Cycling Boots for Roubaix

During this holiday season, HL88 and manager Johan have not been idle. Johan has been sourcing various potential shoe sponsors for Team Vitesse. He believes that he has a firm deal in place for footwear to be utilized in the biggest and best spring classic, Paris - Roubaix to be run on April 8, 2012. After consulting an out of date farmer's almanac, Johan has assured himself that heavy rain and mud will be the order of that fateful Sunday in April. He has decided that all Team Vitesse riders will be wearing these fetching rubber boots. Designed in Denmark by Danes, and produced in China by Chinese, these magnificent wellingtons will no doubt be the talk of the peleton.


HL88 enters Prosthetics Market

Just in time for the holiday season, these life-like legs from Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory's "Hokey Pokey" line are just what you need for any celebration.


Bike fabricated from food

A little known factoid about North Korea is that it is a major powerhouse in bicycle production. Shown here, the late great dicktator examines a large root vegetable destined for the bike factory.

North Korean workers happily produce upside down bikes for the hungry consumer market.

Shown below, partially digested bicycles are carted away to the landfill, all in the name of the most excellent and great North Korean plan. In the tweet words of Steve Martin, "Kim Jung is no longer IL".


Euro Zone Euro Speak

"The path to development is not devalued money in the hinterland, but intellectual capital from the metropole. The key is not cheap labor but rich brainpower, the climate that will cause globals to inject the DNA of various businesses into the commercial life of southern European states". Doth quote Zarkozustra.

Translation: Buy more Italian bicycles and bicycle parts.


Eggplant - It's Official

If you haven't heard it yet, let cycling cosmonaut be the first to inform you that the eggplant has been designated as "Fruit of the Year" for 2009. The formal announcement was made by Steve Martin, recently beatified for his tireless work in promoting all things banjo.
Team Vitesse has been quick to adopt the eggplant's cause and is now soliciting funds from you to support ongoing work to raise eggplant awareness. You might be asking yourself, "How can Team Vitesse Ride to Conquer Cold Arm AND raise eggplant awareness"? Don't worry about it...we got this. We can because we are managed by the genius Johan and we blindly believe in his vision(s).


Seen in Cowtown

Cycling cosmonaut returned from a trip to check out the cycling culture of the cowboy hat metropolis to the south. This tricycle caught my eye, immediately transporting me back to the timeless cartoon, "Triplettes de Belleville".

Meanwhile, this "vintage" military bicycle hung from the rafters with care in a local army surplus. Presumably it was designed with high swoop factor on top and down tubes to outrun the enemy bombing raids.


Danes imitate HL88

The Manufactory is once again firing up its litigation team to sue the nation of Denmark for copyright violation. Pictured below is the offending reproduction in the form of a plywoodium blanket. "This is an outage" raged Johan between shots of port. Bjarne Riis, manager of Team Saxo Team Bank, is suspected of copying the ever popular, people pleasing, patented plywood pattern.


Memory from the "Olden Days"

I spotted this "vintage" Schwinn bike on the interweb. I was immediately transported back to my junior and high school days in Lethbridge Alberta about 40 years ago. My dad had a black steed like this one. When I was big enough I ditched my smaller Schwinn with the banana seat and ape hangers and rode this model. It was certainly faster but a bit dangerous on the "big shale". The big shale was series of huge swoops and steep hills frequented by motorcycles.
I have great memories of flying down smooth, almost vertical pitches and slamming on the coaster brakes just before the river's edge.


Clydesdales Got Nothin'

It has been posited that the heaviest cyclist is the Pachyderm. This sliding measurement comes to the intertube from the site, SuperClydesdale. The Pachyderm is the cyclist weighing in excess of 220 pounds. The pachyderm is constantly faced with the limits of technology. Whether it is the tensile strength of spandex stretched to the point of flames or the torsional strength of carbon wheels, the big cyclist is a force in and of nature. This fact was visualized in 1894 by some lardass named Byron.

