Posts Tagged ‘uk’
Yesterday morning I went along to Stoke for stage 3 of the 2011 Tour of Britain and this is a small selection of the snaps I took whilst there.
It was a great day and the atmosphere was awesome. I must also say that the team village at the depart was in a fantastic location compared to last year. This year it was situated in the beautifully green and picturesque Trentham gardens so big shouts to the organizers for picking out such a great spot for the teams and spectators alike.
More photos to come…
Just grabbed my tickets and it’s fair to say I’m really looking forward to it.
I’m pretty much going to spending all of Saturday ogling fancy bikes, but aside from that I hope to meet a lot of the people I have emailed and spoken to through here, it’ll be great to put a few faces to some names.
See you saturday!
Go, go, go, go
Go, go, go shorty
It’s the Olympics
We gon’ party like it’s the Olympics
We gon’ sip Bacardi like it’s the Olympics…..
There they were, blasting along gravel roads, the odd bit of pavé and what were meant to be ‘mud tracks’ and not a grimace in sight, not even the hint of one. To be honest hell looked pretty good to me. Even a fellow who had encountered 4 punctures in his first 50km was as chipper as Gene Kelly underneath an umbrella. Hellish? Hmm, *looks left to right* not round here.
Hold tight for a full report and a stash of photographs over at Rapha later this the week.
Big thanks go out to Joe and Kieran.
I know Sparky wanted something special so he got an integrated seat post with custom expanding seat post stub to allow some adjustment should he change his seat or such things. Being a fair weather bike his bottom bracket got pretty heavily drilled and I carried this through to other areas such as the seat tube sleeve and modified Columbus Max crown. Yep couldn’t leave it alone, so I filled the window and drilled the tangs to make sure it tied in perfect with the frame.
The other main feature of this bike is the internal cable routing, with the rear brake cable exiting the rear of the seat tube, the rear derailleur cable exiting the bottom of the seat stay and the front derailleur cable coming straight out the back of the bottom bracket shell. Finished with a mix of Campagnolo parts this is one awesome road machine.
Yes it is, it’s a beaut. Donhou, it’s fair to say that you are currently ‘smashing it’. That’ll be street slang for ‘doing really well’. I think a trip to the workshop is on the cards. Congrats also to Sparkes, this is one lovely piece of kit you have, pal.
The route is up on the Rapha blog and I am pleased to say that this year I’ll be going along, but not to ride it, oh no I’m way to chub for that. No I’ll be snapping pictures of muddy faces and punctured tyres.
If you fancy entering this free event in North London go here to the registration page and put your name down and remember… “Belgian style hospitality at the finish” Which means you get to watch Paris-Roubaix live while eating frites ( chips ) and drinking beer. Lovely.
So, I have not long gotten my grubby mitts on the TT frame I have been seeking for a good few months, and while hunting around this massive web of goodness, for inspiration on a somewhat ‘period correct’ build, I came across this super and smashing forum thread of pure appreciation for the golden era of British Time Trialling.
As many black and white and colour photograph scans that one could ever wish for. Seriously, page after page of sloping top tubes, drilled out brake levers, skin suits, 24″ front wheels, the lot.
A big thanks to all the contributors of said thread, your photographs are nothing short of amazing!
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…)
18 hours later and after 800 miles in a car with 4 other men we finally arrived at our destination, France’s beautiful region of Haute-Savoie, merely a stones throw away from Switzerland’s Western border.
We located our campsite on the edge of lake Annecy and quickly set up our living quarters, because despite our total lack of sleep for the past day or so we were all very eager to get out on our bikes. No time for rest.
Problem. Whilst reversing a fully laden car out of it’s parking space, Hardy touched a car to the rear which in-turn managed to pull Joe’s rear wheel out of true, quite badly. No problem. A trip to LocationVélo on the west side of Annecy lake meant we could get the wheel repaired ready for tomorrow.
We now have 5 bikes between but only 4 complete sets of wheels. So, rather graciously, Hardy, still extremely tired after our mammoth drive offered to lend Joe his wheels for day one’s riding agenda – A climb of Col de la Forclaz. This would also be myself, Kieran and Joe’s re-uniting of this, the very steep and very tough 12km long Col de la Forclaz, our most favourite local col.
No sleep for over 24 hours had taken it’s toll on me. I had to stop half way up a 14% section of the climb, riding in the hot midday sun I was utterly spent. Physically and mentally drained I lay down on a grass verge at the side of the road, jersey fully unzipped and helmet strewn to the side. I needed to cool down, I felt unwell. Water down my throat and energy gels in my system I finished this leafy climb with the others and at the top we were rewarded traditionally with Beers, Coke and an unforgettable view of the lake.
