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Valentino Zippicelli
Found this article at www.cyclingnews.com

So this guy is the founder of Zipp......His invention is indeed revolutionary, since 1929.. Never ever expected Zipp's founder is an Italian.

Born in Autodromo, Italy in 1900, Valentino Spedici Zippicelli was a revolutionary in the sport of cycling in beginning with his first use of balsa wood rims to replace much heavier beech or pear wood rims then popular at the time. He followed this up with the use of large balsa wood lug gussets that allowed his bicycles to be built more than one kilogram lighter than others of the era and later allowed for the first aerodynamic shaping of bicycle frames.

Zippicelli went on to dominate mountain stages of local races and ultimately dominate the 1929 Tour de France with his groundbreaking 110mm deep balsa wood rim, made by laminating balsa wood with epoxy resin, which had been invented only two years earlier in the America.

However, this advance in technology triggered a firestorm of controversy during the 1929 Tour after Zippicelli gained over one hour on his rivals during the 366km stage from Perpignan to Marseille. The final straw was Zippicelli's shattering of the hour record during the weeks following the Tour, where he used his super wheels to break the record in only 52 minutes, stopping along the way for a glass of wine.

Not only limited to the Tour de France, Zippicelli's embrace of technological advancement was not shared by governing body of cycling, the ICU, and Zippicelli was stripped of all his 1929 victories and erased from the history books in an attempt to keep cycling ‘pure'.

Zippicelli fled to the US in 1930, settling in Speedway Indiana where he designed and constructed race cars into the late 1980's. In 1989 he founded Zipp Speed Weaponry to bring his auto racing and carbon fiber knowledge into cycling, creating the first full carbon fiber disc wheel, first 3 spoke wheel, and ultimately triggered the 'Superbike' era with his creation of the Zipp 2001 beam bike.

Zippicelli died of a broken heart in 1998 after his bike was again banned from competition in road racing, and was buried at the Speedway, where he continues to turn a steady 90 rpm in his grave to this day.

Draftin’ is happenin’
‘Festive season’ came as a 4-month block for one slack like me.
Water too cold (for swim), Too hungry (for run, since it’s always at dinner time right?), and of course – too familiar drinks on Fridays made Sat rides a rarity.

Getting too comfortable on the tandem and the pure lack of cycling – my embarrassing first reaction when I got on the bike again last tues was:

M: Shem, did u do anything to my bike? The handlebars feel loose, like it turns too easy
S: No, because tandem bikes hold straight, u don’t need to steer.

For smart-aleck statements, call 1800-GOM-SHEM

Anyhow, this was a new ride, a new start for 09 (bit late, yes). Almost 2 years from the time I was lured to get on a bike to go for ice cream till then, I was always nervous getting too close to the wheel in front of me. Seeing good people clip wheel; scratches, bruises, crashes – always way too plausible an occurrence for me.

Old man said – easy one. High note whispered that he’s going slow cos he sneaked out for a spin on Mon but don’t tell the boys.

I feel unsure, wobbly even as I started the ride. Reassurance from Old man – you’ll be ok after a while. I was grateful that easy meant easy that day - it wasn’t a pom pow, but a gradual increase in speed and pace. Drafting they say, helps save 30-40% of your energy. Unsure of again how safe I would be, but loosing steam too soon - I really didn’t want. As we rode, it got easier, I stay close, but not too close. Old man’s a good draft.

I was not going to ride faster even if I felt I had the energy. I was just gonna stay behind someone’s wheel – just in case. Then it became clear. Drafting IS Happening. Up the slopes, along the flats, just keep to the wheel. It was like tandem. Just separate tandem. Bridge the gap, then can rest. Enjoying it so much that I kept right behind when Hi-Note pow-ed the last stretch.

I was beaming. I was having the best ride day in a long time. That, and newfound love for my beloved bike.

Last tue - a The @sian Amateur Animal ride. A couple of monkeys and a pack of dogs. You know what I’m takin’ about.

in tandem
It has taken me too long a time to get back into ‘exercise mode’. I’m quite ashamed that it’s already March and I haven’t done a proper work out. Shem GOM said the other day “I can’t believe Mel did Powerman”. Right now, I can’t believe it myself.

GOM had to pull me on a tandem – (I’m sure he secretly enjoys being in power!) Since in his words – ‘there’s no other way’ I could keep up with T@ on my own.

Two weeks like that & another 2 weeks of boozing and falling sick and I’m afraid I won’t be able to hold my own on the bike anymore.

This week – this week I’l get back on the bike.

Quotes of the tandem week:

S: Mel?? Are u pedalling or not?
M: No, you’re superman – going at 60ks an hr with the weight of the tandem and me – you’re superman Shem.