HL88 RAP Song in Development

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has commissioned the Unknown Poet (UP) to write and produce a rap song entitled, "Pimpin' Mah Ride". In the style of the genre, UP will be rhyming such words as belligerent, Heavy Drop, conflagration, wheel sucking, CAFIB, plywoodium and other terms ubiquitous to HL88's mission statement. Core Team Vitesse members are excited to get this motivational music into their Walkmans. Lampo Bianco's response summed up the team's anticipation drawling, "This rap thing will be a nice change from the steady diet of Hank Williams Jr. and Neil Diamond we have been listening to for the last 3 years."
The Unknown Poet has her work cut out for her satisfying Johan and the rest of the team. The song is scheduled to "drop" in time for Christmas.


Top 10 Reasons to Buy New Road Wheels

A follow up to the widely read "Top 10 Reasons to Buy a New Bike" is the hotly anticipated "Top 10 Reasons to Buy New Wheels".

10. Wheel goes out of true on false flats.
9. Wheel goes out of true on bike stand.
8. Wheel goes out of true when I put on my kit.
7. My competition rides ______ and they look cooler than I do.
6. Wheel begins to quiver on Saturday nights before Sunday morning ride.
5. Motorcycle wheels do not fit on bicycles.
4. Carbon wheels look faster, stronger, more competitive than aluminum rims (but they aren't)
3. Fellow cyclist recommends wheels (that turn out to be crap)
2. After following advice from trained professional, realization comes that he has no idea how strong a pachyderm is.
1. What else would I do with this extra $2,000.

If you have been following this blog, you will know that I invented and have perfected the Heavy Drop. The Heavy Drop is a maneuver so devastating as to leave the peleton in tears and tatters. It involves applying extreme downward force to the pedals using all my heavenly joy poundage. Torque wheel load is beyond measurement and many rear wheels have succumbed. Therefore I apply all of the above to the search for new road wheels.


Top 10 List of Reasons to Buy a New Bicycle

It is difficult to imagine that anyone would need a reason to buy a new bicycle. However, for readers out there who find themselves having to justify the purchase of a new velocipede, Johan has created the "Top 10 Reasons to Buy a New Bicycle":

10. None of my current stable match my pants.
9. My child doesn't need 4 years of post secondary education. 3 should be enough.
8. I am replacing one my dog ate.
7. This one has a scratch on it.
6. I don't have a bike made of this semi-precious metal.
5. I have this really nice seat post that is crying out for a bike.
4. My competition goes faster on their _________ and I need one too.
3. The bike I am riding has a flat so I am sick of it.
2. There is room to store one more bike here in the bathtub.
1. To be truly taken seriously as a curator, I really need to expand my collection.


When installation goes awry

When Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory came up with their incisive new product, Nipple Shield LXXXVIII, the 88 page instruction pamphlet that accompanied the shields became an instant best seller. Unfortunately, even the most explicit Chinese instructions can be misinterpreted as shown in the foto below. Lampo Bianco is the first the acknowledge that his grasp of Mandarin is not as good as that of Cantonese. He claims that he followed the diagrams, used a protractor and the advice of the HL88 telephonic support system to locate his nipples and install the shields.

At first blush, it appears that LB has placed the nipple shields in the correct position. However, he claims that the protection is not as effective as it could be. Officials at HL 88 are reviewing the data but refuse to announce a full recall of the Nipple Shield ZX at this point in time. This may be an isolated case of piss poor nipple location techniques rather than a fault with the actual product.

October Cross Action

Cycle cross action was recorded for internet posterity by the cycling cosmonaut photographer. Below, the eventual winner bunny hopped the barrier on every one of the 8 laps.
The sinuous route took riders among the trees and through the coulee. As is normal in cross races, there is no place or time to catch one's breath.
Off camber uphill turns challenge the riders' strength and intestinal fortitude. Many participants depleted their portmanteaus of power and race solely on their carryall of courage.
A beautiful day and an exciting race provided this correspondent with much to admire among the cross racers. Perhaps in the next life I too can enjoy the toilet bag of toil and unpack my pallet of persistence.


Johan's Luggage Lexicon Part 2

True to form, Johan has risen to the heights of sobriety to deliver a few more nuggets of luggagisms.
  • portmanteau of power
  • haversack of humility
  • rucksack of respect
  • cosmetic case of confusion
  • carpetbag of conceit
  • grip of guile
  • holdall of hate
  • knapsack of nefariousness
  • kit bag of kindness
  • packsack of praise
  • handbag of hope
Use liberally whenever the opportunity arises.


