Thursday, February 13, 2014

Resurrection of the Cafe Roubaix Blog!

Hey folks,

A lot has changed since my last post on the blog and I have been wanting to get back to a semi-regular cycle (pun) of posts again. With the new season in gear, new awesome stuff coming into the studio, and my new found...em...fame, I thought it was a good time to start up again. For now I will produce my drivel on everything cycling about once a week, but as the season kicks into high gear it may become a little more often. I plan to also include our occasional participation based contests.

Expect my first real blog entry this weekend. But for starters, how about Marcel Kittel this early season? And his awesome hair!

Now here's a picture of Eddy Merckx:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

With the results of our Directeur Sportif vote complete, we can now go one with selecting more riders.

New this week, YOU get to nominate and choose our next rider. See our FaceBook page, add or select your choice of rider. Let's make Team Paniagua p/b Café Roubaix awesome!

All entries will be added to our pre-Giro d'Italia draw, with prizes announced at the end of this week.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Week Three - Directeur Sportif!

Well the team is beginning to round out nicely with some great riders. Representing Team Paniagua p/b Café Roubaix are the following greats:

Christophe Bassons
Marshall "Major" Taylor
Edwig Van Hooydonck

Every great team needs a manager, boss, leader, mentor - the Directeur Sportif. With a touch of a shoulder simple domestiques have been transformed into champions. With the scowl of disapproval superstars have been sidelined. The DS lays out tactics and strategy. The DS is the general of the cycling team. With great reverence, Team Paniagua p/b Café Roubaix announces our candidates for Directeur Sportif. The individual that will harness the raw talent, reduce the egos, and produce winning unity.

Marc Madiot - Under the tutelage of perhaps the greatest DS in the history of the sport (Cyrille Guimard) , Marc Madiot himself won Paris-Roubaix. Not once, but twice. As a rider he also won multiple French national championship and Grand Tour stages. But being a champion is not enough to be our DS. Passion. If there is one element that Madiot brings to the table, it is passion. See for yourself...

Peter Post - Post won at Paris-Roubaix in 1964. His overall speed of 45.131km/hour remains the highest speed of a Paris-Roubaix to this day. Appointed as DS of Ti-Raleigh, he was know to be hard on riders, but was able to craft one of the toughest teams of all times, winning the Tour de France in 1980 with Joop Zoetemelk. After Ti-Raleigh, he DS'ed the great Panasonic team until 1995.

Hennie Kuiper - Kuiper won Paris-Roubaix after competing in the race ten times before hand. Let that sink in. He won on his 11th attempt! If perseverance is important in life and in cycling, Kuiper has that covered. As a rider, he won gold medals at the Olympics and the World Championship in addition to a whole crate full of victories. After his retirement, Kuiper rolled into a DS job with a small German team before heading up Telekom, working at Motorola, the Dutch National team, and lastly at Rabobank. And while the teams that Kuiper had worked for may not have the most stellar of doping histories, Kuiper's image has not been tarnished by any of the tomfoolery. (Note: I tried to find a photo of Kuiper the DS in action, but alas, I was only able to find images of ol' Hennie hammering the pedals....

So this wraps up our selection. Please vote for your favourite on our FaceBook page!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

OK folks,

Here are the second week's selection. Remember, each vote counts towards our prizes to be drawn near the start of the Giro d'Italia!

1. David Millar: As the second most votes on week 1, David Millar carries over to the second week.

2. Edwig Van Hooydonck: Van Hooydonck was a classics rider extraordinaire. The bib-knicker is attributed to him, as he was experiencing a knee injury when going into the 1989 Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), he had a custom set of shorts made so that one leg stretched over the knee instead of getting it taped. He won. When faced with the option of continuing his career as EPO began to become the norm in the early to mid 90s, Van Hooydonck chose instead to end his racing career. He did not want to be a cheater, and in the end had been cheated out of the last few years of his racing career.

3. Marshall "Major" Taylor: Major Taylor was the sport's first superstar. He was also the first Afro-American to ever win a world title - in anything! He won the majority of the races he entered despite the rampant racism of the day. He promoted clean living, but was quoted once during a 6-day race in New York, "I cannot go on with safety, for there is a man chasing me around the ring with a knife in his hand." His odd response was potentially due to nitroglycerine use which was commonly used by the Soigneurs of the day. Or exhaustion, as 6-day races at the time were just that - six days of racing!

