Monday, August 30, 2010

Tough, but fun Sunday on the mountains

I figured yesterday would be one of the last Sundays, with reasonably good weather in the mountains, before I put definitively my Ignite Team FS away, being September the hardest month of the year, with all international shows, so I accepted the invitation of a friend of mine to bring my family over to his place up in the mountains of Val di Scalve, about 1 hr and 15 minutes from where we live.

Actually the weather was not as good as Saturday and as today, but fair enough.
So, we got to Colere around 10:30 and we took the lift to the top of the ski-slopes (impossible to get there in such short time by bike and with our very little training) and Giovanni, Carlo and myself did some short tours on the paths, around the Refuge Albani. To name them "path" does not make really understand what they are like, it is sufficient to say that most of the time we were carrying our bikes on our shoulders, not only because they were very narrow, but also (and this was most disturbing), because they were covered with a thick layer of gravel and rocks and it was so easy for the wheels to slide toward the scarry gorge...
Anyway we got to a almost dried lake, just under a big mountain used as gym, for climbers, where we took some shots, on everlasting snow

and we went back to the refuge, where our families where waiting, for a big lunch. Pizzoccheri, polenta, brasato, porcini mushroom.....good red wine....and some grappa, in the end. Nothing missing there, but you can imagine that the return to the top of the mountain to follow the ski slopes, downhill, back to Colere, was not the easiest part of the day, either, also because, in the meanwhile, the temperature had dropped quite a bit !

At least, we lost some of the kilos, we had just gained, with the lunch.
As a matter of facts, downhill was quite hard, as well. All on gravel and rocks, which made very difficult the control of the bikes (especially when braking).
The set-up of my front fork and rear shock, was definitively too hard, but, after 2 flat tires (Gio' and Carlo)
and a couple of quite scarry falls (Giovanni), we made it to Colere, where we had some more grappa (to recover) and a nice dinner, all together, after which we hit the road back home.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Prototype testing - World Champ Style!

Our reigning CX World Champ stopped by yesterday to have a look at some fancy new hoops and a specially designed new frame we've prepared for him. Sub-950 grams for a pair of cross wheels should be good for Styby's winter campaign and adding a second Arc-en-Ciel to his wardrobe. You can't quite make it out but that top tube says X-Fire Prototype...



I got the frame!!! My customized Damocles ISP left the paintshop this week and is now ready for assembly.
Believe me, the picture doesn't do it justice.

I was hoping to ride this bike next week during the Eurobike show, but it won't get assembled in time :( But have no fear, the Ridley gang is still planning on riding from the hotel to the fair and back every day. We will use the Noah RS frames we took to the Demo Day. If least if the weather is not so crappy as it is here in Belgium...

This week we got a whole bunch of Britisch, Scotisch, Irisch... dealers over, i took the opportunity to join one of the group rides. Good weather, nice roads, good companionship... As a little extra pro- rider Geert Omloop joined us.
It is fun to get to know the people who buy and sell our bikes.
The highlights of the ride were the passage at the Grasbos in Diest and the sprint at the Ridley factory.

Before i forget i want to congratulate Arne van Snick with his performance at the track world championships in Montichiari (Italy).
We are glad that our new Arena frame helped Arne to achieve his goals. An overview of the races in which he competed with the Arena
  • 9th place overal scratch
  • 10th place overal omnium
2nd place sprint 200m TT in a new national record 13.6sec
20th place points race
9th place sracth
11th place elimination race

This is looking good for the European championships in St-Petersburg! A big thumbs up from the Ridley team!!!

Stay tuned for live coverage from the Eurobike show next week.

I'm off



Saturday, August 21, 2010

Now Bikes CX Ride

Now Bikes in St. Paul, Minnesota hosted a CX clinic as part of their regular Thursday evening group ride this week. Todd and I brought our demo X-Bows, X-Rides, and X-Fires for the first timers and Lazer's Mike Pederson brought practice barriers and provided instruction for the group.

Ridley's Todd Schmidt and Lazer's Mike Pederson provided expert instruction.

The group listened intently to instruction on how to successfully negotiate the barriers.

Bob from Now Bikes demonstrating his alternate side dismount.

Putting instruction into action and showing good form on their first CX outing.

Skills improved with practice throughout the evening. I look forward to seeing many of our new CX riders at the local events this Fall.

Friday, August 13, 2010

countdown to Eurobike

Yesyes girls and boys,

Eurobike is approaching,stress is building up. Not that i have doubts about the new range, the team has done a good job, product tests were good and i expect positive feedback from the consumers.

Dealers have been over the past weeks, but in the end it's all about you people... how will you all like the bikes? We will be ready to inform, explain what's not clear or simply talk about cycling in general.

Be sure to stop by at the demo day. A new version of the Noah & Orion, the Dean Rs, a new MTB... we have got some stuff to show off and test:)

I also have some personal reasons to look forward to this years Eurobike. I am trading in my faithful companion, a custom painted Compact, for a new beauty on 2 wheels. A Damocles ISP with colors chosen on the 2011 customizer. Yes i am a lucky b@*$sterd :)
Second of all its fun to see the familiar faces of the industry again.

Some stress to get the showbikes ready on time but even more to get the 2012 range up and and running. Better to be one step ahead :)

Oh yeah, good new Apple has posted a patent regarding bicycle accessories and companys like bosh are really entering the E-bike business..

Until next post, have fun, ride your bike

Over and out


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

As is said in my previous blog: The market for aero is going in a direction to hide and integrate the brake.
Since then we have performed our first official test on the road with ex Belgian champion Geert Omloop. Although I asked him to use the integrated brake system only during test rides he was so enthusiastic about the new fork that he used it in the race in Westrozebeke and guess what, he immediately won.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Leysen the next generation !

hello all,

This week-end Bart Leysens' son will dispute the Belgian championship U14 on a................Ridley of course. Bart, sportdirector at Katushateam and former pro rider, was a great inspiration for his son. Ridley Bikes painted his Ridley Excalibur. Senne Leysen customized his Excalibur himself and look at the great result. Bart's son only started last year to race and already picked up 6 wins this season. It seems that the next generation Leysen is ready to rock the peloton; Watch out for the boy on his very nice and fast Ridley bike. We wish you lot of success this week-end for the Belgian nationals in Herenthout ! Watch out for the result and I will keep you posted.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

back to work

Hey everybody,

Holiday is over, 2 weeks out of office were good for body, mind and soul.
Even when you like your job and do it with passion it's good to take some time off. Spend some time with family, friends... good times.

None the less i haven't been without my bike the past two weeks. I was lucky enough to test the fork Jochim mentioned in a previous post. Some testing was done in West-Flanders (did some hills from the tour the Flanders) the second week of testing took place in the south of France.
Facing the strong Mistral winds during my daily ride is like riding in an open wind tunnel.

My personal experiences and those of the pro rider currently testing the fork already learned us the fork functions perfect but we still need some tweaking. The final phase in this project is approaching (fine tuning, testing, fine tuning until it's perfect)... what a way to get back to work after 2 weeks of holiday.

This was it for today's post.

Stay tuned!