Archives for category: + spares…

…last summer I had a great week riding in southern France with Tarik Djedour as part of a test run for his new Étape Reine Cycling training camps. Part of the week was taking on the Cinglés du Mont Ventoux challenge, and you can read my account of that hot day in the saddle here. Tarik is now ready to take bookings for the coming year, running a programme of camps that will appeal to both sportivists and racers alike, giving you a chance to take on Ventoux and ride the route of the The Tour du Mont Aigoual (the race featured in Tim Krabbé’s ‘The Rider’). Check out his new website, or visit his stand at the TCR Show which runs from this Friday 11th until Sunday 13th February…

…it appears all the speculation was right – the Olympic 2012 road race route will pass through Surrey and wind its way up the iconic Col de Box Hill. Not much of a challenge for these finely honed Olympic athletes, admittedly. Even Cav should get up it without too much problem. Aside from the novelty and convenience for local cyclists to have the race passing their doorstep, it might also mean some of the roads used will get a much needed makeover. The challenge of ascending Box Hill is currently more about the road surface than it is the gradient. Let’s hope they do something about the quality of the cakes too. You can see the full route here

…the UCI has announced a new series of races for amateur riders. The UCI World Cycling Tour will consist of fifteen events that will offer the chance to qualify for the UWCT final. So in future if you see someone lapping Richmond Park in a World Champion’s jersey think, before you start tutting, that they may actually have earned those stripes…

…the excellent blog The Inner Ring has moved home, had a bit of a tidy up, and is now at a new address – www.inrng.com. The blog has gone from strength to strength over the past year, quickly establishing itself as the best source for pro cycling news, insight and analysis out there – mainstream press included. So update your bookmarks!…

…January really doesn’t seem to be a good month to start the year with (it’s mid-winter, cold, dark and there’s not much pro racing to follow) and if to reinforce the point, cyclists seem to be baring the brunt of it. A couple of weeks ago the whole of London seemed to be caught out by an unexpected overnight frost which saw many aborted club runs, though obviously not before many had slipped and crashed on the icy ungritted roads. Many have had to put up with dozy drivers, still seemingly in the midst of their winter hibernation. I’ve come a cropper on one of the many new and gaping potholes that have sprung up all over the place. And the first race of the year the Tour Down Under has also seen its fair share of crashes, with Mark Cavendish (above) being one of the race’s losers so far. But on a sader note, this week has seen the deaths of two young riders: Carla Swart had recently signed with HTC, and Lewis Balyckyi was a member of the British Cycling Talent Team. Both were killed whilst out training on the roads. So be careful out there everyone…

…as mentioned earlier this week, the London Women’s Cycle Racing League has announced its 2011 race calendar. It’s a great initiative that supports women’s racing around London and the south east. They’ll be organising a series of informal rides for any women who are interested in racing and would like to give it a try. Contact the league for more info…

…it almost pains me to include this, but Rapha are holding another of their infamous sample sales next week (28-30th January) in London’s Spitalfields. I’ve picked up some great bargains in the past, so I’m hoping you all do the recent thing and wait for me to visit before going ahead and snapping up all the decent gear. More info here

…in case you missed it, the Real Peloton podcasts are back again after an intermittent winter of broadcasting. Matt Rendell and Ned Boulting are still communicating via unreliable technology (Matt is currently in Columbia, the country he made his second home after writing about its national cycling heroes in his book Kings of the Mountains) which makes for some frustrating listening as telephone lines are dropped and wires become crossed. Hopefully normal service will resume shortly…

Photograph Sarah Reed, Adelaide Advertiser

…the moustache is not an accoutrement common in the modern day peloton. In fact, it was last seen winning a race whilst adorning Kevin Costner’s upper lip in the (seminal, defining, pioneering, pinnacle of artistic expression!) cycling film, American Flyers. However, during Movember, the cycling world is doing its bit to raise awareness of the men’s health charity. Dan Craven is just one pro taking on the challenge of growing a ‘tache for the good cause, and the organisers of the annual gentlemanly Tweed Run are offering the chance to bid on some rather bling 24ct Moustache handlebars.  The auction is being run in conjunction with Going Going Bike, and the bars are on display to view at our favourite London cafe Look Mum No Hands

…speaking of American Flyers, the very pleasant blog Domestique satisfies those longings for naff retro cycling Americana with its regular Flyer Fridays instalments. Their collection of iPhone and desktop wallpapers are worth checking out too…

…despite its gritty realism and faithful recreation of professional cycle racing, Costner and co are still not able to get you into the thick of the action in the same way a remote control helicopter can. This footage of the (pretty obscure) Amstel Curacao race was shot using a drone-like chopper by Aerialtake, and possibly hints towards new ways of shooting the big pro races, getting us closer to the action than even motorbikes currently can. The big question would be how these little aircraft cope when buffeted by winds such as those experienced during this year’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

…veteran cycling photographer Graham Watson managed to land himself in a bit of hot water this week when he was caught out describing images of Greg Lemond on his website with the tag ‘fool’. Meanwhile a new generation of photographers are quickly making a name for themselves. I’ve mentioned Tim Kölln on this blog before, and his forthcoming book The Peloton is now available to pre-order. A collection of intimate portraits of the peloton captured over the past five years, each shot catches the riders immediately post race, and are accompanied by interviews that delve into the life of a professional cyclist…