Riding on monkey road:
AM : eh, no drafting!
AM again: Opps… sorry (when he realised we were on a tandem bike) 



OCBC Cycle Race Report

The inaugural OCBC cycles attracted thousands of cyclists from ALL walks of life to spin in the 40km/20km course. I don’t think the local cycling scene has such massive event before except the annual free runway cycling at Paya Lebar Cycling. Of course it makes a difference to cycling within a military compound and road closures in city with a custom print jersey in the bargain.


During the race pack collection, there was a huge outdoor area beside the F1 pit bldg filled with numerous rows of bike racks, my first instance is whether I am here for IM70.3 or OCBC cycle. Those racks are for overnight  bike parking but eventually it was under utilized compared to IM 70.3 which we don’t have choices any all. Who will park their priced belonging in an unsheltered facility?


The “challenge” (organizer says its challenge rather of a race) was flag off by waves to avoid overcrowding. I humbly signed up for the 2nd wave which consists of cyclist who can complete 40km within 1 hr – 1hr 15min which is my true TT timing. But to my surprise the 2nd wave is primary make up of MTBs (no offence on MTB bikers) and some market bikes. I am refused entry for the first wave by the ushers. Eventually I need to by-pass the barriers to join the first wave. Saw Andi and his fellow cattle, at least some familiar faces. Didn’t see big bunch of cycleworx   and ANZA riders at the start line, I guess they might had completed the 50km super challenge. 730am and off we go, now I understand why professional races commenced by rolling start because by the time I cleat on and pass the start line, the front pack riders had speed off and there is absolutely no ways to catch them unless I own an UCI pro tour license. What I can do was to form a chase group to complete the race in decent form and timing, 40km/h at 94% HR once I exit into main road. First 5km I am working on my own until the ANZA train (think it’s the Sat Kranji group) appeared, hop along to conserve precious energy. I doubt I can maintain 40km/h for 40km even on my TT rig with aero helmet, so in road race I need to maximize any draft opportunity.


Some of us took turn to share the load, 2nd group is only 400m away from our 3rd group. Eventually we are 150m away from the 2nd group at ECP U- turn point in the cycling path. But at the cycling path we faced crap, the path is curvy especially in road race conditions, pedestrians on the side and sighting distance is at stake. Worse of all road marshals were not stationed at some sharp turns, as for some junctions the marshals were not doing their job and we were left to guess which direction to go. Well at 37km/h in a cycling path, reaction time is very limited. This is nothing new for local races where road marshals failed their responsibilities at critical turns. We consecutively lost time at the turns and we lost the 2nd group, all efforts were in vain. History repeated at national stadium car park.


34km mark (according to my speedo) and its time to recharge for final charge at finish line. Not much cyclists were willing to take the lead at this point, either they were thinking likewise or they were tired. Pace drops and we start to lose momentum. I remembered an article which emphasis on the importance of team mates and every successful rider achieve their peak with support of a solid team, in situation like this one needs a team to set up a sprint opportunity for their key sprinter and shut the race down whenever possible. Short of team support and distance markers I am unable to predict what’s going to happen; out of the tunnel and final turn I gave my all, to my surprise the finish line is 500m ahead and its hard to redeem my effort, 2 riders went past me at last 200m..Now I appreciate the fact that in pro races, the star sprinters only appear at the last few hundred meters after being well sheltered by their team mates, no wonder they have so much power to sprint at 70km/h towards the line.


Some quick snaps with the BMC cattle and back to K hub with Rachel. Thanks b for your support.

Thumbs Up

1. Nice toilets at F1 pits, large enough to bring my bike in
2. Good event for recreational riders
3. Good effort to increase awareness of cycling
4. Nice complementary jersey
5. Nice race venue
6. Drinks stations are at separate lanes, riders must dismount to collect their drinks. Safe environment for beginners.

Needs improvement

1. Organizer should open up all toilets instead of 1 per pit lot
2. Road Marshals must take their role seriously
3. Rolling starts
4. Site layout is not spectators friendly. One side of the finishing chute is occupied by VIP tents.
5. Participation fee is pretty high..Especially for the 50km super challenge. Prize money should be allocated for 50km and 40km challenge. Reward them for the hard work
6. Pretty confusing route

620am along River Valley Rd

At the start line

phew..its over....

The Swiss cattle from Swiss Valley.