We Descend the Forclaz and head around the west side of the lake to pick up Joe’s wheel. We chat with the proprietor a while, he talks of “clipping into the wind” and the descent of the Semnoz. We finish up and head back to camp to rest and more importantly to eat. Tonight’s meal will be well deserved.
My mind is on Tomorrow. To ascend Montagne du Semnoz via the Col de Leschaux up to Crét de Chatillon. This route had me shook. Last year I remember I struggled, I had consumed all my food and emptied all the contents of my Bidons into my mouth. I was hungry and thirsty and my shoes were made of Lead. Not again.
Eggs scrambled, bread toasted and coffee brewed we sat down and ate breakfast ready for our day ahead. Hardy and Army ( Adam ) had done a stellar job on the eggs. Cooked perfectly with parsley and bacon, these two boys have set us up and furthermore we now have a full team for today’s riding as Joe’s wheels are back, spinning straight and round. And then (as it was intended) there were five.
No bonkage this time but still not loving climbing this particular ascent, especially after Joe, Hardy and Army had dropped Kieran and I like banana skins on the road. They were gone and I was demoralised. Remind me, why do I do this? I ask myself as I solemnly climbed this baron, silent landscape. I could not answer but there was the Crét so I dug in and got up to be greeted by the happy, salty faces of four friends, a plate of Frites and a cold glass of Coke.
The best thing about the Crét de Chatillon is the descent, the climb is awful, I do not like the terrain but the descent, now that, I love. It starts open with beautiful vistas of Mont Blanc and the ranges out to the East and soon after you go over the highest point of the mountain pass, you immediately find yourself travelling at speeds of up to 60kmh through dense forest. The scenery changes quickly like a natural kaleidoscope of colours green, shadows hurtle past on the tarmac beneath as if one were stationary, my nose exhales breath of excitement and euphoria and in exchange inhales the smell of pine and cool mountain air, a perfect trade. Corners are banked, cars are sparse and apart from the odd mountain cow we are left to trickle down the side of La Semnoz, alone and for what seemed like an eternity. Wheels in motion, man and machine in perfect harmony with these alien surroundings. This place to me is like Heaven.
Fig rolls don’t go down, energy gels taste like shit and that night, Hardy’s Pasta Carbonara with Lemon was to my palette like what a gold medal is to a champion.
The sun rises behind us from over the mountains. It get’s warmer. Map unfolded, we plot a route East heading to the Col de la Croix Fry and Col des Aravis. We seem anxious, these mountains we have never seen and the lines on the map indicate some suffering at 2pm.
We leave Veyrier-du-lac and head up over the bump of a Col du Bluffy. Instantly to your right the precious view of Lac D’Annecy becomes obscured by the sight of La Tournette and Dent du Cruet. Covered in trees growing slanted on their sides these two brother hills have chalky peaks piercing their green coats like shark fins through water. We continue forward, pushing on pedals up the D909 to Thonês and Manigod and begin our long ascent up the Col de la Croix-Fry.
Despite the sun on the back of my neck my cap remains forward, visor directed towards the ground so I can’t see too far ahead. I see what looks like my cat Banton playing in the grass to my right , my concentration is broken and I feel the pain in my legs again, I ask myself the question. Finally I arrive at the top where I join my friends in eating our previously made sandwiches containing a fine slice of jambon and grated Comté fromage. I am getting cold, sitting here in sweat sodden layers, I remove my jersey and put it out to dry next to our table. Eating has made me feel better especially being as it wasn’t another fig roll. We check the map, refill our bidons at the restaurant and get moving towards the Col des Aravis.
After a short decent we meet the base of the Aravis. Stowaways go folded back into jersey pockets and it’s down to business, but business it was not as we had done all of the hard work on the previous climb. Just a few grassy hairpins with white peaks high to my left and to my right and we had bagged another.
I attempt to stretch my legs, cramp. We keep going, dissapearing off the horizon into the valley, one by one we traverse down the mountain into the gorge below. It flattens out a little and I pull over. There are walls of rock cascading up into the sky either side of us and down to my right in the ravine I see the clearest water flowing around massive diagonal shards of slate that look like they had been dropped there just seconds before. I don’t know where I am but right now I don’t care.
