Sale: Argon18 Gallium Pro 2013 – Size 48

The time has come to part ways with my beloved Argon18 Gallium Pro.

Ridden for one season, its got all the good stuff on it. Here is what Road.cc have to say about it: http://road.cc/content/review/77437-argon-18-gallium-pro 

Its in mint condition, and outfitted with 3T everything, SRAM Red, Rotor 3D Cranks, 3T Ergonova compact handlebars, and comes with a Vision Team 25 Wheelset with about 1,500kms on them.

Its a very stiff and responsive bike. If you want to do some racing or just love the feeling of going fast then this is a great choice. Looks pretty awesome too. I’ve got a bunch of unused saddles from Fizik and Specialized that could also be an option should you look for a saddle too.

Price: 3,500 chf

Contact: fiolanifhoghlu@gmail.com

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Where are all the Women?

I’ve wanted to write a post about the lack of female participation in road racing in Switzerland, and other places for a while now. Although I only really started to race last year, I come from a background as a professional rower and top-level multi-sport athlete so you can assume that I at least have some good references for comparison through the other sports I have done.

Now, I’m not going to bang on about how women receive so little coverage in cycling (we all know that is true – for whatever reasons) but what I am going to bang on about why I think it is that way and what could be done about it.

Have you heard of the expression “the fish stinks from the head”? I never did, until I came to Switzerland. Ironically that is where the UCI is located too, in Lausanne. The UCI and the media don’t do women’s road racing justice. Back in 1924 Alfonsina Strada rode in the Giro d’Italia. I believe she got more coverage than the current women’s peloton get on television these days. I can count on one hand the amount of times I have seen the female peloton on television (outside of the Olympics and the World Road Championships).

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Alfonsina Strada, women’s cycling pioneer

Of course, the UCI are not the sole culprits. Clubs and national federations are also to blame. There just isn’t enough being done at the club level to encourage young women to get out there and cycle bikes. Without an increase in the number of women riding at a young age, the landscape will never change. Young girls will always be turned off riding in a club full of older men so the clubs need to start recruiting young teenagers and planning fun events to encourage them to participate. When I asked some local Swiss club riders if they had any young female talent in their clubs, and why weren’t they racing, they replied that the clubs are mainly for people to get together and train, but not for teaching them how to race. But surely, I ask, isn’t that also the purpose and duty of the clubs? To develop young riders? To teach them all about the art of cycling? To present them with the opportunity to race? Most teenagers love socializing and rarely need an excuse to get together – presenting them with one that is as much fun as riding around the countryside and forests together would surely be really successful!

Lack of Race Categorization and Standardization

Another problem I see exists, at least in Switzerland, is that event organizers don’t categorize their races effectively. In Ireland, as far as I know, there are 4 categories - everyone can get a slice of the cake. In Switzerland however, there are just elite races with 2 categories for women if you are lucky (Femmes Elite (FE) and Femmes B (Femmes B)) or Jedermann/Granfondo races (for non-licensed riders these events are similiar to Sportives but timed) The majority of the participants in the elite races are at quite a high level, they are mostly pro or semi-pro’s -therefore it is very discouraging for amateur riders to take part as they have little to no chance to keep up with the bunch. How hard would it be, for a governing body, to develop some better rules about the categorization of events? If anything it would make the events more commercially viable and attractive to a more cyclists with a wider range of abilities.

About Manners…

I just read a really interesting article from a guy who used to be a ‘proper cyclist’, about manners and cycling…

It reminded me of the many conversations I have had recently with my friends about people riding their bikes in cities, namely Zurich. So I’d like to dedicate this special share to the guy who passed me on his bike this morning while I was on the way to my German class (at 7.30am). He nearly knocked me off of my bike, broke every single red light, almost knocked another ride off of their bike by crossing his path, and in the end – he arrived about 5 seconds before me to the bridge we both had to cross and…wait for the traffic lights to turn green in order to cross.

I just don’t get it. I hear so many cyclists complaining about how dangerous driver’s are, yet I would say the ratio of drivers I see crossing red lights to cyclists crossing red lights on a daily basis is about 0:10

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Another thing Dan talks about is this silly obsession about weight among amateur low Cat. riders. When I used to be a lightweight rower and stand on a weighing scales that needed to show that I was under 57.0 kg in order to be allowed to start – weight was a very important issue. But Amateur cyclists obsessing about weight? Not healthy and downright silly. For many of the Pro.’s, who depend on performance to make a living, it is already a fine line between being strong and losing power due to weight loss. There is no need for Amateur’s to walk that line – nevermind introduce a culture of bad manners and judgement based on weight and appearance!

Enjoy the read -

Musings from a one-time “proper” cyclist

April 27, 2013

Is being a cyclist an excuse to forget your manners? Some people reading this may well say, “That’s not me.” If so, that’s a great thing, you’ve passed.

