the Alps at 2757m, is one of the most dramatic mountain passes to drive in the European Alps. Top Gear voted this the best driving road in the world in 2008. This of course means that it’s one of the busiest of the ultra high passes in the Alps.

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The north side of the Stelvio Pass is the iconic, legendary climb. The south side is also quite tough, however. The Stelvio is Europe’s second-highest paved pass. Only France’s Iseran, at 2,770 meters, is higher.

The north face has 48 numbered switchbacks, but you have been climbing for a while out of Prato allo Stelvio before arriving at the countdown’s beginning. This is a monster climb of stunning beauty.

The numbers for the north face, approaching from Prato allo Stelvio are:

Average gradient: 7.4%
Maximum gradient: 11% (in the last kilometer)
Length: 24.3 km
Elevation at the start: 950 meters
Elevation at the crest: 2,758 meters
Elevation gain: 1,808 meters

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Its also the audacious name given to a new Alfa SUV, the first SUV Alfa have developed.

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Ballsy.

The is no mistaking Alfa’s intent of the car, positioning it as a class breaking, eye turning high performance devils machine. A car with which Alfa are trying to frighten the likes of BMW with its X3, Mercedes-Benz (GLC) and Audi (Q5).

In a car-mad country taking on board the name of one of the county’s most mystical mountain passes, it had better perform.

The mid-sized Alfa Romeo Stelvio crossover in its most potent and outrageous Quadrifoglio “halo” guise, and recently made a sparkling world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

There are 3 models, the top line Stelvio Quadrifoglio , with a the 375kW 2.9-litre V6 bi-turbo petrol-engined, accelerates from standstill to 100km/h in close to 4.0 seconds. The all-aluminium bi-turbo V6 engine stacks up as rather special, with a flat torque curve offering 600Nm between 2500 to 5500rpm.

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All engines are hooked up to a paddle-shifting eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

The range-topping Stelvio Quadrifoglio has exclusive high-performance and functional exterior design elements, plus performance suspension, brakes and wheels.

Its cabin has leather and Alcantara front seats, featuring 12-way power and adjustable thigh support, a Quadrifoglio-exclusive leather-wrapped steering wheel with accent stitching and performance contours; leather-wrapped instrument panel with accent stitching; and carbonfibre interior trim.

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All Stelvios have a drive model selector called Alfa DNA with three unique driver selectable modes (Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency) which can be used to fine tune the driving experience by adjusting throttle response, boost pressure, and suspension settings in Stelvio and Stelvio Ti.

The Quadrifoglio adds a fourth mode – Race, which activates the over-boost function, opens the two-mode exhaust system, turns off the stability control and delivers sharper brake and steering feel with more aggressive engine, transmission and throttle tip-in calibrations.
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Australian pricing and launch time are yet to be set, but it is anticipated to be in the low 60s to mid 90s for the various Stelvio models, with a 2018 arrival.

I’m looking forward to the ALFA Dirty Dozen model to come out in time for next years ADD.

In all seriousness, if anyone as any contacts at ALFA, let me know, I’d love to “test” drive along a collection of the ADDs

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Rider of the Week – Richard Bowen

I first met Richard on my recent cycling trip to France with Unique Cycling Tours (if you missed my write up, where have you been – check it out here). In fact, the front page of the Unique Cycling Tours web page has a photo taken by Beardy McBeard of our group in Provence, that’s Richard front row outside, and me second row inside. And no, it wasn’t a particularly steep climb, we were posing.

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Apart from the fact that after a long days riding Richard help drag me back to our hotel on more than one occasion, there are a number things I remember about my time with Richard, these being – He can’t descend for crap, but he is a strong climber, he’s lousy at directions – so don’t trust him when he says follow me, and he’s a passionate Richmond Tigers supporter as evidenced by him watching a Richmond match one morning on tour – that was when Richmond were getting flogged.

This is Richards story.

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Cycling has always been part of my life.

As a young kid we lived in a court in Aspendale and I’d spend hours drawing racing tracks in chalk on the court and then race around those tracks.

We moved to Brighton, opposite the Town Hall and Municipal Offices, so on weekends I’d again be racing around, this time on the paths and gardens of Brighton’s town hall – my bike then was a Malvern Star SuperMaX BMX bike.

That bike then carried papers in a milk crate for my paper-round, but it’s final incarnation was towing my sailboard to Brighton Beach. The universal joint on the mast formed a flexible hitch to my bike. They were pretty carefree days!

As a Melbourne Uni student I lived in Carlton and rode both a heavy MTB and a single speed with drop handlebars pointing up.

That single-speed bike remained my choice of transport as a young solicitor. Suit and tie riding a single-speed from Carlton into the city – yes, I was a hipster way before hipster was even a word!

