Posts Tagged ‘2010’

Rapha Continental inspires.

May 31, 2011

Man, this is truly awesome. Not this movie per se, but the idea of what’s in it. Priceless.

The Rapha continental.

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Detail Feather.

November 10, 2010

See this bike in full effect right here at Feather. Peep the curvy tubes and high polished lugset… Hetchins eat your heart out!

Nice work Ricky.

Still loving Raleigh.

October 13, 2010

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.

L’Eroica 2010 Moving images.

October 4, 2010



Not long been back from this, an amazing trip and currently juggling writing up my report and editing photographs.
In the meantime get your chops round these movies and if you look closely you will see me somewhere looking cool as ice in Black wayfarers.

Huge thanks go to Le Coq Sportif for inviting me out and making it all happen, you guys did an absolutely stellar job, to my roomy Matthew Sparkes of the Guardian, to Andrew and Phil of the Ride Journal, to Woody of Tea and Cake for being an awesome host, to the guys from Hanon and to everyone else involved. Thank you!

L’Eroica 2010.

September 30, 2010

Yup. That’s it. Tonight I leave for L’Eroica 2010 and I am now at a level of almost hysteric frenzy.

Expect plenty of words and photographs this weekend as I blog and tweet ‘live’ from La Caravan do Coq in Chianti and also a full report upon my return.

Have a great weekend folks and good luck to ‘our boys’ in this weekend’s world road champs.

L’Eroica.

September 27, 2010

I am going to L’Eroica next weekend to do some work for Le Coq Sportif. I am riding the 74km route mostly on white gravel roads and I have a bike there waiting for me. I wonder what it will be? The De Rosa above should suffice.

My excitement is becoming almost unbearable. More info on my travels to this weekend’s L’Eroica to come.

Rapha Cross Gear.

September 27, 2010

The start of the cyclocross season is upon us and Rapha have refined and developed cross products to help you charge through the field quickly and comfortably. The Cross Jersey and 3/4 Bibs use performance fabrics and rider-specific features and sport the tricolour of the Rapha-Focus cyclocross team, who will do battle in North America this coming season.

Awesome cyclo cross collection here from Rapha and I must say I am completely loving the colour palette. If only I had the Umbrella today.

Ever since attending the National Cyclo cross Championships early this year in a windy, sodden Sutton Park I have been intrigued. That said, spending more money on yet another bike will not be permitted by the other half so I should stop thinking about it.

Seek.

Cinelli x Elley Kishimoto

September 16, 2010

Cinelli is very proud to announce it’s involvement in Eley Kishimoto’s FLASH ON project. The project began with the designers Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto interest in our classic Supercorsa Model..

This starting point grounded the project: the Cinelli Supercorsa is a very concrete piece of cycling’s cultural heritage, the longest running production model in the history of road cycling. It is a product by now more akin to a Carlo Barbera yarn than a bicycle simply for the elaborate cycle, and rarity of the techniques, used in its construction.
Knowing this, Eley Kishimoto, with typical playful antagonism, decided to paint “over” the original design, disguising the elaborate details (chromed lugs, pinstripe graphics, proprietary fastback stays)in their signature “Flash” pattern, producing a sort of visual double-take: you-see-it-you-don’t-see-it.

Wow, this looks awesome… a decent side on photograph would be nice though.

More info here.

Photographs from the Tour of Britain.

September 13, 2010

Photographs taken on 12th September during stage 2 of the 2010 Tour of Britain. It was a great day and lovely to see so many people turn out on top of Gunhill! It felt like the Tour de France, with pies.

Want to see more photographs of pro race bikes, racing and whatnot? Go here to my flickrspot and peep.

Notes from the Galibier.

September 9, 2010

It is 5.30pm and Army and I await the others at the foot of the mountain in Valloires, they are getting the water for their bidons and Joe has been collecting souvenirs. Suddenly the church bell tolls and Army and I look at each other in agreement, is this a sign?