Johan's Handy Lexicon of Racing Baggage

From time to time, Johan regains consciousness long enough to display his vast knowledge of cycling. Cycling Cosmonaut caught up with Johan during a lucid moment while he was immersed in memorizing the rules of cricket. Johan spoke from the heart and this is the redux of his rantings on racing baggage. He stressed that these aphorisms are to be used liberally whenever an excuse is required for either good or bad performance. They are based on the now infamous "suitcase of courage" which, Johan claims, was stolen by Phil Liggett.
  • hat box of hauteur
  • valise of vexations
  • bubble pack of biliousness
  • laundry basket of inactivity
  • envelope of envy
  • satchel of excuses
  • packing case of panic
  • attache case of apathy
  • man purse of motivation
  • grab bag of ingenuity
  • file folder of futility
  • thimble of sense
  • pallet of ignorance
  • chamois of shame
  • bidon of blues
  • musette of misery
  • derailleur of desire
  • handbag of heavy drop
  • purse of power
  • pocket of perfection
  • wallet of will
  • billfold of BS
No doubt Johan will produce more baggage allusions the next time he is back "with us" after running out of money at the casino of incomprehension.


New Product from HL88

Ever the innovator, Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has set to work to increase cycling enjoyment for the professional peleton right on down to the catagory 6 commuter. Extensive testing in real race conditions by Lampo Bianco ensures that the newest product is unique yet effective.

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory is proud to announce the HL88 Nipple Cover. Who among us has not suffered the indignity of cold nipples or even endured the pain of having a nipple stuck by flying debris while charging down the finishing straight?
HL88's R&D department has found the solution! Do not be fooled by cheap imitations. Only HL88 has genuine Nipple Covers* with Plywoodium*


The Origin of Pain

I must express my sincere apologies for neglecting to update this blog with Team Vitesse information. Having returned from a fact finding mission to WORC (Western Oceanographic Research Cosmodrome), there is much information to share. PE5GW and h2o travelled through scenic British Columbia and made a special visit to view the original Pain Cave. Now a national historic site, the Pain Cave once boasted the largest inventory of suitcases full of courage.
It is posited that neanderthals meandered through this lovely area with massive hunger pangs in search of a legendary "Pain in the Cave", a place to staunch their terrific appetites. It is thought that this is how the Pain Cave got its distinctive name. Shown below is a special table (circa 1788) clearly designed for travellers. The table allows a traveller to carefully open her or his suitcase of courage, the contents of which might have shifted during the journey.

Possibly more remarkable than the Pain Cave and the "table", is the strange and wonderful Splat Falls. This clip was surreptitiously recorded without the express written consent of anyone at all.


Mr. C Creates 2 Slugs

Today's ripper around the lake once again saw carnage. h2o set off on his trusty sled, Mr. C, and maintained a lung bursting pace until the unthinkable happened. Legs churning to gain the maximum benefit of a heavy drop on a downhill, h2o ended the life of a 3 inch long slug. The slug was neatly cleaved in two by the crabon wheel set equipped with schwalbe 28mm tyres. It is hoped that the slug felt less pain than being sprinkled with salt and left to writhe on the tarmac.
h2o is in training for what will be an epic showdown against his teammate and protected rider, Lampo Bianco. LB's low altitude training schedule of walking to his vehicle leaves the door wide open for h2o. He blew out some lung loogies on a short rippling ride with LB and h2o is now ready to capitalize on laughable languishing lung logistics.


Whoa R Bikes

It was with great sadness that I witnessed so many bicycles left to deal with the elements strapped to the backs or on top of vehicles in the rainstorm on Highway 1. Thanks to the sacrifice in comfort made by PE5GW and wiener dog George, Mr. Colnago got to ride inside the vehicle. Mr. C was most appreciative and Johan is considering a medal of commendation for PE5GW. 
After debarking the ferry, a quick inspection of the WORC was performed. Someone must have tipped off the staff at WORC because a newly painted sign hung over the entry to the palatial premises. Hat Model, mini LB and Lampo Bianco himself were among the dignitaries welcoming the delegation from the other cosmodrome. Gluten free snacks were consumed in celebration. "Very impressive" and "Holy Doodle" were just some of the exclamations uttered. 
h2o and PE5GW repaired to their executive yurt for the evening to enjoy goat milk slurpees.  


