Empire State 12/10/2014


The Citibike Program has created a new genre of cyclist in New York, and I am one of them, the “Spontaneous Commuter”. Like most New Yorkers riding in the city is conducted in the same way we walk, with our heads down, too busy to look up. Sometimes I think it is only the tourists that see what we miss everyday. On these newly discovered random rides I would find myself stopped at traffic lights, stretching my back and looking up. And there it was, not always, but enough to make me feel like I was constantly cycling around it. Sometimes it would appear at the turn of a corner like it had just exploded out of the ground in front of me. Other times, just visible, nudging itself in between buildings as if it was looking for me. From every neighborhood west, east, north and South, Manhattan to Brooklyn, it was nearly always there. The islands spindle, that we all spun around. Now when I ride I find myself looking for it. Empire.empire01empire02empire03empire04empire05empire06empire07empire08empire09empire10empire11empire12empire13


Categories: Journal


The Sky Fell In 11/16/2014

JE_Main_HautacamOne of the things that makes riding in the high mountains special is the unpredictability and the extremes the weather can bring in an instance. Sitting down in the valley in the village of Luz-Saint-Sauveur on the morning of our ride the sun was out and the sky was blue. The debate was more about how much sunscreen to bring rather than layers. As we headed down the D12 the weather could not have been better. That all changed when we hit the village of Argelés-Gazost and within the space of about 20 minutes we went from pure blue skies to dark grey skies. When you have traveled as far as we had to do these classic climbs it takes a lot for you to call off a ride. As we headed up visibility rapidly decreased and got gradually worse as we rode through cloud and mist to the top. As it turned out the ride became one of the most memorable we have ever done. The added adversity making it a ride to talk about. The descent maybe more that most, made extra special by having to dodge suddenly appearing sheep who had decided the best place to stand was the middle of the road. Sometimes its worth pushing on.

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Categories: Journal


Rider City 08/27/2014

JE_Main_BoulderSitting at the base of the Rockies in Colorado at 5,430 feet above sea level Boulder has become a hub for American pro cycling, and every other type of cycling in between. With a population that sits under 100,000 from what I saw half of them spend a lot of time in the saddle. The ride selection out of the city is pretty incredible. Seven minutes from downtown will get you on Alpine like climbs and gradients, and they get good weather for all year round riding. It made a lot of sense to start the last stage of the US Pro Challenge there

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Categories: Journal


Colorado 08/25/2014


The air is thin, very thin. The climbs are long and gradual.  The air is so thin and clean that it gives Colorado a special light all of its own. The landscape is some of the most spectacular you will see anywhere in the world, and no matter where the riders went it seemed to completely dwarf them. This is cycling country American style. Quite tough roads, small towns and a lot of personality. Colorado is where the Pro’s come to live because it is pretty much one of the most perfect places to ride a bike. This year saw the coming of age of the American based riders. No longer riding in the shadows of the European “Imports”. Kiel Reijnen brought is two amazing sprints alongside local boy Alex Howes. Ben Jaques-Maynes had an incredible ride to take the KOM. Carter Jones just gets better and better trading blows on the climbs with some of the best in the world. And last but not least Serghei Tvetcov just powering his way over everything to take third place on GC and a hard fought for spot on the podium. This just gets better and better every year.

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Categories: Journal


An Irish Giro 05/14/2014


Did it really happen? If it wasn’t for the stickers still on the shop windows and the seats painted pink outside pubs, it would be hard to believe one of the biggest bike races in the world just rolled through Northern Ireland. I guess the risk with bringing a race like this to a place like Belfast is “Will they get it”? Well I am happy to say “they did”, and in a big way. The city basically treated the GIRO weekend like a big festival and lined the roads everywhere it went to cheer it along. Villages had obviously been preparing for weeks and I doubt very much if there is a kids bike left in the province that wasn’t commandeered and painted pink. To be expected the weather didn’t co-operate, but then again it wouldn’t have been a true Irish start without some rain, and lets face it when they reached Bari on Tuesday the weather was worse! The riders seemed surprised at the turnout and enthusiasm from the Irish crowds, which I am not. The Irish love sport and love athletes pitched against the odds. The weather certainly gave it that angle and turned the first two stages into a more difficult prospect that the road book showed. Some of the best in the world were on display and we all knew it. Apart from the Irish riders Cadel got a special reception and an extra cheer everywhere he went. He is a fighter and a personality, someone to follow and believe in. Then there was the tragedy of Dan Martin crashing out, Irelands hope for a podium left lying on the road in shreds with a look of complete shock. His dreams of riding a grand tour on the roads of the country he represents gone. How can one rider have so much bad luck, but we kept on cheering. As the teams left Dublin on Monday Belfast got back to business knowing they had gone a long way to setting the world straight on what the city and its people are all about, and happy to see the world talk about them and their home in a positive way.













Categories: Journal


British Cross 12/08/2014


Seb Scarr contacted us a while back and kindly offered to shoot a story for us. What we see here are the shots he took at the Milton Keynes round of the UCI Cross World Cup that also give us a glimpse into the growing popularity of the British Cross scene. Every season the global interest in Cross just gets stronger and stronger. As fans we are getting closer to having an all year round sport that we can follow in depth. In these shots he captures what makes Cross unique, and why it is such a great spectator sport. The fast and furious side that requires series levels of fitness and skill to be at the front, and what we all love to see, a race in the mud and riders walking the thin line between being in control and out of it.

