Archive for October, 2010

Keith Anderson Flickr Grips.

October 27, 2010

Damn, I’d love to see that orange pursuit bike in it’s entirety… The toptube looks pretty crazy, as does the aero webbing at the seat cluster.

Go check out Keith Anderson’s Flickrspot. There is a lot of focus on custom paintjobs but have a sift and you might find some buried bike treasure.

Two of my Favourites.

October 27, 2010

Bikes and once upon a time… Scooters.

Love these photographs, taken in 1976 outside Bill Phillbrook’s bike shop in Welling, UK.

I had a couple of scooters once. My first, a 70’s Vespa special was smashed up after an impact with a car and the other I stupidly sold to pay for driving lessons… It was a ’64 Lambretta TV 175, I loved it and I want it back! Not likely though.

Seen.

Tub Curses.

October 26, 2010

Curse No.1
Jon was over, my pal and I was too busy wrestling his gear cable out of his ergo shifter to remember the auction I had ending at roughly 8 oclock. After a quick panic, some frantic typing and with 50 seconds remaining I tapped my figure in and bid. Or so I thought, I was not logged in. So, that beautiful set of handbuilt lightweight tubular racing wheels that were to be mine, went to someone else, for considerably less than I would have offered. A carefully selected bunch of swear words later and some european style hand gesturing I calmed down and forgot about it, that was until the following morning…

Curse No.2
Out of bed and ready for work I peep out of my window and the weather was OK for my daily commute so I thought I’d take my new, mid 80s time trial bike out, the exact bike that the previous evening’s misbid was for. Yes, it has wheels on it already but they have really seen better days, the rear tub has a bulge at the valve so I feel like I am riding on an egg and the front, well let’s just say it’s a bit crusty. You can see where this is going… Exactly halfway to my destination and it’s raining, not too bad, my jacket will take care of that. Next though, the sound of rotating air exiting a tyre made it’s way up to my ears. Bo**ocks, I havn’t had a flat in so long, I suppose it had to come sooner or later though right? I just wish it didn’t come today! What followed was an hour’s walk to work in the rain wearing carbon soled shoes with cleats attached. Awful.

I figure me missing that bid last night and my puncture this morning is the gods telling me something and I’m listening. Tubular tyres do have a romance that wired tyres do not, they mostly work better in practice and certainly look better but on my walk home tonight, bike being pushed with my right hand I shall care not of any of these things.

All hail the clincher.

The Original Rapha boy.

October 21, 2010

René de Latour wrote:
Generally in a race of the Barrachi type, the changes are very rapid, with stints of no more than 300 yards. Altig was at the front when I started the check – and he was still there a minute later. Something must be wrong. Altig wasn’t even swinging aside to invite Anquetil through… Suddenly, on a flat road, Anquetil lost contact and a gap of three lengths appeared between the two partners. There followed one of the most sensational things I have ever seen in any form of cycle racing during my 35 years’ association with the sport – something which I consider as great a physical performance as a world hour record or a classic road race win. Altig was riding at 30mph at the front – and had been doing so for 15 minutes. When Anquetil lost contact, he had to ease the pace, wait for his partner to go by, push him powerfully in the back, sprint to the front again after losing 10 yards in the process, and again settle down to a 30mph stint at the front. Altig did not this just once but dozens of times.

Rudi Altig. The 70s German track and road monster.

Bicycle Quarterly.

October 21, 2010

What? How do I not know of this?

I clicked on the webpage and instantly thought I was looking at someone’s paper-magazine collection from decades ago. Mistaken. This is a modern magazine. Like, made now, today. Awesome. I want a read.

They say:Bicycle Quarterly is a magazine for discerning cyclists, who enjoy their bikes, whether on a weekend ride, commuting, randonneuring, racing or touring the countryside. In Bicycle Quarterly, you find professionally written articles about a variety of topics rarely covered in the “mainstream” cycling press.

Go seek.
Image taken from TFG where you can also purchase BQ magazine.

I’v got my ticket.

October 21, 2010

Have you got yours?

No? Well if you are in the UK go here and grab one, quickly!… This is one not to be missed.

Spinwell visits Reynolds.