Korean Style Pain Relief

h2o's cycling career has long been marred by injury. Yet he continues to reap victory after victory thanks to wily tactics such as the heavy drop and attacking in feed zones and during nature breaks. Recently, he has sought pain relief from a Korean mystic, recommended by Johan.
Low intensity laser treatment followed by hours of Johan's special "tough love" verbal abuse has drastically reduced h2o's complaining. Couple that with a kinesiologic tape job in the form of the Korean symbol of healing AND anarchy means that h2o has rejoined the professional peleton ready to rip it up (referring to his knee and the road).

h20 and PE5GW are preparing to visit the WORC (Western Oceanographic Research Cosmodrome) and h2o will be testing the tape against Lampo Bianco. Lampo, still fresh from his Ride to Conquer Cold Arm, has been training at low altitude and has been receiving regular inspiring voice mails from Johan. He will make a formidable opponent for h2o and his 1.5 legged riding style.


HL88's New Bag Inventory

When not testing plywoodium tolerances or investigating the menace of Cold Arm, Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has been getting back to basics in the cosmodrome. In this case the cosmodramatic workers have been busy creating a new line of courier bags.

Shown above with the security detail are 2 of the shoulder bags now undergoing thorough testing.
Each bag may be wholly or partially waterproof having been lined with an orange plastic membrane. They are 100% guaranteed to have some blood of the maker spilled and dried somewhere in or on the bag.
This mondo unit even has an internal pocket plus it can easily carry one pair of trousers, one dress shirt, one medium sized lunch, a bicycle repair kit, one notebook, one lock, a pen and a banana.
Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has always been concerned with branding. The great company is launching the bags under the brand HL88 VELO. Katchy and Kool n'est pas?
Closure remains one of the biggest obstacles to creating the ultimate shoulder bag. Shown below, HL88 is experimenting with shock cord and totemic animal buttons.
Production is expected to be ramped up due to overwhelming interest and low low pricing!
Do not hesitate to contact the other cosmodrome at h2o@cyclingcosmonaut.com to reserve your HL88 VELO bag today. Waiting time is already estimated to be 11 months.



I am shocked and dismayed to have to post a recent comment under "CAT 6 Racing Supported by Science".

"Is the CAFIB compatible with the "other" wrist decoration? You know, the yellow one that has"Lovestring" on it...."

Anyone who purports to follow this blog must realize the importance of fighting Cold Arm and the unifying purpose of the CAFIB. By its very definition, the CAFIB is an exclusive accouterments, whose plywoodium power trumps a pathetic yellow rubber band. To address the question from the misguided commenter, the CAFIB only enhances the yellow band but works best with unimpeded access to Within Power (i.e. screw the yellow rubber band).
The yellow rubber band in question springs from noble intent. Sadly its main proponent continues to deflect doping allegations. His defense so far is "I never tested positive" implies guilt. He should ask himself "What Would Johan Do?". Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory feels that his continued aversion to the truth only weakens the rubber in much the same way that sunlight desiccates plastic.

Corporate culture at HL88 embraces all dopers past and present. Plywoodium, the building block of the CAFIB, is strong like bull. From the pages of Johan's little red book comes this nugget: "Forgiveness is a dish best served with a CAFIB on each wrist."


Cat 6 Racing supported by Science

According to a paper by the Swiss economists Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer, a person with a one-hour car commute must earn 40 % more money to have a sense of well-being equal to someone who walks (or rides their bike) to work. Fey and Stutzer say that people underestimate the down side of a long commute when choosing a home, and that psychologically, a long commute often negates the benefits gained by living in the suburbs.

“People spend a lot of time commuting and often find it a burden. According to economics, the burden of commuting is chosen when compensated either on the labour or on the housing market so that individuals’ utility is equalized. However, in a direct test of this strong notion of equilibrium, we find that people with longer commuting time report systematically lower subjective well-being. Additional empirical analyses do not find institutional explanations of the empirical results that commuters systematically incur losses. We discuss several possibilities of an extended model of
human behavior able to explain this “commuting paradox”.

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has long held the position that wearing a CAFIB while commuting immediately increases the sense of well being for all racers in the Cat 6.


