conquering the Stelvio

A chance conversation in Rome with a Dutch fellow revealed that he had rode his bike up the Stelvio (a famous pass in Italy oft used in the Giro). He rode with 80 people with a broom wagon. the triple on his bike was essential. What is with these dutch flatlanders and their reliance on triples to conquer 8% grades? I would have to recommend more training consistent with Johan's scheduled work ethic used by Team Vitesse sponsored by Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory. Current training with the team is certain to maximize the power on the pedal in a double configuration.

Yours from Rome,



a first hand report -- Giant of Provence

Through some excellent research conducted in the language of my ancestors here in the Netherlands, I have determined that the son of my cousin has actually cycled up Mt Ventoux. His support vehicle may have been driven by his parents. He has a triple on his bike which made it possible but just barely. He claims that the pitches in the forest before the barren area are 9 to 11 %. I cannot imagine how that could be any steeper than anything in our area. He thought that Mt Ventoux is more difficult than Alpe D'Huez. I feel confident that if a flatlander from the Netherlands like him can succeed, then I, 30 years older and far more out of shape can also. He said he almost turned around and that he wished he had trained more (like riding 500 km per week). The time has come to quit our jobs and devote all our time to riding.

Thus far in my other research into the market penetration of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory into Europe, I have found little evidence at all. This explains why Happy Lucky 88 has sponsored our Team to represent its interests in the upcoming professional season on the European racing scene.


Panel of Sponsor inquiry

H2O: As always I am very impressed with the Happy Lucky 88 products, and see some benefits to swimming as well as biking. The floatation characteristics would be impressive, perfect for the dead man position, but the design may have to change to allow for arm rotation. Any idea about the drag coefficient?

Dear R&H: thank you for your incisive question. I presume that you wish to use the Panel of Sponsor in your triathlon endeavours. I do not claim to be an expert on the nuances of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory merchandise, but I recall that their fine print states that any "layer wood" crafted products must be kept dry. You might be able to circumvent this small problem by shrink wrapping the entire Panel of Sponsor before shrink wrapping it to your body. I will pass along your request for statistical information about the panel's drag coefficient. Good luck and let us know how that works

Order your Panel of Sponsor & jersey NOW

The industry is buzzing at EuroBike 2008 in Friedrichshafen, Germany about the recent announcement that Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory will be the title sponsor of Team Vitesse. Over at the Happy Lucky 88 plywood booth, a great deal of interest has been shown about the this year's innovative "panel of sponsor". "The sky is the limit on accessorizing this panel" said one Pro-Tour manager. "What will they think of next at Happy Lucky 88?" quipped Bjarne recently. "Happy Lucky 88 is easily one of the most cutting edge design companies in the world!" exclaimed the president of a major bicycle company who wished to remain nameless.

You can bet that the interest will only build at the Vegas INTERBIKE show when Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory unveils this revolutionary advertising initiative to the North Amercian market.
Overwhelming interest in the "panel of sponsor" has made it possible make a FANTASTIC limited time offer. A container will reach our shores soon with a volume of panels and the already proven Super Absorbent Rain Cape. The seamless integration of these products will make you the envy of the peleton.

Right now, if you order 24 panel of sponsor you will receive, for an indeterminate price reduction, 1 Super Absorbent Rain Cape. This kind of offer comes around only once in a good long while so act NOW. Due to difficulties with Customs, Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory appreciates prepayment of all orders in cash. You may deliver your payments to Team Vitesse headquarters. ACT NOW to avoid disappointment.