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Categories: Journal


FFW14 10/01/2014


The FireFlies ride is as close as I am going to get to living the life of a Pro. My job for the day was to get up and ride, finish in one piece and prepare myself for the next day. Our rider support was excellent, although all massage was self applied using “Pain” sticks. The camaraderie is the sort you only find when you pass through moments of suffering together, followed by moments of euphoria brought on by the consumption of Chocolate Milk or the “Double Andrea” (A dinner in which Andrea orders two main courses for everybody as starters). The group brings its own set of road rules, someone is always with the slowest rider, and weaker riders make experienced riders realize there is more to this all than just mashing on the front. We trash talk constantly, and anyone who appears to be riding well, showing moments of “Power”, attacking, or apparently having a birthday swiftly get punished the following day by having a shopping basket attached to their stealth black carbon masterpiece. Then there are the groups within the group. The “Lady Train” where men were ushered of wheels, or off the back. “The Sprinters” and I use that description liberally, this group was less about going fast at the end and more about climbing at one speed, not slow but not fast. Their rallying cry “We will descend like gods!” For the route, we may not have 10,000 ft Tour days but pulling the equivalent of 14 intervals that are each between a 2 and 3 mile climb each in sequence gets you close to the feeling of riding an ARDENNES day. We were still putting in 5000+ ft days, we seemed to do that a lot. The route is spectacular with most of it having the Pacific on your right shoulder and vineyards over your left. The wind is pretty much always in your back and the sun was out. A few times we looked across the road in wonder as to why Tourers were riding the other way in to the wind with bike five times heavier than us. As always the FireFlies never disappoints, and always exceeds expectations. The other expectation exceeded this year was raising $312K for the City Of Hope in LA. That is money that can make a difference, so thank you so much to everyone that contributed. There is already talk of whats next and potential recon rides on the east coast – but damn this one is hard to beat.

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Categories: Journal


Route 24 08/27/2014


Route 24 is one of those roads you end up taking when you decide to ignore the GPS for a day. A road that looked interesting on the map, made up of lots of twisting bends and rapid elevation gains. It is labeled one of Americas Scenic Byways, “Top Of The Rockies”, usually a good sign that you are in for a spectacular ride. I found the weather in the Rockies some of the hardest to read anywhere I have traveled. It can go from blistering sun, to thunderstorms and rain, to windy cold descents all within and an hour, weather that makes for great shots but difficult riding. Climbing starts at the town of Minturn, a charming one street town, the home of Weston Snowboards. You enter Main Street after passing through some beautiful rolling meadows before heading towards Cooper Mountain Ski Resort and the road up to Battle Mountain. First climbing gradually, and then steeply, as you pass an old abandoned mining town and the mountain community of Red Cliff as you pass over a bridge and it lies beneath you in the gorge. The road up is quiet and holds a steady grade, but the air is thin making the climbing tough. You top out as you round the bend at the entrance to Cooper Mountain Resort at 10,500ft one of the oldest ski resorts in Colorado, and you pass over the Continental Divide at Tennessee Pass the dividing line between the San Isabel National Forest and the The White River National Forest. The descent down the other side rivals most of the Alpine climbs before you roll out onto a massive flat open plain stacked on both sides with snow capped peaks and Galena Mountain. From there you roll straight on towards Leadville, one of Americas most famous mountain bike communities and the home of America’s Hall Of Fame for mining.

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Categories: Journal


L’Estérelle 07/04/2014



Rolling out of Cannes early on a Saturday morning to beet the traffic and the heat I set off on a ride recommended by the guys at Cafe Du Cycliste. In the distance as I rolled along the coast just west of Cannes you could see in the distance the red rocks of the Estérelle rise out of the Mediterranean as I headed towards the VAR and the village of Frejús. Accompanied by local riders and clubs all the way to Agay I turned right and up into the hills above the coast. The traffic stopped and I had the road to myself as I climbed up on quiet roads towards the Col de l’Ariasque and the treeline that defined the shape of the hills. Passing into the Adrets is marked by the stunning Auberge Des Adrets as you start to roll back down towards Cannes.

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Categories: Journal


Battenkill 03/16/2014

JE_Main_BattenkillThere aren’t many, and this one has seen its fair share of trouble with sponsorship and race categorization in the past, but Battenkill still stands as the true American Classic. Billed as “Americas Toughest Race” the terrain takes riders over dirt, gravel and tarmac, up and down rolling hills, and through covered bridges in the beautiful Battenkill Valley. This year will see the 10th edition of the race that is probably as close as we get to a European style classic in America. It runs in the first week of April usually making sure that the weather plays a factor in how the race plays out, and providing spectators with a very unique racing experience. These shots from the 2010 edition saw Floyd Landis start in the hope of a return to the pro ranks. The race was won by Caleb Fairly who went on to now race in Europe with Garmin. British champion Kristian House and the Rapha team showed up to race with a group of riders who also included Jonathan Tiernan-Locke who went on to win The Tour Of the Med and the Tour of Haut Var. It tends to be a proving ground for the up and coming riders in the north east.



Categories: Journal