HL88 Product alert

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has taken the unprecedented action of warning its many world wide customers of a potential problem. Plywood is synonymous with HL88 and ubiquitous in their range of cycling accessories. Musette bags developed by the manufactory are made of the elemental form of plywood known as plywoodium (atomic weight = 88).

After a single complaint by one of the 2 owners of plywoodium bags, HL 88 has issued a product warning. Over ripe bananas can be lost inside the plywood interior of the bag, blending with the moray pattern in a nefarious manner. This is the first time in the history of the fabled Team Vitesse sponsor that a problem with plywood has been reported and it is likely to be the last.
Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory continues to live up to their motto "creating problems for existing solutions".


Johan's Unspeakable Passion

We all know and love the ribald antics of Johan, the omniscient manager of Team Vitesse. His tough love, dreadful gambling luck, seeming indifference to cycling and his habit of coaching with a hangover from bed all serve to remind us how truly reviled and revered he is within and without the peleton. During one of his rare conscious moments at the Tour this year, Johan agreed to reveal some of his private passions besides the obvious chicks, booze and drug lifestyle choices. Few people know that Johan is a collector of rare preferably ancient musical instruments and holds a degree from the University of Ulan Bator in rare and preferably ancient musical instrument identification. Armed with in depth knowledge and a keen desire, Johan has slowly aquired an exquisite collection of instruments of the world. Never satisfied with a mere sackbutor crumhorn, Johan seeks out more obscure corners of musical history.
When not managing 2 professional cycling teams, Johan scours the world web for deals. A certain Mr. Ahmadinejad of Iran was selling the strange and unique "dyadinidruel" and Johan snapped it up at at a bargain price roughly equal to the operating budget of Team Vitesse. No matter, for who would not desire such an instrument as this (unfortunately in artist sketch form only). Johan quite rightly fears that camera flashes and sunlight would damage the dyadinidruel. Ancient cave drawings show that this instrument was played mostly by children during recess.
No doubt Johan will organize the hearty bleating of the Dyadinidruel; likely blown and plucked by children during this year's Tour de France on rainy overcast days in the high mountains. The dyadinidruel will likely replace the Johorn as a fan favourite.


Cosmodrome - behind the scenes

One of the multitude of benefits to being the master of a wiener dog is his devoted vigilance when guarding his mobile barking platform. Ready for any contingency, George the miniature long haired dachshund, has completed all first aid courses available to dogs owns a black belt in mouth to mouth resuscitation and will not hesitate to tear the stuffing out of anything.
As well as being a huge fan of buttapps, George fulfills all security requirements at the Other Cosmodrome. h2o is certainly fortunate to have such a loyal but vicious security officer on 24 hour duty. Do not let his benign countenance deceive you. No squirrel is safe from this fearless barking machine.


Johan's Tough Love

Lampo's ride to conquer Cold Arm concluded successfully this week. Unfortunately the buttapp RSS feed suffered catastrophic failure due to excessive US roaming charges. Johan would not approve the extra expenditure which is understandable given that he was on a losing streak. In any event, Lampo reports a stiff neck and no nether region issues. LB even managed to cross the border without incident using the Heavy Drop. Johan was pleased with the result blathering "Lampo did yeoman's service in an effort to alleviate the insidious Cold Arm. He finished high in the overall classification and looked very smart doing it."
Now all eyes are looking to Johan to name his Tour de France starting list. With barely 2 weeks until the grande depart, Johan has indicated that no one is assured of a bunk in the tour Winnebago. The trusted Team Vitesse manager has instituted a radical new approach to his selection process. Johan's process involves disciplined execution. Johan elaborated while sharing some coke refreshments, "If my boys don't do as I say then discipline follows. When discipline fails I move to execution. We want to execute in a disciplined manner."
The 3 pillars of Team Vitesse, Dr. K2, Lampo Bianco and h2o find the specter of execution slightly ominous. Perhaps Dr. K2 summed it up best intoning "We are used to Johan's discipline. We are not as keen on the execution part."


LAMPO Rides to Conquer Cold Arm

Last night, under cover of darkness, Lampo successfully crossed on the fairy to the mainland start for the Ride to Conquer Cold Arm. In typical style, Lampo requested last minute coaching information from Johan. Recent buttapp output shows some dangerous trending below.

