Posts Tagged ‘alpine’

The Galibier.

July 21, 2011

The tour goes up it today and I’ll be watching on TV. I’m looking for faces of death, the gurning, the pain and the suffering… The same face contortions of pain and suffering that I encountered myself in 2010.

Late last year I travelled out to this region on what was our annual alpine adventure with my ‘boys’ Joe Hall, Kieran Young, Hardysan Mason and Army Armstrong. We had a fuc**ing blast out there and for a week and it was truly awesome.

Our final climb, the Galibier, ruined me. I was smashed… but I tell you this, it was worth every moment of suffering to reach the summit. Read my account again right here in ‘Notes from the Galibier’.

Best of luck to our boys in the TdF today and Cavendish, god speed. Hang on in there son.

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Impending Doom.

August 23, 2010

It’s coming. The suffering is around the corner and I cannot wait. The 2010 leg of the annual alpine adventure for the SFRT begins next week in Annecy, France.

This year I feel I am slightly better prepared, although more mentally than physically. We also have more members that now make up the 2010 Spinwell Factory Racing Team which obviously means more fun… Oh and more slaps for the person at the back of the bunch, now he won’t be 3rd, but 5th! Shit.

Cret de Chatillon – I am coming for you.

Graeme Obree Geneva to Nice.

June 17, 2010

Once over the top, another amazing 1000m descent had Stuart and I in aero tucks on the long straights, and on the ragged edge of grip into the switchback sections. Cars by now were just an inconvenience to be drafted until we could out-sprint them into the bends. Taking a hand off the bars to give a thumbs up to any drivers that got out of our way as we swept past at 50mph-plus was exciting.

Great read and a few great shots too, especially loving the Galibier shots. My, my the sign that used to say ‘Col du Galibier’ now resembles something outside of a skateboard shop. Enough stickers, already!

Read more.

Alpine greatness.

August 18, 2009

Sorry about the lateness of this, I perhaps should have thought about posting it BEFORE I left to go cycle and get lost on the way to Malvern… but I’ll save that one for another time.

After yesterdays post on the joys of road cycling I stumbled across the following.

I typed in the URL of my new favourite blog and what was presented there before me was one of the best posts I have come across in a quite a while so I had to share it with you.

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As a spindly-legged kid, I spent most of my summers tucked in my Austrian father’s broad slipstream while we pedaled up and down New Hampshire’s winding back roads. Saddled atop his dinosaur of a Motobecane, ragged cycling shoes wedged into his toe clips and his unruly grey hair flapping in the wind (he never wore a helmet, which, he assured me in his heavily-accented English, were for loozahs), he’d ramble on about all the epic Alpine rides he and his fellow farm boy buddies had done as teenagers. Then he’d crack open a can of Coors when we got home, drain it and tell me more. I knew ‘em by heart: The time they’d hooked their hands onto the back of a bus in order to coast the last few rain-soaked kilometers into Munich just to buy an LP of Revolver; the time they’d stumbled into a Swiss gasthof, cycling caps askew and faces full of grime, only to be fed for free by the matronly proprietor who’d pitied such a worn-out and weary-looking crew; and of course the many occasions on which they’d outmaneuvered slick Italian sport coups down Passo di Stelvio’s 48 hairpin turns. Sure, just the other day I blew a few too many freelance checks on this carbon fiber racing rig, but no matter how modern my tastes have become, I’m still – thanks to dad – obsessed with vintage bikes, no-frills cycling apparel and leg-breaking rides.

Which is why I was so psyched to find these photos. Snapped by (and in some instances starring) Jobst Brandt, a former mechanical engineer for Porsche and the author behind wheel-building bible The Bicycle Wheel, these photos chronicle the Californian’s 20-something Alpine cycling trips dating back to 1959. Despite Jobst’s techy background, however, you won’t find anything in the photos below but rawhide tans, long surfer hair, wool jerseys, vintage touring bikes, gravel roads running wet with Alpine snow melt and summer snow banks piled higher than a set of stacked Suburbans. No route was too daunting for Jobst and his buds. Pretty refreshing stuff.

But what really makes these photos so interesting is that they serve as testament to America’s love affair with cycling and adventure. Long before anal-retentive endurance athletes hijacked the sport with their scientifically engineered training programs, heart rate monitors and recovery shakes, laidback westerners were going nuts for two-wheeled competitions like Colorado’s Red Zinger Classic and California’s Nevada City Criterium, and, just like Jobst, many headed for Europe to retrace the pedal strokes of their heroes. Packing their jerseys’ with spare tires, passports and enough Schillings, Liras and Francs to buy a few post-ride rounds at whatever bar they found themselves in, these guys had a boyish mentality to riding and a real sense of two-wheeled camaraderie, proving that a bicycle’s true value isn’t measured in pounds or price tags, but merely by where it can take you.


Words by James Jung of the Foggy Monocle.
Photographs by Jobst Brandt.
Found at A Continuous Lean.

See more fantastic scanned photographs of Jobst’s Alpine cycling adventures right here.


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