Posts Tagged ‘classic’
Damn, for a minute there it had slipped my mind but this edit just reminded me of how much of an awesome time I had at this year’s L’Eroica… Look at my face at the top of the first climb, Never after slogging my guts out have I looked so happy! Must be the wine.
Thank you Le Coq Sportif! And while on the subject I must give shouts out to Mike, Marc and Billy for without them it would not have happened.x
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.
I could have bought it all, I really could. Had I gone there with an empty suitcase and a full bank account I surely would have at least grabbed a frame or two, and some wheels, and a groupset and then probably most of the other needed components to build a complete. Instead I bought a Gios T-shirt, I figured I should buy something off them considering how much I was lurking around their stall all day, staring at those beautiful blue frames.
Peep more photographs over at my Flickrspot.
Aaaaargh! The Muscles on the back on my right leg begin to seize and I pull over to massage (punch) the pain out but it’s not working. I say to myself “dude, you have only ridden 40km, sort yourself out” as men twice my age crawl past me up this long and windy gravel road. It’s midday on Race day at L’eroica and I’m suffering, my training for this event has consisted of a daily 5km commute and that’s it. Like a fool I believed that since I had taken part in the event previously, this year would be a ‘breeze’. Ha! A Breeze.
It wasn’t a breeze at all, this race is a toughie. I’ve ridden up some hard climbs in my time but they were on modern bikes, with modern components and adequate gearing, on butter smooth tarmac. There’s none of that round here, let me tell you. You’re on a pre 84 bike, mate. That’s usually with 10 gears, with a frame made of Steel, toe clips and straps for your feet and tubular tyres. Now, I love all of that stuff as you probably know but out there all I wanted to do was cry into my handlebars after my hands and wrists had been shattered to pieces by the famed white gravel roads.
Earlier that morning I had felt good and strong, I had my English Le Coq Sportif jersey on and like all of my fellow team mates I felt proud but right now I’m just about cooked.
Unlike last year it’s hot as hell, my body feels like it’s been in a microwave and I need water. My bike (an early 70s Cornale) feels like it’s made of lead pipe and I’m going nowhere fast. I’ve eaten well all day at the L’Eroica food stops, Tuscan bean soup, bananas, apricots, bread and jam, the lot but I’ve nothing left, I’m on empty.
I get back on the bike and press on before anyone else passes me and demoralizes me further. There’s 30km to go and I think to myself “there can’t be much more climbing after this hill, surely”. Mike Routledge of the UK team said later on that day that “ he felt like he’d been climbing so much, he should soon be at the moon” He was right.
I’m faced with a wall of white gravel and in my head I can hear the mother out of the Belleville rendezvous film whistling my pedal strokes like a metronome. One-two-three-four… one-two-three-four. I reach into the back of my soaked LCS merino jersey and pull out some sweets that I had stashed from an earlier food stop and jam them into my mouth, right now I need the sugar. I could need these later on but to be honest, I very much doubt that there’ll be a climb as steep and as loose under tyres as this one.
I wonder where the French team are? My English team partner, Patrick and I had been riding with them earlier but we managed to drop them somewhere after food stop number one but I’m sure, given my performance today they will be along soon. I expect them any moment, all of them in the Blue, Blanc, Rouge of the Le Coq Sportif France country jersey, swallowing me up like a massive wave over a fallen surfer.
I want some Coca Cola, the elixir of life, but it’s Sunday and I’m in the wilderness. It’s not going to happen and I accept it.
Suddenly I see Patrick on the side of the road, he’s stopped for me, and we continue up and over the crest and into the descent. I always feel like I’m in a computer game during descents and this is no exception. Some hate dropping down off of hills, I for one love it. I’m an ex downhiller, I should.
With this decent and all of it’s fun comes a fresh perspective. My legs feel a little better and I no longer concentrate on the pain, instead I focus on my surroundings, Tuscany, its utterly beautiful here. Picture postcard country. So the sun is cooking my body, so what, would I rather it raining and blowing a gale? I think not. So the terrain is demanding, so what, would I rather be cycling in Worcestershire? Nope.
At the end of the day I finished the race with no scrapes or techinicals, I also finished ahead the ever-strong French team. I have no idea on how long the 75km took me, I didn’t care. I had finished and I had a cold beer in my hand. I had that elation coursing through me and I was beaming from ear to ear. Sure, I couldn’t quite get my legs to work but I had nowhere to go anyway so it didn’t matter.
– – – –
Now, that was just a taster of what’s to come, I’v plenty more to post from my weekend’s activities in Chianti, so expect more words and lots of pictures!
Special thanks go out to:
Mike Routledge and Marc Chamberlain of Le Coq Sportif UK.