What followed was some of the most exhillirating riding I have ever encountered, the Gorges de L’Arondine, the D909 Southbound is otherworldly, like that of a computer game. Space invaders or Mario Kart. Cornering. I hear the sound of running water above and below. A waterfall, we are inside it, yet dry. Magnificent. I have helium in my tyres. Beside me is Adam, behind is Joe, Kieran and Hardy and together we descent slightly, riding maximum to the mouth of the ravine towards Ugine, faverge, Doussard, Talloires and finally Menthon saint-Bernard and home to Veyrier-du-lac.
Tired and wired I go into the lake for the first time to soothe my legs. Tonight we pay for dinner and I’m having the Steak Haché. Kieran forgot his comb, he uses a fork and we realise our camp is a mess. Tomorrow we must clean up, before we drive South to the Giant.
To be continued.
Such an amazing time had by all, I can recommend this region to everyone interested in riding on the continent, it’s quite a journey but so, so worth it.
More photographs and my account of climbing the beastly Galibier up soon.
The nineteenth issue of Rouleur, published in July of 2010, includes 148 pages with an exclusive look at some of the best racing photography ever taken in Britain; an interview with living legend Bernard Hinault; the second part of our series on the life of a young aspiring rider – as well as images from world-renowned photographer Nadav Kander. The photography in this issue was taken by Gerard Brown, Taz Darling, Ben Ingham and Nadav Kander.
Another great issue it seems.
Rapha and RSA Films present three short films inspired by the people, places and stories of road racing. Johan Museeuw, Sean Kelly and Dario Pegoretti are celebrated in three cinematic portraits exploring the passion, history and drama of the sport.
Based on a trio of story-labels originally found inside the Rapha Club Jerseys, each film brings a new translation: The intense dreamscape of Nick Livesey’s ode to Johan Museeuw, Adrian Moat’s tale of discovery inspired by Sean Kelly and Ben Ingham’s intimate view of Dario Pegoretti in his workshop, all powerful representations of three distinct icons of road racing.
On consecutive Fridays (starting next Friday 13 August) Rapha will be presenting ONE-TIME ONLY screenings of the full-length versions of the films right here on the Rapha website in HD. Do not miss them. Trailers for the features are now online.
Truly awesome and inspiring work. Go peep.
The night riders are back in town! Britain’s brightest and best cycle race gets back on the road in Newport, Shropshire, on Saturday September 4th. It’s the return of the original and best floodlit bike race in the country.
About 14,000 spectators have lined the barriers for previous versions of the race. It evolved from the classic Davies & Jeggo Motors Road Race, which brought all the top professionals to Newport for two decades. It was the British professional championship in its final three years as a long-distance event before promoter Michael Jeggo hit on the idea of putting it on as a Nocturne.
The riders snake through the little market town under a combination of streetlights and industrial floodlighting brought in especially for the occasion. They power up the cobbled St Mary’s Street each lap, cheered by the most-knowledgeable crowd in cycling.
Gutted I am, I’d love to reach this but I can’t as I’ll probably be in France again for the annual alpine adventure with the Spinwell Factory racing team.
Never mind, I should be back in time to catch stage three of the ToB. Better than nothing I suppose.
Thanks Carl for the linkywinky.
When cycling my 12 mile cycle path route to work on my BMX overtaken by mountain bike’s, racers and folding bikes, I dreamed of owning an old school Hutch pro racer cruiser with skinny wheels and hard set gearing. The opportunity never arose, but I did end up getting a Freeagent cruiser set-up with skinnys and good gearing it was a gorgeous fast, bike. But after trying a mix of old and new cruisers, every cruiser I rode felt wrong, the top tubes too short, the chainstays too long, the bikes felt stodgy, with thick unnecessarily clumpy dirt tyres, but worst of all, they were difficult to manual or slow.
So I designed the Swift and thanks to Mark Noble at Deluxe on help with tried and tested quality manufacturing, the frame became a reality.
The swift rides with modern BMX geometry. So your body retains the same agile body position, to the floor, to your bars, to your rear axle as a modern BMX. With the added benefits of larger faster sleeker wheels.
The Swift also comes with limited edition graphics designed by type design legend Seb Lester.
Seb’s type design can be found everywhere, Intel logo found inside your PC, the New YorkTimes, GQ magazine.
Sebs client list is a who’s who of dream clients, and he’s recent breakout into type illustration has instantly created waves. Each letter is custom drawn for the Swift graphics.
Sh*t looks tight. Wish I had room ( money ) for another bike and especially another bike that looks like this!
I had never heard of Langdale until my pal Jon told me about them, and after a quick peruse around the ‘history’ section of their website I can safely say that the name will now stay logged in the hard drive, aka my memory banks.
Some more great pics to be found here.