Johan advised using butter as buffing agent to ease friction in LB's nether region. "Rancid is the new cool", drawled Johan over drinks on the terrace. Lampo has dutifully seized the butter and now coos in agreement, "Is there anything that Johan doesn't know about cycling?"
Unfortunately Team Vitesse has experienced some internal rancour resulting from the special rain cape designed for Lampo by HL88. A perturbed Dr. K2 wondered out loud, "What is wrong with the original super absorbent rain cape for Lampo's ride?" The answer, of course silly, is that Lampo's specific physical attributes do not lend themselves to a tight seal in the original version of the super absorbent cape. LB wants to experience the rain fully and completely. The plywood interface filters some of that experience.


Lampo's Preparations in High Gear

Lampo Bianco has turned up the heat on his training schedule and correspondingly on his seat. If you have been following the buttapp, you will know that LB entered the orange zone on 2 separate occasions with frightening and dreadful results.
When Lampo regained consciousness, he realized that riding on the west coast can be a wet proposition. He hurriedly put in an apparel requisition to Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory. HL88 seldom deviates from its mission statement, "Creating problems for existing solutions" and they have proven true to their word. Once again HL88 has solved Lampo's aversion to precip with this stunning creation specifically designed with Lampo's unique physique in mind.
Aerodynamic in every way, stylish while doubling as a bivouac tent, Lampo is sure to be the envy of all those dedicated riders in the Ride to Conquer Cold Arm. Success is now within the grasp of Lampo Bianco as he does his part to alleviate Cold Arm.


Lampo Gets Serious

With only 7 days remaining until the Ride to Conquer Cold Arm, Lampo Bianco has begun his training in earnest. Shown here posing for paparazzi with his initial choice of training bike, Lampo may look buff but claims "My six pack does not represent much base training - something I plan to address this week."
Indeed that six pack does not imply buns of steel, something vitally important on the 300 kilometer Ride to Conquer Cold Arm. That is the reason why Lampo has chosen this chopper as his go to machine. Note the sprung saddle, ready to translate bumps into feather softness. The ape hangers allow full ventilation in and out of the pits.

"I strive to maintain high koolness factor at all times" growled LB continuing, "Koolness should never be confused with Cold Arm. They are mutually exclusive forms of coolness."
Johan was extremely impressed with the chopper cycle howling with incredulity, "Why don't we use those at the Tour?"


New Lampo Bianco APP now available

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has developed an application for rotary telephonic devices as well as other communication systems. The app will measure redness, chaffing and pain in Lampo Bianco's tender never nether area. Special sensors are being clinically induced into Lampo's system. Once on his steed for the Ride to Conquer Cold Arm, you can follow the deterioration of Lampo's fundament in real time. Pain and agony are of course measured on a scale for 1 to 10. When keister readings exceed 10, you will know that Lampo has entered the dangerous "flaming red zone" at the same time he does. Join the fun with Johan's pool! Be the one who correctly predicts the kilometer when Lampo hits 11 on the scale of 10 and win your own buttapp!

Lampo Prepares for Ride of a Lifetime

Lampo Bianco has been hard at WORC (Western Oceanographic Research Cosmodrome) preparing for the "Ride to Conquer Cold Arm". In typical Lampo fashion, the Team Vitesse rider as eschewed all training opportunities. Instead he believes that freshness is his greatest ally in riding the 150 kilometer route along the ocean as part of a 3,000 strong peleton. Recently he mewed about his major concern, "I worry about how my posterior behind area will react to bicycle seat after 8 months off the bike..." Johan was quick to offer a myriad of solutions to this burning issue:
  1. Smear 1 pound of butter into the cycling chamois.
  2. Remove the seat completely to negate the potential for contact.
  3. Use "Within Power" to embrace the chaffing, raw, searing, burning agony.
  4. Employ Johan's helper monkey to do the ride for you.
  5. A combination any 3 above.
Whatever Lampo Bianco decides to do, the Ride to Conquer Cold Arm appreciates the effort in alleviating Cold Arm. He understands that Cold Arm is a determined foe.


Insider's look at Johan's vehicle

Intense negotiations with Johan have finally resulted in a world exclusive - this foto essay of Johan's mobile control centre on the road at the Tour de France. Shown below, the cockpit from which Johan provides all his tactical advice to Team Vitesse.