You don’t use ‘being a cyclist’ as a means to excuse yourself of manners or common sense, or consider yourself a successfully sociable human being. What I mean is, as a pedestrian would you just walk out across a junction ignoring the traffic lights? No! So why exactly don’t the rules apply to you any more when you swing a leg over your bike, allowing you to think it’s fine to jump red lights?

Read more

1st Place in the Tuggen Challenge

It’s been a good weekend of racing! My team http://www.stct.ch won the Tuggen Challenge outright, and dominated all races, Time Trial, Road Race and both men’s and women’s categories.

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For me, the competition was not against the other women in the end as the turnout was very poor, so it was against myself, my demons and the men. For that is what Granfondo is all about, everyone together in one big mish-mash of elbowing and fun racing.

Stage 1 – Saturday – 10km Time Trial

I rode my first ever time trial yesterday – 10km at ‘voll gas’ as they say in Switzerland. My goal was to maintain an average of 40 kilometres per hour, and I achieved it! Even better – at 41.15kmph. My finishing time was 14.58 and, because I didn’t have a time trial bike, aero helmet, and wheels – I could take advantage of a 30 second bonus which brought me in at 14.28 and the winner by well over a minute.

The TT on Strava


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TT Results

Stage 2 – Sunday – Road Race

Today then was Stage 2. 4 laps of 14.7 km with a steep, big hill in each one of those rounds. I was nervous coming into the event because it has been raining a lot, the roads are really narrow and it could have been mayhem. Luckily they were dry for us, and the peloton broke up pretty early in the event so I rode in the 2nd group with about 20 riders for most of the way.

My legs were in really great shape and I never really felt uncomfortable, like I sometimes did in Brütten in March. I was one of the first up each of them climbs and far from getting dropped, I actually controlled a lot at the front of the bunch. That however got a bit frustrating towards the end as the bunch slowed down and really lacked some aggressive riders to push the pace on. I’ve seen this happen before and it is frustrating! More reason for me to try to stay in the first group instead of working for the second…
I had great help from teammate Geri Pachinger and my mate Markus Tollert – also from a mysterious rider from Bündnerland in a green jersey – thanks whoever you are!

Finally, the Steiner Team triumphed again, André Seiler took the road race win with Reto Wälchli coming in second and Oleksiy and Bojan working really hard to help make this possible!

The Road Race on Strava

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Final Road Race Results

The event was very well organised! It is clear that christian Heule has a lot of friends in the cycling scene as he pulled together some great support for the whole event, there should be some good photos and video coverage released in the next week and yeah – I would definitely recommend it! But I only wish there were more women stepping up to race. It is a shame and makes me worried about the development of the sport in Switzerland.

Cycling Ban in the Sihlwald, Zurich?

I’ve lived at the edge of the Sihlwald, and I’ve spent many an evening riding and running through it. Now, there are talks of the COMPLETE PROHIBITION of passage through the forest by bike!

“What next?” I ask. Should mountain bikers be limited to riding on gravel roads along rivers? To argue with pedestrians and dogs on Sunday mornings? Please! No!

Sign this petition http://www.mbwb.info/brief.pdf against the prohibition of bikers in the Sihlwald or become a free, solidarity member of IG Sihlwald für Alle.

Copy of email from Züritrails:

From: Frank Wadenpohl <frank@zueritrails.ch>
Date: 15. April 2013 20:05:02 MESZ
To: members@zueritrails.ch
Subject: [Züritrails-Members] Widerstand gegen Bikeverbot im Sihlwald

Liebe Mitglieder des Vereins Züritrails

Wie einigen von euch bekannt sein dürfte, droht im Sihlwald ein absolutes Veloverbot mit Androhung von drakonischen Strafen.
Gegen die immer grösser werdenden Einschränkungen für Biker & andere Waldbesucher regt sich aber auch Widerstand. Wer weiterhin ohne das Risiko einer massiven Busse im Sihlwald Velofahren möchte kann die „IG Sihlwald für Alle“ (www.sihlwaldfueralle.ch) mit einem Online-Eintrag als „Sympathisant“ (www.sihlwaldfueralle.ch/mitglied-werden) oder sogar mit dem Ausfüllen des Unterschriftenbogens (www.mbwb.info/brief.pdf) unterstützen!
Betroffen ist unter anderem auch der beliebte Singletrail auf dem Gratweg zwischen Schnabellugge-Albishorn-Schweikhof. Dieser soll explizit mit einem Bikeverbot belegt werden.
Die Unterschriftensammlung läuft noch bis Anfang Mai.
Weitere Informationen gibt es auf der Seite der IG und via die Initianten. Der Verein Züritrails unterstützt die Aktion moralisch, gehört aber nicht zu den Initianten!
Vielen Dank für deine Unterstützung und das Weiterleiten an deine Bikekollegen.
Frank im Namen des Vorstands

Bike for Sale

Specialized ALLEZ for
Sale – little used – perfect condition get in touch!

Schwarze Rakete zu verkaufen. Kaum gefahren. Ab Mitte März lieferbar, da vorher in den Ferien.