It’s getting late, Kieran and I head off as we know the other three are stronger climbers. We say it’s because of their lighter bodies to make ourselves feel better.

We depart Valloires along a straight road through the town and after 1km the two and three story wooden log cabins used for après ski in the winter make way for scattered farmyards and roaming grounds for Marmottes. I can see the road unfold in front of me, it get’s steeper, I shift down a gear and my heart rate goes up.

I look down into the ravine on my right and see motorcycle tourists setting up camp next to the stream of fresh mountain water, I am jealous. The path becomes lined with empty powerbar and energy gel wrappers, I am yet to digest anything, maybe I should do so now. It’s been half an hour, I call to Kieran “have you eaten?” “No”. He grabs a handful of chewy sweets and throws them into his mouth, I grab a fig roll out my jersey pocket and commence.

We cross a bridge. This bridge signifies the difference between earth and another planet because up there, the only thing we will recognize is each other.

To my right, in my peripheral I see the entrance to the Col proper, like the dry, uninviting mouth of a hungry beast. The road becomes windy, no longer straight and unfolding, corners and hairpins obscure the view of the path, way markers indicate our remaining distance. 10km.

I hate climbing but right now I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. My breath is short. ‘Club Tropicana drinks are free, fun and sunshine there’s enough for everyone’ goes over in my head.

I have been here before, I know that soon this grassy landscape covered in moving beings like Horses, Donkeys and Marmottes will disappear in favour of nothing, nothing but dust and shards of slate.

It happens, we turn right and enter into the monster, I am tired. Army passes us, how is this possible? He has extra energy, this individual is strong, he has proved himself this week. A few kms pass and Hardy goes beyond, this man too has proved himself, small and built for mountains, he himself must have Marmotte blood in his veins. Joe remains behind us for the time being, we are no better however, he takes his time, he takes photographs.

Kieran calls “there’s the top” I see the top and wish that I had not, it is far away, it may as well be among the stars and I wonder if and when I will make it there.

The sun is disappearing behind the cold ashy peaks of this, the grand Galibier and the temperature drops, my feet become cold. I see Army and Hardy a few levels up. I don’t know how much farther on they are but they look like slow moving miniature models of themselves up there. We continue.

6km to go. Not far now but the Col still looks like a million miles away. My legs are cold but still they burn, they have rhythm, in sync with my breathing, in –out –in –out – in time with the revolutions of my pedals.

I reach around to my back and to my right jersey pocket and pull the golden packet from inside, I tear off the top with my teeth and squeeze the packet of the iced tea energy gel from bottom to top with my fingers into my mouth. It is thick and for a moment I believe it tastes good, it does not. It is sharp, like acid on the tongue. A bit get’s caught in my throat, so lacking of liquid it refuses to sink, I cough. My concentration is broken and so too am I. I look again, despairing at the summit, how so far away? I have been pushing for hours, or so it seemed.

Hairpin after hairpin, way marker after way marker but still the road stretches out before me, unrelenting in it’s gradient.

Painted letterforms on the road make up the words ‘forza Pantani’, ‘Schleck’ and ‘Go Armstrong’ on the asphalt. Legends have been up this path before me, I may be struggling, short of breath but when I reach the top I too can be great. The human is capable of many things. The pedals keep spinning.

I hear Hardy shout down from above, I take this as a way of encouragement, he is nearly there, I shout back but it sounds like a whisper “go on lad”. Army is gone, disappeared into the mountain like a camouflaged soldier. I am envious.

I see Joe behind me, he has caught up. I slow down and wait for him to pass, having someone stronger than you on your tail is demoralising, he does not pass as soon as I expect. “Gooo oon son!” bellows towards the back of my neck like the noise exiting a football fan’s mouth at a game, all British and full of excitement. I smile.