The front grille proudly displaying Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory sponsorship.
Another view of the sophisticated controls of this high performance support vehicle. The back seat could not be shown due to ongoing negotiations with a new vineyard sponsor that Johan is courting.
Johan graciously donated this power wagon to Team Vitesse in the full knowledge that it would raise the profile of the team and its sponsor.
Johan's parting comments reveal the extent of the Team Vitesse ethos, "it is gutless and it works!" Team Vitesse relies completely on the neutral service vehicles during races for parts. Johan provides the motivation and liquid refreshment from behind to wheel of this 1937 Morris 8.


New APP announced by Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory

HL88 has just announced its new app for droid and other mobile phone platforms. Choosing a rural setting in Mongolia for the announcement, HL88 has once again confounded the pundits with a "must have" application. The new app uses existing consumer interface technology and guarantees significant loss of functionality.
The new "CAFIB Production APP" or "CAFIBPROAPP" will allow the consumer to monitor the Manufactory's incessant production of CAFIBs. Access to inventory levels, raw materials tracking and individual worker output can be tracked during an intermittent 8 hour window of satellite access. Enjoy the shear magnificence of high technological production techniques from the confines of work or home during certain times of the day.
You can now see how your personal CAFIB is made, by whom and when you can expect delivery - all with an app on your personal mobile flotation device. Free trial download is available!


Caged Animal now part of Peleton

Still stinging from the loss of 2 outstanding grinders, PE3GW has been looking for some payback. Experimentation at the Other Cosmodrome has resulted in an innovative deterrent to grinder theft. Regular rounds at random times have begun with a vicious caged animal patrolling the premises and environs of the Other Cosmodrome. If danger is sensed, the operator simply unloads the creature. Growling, barking and caterwauling most often soften the resolve of would be ruffians.
Shown here bearing his ferocious teeth, the patrol wiener dog gives pre-attack "the look".

No hacker will breach this security system.


Crisis in the Cosmodrome

A Cosmodramatic crisis has rubbed itself raw within the walls of the Other Cosmodrome. PE5GW, a.k.a Pointy Elbow 5 Grinder Wife, has lost a grinder to suspected theft AND has suffered the indignity of grinder motor burnout.
After a legal name change she is henceforth known as PE3GW until these grinders are replaced. Please change all correspondence until further notice. Cut down in their youth, the grinders will be difficult to replace.

The situation will be rectified before National Grinder Day, celebrated by welders around the world. Johan was uncharacteristically quick to react drooling "Team Vitesse has a grinder inventory? We can use them to shave off seconds the team time trials!"


Heavy Drop - What's in a word?

By popular demand (of the court), Johan, a man of many tongues and manager of Team Vitesse, has translated the "Heavy Drop" terms from around the world.

Korean 다량 투하 Ruptured Heavens
Portuguese gota pesada Heavy the fall
Russian тяжелое падение Big Bailout
Japanese 重量物投下 Black Snow falling leaf
German schwerer Tropfen Heavy liquorice
Greek βαριά πτώση Iron Locomotive Blasting its Horn in Wilderness
Italian goccia pesante Heavy meal - big nap
French baisse lourde Healthy broth with tarragon

You will agree that maelstrom of fear is not mitigated by any language barrier.


Team Vitesse Education Outreach

Welcome to the first instalment of an education outreach initiative by Team Vitesse. Johan, as part of his court ordered community service, wants Team Vitesse to open the "play book" of professional cycling to educate the seething masses. Page 1 of the playbook is, of course, the Heavy Drop. Despite the fact that Heavy Drop is known, feared and revered the world over, it has been translated into various world languages:

다량 투하
gota pesada
тяжелое падение
schwerer Tropfen
βαριά πτώση
goccia pesante
baisse lourde

Whatever language you speak, Heavy Drop is ubiquitous with high speeds, black holes, veritable maelstroms of fear and Johan's heinous tactics.