4. Captain Tiddlepuff: Never one to ignore the voices of the fans, we add this favourite to the list of potential candidates. Rob Bailey's cat...

Vote now!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Inaugural Season - Team Paniagua presented by Café Roubaix!

Hello cycling fans!

With our studio getting ready for opening in less than a week and the start of the European season now under way, Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio thought it was only fitting to announce our new sponsored cycling team! OK, it is completely imaginary and quite tongue in cheek, but with all the nonsense that happened over the off-season, we thought it would be nice to have some fun at the expense of our own fanatic passion for the sport.

"Paniagua" is a term that derives from Spanish for "bread and water" - pan y agua. The term is meant to describe the labourers that work for room and board. But in the cycling world, the term has been popularized, at least in North America, in part by revelations on doping found in Tyler Hamilton's book. In this regards, it was used for pro riders that were, for good or bad, not doped up for a particular race or part of the season, as in, "Fred has been riding this whole stage race paniagua."

Thus, in support of those riders past, present, and future, that race clean, Café Roubaix announces its inaugural Team Paniagua p/b Café Roubaix. Of course this would not be fun unless we got our fans involved too, so the selection of each rider over the next few weeks will be voted upon from a selection posted on our Face Book page. We will post three riders from the present and past with the top vote joining the team, the second vote moving on to the next week, and the last place vote being dropped.

A new team member will be announce each week on Friday evening, based on voting on our Face Book page, until the roster for 2013 is full (9 riders and 1 Directeur Sportif)!

The first week's riders are:

Christophe Bassons (Mr. Clean): Bassons pro cycling career was painfully cut short during the 1999 Tour de France. Writing a column while racing le Tour, Bassons wrote refreshingly honest opinions about the fabled "Tour of Renewal." For his opinions, he was becoming more and more isolated within the peloton, even by his own teammates. Fed up from the closing of ranks, during stage 10 to Alpe d'Huez, Bassons attacked early, but the peloton reeled him back in, much earlier than usually done so. As one Lance Armstrong passed Bassons, he berated Bassons and told him to quit professional cycling. Christophe Bassons abandoned the Tour a few days later and had to retire from pro cycling a few years later from the pressure from other riders.

David Millar: Millar was caught for doping in 2004, served a two year suspension, and on his return to pro cycling, became a strong advocate of clean cycling. He presently rides for Team Garmin-Sharp, which employs quite a few reformed and outspoken anti-dopers. From this team organization, the culture of clean cycling has grown. Millar has played a dominate leader's role on the team.

Lance Armstrong: Lance Armstrong has never officially tested positive for any illegal or banned substance. That makes him Mr. Super-clean, as he reported often in the press passing over 500 doping controls. (That in itself is an amazing achievement.) While LA is presently serving a life-time ban, he has promised to help clean up the sport of cycling. Too bad for him it has already cleaned itself up. Too late.

To sweeten the deal and have a little fun, we will add some prizes to be drawn randomly from those of our Face Book fans that vote. Prizes will be announced soon. Prize winners will be announced some time the week before the Giro d'Italia.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Cafe Roubaix FastBack CX

If you have been following along our FaceBook page, you know that I am building a frame during the Framebuilding course at the United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Oregon. From design to pre-paint finish, all work is completed by the students with the aim of leaving with nice and rideable bike frame ready for paint. Many graduates of this program get on to bicycle companies to build frames or some even start their own custom frame companies. My goal was to get away with the skills to critique the bike frames we plan to sell at Cafe Roubaix, looking for the best possible production or custom frames. But it would be squandering a new skill if I do not keep up by taking on the occasional project bike myself. And maybe someday, YOU too can be riding on one of our creations.

The in-class frame I am working on is the Cafe Roubaix FastBack CX (cyclocross). Here are a few production photos. The frame is fillet brazed using a mix of Columbus, Dedacciai, and Kaisei cromoly steel tubing.

Frame tacked and ready for full brazing

The Master at work!

Plenty of clearance for mud and snow!
The last photo shows the mock-up for the seat stays - the last structural piece of the puzzle. The wheel has a full 35mm 700c cyclocross tire. For fun, we put a 650B/27 inch mountain bike wheel with a large 2.25 tire, and there was still lots of clearance. The final design may be capable of running wheels from 26 inch to 29er for a rear wheel! The front is designed to take either a Dedacciai, Enve, or Ritchey after-market CX fork.

Love the ride!