I turn left to avoid the tunnel, I feel a hand on my back, it is Joe. This moment of solidarity on this our final day came as Joe and I pass the 1km mark. Thank you Joe. He passes me the camera and slowly accelerates away up the final straights of this beast.

The tarmac is new, still black and the road is steep. The drop to my left is sharp, no safety barrier, I must remember this when coming down. I travel forward and at the hairpin the end of the road may as well be the end of he earth, were it flat. Where am I? I could be anywhere, Mars, the moon, not earth, certainly not earth.

I can touch the gods from up here, it is almost dark, I must hurry. I turn right around a hairpin, there is the top. I have done it. I count the pedal revolutions, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-Stop.

I unclip my cold shoes from my pedals and place my foot atop this monster’s head. I beat it, not the quickest slaying but a slaying nevertheless. Remember, this was a personal battle between me and it and I won.

Handshakes and hugs all round we congratulate each other. No time to waste though, a quick photograph and we must be on our way before night takes hold of us.

Tour of Britain.

September 9, 2010

Stage one of The Tour of Britain 2009, which will set off from Rochdale on Saturday 11th September, will finish in the spectacular seaside resort of Blackpool.

The Tour of Britain then heads south, with Stage Two starting and finishing in Stoke-on-Trent via a hard day’s racing through the scenic north Staffordshire countryside, including the infamous Gun Hill.

Stage Three visits Wales for the first time since 2004 and, after a tough stage the peloton will head up Constitution Hill before the finish in Swansea. From here the race moves onto the South West for stages Four and Five, scene of some of the race’s biggest crowds in 2008 and 2009.

From there the race moves onto to the east of England, visiting Norfolk for the very first time for Stage Six. This also happens to be the longest stage of this year’s race, taking in 189 kilometres across the county. The penultimate day of the race sees the peloton race from Suffolk’s Bury St Edmunds to Essex’s Colchester on a stage that could decide the winner of this year’s race.

The final day of racing will see the riders take on a brand new race circuit in the London borough of Newham, host borough for the London Olympic and Para-Olympic Games 2012, where the winner of the 2010 Tour of Britain will be crowned.

I’ll be there in stoke this weekend cheering and jeering. Let’s hope the weather holds out for it.

Words from CW.
More info here.

Newport Nocturne.

August 5, 2010

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.

The 1910 challenge.

July 20, 2010

What a movie! I have watched this a few times over the weekend and it’s just mystifying how it was possible to do back in 1910. The human really is capable of more than we expect of it.

Well done guys. Truly an epic journey.

Watch the movie here.

The Zilla!

June 28, 2010

What an awesome event! Many thanks to Fin for organizing this, a great night was had by all. There is movie footage here, too for those that want to see mine and Andy’s photo finish! More photos up later this week.

RESULTS

Loop Race
1. Brett (17mins.17secs)
2. Dan OYB (17.18)
3. Andy (17.37)

Sprint Final – Dead heat (14.50 seconds)
1st Andy
1st Gav

Nascar Peloton
1st – Dan (pistaboy)
2nd – Brett
3rd – Dan (wentskiing)

Final Scores
1st – Dan – 12
2nd – Andy -10
2nd – Brett -10
3rd – Sam – 8

Oh and don’t forget… There is also Birmingham’s Canalleycat on the 9th July.

Cervelo Project California.

June 10, 2010

Seen.

Giro Mania.

May 10, 2010

Lovely shots, seen here.

Mo Cervélo.

May 7, 2010

Beyond The Peloton: Paris Roubaix 2010

Cervélo make such great movies and this is no exception.

Mo Cervelo.

April 29, 2010

I heart black bikes and especially black bikes that look like this.
More at Cervelo.

Beyond the Peloton.

April 29, 2010

After their successful first season, film makers Joseph Finkleman and Booker Sim follow the Cervélo TestTeam and capture the human passion and beauty of cycling. With their all-access passes, they show you what conventional race footage fails to capture: everything “beyond” the peloton.

Via the Cervelo Test team.


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