October 19, 2010

Think of Reynolds and most will instantly think of 531, the tube of choice for racing bikes over countless years and not to mention the numerous tour wins that were gained aboard this cro-moly steel pipe. Since 1958 up until the modern day, the Reynolds butted tubeset has dominated the roads, Anquetil, Merckx, and Hinault all used Reynolds exclusively in their Tour victories. Now there’s an accolade.

I was recently lucky enough to be offered a bit of time to walk around the Reynolds factory and to have a quick chat with the MD about all things Reynolds and what came clear at my 45 minute mini tour was that Reynolds are still as passionate about the metal tube as they have always been. I may sound surprised at this but I really was, I honestly thought I’d be greeted by super high tech billion pound machines churning out carbon for motorbikes but what I actually saw looked like it hadn’t changed since Reynolds began in 1898. (more…)

Gordon Johnson vs Giordano Turrini 1971.

October 18, 2010

Found.

Spinwell for Road.cc.

October 18, 2010

I wrote some words about my recent trip to L’Eroica for road.cc and the piece has just gone live! So if you fancy a read about the perils of riding along wet chalk, go take a peep.

L’Eroica, meaning ‘The Heroic’ is a race held every year in Tuscany, giving up to 3000 like minded, fanatical individuals the chance to ride and race on the ‘Strada Bianche’, the famous white gravel roads of Chianti and to spend two days wallowing in pure cycling nostalgia. In true heroic style only pre-87 bikes are allowed. So there are no auto-indexing gears – this is golden era cycling where shifters are mounted on the down tube, where tubular tyres are also favoured, alongside chrome, cloth bar tape, solid colour paintwork and water bottle holders that attach at the front and where the woolen jersey reigns. Any man interested in the traditions of the Italian cycle race can certainly get his fill here.

Read the rest.

Still loving Raleigh.

October 13, 2010

Lars Bars.

October 13, 2010

I’d love to know how old this image is, as miseducated men have been doing this round my neck of the woods for years.

Battered and Beautiful.

October 13, 2010

I mentioned the craftmanship on this 1945 Stucchi briefly last week but I couldn’t help giving it a post all of it’s own, so here it is, in all of it’s glory. Such detail in all aspects of this frameset are seldom seen nowadays and the headtube alone on this lime green monster is enough excuse for me to go see my bank manager.

Stucchi Tipo S.S.V. Italy, 1945

Road bike frameset from Stucchi, Milano with steel framework #93516 finished in lime green with cream. Includes Magistroni cottered bottom bracket, unmarked steel headset and original brake and shift cables.

Via.

Cyclisme.

October 12, 2010

Just a handful of the Pink topped cycling sports cards that I scored from L’Eroica’s flea market for just 1 euro a pop. On the back you will find all the stats and details of the rider pictured on the face of the card but unfortunate to me, these, unlike most I have seen are written in French (I really must get those lessons sorted out). A few of the cards are also signed. Result.

Tommy Simpson.

October 12, 2010

The late, great Tommy Simpson seen here in the most luscious jersey. I love this jersey, wouldn’t it be great if someone could reproduce it? Go on Le Coq, go for it.
Via.

Bianchi Celeste.

October 12, 2010

German Track in B & W.

October 12, 2010

What a brilliant gallery. Historische Bildergalerie des Bahnradsports has an absolute sack full of vintage track cycling scans from the early 1900s up until the early sixties and they are all great. If only I could read German!

Chasing Legends.

October 8, 2010

The trailer to this film looks immense and I am totally looking forward to seeing it on the 21st Oct. You too can watch this film at a cinema near you on the same date. Check this link for details on where it will be screened.

There also seems to be somewhat of a pre screen shindig being organized by the good chaps of Birmingham Fixed Gear, check this link for more details on that.

Looks like it’ll be a great evening!

Beauty in an Aero Colnago.

October 7, 2010

Colnago Crono Oro. Italy, 1992

Professional time trial bike from Colnago with carbon monocoque frame finished in clear coat and yellow. Equipped with Campagnolo C-Record Colnago C35 group, ITM Krono bar/stem, Selle Bassano Colnago saddle, Colnago disc wheels 700/650 rims, Vittoria tubular tires.

Seen at Speedbicycles, where you can also peep this 1945 Stucchi… just take a look at the craftmanship on the headtube. Talk about artisan.