It was around this time that I met my wife, Anne-Marie. We were like-minded on bikes and enjoyed cycling around Melbourne, a great camping/cycling trip to the Barossa and then a 3- month cycling/camping trip around Europe.

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With three kids our riding has again changed. We have a lot of bikes – road, MTB, CX, track and a couple of Dutch bikes. Last time I counted there were 17 in our garage. Not bad for a family of five!

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We encourage the kids to ride to school, whilst I’ve often been fortunate to have consulting roles that have allowed me to commute to work. In 2009 Bicycle Network profiled my family in Ride On magazine.
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Eight years later and everyone has grown up a bit since then. Although we’re still all riding!
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I initially became involved with Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club (CCCC) and racing as a parent. Our son joined their Junior Development Program and so we spent many hours on the side of a velodrome or road. This was great fun, and we certainly saw much of Victoria! A State title won by my son Zach in J11 was a highlight.
Standing on the side of the CCCC Glenvale criterium course I discovered that a few of the other parents had started having a go at the crits. It didn’t take much to get me to pin on a number. And what a great excuse for N+1! My bike is a Focus Izalco Max running SRAM Red.
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I started in D grade, then made it to C grade and towards the end of the season I was hovering around the Top 10 for C grade. Hoping that I’ll be able to snag a C Grade podium at some stage this summer (2017/18).

Whilst I did a couple of Cyclocross races last winter, the 2017 winter was all about a trip to France to climb hills, so maybe I’ll roll out for more Cx in winter 2018.

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That trip to France has also been the reason I haven’t done much MTB riding. My best bike is a Cannondale Scalpel with a lefty fork. It’s amazing and incredibly light, but we’re not near MTB trails and it just doesn’t get enough use.

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The trip to France was initially a trip to Italy, but the timing of the Unique Cycling Tours trip to France aligned best with school holidays so off to France I went. Such an amazing trip! Apart from meeting Ian (Eds note: aw shucks) the highlight was definitely doing 3 ascents of Mont Ventoux on the same day. Pretty chuffed with myself. There’s 12 hours condensed into 11 minutes on a video I made of that day.  Link Here  The Bowens of Hampton

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Back home I’m fortunate to live in Melbourne’s Bayside suburbs. We have Beach Rd on our doorstep. I used to ride socially with some mates on a Thursday evening – the Hampton Huffers – we spent 60 minutes riding, then 90 minutes having a beer afterwards!

Right now I have a group of like-minded mates who are regularly out riding at 5:30am (but always with coffee afterwards!). Our group meets on the corner of Teddington Road and May Street, so when I casually started calling us TedMay.cc the name stuck. A few years ago we decided to formalise our bunch and we now have 14 men and 7 women all wearing the TedMay.cc kit.

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Our bunch rides solidly, but we are very much a social group. Conversation is lively and I’m a strong believer in the mental benefits of our group rides.

I also believe strongly in the politics of cycling. In the 2014 Victorian State election I was lead candidate, spokesperson and strategist for the Australian Cyclists Party. With policies focusing on planning, infrastructure, transport and health we went very close to putting me into the Victorian State Parliament. Another 2000 votes and I would have been Richard Bowen, Member of the Legislative Council!

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Whilst I wasn’t elected I was very proud of the team we assembled and the way we were able to raise the profile of our policy areas. Selected media from 2014 still puts a smile on my face:

  • Cycling Tips
  • Crikey
  • 3AW Neil Mitchell (who hates cyclists)

I guess you could also say that I’m into pro-cycling. Most years we’ll go the big track meets in Melbourne, whilst I think we’ve been to the Tour Down Under six times now. Being in Europe this year we went to Dusseldorf for the start of this year’s Tour de France. That was fantastic, but in many ways the annual experience of Adelaide and the Tour Down Under is a better experience – the whole town pumps cycling and it’s all so accessible.

The final thing I should mention is the online business my wife and I run.

Bags in Motion

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Bags in Motion started when I was trying to obtain a replacement part for my M-Boye backpack. As well as obtaining the part we also picked up distribution rights for this product. I still use this backpack today – designed by an Australian cycling commuter it’s perfect for our conditions – and we still sell it.

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In fact, if you’ve read this far we’d be happy to offer you a special deal on the M-Boye backpack … until 30 Sept 2017 enter the code WEDLEGS50 at checkout and it’s yours for $50, delivery included!

 

And if you’re interested, I can be found on:

Thanks Richard. I don’t k now how, but I spent 10 days with you and didn’t hear one word about your ACP work. Well done on your involvement and great to see the enthusiasm you and Anne-Marie have for cycling has spread across your family.

 

 

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Until next time.

tight spokes

iPib

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