"new look' Team Vitesse jersey

Our new sponsor's name, Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory, compliments and completes the classic Team Vitesse jersey. In compliance with Happy Lucky 88's maxim, "We manufactory layer wood product", the sponsor's name is prominently displayed and meets UCI standards.
Already, the positive reviews are coming in...
"I am in awe of the aerodynamic prowess of our new team jerseys, Happy Lucky 88 has come through again. They truly do stand by their properly translated motto, "engineered plywood for the discerning cyclist". The ply count approaches the quality of fine Egyptian cotton. The modular nature of the jersey ensures the Super Absorbent Rain Cape will fit like the proverbial plywood glove. Not only does the panel allow for prominent placement of sponsor names, it will also make finding the perfect time trial position much easier. In full tuck, a pint should rest perfectly on top, not spilling a drop while in the drops."
In eager anticipation of our new jerseys, K2nees
"I am also in awe. The stupendous genius of design is breathtaking. It can only be described as aesthetic and technical perfection unified. I can just imagine the glory of the wooden wings in unison, driving the peleton forward. With such forward thinking, the practical applications are endless. Aside from the obvious performance boost from the aerodynamic lift generated, it functions as a picnic table, a roadside workbench, a spine board promoting correct posture, spinal protection in the unfortunate event of a crash and heightened visibility amongst dopey motorists. I'm certain there will be a landslide of add-on accessories such as the now famous blue super absorbent rain cape. Just think of how many water bottles an Extra Super Domestique could shuttle from the team car. As well, lunch and/or the occasional family member or celebrity who wishes, can be strapped on and brought up right into the action. I can't wait to get mine."
Thank You Happy Lucky 88! Lampo Bianco


Fellow Vitesse comrades

I regret to inform you that Johan will not be available for any public appearances or management duties for the foreseeable future. He will be consumed with bringing the lance up to speed in time for the new doping controls which will be administered immediately. One of the reasons Johan is retained by Team Vitesse is his great prowess in obfuscating conclusive positive test results. I have spoken to his handlers who are in agreement that the lance will require all of Johan's magic in his quest for eternal youth.

Therefore, Team Vitesse must forge ahead without an active DS. Johan will continue to provide his usual insightful guidance through the state-of-the-art race radios that the team will be receiving from Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory as part of a sponsorship deal.

Indeed, I am pleased to announce that Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has agreed to be the primary sponsor for Team Vitesse in our quest for glory in the upcoming cyclocross season, the 2009 Spring Classics and the '09 Grand Tours. Details of the sponsorship deal will be released soon.

The team's official title will be:

"Team Vitesse - Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory".


Most Esteemed Company

Most Esteemed Team Vitesse Company:

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Mysterious anger pain make lighter from Most Abundance Fountain of Euphoric Youth Booth. Number least units 28. Have ready shipping now! Send good money for special offer concluding longevity product. Most esteemed company to contract Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory early now.

You true contented,
Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory


An open letter to Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory
To whom it may concern:

You may remember Team Vitesse and our order for 144 Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking. We continue to anxiously await the arrival of these “state of the art” ferrings for the team’s time trial bicycles.
When we placed that order, we also purchased the plans and schematics for the “Most Abundance Fountain of Euphoric Youth Booth”. At the time, your representative assured me that the Euphoric Youth Booth could be easily adapted for use as a hyperbaric chamber. He further claimed that by sleeping a minimum of 8 hours in the booth, the thinner air would increase the lung’s oxygen absorption abilities.
Your high quality detailed plans were difficult to understand but team members persevered with mixed results. The adaptation required that tin foil and plywood be attached with duck tape and silicon to the bathtub. By using what appears in your drawings to be a garden hose, the air in the chamber can be evacuated (or sucked out). The result would then be equivalent to an oxygen level at 12,000 above sea level.

K2nees has had difficulty creating a seal between the tin foil/plywood/bathtub interface. What would you suggest? Please remember that the Youth Booth needs to be removed each morning so that the bathtub can be used for personal hygiene purposes.
Lampo Bianco has encountered the other extreme in his use of the Most Abundance Fountain of Euphoric Youth Booth. He sleeps in the fetal position and awakens with “the bends”. I believe that the bends are caused by a lack of oxygen in the system. He spends each morning in excruciating pain while the excess nitrogen gas dissipates from his system. The Team Vitesse budget cannot continue to support the massage therapy required each day to return Lampo to an upright walking position. Do you have a solution to this problem?
Team Vitesse continues to believe in your research and development department and the high quality of your products. We would appreciate answers to our enquiries at your earliest convenience.

Kindest regards, H2o, (Hammer of Holland)