Archives for the month of: July, 2010

…suffering from post-Tour withdrawal symptoms? Why not bring a bit of its unique sights and atmosphere into your own home with a print from Brent Humphrey’s “le tour” photographic project. Focussing as much on the fans and culture that make it the biggest race in the world, along with limited edition prints, there are also some stylish t-shirts on offer

Team Sky Rider Michael Barry and photographer Camille J McMillan will be at Look Mum No Hands next Wednesday evening to ‘launch’ their excellent book ‘Le Metier’. Which is a little strange as it was available to buy months ago. But anyway, it’s a good opportunity to meet the authors, and to possibly venture the question as to whether the title is a subtle nod towards drug taking in the professional peloton

local bike brand Comtat is currently offering their attractive Sablet carbon frame for the knockdown price of £549. Also available are their excellent value carbon bottle cages, as well as a comprehensive range of frames, complete bikes, and various accessories…

…nice to see my good friends at London Bicycle Repair make Esquire’s list of London’s best bike shops. Compiled from nominations by its readers, the list also includes Condor and Cylefit. But no Sigma, Pearson’s, Mosquito… who else do think has been missed off the list?…

For the past three weeks amateur cyclists have been glued to their TV sets reverentially watching the Pros racing around France; in awe of their aero lightweight bikes, of the exclusive helmets in team-specific colourways, and of their latest limited edition sunglasses. We’ve scrutinised sock length, bar tape choices, groupset specs. No facet of the Pro cyclist image has gone unnoticed; the attitude, the tans, the white lycra. We covet it all.

So it is only natural that having cribbed from the crème de la crème, we’ll be attempting to emulate the scenes from La Grande Boucle when we next line up at our local lower cat races. Read the rest of this entry »

At the summit of Mont-Ventoux there is an observatory and a small shop that sells typical tourist tat at inflated prices. To the right of the cluttered sales counter is a single refrigerated drinks cabinet that houses rows of ice cold cokes, with equally entrepreneurial mark-ups. But to the many parched and exhausted cyclists who have ground their way up to the top of the mountain, no price would be too much for a can of Coca-Cola with its cool seductive sheen of dripping condensation.

Along with the cyclists – of all shapes, sizes and nationalities – there were those aimlessly milling around that had been chauffeured to the summit. They fired off snaps from their giant SLR cameras of the valley below and the endless horizon, or idly fingered goat-shaped key fobs in the shop. They were simply stretching their legs after a tedious car journey.

A fat child was blocking my path to the drinks fridge. I had dreamt – near hallucinated – of the taste of ice cold coke on my tongue during the interminable minutes it had taken me to overcome the final kilometres of the climb. Half baked, half fried on the unsheltered slopes. The boy was trying on plastic sunglasses from a rotating carousel. “Excusé moi”, I croaked impatiently to get past. I grabbed a drink and turned to pay at the counter, fumbling with my change. But my path was again blocked by the same boy, stooped low in order to complete his thorough search of the most hopeless collection of eyewear in southern France. His fat arse very nearly found itself with a Mavic cycling shoe quite firmly wedged between its substantial cleft of flesh. Eventually I handed over my money; two Euros fifty was never better spent.

On a curb outside I sat and enjoyed every last drop from the can. However I knew I still had one more ascent of the mountain to make; so far I had managed only the first two. The full weight of the sun beat down, and on the hottest part of a hot day in a hot summer, I again mounted my bike to take on Mont Ventoux for the third and final time. Read the rest of this entry »

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