The Race Of The Almost Falling Leaves 09/24/2012


I hate it when people mess with stuff that isn’t broken. If it hadn’t been for Rapha I would probably still be sitting on the sofa in November wondering who canceled the race. This coming weekend we will experience one of the most beautiful races in the world, The Tour Of Lombardia, or The Race Of The Falling Leaves. Except this year maybe it would be better to call it The Race Of The Almost Falling leaves because it isn’t quite that time of year yet because of the UCI? The UCI in all their wisdom pushed it up two weeks so they could squeeze in another race, The Tour of Hangzhou. Yes that Chinese monument that the Pro’s love to travel to the other side of the world for. Alas the spectacle of Lake Como and its surrounding roads will not be reduced. If I had to pick one race I could go to every year this may be the one. The location is stunning, there is a reason why famous people all live in the same place. The racing is exceptional, as riders squeeze out that last ounce of fitness before heading into winter and the ever shrinking Off-Season (and final contract negotiations). The fans are incredible, and the food….man the food is so good. To this day I still had one of the best Calzones I have ever eaten in Tremezzo. If you are lucky enough to go and have got time to ride, yes you have to do the Ghisallo, it will be packed on race day and a “competitive” ride up with the locals should be expected. Nobody will be holding back. Don’t skip the west side of the Lake above Menaggio, and the SS340. It is a lovely climb over to Lake Lugano and Switzwerland for coffee and proper chocolate, and you will be back in time for an afternoon espresso at Café Del Pess overlooking the lake and the ferries back to Bellagio or Varenna. It really is a special place to ride and a hub of Italian cycling, plus Moto Guzzi are built on the shores of Como, so you can expect to see nice bikes of all types.

Categories: Races

“Velo” From Graphical House 09/22/2012


Love this poster from design shop Graphical House in Glasgow. Inspired by the velodrome and printed real nice using professional quality Ultra Chrome K3 inks on 300gsm Hanemuhle Photorag paper. Get in here

Categories: Design

The $9 Bicycle By Izhar Gafni 09/13/2012


Inspired by a canoe made from cardboard, Izhar Gafni set about proving you could make a bicycle from cardboard. His first product release is called the Alpha, a bike made from recycled cardboard and weighing in at 20lbs. The company is currently seeking funding to get the bike into production, so it s unclear if we will actually see it on the streets yet. The adult version would sell for around $9-$12, but maybe more interestingly based on the aesthetic there is a planned kids bike for $5. I can’t find any information on how they are managing to keep the cost so low based on the fact some of the mechanical parts (pedals, brakes, cables…) aren’t made from cardboard. I also wonder how the bike would be perceived by bike thieves, when the very thing you are trying to steal is less valuable than the lock you are trying to break to steal it.

Categories: Design / Rides / The Other Stuff

From The Saddle: Acadia 09/02/2012


Acadia

Better late than never, a gallery of images From The Saddle in Acadia National Park, Maine. Before traveling there everyone kept warning us about the traffic, and how packed it would be. Maybe living in NYC has immunized us to congestion or maybe nothing else compares to the craziness of NYC jams, but everywhere we went up there it just seemed quiet and open. Even in the Park itself (The Park Loop is a two lane one-way system that hugs the coast) I never felt squeezed on the road. Reading one of the Kayak rental company leaflets they made a point of saying don’t be put off by low cloud or early morning fog, “it is often the best and most dramatic time to see the Park“. They weren’t wrong. Early morning in the Park is practically traffic free, the light is beautiful and you basically have one of the most stunning national parks in the world all to yourself. With good legs, blue skies, the sea on your left, climbs on your right you may just have one of your best days on a bike in there.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR THE GALLERY

Categories: Routes

Woodguards 09/22/2012


Summer is over. Today was the first day out there in ages where armwarmers and a second layer were needed. It was also the first day in ages that I felt like I was dodging the weather. Apart from a good jacket and gloves there is no other more important piece of winter kit than a good pair mudguards. These ones from Scottish company Woodguards sit somewhere between practical and art. The guards are made from recycled timber, and the color is applied using Formica. They make a few different sizes, a 29er and a 27 inch (700c), and they also do a 26 inch for mountain bikes. Check them out here for more pictures and stock.

Categories: Design / Kit

09/11/2012


I spent last weekend picking my way around the Pennsylvania countryside on the annual Shoefly Ride, and managed to turn a 64 mile ride into an 81 mile ride with a few choice wrong turns. If you you ever get the chance to ride in this area, jump at it. Rolling hills through farmland, and the occasional Mennonite carriage make for a good day in the saddle. It was my first visit to the Shoefly, and if you are looking for a nice mellow, well organized, club run ride this is a great choice.

Categories: Rides

Big Dream By Tim Bowditch 08/24/2012


Big Dream
The world of Keirin continues to fascinate. “Big Dream” is a Keirin-specific term – basically an accumulator bet placed on the last four races of the day. If you pick two winners in those races you stand to land the “Big Dream” – the big win. We were recently contacted by UK photographer Tim Bowditch,who shared his Keirin project “Big Dream,” shot while traveling around Japan by bike last year. The images show us a side of Keirin we don’t often get to see, and present us with a different type of cycling fan. These fans are maybe more interested in a quick win than the quality of the riding, but maybe better than most understand what each rider is capable of. In a country where gambling is basically illegal, Keirin is one of four sports where government-run gambling is allowed. The quiet spaces captured here are outside the main betting and watching areas, and are where the gamblers come to study the form. The quietness in these images could not be in more contrast to the speed and energy being laid down on the track. We have taken a selection of the images here in our gallery; to see the full set of images, visit Tim’s site here.

Categories: Riders