…Sunday sees the 2010 National Hill Climb Championships take place on Dover’s Hill in Gloucestershire, with last year’s winner Dan Fleeman favourite for the title. He’ll have stiff competition however from Robert Gough who beat Fleeman earlier in the month at the Catford event, and from previous National Champion James Dobbin. Also riding are Kingston Wheeler clubmates Steve Irwin, John Storms and Maryka Semmena. Maryka, who was fastest woman on both the Catford and Bec this year should be one of the favourites, so good luck to her and to everyone else taking part…

…if riding in London sometimes feels like an infuriating mix of wanton masochism and aggressive self righteousness, then Matt Seaton’s description of riding in New York will make you feel happy for the tenuous grip our city still has on traffic regulations…

…it’s getting to that time of year again when that contraption of pain, the turbo trainer, is dusted off and long hard training sessions of cycling nowhere begins. I’ve mentioned them before, but the Sufferfest videos really are the best way to stay motivated to do these workouts, with a good mix of interval workouts set to pro race footage and up-tempo music. Their latest release, The Hunted, is set for release early November, and in the meantime you can watch the trailer here

…the latest ill-informed car manufacturer/bicycle collaboration comes from Maserati and Montane. As with any ‘statement’ bicycle it has the obligatory impractical gimmicks and stylings – curved tubing, impossibly aggressive saddle-handle bar drop – not least the single front disc brake. As ever, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I can certainly think of better ways of spending 3,000 Euros…

…if riding a bike around in the mud, and cold and in the dark, appeals to you then entries are still open for Rollapaluza’s Muddy Hell cyclocross event at Herne Hill. Perversely, all that muck is an average cyclocrosser’s idea of heaven rather than hell, but whatever. Costumes encouraged but not mandatory, but chapeau to the lady who raced around last year dressed in a thoroughly impractical pumpkin outfit…

…virtual cyclists listen up! Are you one of those folks who are cash rich, but time poor (which is surely a contradiction in terms – if I was rich I’d make sure I’d have plenty of time devoted to anything other than being stuck at work. After all, I’d be able to afford it)? Have you got a virtual love of cycling and have lots of virtual mates who share your virtual passion for long slow rides in tasteful matching jerseys? Then Rapha has announced a forthcoming iPhone app (Rapha and iPhone, a match made in poseur heaven), Rendezvous, that will make organising those complex weekend warrior rides a thing of virtual epic simplicity. And, gasp!, it’ll be free too…

…yet another reason to pop over to cycling cafe Look Mum No Hands is Geoff Waugh’s forthcoming photography exhibition Selectism. Waugh, whose work has been featured in such titles as Rouleur, will be showing images that span the full gamut of cycling, from road to cyclocross (yuck) to mountain biking (yuckier). Runs from 5th to 30th November…

Photography by Roman Skyver

…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?…

…With Heinrich Haussler withdrawing from Le Tour with a recurring knee injury (helped in no small part by his recent crash with Cavendish),  journeyman and all-round nice guy Dan Lloyd is set to take his place on the Cervelo team. That brings the total number of Brits in this year’s Tour up to eight – the highest number since Great Britain fielded a team in 1968. In celebration of Lloyd’s call-up, illustrator Rich Mitchelson has created the above poster for you to print out and colour in. So break out the crayons and get creative!…

…Dynamo Press is a print making workshop producing posters and books with a bicycle influenced aesthetic. Cogs, bike parts and vintage cycling ephemera all feature heavily. Everything is hand made, limited edition and available to buy from their on-line shop

…if I had any spare cash (and any spare room in my flat) my next bike purchase would be a simple no-nonsense city commuting bike. Well, actually it would probably by a TT bike. And then maybe a cross bike for winter. But anyway, a city bike is definitely high on the list. And especially after taking a look at the range on offer from Tokyo Bike; made from Cro Mo steel and available in a range of colours and configurations, geared or singlespeed, sporty or utility-chic. Take a look yourself at their temporary pop-up shop opening on the 8th July on Commercial Street in East London

…current thinking suggests that small gears and a high cadence are the keys to success. Lance Armstrong’s riding style was epitomised by his whizzy leg speed – but now it just seems that was simply a cover for a more pharmaceutical approach to winning. So forget the small ring Grandma, real men embrace the pain of Big Ring Riding (above). ‘It’s not just a chain ring, it’s a state of mind’…

…last night at Look Mum No Hands!, the excellent The Ride Journal held a party to launch its fourth issue. One hundred and seventy lovely pages of writings, photography and illustration celebrate  the world of cycling in all its carnations. As a sampler, the second issue of the magazine is available as a free download from their website…

…there’s been a lot of speculation over the past week as to the details of the London 2012 road race route. Cycling Weekly broke the story that the loop will take the race from central London out into the Surrey Hills, do a couple of laps of Box Hill, and then return again for a finishing circuit around Westminster. Basically, it’s a course with hills and lumps that will barely register on the athletes’ legs, and makes Cav a shoe-in for taking the win for the home nation. Check it out for yourself by following an approximation of the route here

…recently it has become de rigeur for pro cyclists to announce their every move, thought and bodily function through the medium of Twitter. Once again we can blame Lance Armstrong for setting an unwelcome precedent. However Rapha Condor Sharp rider Tom Southam is bucking the trend, and has used his helmet to spread the word; ‘Twitter ye not’ is his unofficial kit customisation of the year, yet it’s debatable whether it beats his previous season’s declaration, “I’m through with white women”…

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