It’s That Time Of Year 11/15/2014
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.
Large images and a full photo gallery here.
Thanks to a nice ride recommendation from Café Du Cycliste I was able to escape the Cannes festival and head up the coast to steal a few miles. A new journal post from the ride is up. If you are in the region and looking for rides in and around the Alpes Maritimes check out their site here. They have a great selection close to Nice that will take you up on some great climbs like the Col d’Ezé and The Turini.
It takes a lot to make a bike stand out these days, and when you stare at them as much as I do even more to make you stop in your tracks. On a recent trip to London I walked by the Cyclefit shop every morning on the way to our office. And every morning that is exactly what this Saffron frame did, stop me in my tracks. The color and the finish in the “flesh” are absolutely stunning. Then you look a little closer and you notice the details in the frame construction as well. Like the really neat seat clamp nicely embedded into the rear stays. The beautiful polished head tube that matches the fork, giving the impression of a continuous single piece of tubing. The color inspired by a classic 1936 Buick with the brand decal showing through with a beautiful polish. A stunning frame and finish. More shots after the break.
More about Saffron here
Certainly cheaper than a strip down and re-paint this is a nice way to freshen up your ride. The Tagmi Fix Your Bike adhesive kits contain seven individual pieces printed on polymeric film, that can withstand water and UV rays. The designs can last up to five years and come in 40 designs that range from the beautiful geometric to the bizarre, where you can have Ants marching all over your bike while you ride. The beauty of the product is that if you get tired of the look all you need is a hairdryer to remove the stickers and they won’t leave any residue behind on your frame.
In case you weren’t getting enough pink with your daily dose of the GIRO, Colnago have issued this limited ”Yukiya Arashiro” edition pink C60, presented to the Japanese national champion at this years GIRO. Overall Yukiya appears to be a pretty lucky guy as he seem to constantly get beautiful paint jobs from Ernesto on a regular basis. His other “Japanese” stead below isn’t half bad either.