Specialized Allez Race, 2013

Rahmennr.: WSBC601029165H

RAHMEN: Specialized Smartweld E5 alloy frame, features hydroformed tubes, tapered head tube, integrated headset, and OSBB for the lightest, stiffest, and fastest Allez ever
GRÖSSE: 52, für Leute zwischen 165-178, je nach Körperbau und Vorlieben
GABEL: Tarmac full monocoque FACT carbon fork with tapered steerer is super light with great torsional rigidity for high-speed handling
STEUERSATZ: 1-1/8″ upper and 1-3/8″ lower Cr-Mo cartridge bearings integrated w/ headset, carbon 8mm cone spacer and 20mm of carbon spacers

KURBELN: Shimano Ultegra 53/39, 175mm
KASSETTE: New, Shimano, 10-speed, 12-28t
SCHALTHEBEL: Shimano DuraAce
SCHALTWERK: Shimano Ultegra
UMWERFER: Shimano 105
KETTE: Shimano 105

SATTELSTÜTZE: Specialized, 27.2mm, new Sport alloy seatpost provides a stiff perch for solid power in the saddle
LENKER: New, Specialized CX, 6061 alloy, shallow bend
VORBAU: New, Specialized Comp-Set, 3D forged alloy, 4-position adjustable, 4-bolt, 31.8mm
LENKERBAND: New, Specialized

WHEELS: Hinten: Shimano 105, Vorne: Shimano
TIRES: Specialized All Condition, 700x25c, völlig pannenresistent
INNERTUBES: Specialized Super Light Turbo, 60mm, presta

SATTEL: New, Specialized Body Geometry Phenom Comp, Cr-Mo rails, 143mm
PEDALS: Nylon flat test ride

WEBLINK: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/road/allez/alleze5osbbframeset

http://www.bikerumor.com/2012/07/20/2013-specialized-road-cyclocross-triathlon-bikes-complete-overview-actual-weights/

KONTAKT: Philipp, 079 352 92 64, abholen in Zürich City, Bezahlung in bar oder im Voraus

Preis: 2000

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CRASH! Shock, Frustration and Some Missing Skin

The 3rd RMVZOL was on Saturday. Although my legs weren’t fully recovered from Mallorca, I was so excited to race after a really successful training camp and I felt I had a really great chance to get on the podium. Sabrina Baumgartner and Jutta Steinen were the main rivals and I had already beaten Sabrina in the first of the three-race series.

There was a great atmosphere among the team before the race began. Jeannette and Mario Covi were out with cameras and we got some amazing photos.

Warm-Up

The Race

The women started in the same block with a 1.15 minute lead over the Amateurs and Elite men. The first few laps were good. It started off at an ok pace but straight from the beginning I noticed that the juniors were really nervous and giddy. There was a lot of senseless sprinting at the front of the pack and solo break aways. Jutta was in one of these breakaways and I chased her down with the help of Geri Pachinger one of our Vet teammates. Although I tried to ignore the jittery bike handling of the juniors as much as possible it wasn’t always that easy.

After 2.5 laps, our group got caught by the Elites and Amateurs. That meant a bunch of about 60 or more riders swallowed us up. My goal this race was to be better positioned in the peloton and to play a more active role in the women’s race. That meant working harder at the front and being prepared to chase breakaways if they happened. I made sure I was positioned at the edge of the peloton and with Sabrina and Jutta in contact so when that big gang came along I wouldn’t be stuck in the inside of the Peloton where its much harder to get out.

Everything was going great. I felt good and I had strong legs. On the fourth lap Yves rode next to me and gave me some words of encouragement. He said I was going very strong and to keep it up.

Disaster Strikes

Literally, within 5 seconds after Yves had spoken, the rider to my right rode straight into me – at full speed! I have no clue why other than perhaps he was pushed into me by the rider on his right. We were averaging about 40kmph and there was no way I could hold my line. I went down, in the middle of the pack and about 5 riders also came down with me (and on top of me), one of them was fellow team rider Oleksiy Mischchenko, and Markus Tollert a mate of mine. It took me a good few minutes to recover, then check my injuries. I felt really dizzy and I realized that the entire left side of my winter bib tights around my bum had been torn off, skin and all. Left knee, hip, chin, hand, and right little finger are all the worse for wear and I completely broke my 3T carbon handlebars.

Grrr!

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Team Wins

On a much brighter note, Yves Covi triumphed again. After a really unfair 2nd race with some questionable handicapping of riders by the organization, the ST18 boys rode with vengeance to win the overall series. Yves on the podium and Reto Wälchli in 3rd place. Go guys!

Here is a pic of Yves just pipping Jan Keller over the finish line. To see more photos of the team in action check out our Facebook gallery.

582002_509593599086503_1423258125_nOnwards and Upwards

So. Instead of licking my wounds. I’m going to race in the 3rd Frühlungs Cup in Brugg next Saturday with a couple of teammates. Maybe that will help the frustration I feel over Saturday’s race!