Tks b for your support and being there for me. Plus the pics too = )

Please read

Gentlemen's Rides

When and where possible we’ve invited customers and friends of Rapha to ride with us. Invariably the question of pace and ability comes-up. Just like it does over coffee at 7:30 in the morning before every Rapha Continental Ride. The same way it does moments before the beginning of every group ride that’s ever transpired – with everyone straddling their top tubes and stretching and waiting for the guy who’s always late. As the route is being finalized, in the midst of complaints about legs or lack of sleep the way old people do, it’s agreed. Today is a friendly ride. Today we ride together.

Typically things for the first few minutes or miles are slow and easy just like it was discussed. Talk is light, movies seen and movies that would like to be seen. Gossip and ladies-who-lunch chit-chat. Until you collectively round a corner and the horizon and conversation eclipsing buss is finally past and it’s revealed. The first climb of the day. The shift is palpable, almost tangible, and very familiar. This phenomenon is universal and happens almost without fail, it can’t be stopped or denied. It’s what we’ve come to refer to as Gentlemen’s Riding and it’s steeped in decades of tradition and history.

Gentlemen’s Riding is, essentially, racing in a group, any distance and any route, anything that is not a sanctioned race. It’s winning a Cyclo Sportive or a Brevet or Town Limit sign or your local KOM in the middle of Tuesday afternoon ride. Gentlemen’s Riding is REALLY the sexier sounding Gentlemen’s Racing but that honesty is confusing and likely to alienate.

The key word is Gentlemen, not Racing or Riding. And to be even further specific, the key word(s) should be Gentlepeople or Gentlemen and Gentlewomen. It’s the desire to win the unwinnable. It’s a little bit bragging rights. It’s about story telling and local folklore. It’s how riders with different riding abilities and fitness levels ride together. It’s the only way you get faster.

But it’s done with style and class and grace. It’s competition, but not to the exclusion of camaraderie and experience. Because at the top of a climb the group regroups just like the pace-line reorganizes just past the Welcome to Oakridge sign. A Gentlemen’s Ride is a ride with friends and/or a group that begins and ends together. But along the way, when the ride is most challenging, because of elevation-gain, weather, headwinds, exhaustion or whatever, it’s “on”. All bets are off and the order of things is to be decided, again. And again.

It can be an anecdote to racing or a compliment. It can fulfill your desire for victory and your need to push and test against others, but it’s definitely not the same as racing in the traditional sense.

Gentlemen’s Riding is duality at its very finest. As evidenced by the fact that many of the Continental Riders who love this project for it’s commitment to exploration and experience also love the world of racing. A lot.

Gentlemen’s Riding is race-not-racing. It’s cycling. It’s friendly competition. On end of the spectrum it’s a fast group ride and on the other, it’s something like the Ronde, an unsanctioned homage to the Tour of Flanders.

“What I love most about Randonneuring is the cue sheet. Come ride with us, come do this thing with us, but if I drop you or you drop me here are the instructions. It’s a group ride with directions.” – Greg Johnson

Superb Idea: Bike Lane That Travels With You

Check it out here.

Hard and Fast Rules 17 Jan 2009
comp 1
Free Coaching- Results guaranteed.


Follow the Lippy

Jeff Zabel


Honest effort


Simple Joy

SOUL RIDE 10 Jan 2009
Better behave yourself

Soul ride


My chick


burning those streets ... and some laughs
Thanks to potential internal scrutiny and the inspiration of delurking, I was back out on the roads today.

The plan was to go West (coz as D pointed out, life is peaceful there) but when the entire pack turned off East I didn't quite feel like losing the train. So I focused on what was ahead and peddled on. Got super dropped along Old Tampines Road and rode for quite awhile on my own before seeing the main group waiting at Ikea for me - Awww, gotta love these guys. My heart was filled with love for this crew.

By the time we got to Changi Village, I was definitely feeling delicate. The headwinds were fierce and without a wheel to suck I fully expected to ride the long stretch of Coastal on my own. Every time a lorry passed I felt the full force of wind smack me on my side and lots of swaying ensued. So when Fembot hung back to offer a ride, I felt so grateful! Up ahead, the boys had slowed to wait up too so with a huge pack riding as one, we braved the stretch together. Shielded by my teammates, I managed to hang on all the way to the end. And when I looked down at the odometer, I was just so pleased at how we were going. Couldn't imagine how lonely and slow it would have been on my own...

Bit of trouble kicked off but that's what happens when there's just so much passion floating around :) By the end of the ride, everyone guzzled down their drinks and gobbled down their chow like there was no tomorrow. Oh wait, was that just me?

Super inspired now. Seriously. Hurrah for a great ride!!!!

Distance: 95km
Time: 3hr37mins
Avg Spd: 26km/hr


It stands for Specialized Bike Component University. Bachelor's and Master's program available.