Patrick and Christophe of le Coq Sportif France.
Patrick, my podna from Oi Polloi.
Ed and Brian of Hanon shop.
Beth from Tea and Cake.
Max from Tokyo Fixed Gear.
I must also give a massive shout out to the whole LCS family, UK, Italy, France, Spain all of you, thank you! You all made the experience truly unforgettable.
Colnago Pista Mexico
Professional track bike from Colnago with extralight Columbus framework, with fully chromed “cromato” finish. Campagnolo Record Pista group, Cinelli bar/stem and Arius plastik track saddle. Martano Turbo rims with Clement Seta tubulars.
Zing! What a beaut… and a perfect winter hacker too!
Seen at Speedbicycles.
Just under three weeks wait until this years L’eroica and once again I’ll be travelling out there to Italy with Le Coq Sportif to document the weekend’s activities.
If you don’t yet know about this fantastic annual event then it’s about time you did. Last year’s L’Eroica -my first- was an absolute eye opener for me and you can read all about it here.
Mora at L’Eroica Ciclismo.
Whatever doubt that I had in my mind as to whether I should stump for that modern group for my steel frame was quickly dispatched upon sight of this fluoro Tommasini.
Spotted at Fame & Spear.
I have never seen such a massive collection of Eddy Merckx photographs and scans in one place, the grip is something else… There’s even a bunch of family photos up in there!
Unfortunately the owner has disabled the ability to download the files so I can’t show them here (screenshots come in handy mind you) but do yourself a favour and click through for 600% of Merckx goodness.
View this grip right here.
Two stunning photographs of the Passo Pordoi.
The portrait shot is surreal, the mountains actually look like they have been painted in. Amazing.
Spotted these over at my friends blogspace – Arewu. But while he talks of Oakley’s semi-involvement in hip-hop’s ‘golden era’ I’m more concerned about the sheer ‘badman’ factor of these stunning eyeglasses. Just like red coloured bikes, I’m sure donning a pair of these would make you go faster, probably a bit like like Hoy on a good day with the wind at his back.
Limited to only 35 pairs and proudly made in the U.S.A. Grab a pair while you can.
Oakley Eyeshades available at Oki-ni.
MERCIER FORMULE 1
Road bike with full aero styled Super Vitus 971 framework #M67666 finished in Mercier’s malve metallic. Shimano 600 EX group (6200), Belleri bar/stem, Ambrosio Montreal blue finished tubular rims, S.Marco Concor Supercorsa saddle and Wolber tubulars.
Beautiful bike. Great to see Shimano getting some love… And 600, too. A boss group.
I’ve always been a huge fan of the Levi’s/Raleigh Pro Team bikes(as seen below!), love Levi’s and of course Raleigh is doing great things these days. So when I had the chance to swoop some of these NOS Pro Team Toques, worn by the team during the 80’s, of course I didn’t say no! Now if only someone would make a re-issue kit(hint, hint). Hopefully this Commuter Line will get Levi’s psyched on cycling again and maybe even get them in the mood to co-sponsor another pro team.
Man I need one of those knits, for real.
In 2011 Nocturne and Brooks England will bring Penny Farthing racing (properly called ‘Ordinaries’) back to the streets of the City of London. Competitors from across the globe will descend on the historic Smithfield Market to battle it our across two action packed races:
RACE 1: The Brooks Penny Farthing Sprint
The sprint is all about speed and quite simply the fastest gent or lady to race the 1 mile distance will be the winner. Fast and furious, this will be the perfect build up to the main event.
RACE 2: The Brooks Ordinary Trophy
With an illustrious history the Grand Old Ordinary Trophy will once again be decided on the streets of the City of London. Our daring riders will race for 30 minutes and 5 laps across the challenging London circuit as they bid for glory and the coveted trophy.
Well this looks like fun!
This is Brigand Doom’s latest acquisition and it’s a mighty fine one.
He says: “The steerer tube is extensively drilled inside the headtube, the fork crown race is ‘golfballed’, the headtube is relieved either side and the lugs extensively ‘Bikini’d’ with hearts and windows. The brakes have to be built onto integral anchor bolts, brazed into the fork crown/rear bridge, to save weight, as far as i can tell no standard brake fits without being modified and i had to scratch make spring anchor washers and re-source thinner washers throughout! The fork crown has drillium all around and the steerer tube has been factory cut so that it wont accept a locking nut, i suppose the philosophy being that the bugger would come loose anyway, so get rid and save the weight, the BB shell has a massive heart cutout and lastly the short rear Campag’ ends are factory drilled”.
As you can see BD loves drilling stuff too and he’s done a grand job on this… DIY drillium – it’s the future!
Doom, you’re a boss.