Campioni del Ciclismo.

October 7, 2010

So, I have returned from Italy and L’Eroica with somewhat of a fancy for all things Italian… and cycling.

So, due to me and my new penchant for italian cycling goodness, you can expect a good handful of solid Italian related posts coming your way and starting right now, with this awesome bit of memorabilia and also featuring the face of the great Jean Bobet, one of my favourites of the moment, after reading his book; Tomorrow we ride.

I simply love the font used on this.

L’Eroica 2010. Spinwell for Le Coq Sportif.

October 5, 2010

What a weekend. Unbelievable, awesome, rad, mega, ace!

Having never been to L’Eroica and only having seen pictures on the internet I didn’t fully know what to expect but what came was among the best all-round cycling experience I have ever encountered. The atmosphere the whole weekend was electric, where 3000 like minded, fanatical individuals descend upon Gaiole in Chianti for two days of pure cycling nostalgia. Woolen jerseys and steel bikes aplenty, any man interested in the traditions of the cycle race can certainly find his fill here.

Day one on Saturday sees the flea market come into town, I say flea market it is a great big cycle jumble in English terms. Stretched out either side of Gaiole’s main road this jumble is big and not only is it big, it is good, very good. Everything you ever needed for your period build and all the accompaniments to go with it can be found here. Even the rarest of the rare is on the tables, it seems that the cream of Italy’s cycle merchandise dealers have landed in Chianti for the day to bless all of the hungry with their wares. You simply do not get a selection this good in the U.K.

If you are unhappy to ogle pantographed cranks and embroidered jerseys all day then you can visit the museum, where books, posters, videos and actual race bikes will greet you. Maybe taste and buy some local meat, fresh pasta, wine made in these hills, the food here is, well it’s just the absolute epitome of rustic goodness. This is, after all a cycling ‘holiday’ so it must be approached as such, take your time, see the sights, chat to the locals and the not so locals. Sometimes trying to speak to someone about your passion for cycles and cycling can be tiresome, remember though that every one here, each of the 3000 are more than happy to exchange verses on the virtue of the spoked wheel and tubed frame for they too are here for the exact reason you are.

The evenings see most people go off to their hotels or chalets to eat food and wine bought that day but we saw Le Coq’s Citroen HY van, looking fabulous in red, white and blue crank up the soundsystem for a grappa fuelled ipod party, but not after food with the stars. A sit down dinner with speeches from Italy’s cycling greats, it was like come dine with me with Fausto Coppi, yes, these were very old men.

Day two sees the cycle race along the fabled white gravel roads and Le Coq Sportif, my hosts, did a perfect job of organising cycles for everyone ( I rode a Campagnolo equipped 1977 Paletti ) and the registration procedure was just seamless. You need a number on your back, one on your bike and a stamp card and you are good to go, good to enter ‘race mode’ or ‘sportif mode’ for a day jam packed full of excitement and surprise. Depending on how your legs feel you can choose to ride either 38km, 75km, 135km or 205km but every one will be as pleasurable an experience as the next. Should you have any technical difficutlies someone will be along to help you out soon enough, such is the kinship on the road.

The roads ridden upon are made up of mainly white gravel paths called the Strade Bianche, fairly narrow in width and rutted like an ice ravaged mountain pass these roads are not to be taken softly. I have never ridden them but I can only imagine it to be like the cobbled straights of the paris-roubaix. Hang on tight, it’s going to get bumpy!

Along your way you will find a handful of food stops fully stocked up with local edible delights and alcohol too should you have the stomach.

Is it a race? Is is a ride? Who knows? But there are all levels out on the road, from the locals who hurtle past you and the vintage service car in front like a roller coaster coach direct and unrelenting to 90 year old men in full woolen suits being pushed up hills by boys half their age. This ‘race’ is legendary and I now know what the fuss is about. The moment tickets go on sale next year, I am buying one, or two.

Big thanks go to:
L’Eroica.
All the team at Le Coq Sportif. Check out their blog.
Matthew Sparkes of the Guardian
Andrew and Phillip Diprose the brothers of The Ride Journal.
The lovely gents from Hanon shop
And everyone else involved. Thank you!

Find many, many more L’Eroica images on the S P I N W E L L Flickr spot.


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