Team Vitesse News

With another completely ignored spring classics season under their belts, Team Vitesse begins preparations for the Tour. Hard at WORC (Western Oceanographic Research Cosmodrome) Lampo Bianco has dusted off his steed and blown out some lung tar. With the able assistance of Hat Model, LB managed to adjust his shoe cleat after 5 years or incorrect positioning. Johan winced saying, "there goes that excuse!". Knee pain eradicated, Lampo finished the 3km round trip to the donut shop and back to WORC in less than 90 minutes. "The sensations are good. Now I must build my basement" intoned the Lampo.
Meanwhile at the Other Cosmodrome, h2o and Dr. K2nees launched a workman-like attack in honour of International Workers Day. It was the maiden voyage for h2o on his new steed. He found it immensely satisfying wheezing, "The sensations were good. Now I must build my base". The good doctor rode with fenders on the clear dry day insisting "Fenders imply a training ride and hide my lack of fitness". Johan was not fooled however and screeched into the riders' earpieces to go hard or go home.
At one point on the route, h2o and K2 were confronted with remnants of a breakaway. K2 went to the front and pulled h2o up to the 2 escape artists whose backpacks belied their intent on a long unsupported attempt at victory. Team Vitesse quickly dispatched the pretenders. The gap was extended when the hapless saps continued up a dead end while Team Vitesse plowed the fertile furrow home.
Johan expressed his pleasure with his team's efforts blathering "I think Lampo's donut turnaround time can improve on a time trial bike. The other 2 must amp up their trash talk".


Heavy Drop - Exclusive inside fotos

For members of the professional peleton, mere mention of the Heavy Drop is enough to induce uncomfortable silence. For those who have been subjected to its magnificent ferocity and witnessed the shear tyre ripping acceleration, only dumbstruck awe can summarize their reaction. The Heavy Drop has been oft discussed on these pages. Little is known about what a Heavy Drop really feels like from the inside. Some imagine the "drop" to be similar to the hyper drive of the Millennium Falcon.
Cycling cosmonaut caught up with h2o of Team Vitesse, the inventor and foremost practitioner of the Heavy Drop. "It may appear to victims that initial burst of speed is like entering a black hole." h2o continued, "the black hole is actually where the rest of the peleton is left." Due to the random nature of these attacks, accurate velocity measurements have not been successfully recorded. It is estimated by HL88 scientists that stresses on h2o's bicycle are similar to space shuttle reentry stresses measured in multiple large units.

h2o graciously offered to fit a specially designed "camera" to record images of the first 0.5 meter of a Heavy Drop. During the first nano-second we can sense the surge beginning and what must be a nest of writhing snakes at the margin of the road.
At T plus 1/100th of one second of the Heavy Drop, distorted trees flash by, camouflaging what is probably a pack of wolves in the shadows. h2o qualified this exclusive footage stating, "I had to slow my Heavy Drop launch because of the 5 kilos of camera gear strapped to my helmet. I hope this small sample gives the reader a taste of the electrifying experience inside the Heavy Drop."
Our thanks to h2o for these exclusive images. Is it any wonder that the Heavy Drop is such a feared weapon in the Team Vitesse arsenal?


Tube Mortality Drops Precipitously

Now into my fourth consecutive flat free day and feeling pretty good about it, the daily tube death ratio has fallen from 0.57 tubes per day. This is a welcome trend from the 3 for 3 mortality rate. I expect a glorious increase in tube lifespan after improving the tyres now gracing the rims of my fleet.


Tube Death Toll Rises

The inner tube death toll rose to 4 after a puncture today. This makes 4 flats in 5 days. Before you leap to the conclusion that the daily puncture rate is 0.8, consider this. The one day I did not ride was the day I did not suffer the indignity of a puncture.
It has been suggested that I alter my route to avoid the nail factory and the broken glass depository. These landmarks are not the problem. The vast amount of small gravel strewn willy nilly over the highways and byways of this great city must be considered the culprit. I can only assume that specially sharpened fine glass particles with powers of rubber attraction have conspired to ruin my contented commutes.
If these puncture misfortunes continue to befall me, I will begin resemble this hapless professional from Paris Roubaix.


3 Days 3 Punctures

Indeed, as advertised, 3 days of riding to work have yielded 3 flats. I am trusting that bad luck comes in 3's and this is the end of the stretch. I am single handily keeping the rubber plantations in business.

I work more hours than usual at this time of the year. Each puncture has come on my way home after a long day of number crunching. It is difficult not to take the wrath of the rubber god personally. I am afraid...very afraid.