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Entries in Cycling (29)


Revived Manta Photos

Two days ago I mentioned taking my Manta road bike in for a complete overhaul, and today I got the call that the Manta was ready.

I picked up the newly revived bike, and it's great. Smooth as silk on my short test run at home. Iniitlally I wasn't sure how I felt about the bright aqua bar wrap color (thought it would be darker), but it's growing on me. :-)

Tomorrow morning I'm taking the Manta for a long test ride — I can't wait!

As promised, here are photos of the bike with the new bar wrap in place:

Manta: Side View

Manta: Front View BarsManta: Shimao 600 Crank
Manta: Side View FrontManta: Headset & Emblem DetailManta: Downtube Logo DetailManta: Shimano 600 Crank Detail


Reviving My Road Mike

My Manta Road BikeNow that we've settled in a little more in the new house, I've had a desire to get back into a good exercise routine, since everything was thrown into chaos with our trip to Belize, our house sale and the big move to Menomonee Falls.

My biking routine has fallen by the wayside this year, especially road biking on my steel-frame Manta road bike.

I've had a few short rides on my mountain bike and it feels good to get out and ride, but there's something special about hitting a quiet country road on a well-tuned road bike.

I enjoy the smoothness of the road, the feeling of the wind in my face, the hum of the wheels and the freedom of riding. It's therapy for my body and soul.

Today I brought my bike to Emery's, the local bike shop in town, for a complete overhaul. They're going to strip it down to the frame, cleaning and re-lubing the crank, replacing the chain and all of the shift and brake cables, tuning the index shifting, truing the wheels and covering the handlebars in coral blue-green gel wrap.

I need some black enamel touch up paint for a few nicks and marks on the frame, and then a little wax ought to shine the frame up nicely. The paint work was done back in 1993 and has held up quite well through 13 years on the road.

I'm excited to see how the bike feels and handles after a much-needed revival. I'll be sure to take photos and post them on Flickr and link to them here on the blog.

Now I need to plan my first ride on the revived Manta. I can't wait! :-)


Cycling Tidbits

Before I left for Belize, I wondered after last year if I'd still be up for following the Tour in 2007. With so much focus on doping and cheating, courtrooms and headlines, I wasn't sure.

My love for cycling, the complex the tactics and competition between cyclists has sucked me back in. I find watching these crazy guys race each other across France quite enjoyable.

So, here are a few cycling tidbits to share with readers who are also TDF fans.

Toiur de France 2007 Info
I've now posted my Tour de France 2007 info page, which I've done for several years now. New this year is a section for iPhone apps, and updated streaming info. If you have any good links to add, please email me with "TDF" in the subject of your email.

Google Interview with Floyd Landis
Here's an interesting and very recent interview with Floyd Landis about his book, cycling, and more. Floyd seems relaxed and answers a wide variety of questions for almost an hour at the Google campus:

International Cycling Week in Milwaukee
Since 1969, pro cyclists have been coming to the Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin area for "Superweek" now known as the International Cycling Classic. If you're in this area and enjoy cycle racing, check out the schedule. It's a blast taking in a bike race on a warm summer evening or over a lunchbreak. You can even host a cyclist for a future event. This year Time-Warner Cable is also delay-broadcasting each race.



Tour de France 2007 Info List

Here's an updated collection of Tour 2007 info:

Tour Websites

Tour de France Official Website

Tour 2007 General Classification

Tour 2007 Stages

Tour 2007 Route

Versus: Tour de France 2007

Versus: Tour TV Schedule (US)

OLN: Tour TV Schedule (Canada)

ITV: Tour Live Coverage (UK)

Eurosport Tour Coverage

The Daily Peleton


TDF Teams (

NY Times


Steephill Live Dashboard


Tour Bloggers


Martin Dugard (Paper Kenyan)

Martin Dugard (

Freddie Rodriquez

Bobby Julich

Bruce Hildenbrand

Chris Carmichael

Ronan Pensec

Peleton Blog


Wannabe Bike Girl

Velogal's Race Blog

TDF For the Rest of Us


Podium Cafe


TDFblog on Twitter

DailyTour on Twitter

Streaming & Video

Eurosport (Windows Media Audio)

Le Grande Boucle (Combo of text and other Tour infos)

Sporza Tour (Belgian) guide to Live Streaming & Info

Official TdF Channel (YouTube)


Bicycling Magazine Podcast |
iTunes | RSS

ITV TDF Podcast | iTunes

FredCast Daily Tour Podcast | iTunes | RSS

BikeRadar TDF Podcast | iTunes


Tour Fever by J.P. Partland

Tour de France Quiz Book by John DT White (For trivia lovers!)

iPhone Apps

BlueFlavor Leaflets: Le Tour de France

Tour Palm OS Apps

DeepWeb's LeTour2007 (English, with Datebook support & Wireless features)

Ullrich Riepert's TdF 2007 (French & German, elevation charts, jersey winner DB)


Graham Watson's Tour Photos

If you have additional resources to share: websites, blogs. etc., please let me know, so I can keep this list updated. Send me an email with "TDF" in the subject line.


Tour Fever Mini Review

tourfever.jpgEvery year since 2003, I've been compiling online resources for Tour de France fans, and every year the list grows longer (2004, 2005, 2006).

Last year, I found the book Tour Fever: The Armchair Cyclist's Guide to the Tour de France by J.P. Partland, made a mention in the Tour 2006 list, and got a nice email from J.P. offering a review copy from the publisher.

This spring, with cycling thawing from a cold winter, I took J.P. up on his offer, and received a review copy a few weeks ago.

Darn! I wish I'd asked for this book sooner! :-)

This compact book offers a comprehensive yet brief overview of the Tour de France, from its history and early days, to the current Tours of Armstrong and Landis.

“Tour Fever is an insightful look at the world's greatest bike race, the Tour de France. It educates the novice while providing cutting edge information and reference for the seasoned professional.
—Tom Danielson, Discovery Channel Professional Cycling Team

I especially enjoyed the historical overview of the race, and being reminded that the Tour is rooted in a publicity stunt by a newspaper publisher to save his paper. Yet at the same time, a stunt borne of PR, can also offer a space where cyclists can still prove their endurance and tougness.

What's Inside
Tour Fever covers the basics of how the Tour works and why, and provides a sense of how complex of a beast it is. The book also provides newcomers a good overview of how and why teams are structured, how they operate, the different kinds of racers, the goals of each team and so on.

I've learned many these tidbits through years of following the Tour, listening to Paul Sherwen and Phil Ligget make the call year after year, reading blogs and articles on the web and talking over the details with cycling friends.

But having all of this information in a compact, concise book is so nice. This is an ideal guide for anyone interested in Tour de France and bicycle racing, who doesn't want to wade through bike-speak. In fact, J.P. is very good at writing like a regular person, as he explains the intricacies of the Tour.

If you're interested in checking out the 2008 Tour and want more background on the race, then I reccomend Tour Fever by J.P. Partland.

It's good stuff.

Related Links
Tour Fever Book Site
Tour Fever on MySpace
Pedal Pushers Tour Fever Review