The Long distance Cyclist – an amazing film insight.


This video of Mike Cotty’s 1,012km ride to Chamonix is well worth it, if only to add a whole bunch of climbs to your bucket list and take in the extraordinary views.

Mike’s no stranger to epic rides, having completed a 666km monster ride from Evian-les-Bains to Nice last year. That ride took in 17 cols on its way to the sea but this monster route packs in 21, many of them well in excess of 2,000m, and a total of 21,250m of climbing. Or 2.4 Everests, since that’s the universally accepted height gain unit of anything like this.

A 1000km non-stop journey across the Dolomites, Eastern Alps and Swiss Alps.

Exploration is as much about overcoming the unknown challenges of the road ahead as it is about learning of one’s own physical and mental capabilities. On August 4th 2014 Mike Cotty faced the longest and hardest ride of his life, a personal challenge to see if it’s possible to cycle over 1,000km and 21 mountains non-stop across the Dolomites, Eastern Alps and Swiss Alps from Conegliano, Italy, to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. Thunderstorms during the darkest depths of the night, a bitter cold dawn on the Passo dello Stelvio, punishing headwinds and the will to overcome adversity and sleep deprivation from over 50 hours on the bike and 21,250 metres of elevation make this journey an inspiring test of human reserve.

The mighty Stelvio (2,757m) was the highest point en route and Mike didn’t have it all his own way this time, having to endure some heavy rain on the first night. That’s when having a full Mavic backup car is a good idea…

The total riding time was 50 hours and 29 minutes, with just over three hours of breaks. Two and a bit days, then, at a riding average of just over 20km/h, over some pretty substantial terrain. The cobbles of the Gottard Pass, some 43 hours in, must have been a whole lot of fun.

These new boats are beasts


these new forty1design boats are beasts ….

Team Concise’s Forty1Design at the start of the 2014 Round Britain and Ireland

 

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The idea behind the Forty(1)Design, was to start with a clean sheet of paper and apply our advanced design technology to achieve the best concept and fastest possible hull shape. Team Concise were ideal clients; they understood that thorough research takes time and therefore planned their program accordingly.

A particular feature of the combined CFD and numerical optimisation technology that we have developed is that an unlimited number of shapes can be explored within a reasonable time scale. The technique contrasts dramatically with traditional yacht design optimisation. This typically starts with a known reference point and makes incremental steps towards an improved solution, one tweak at a time. Consequently the latter is unlikley to ever arrive at a truly optimal solution in the lifetime of any particular box rule.  

Coming from a background which has embraced many racing rules including the Americas Cup, allowed us to look at every aspect of this new design with fresh eyes. We have examined current performances, rule constraints and practicality and in all these areas we have looked for gains. Individually these might not be large, but together, they represent improvements. The sail-plan has been through a CFD optimisation process. Internal structures have been optimised in close conjunction with interior stacking ergonomics, while we have tried to minimise the VCG.

 

Design Summary:

- A ground up review of Class 40 rules.

- We assessed in excess of 70,000 potential hull shapes.

- Performance analyses of existing boats allowed direct comparisons with known benchmarks.

- Detailed investigations in conjunction with the Team Concise and experienced weather routers’ allowed us to determine appropriate performance weighting for each of the major Class 40 races.

 - A full RANS based sail plan optimisation study was completed in collaboration with the North Sails Design Group run on the Wolfson Units Super Cluster.  

- A new structural concept design.

Jason Ker (KER Yacht Design)

Does everything have to match?


richdirector:

Thoughts on fashion and cycling very funny (and true)

Originally posted on PedalWORKS:

Does everything have to match?  Does your kit match your bike?

This never used to be of interest to me.  I wore whatever was comfortable; whatever was clean; and, sometimes what was in the laundry basket, if necessary.  The clothes didn’t match the bike.  It was never a consideration.  Why would it matter?

One day, something changed.  My bikes got prettier.  Lots of colourful graphics.  And, the cycling “kits” followed suit.  Bikes and kits began to match and, members of racing teams wore the same kit and, the kits were filled with sponsors’ logos.  Cycling became mainstream.  Like football (i.e. soccer), the kits changed every season, a proven recipe for selling more kits.

Today, I stopped to fill my bottle and empty my bladder as usual at Third Beach on the way home from a 75 km ride to Horseshoe Bay and back.  While sitting on the bench looking out into the harbour, I noticed…

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Mad Rwanda bikers


In Rwanda and left Kigali to head west to Ruvavu on the Congo border. The road was beautiful and had me dreaming of a touring / road bike ride across the country. The road is great Tarmac very smooth although the altitude starting at 1500m and peaking at 2400m with over 2400m of climbing in the 140km. The car drivers are courteous of the many taxi bikes that ply the roads near the towns and villages.

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They have a small pillion seat on the back but are just as often seen carrying sections of pipe, charcoal sacks or bananas. With all the hills the uphill cargo run must be hard bit I have seen quite a few just using the bike as wheels to carry the load as two people push it up. Most have to push up if their gearing isn’t quite low enough.

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The odd few hold on to trucks going uphill to save their legs – crazy they are ….

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Iron curtain – bike path


If you fancy a little historical interest with your cycling, you may want to plan your next riding holiday around the 7,000 Iron Curtain trail, following the route of the symbolic division between East and West.

The partition, which lasted 40 years and was dismantled just a quarter of a century ago, is being revived as a cycle path, from, as Winston Churchill famously put it in 1936 “from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent,” – and a little further.

Beginning in the Norwegian town of Kirkenes, close to the Barents Sea, the trail passes through more than 20 countries, heading down the old border of East and West Germany and finishing on the Black Sea coast in northern Turkey.

It was the creation of a German Green Party MEP, Michael Cramer, who was inspired by a similar project in Berlin which follows the path of the former Wall. He first proposed it nearly ten years ago in the European Parliament.

“If 23 years ago I’d have proposed the creation of a cycle path along the Iron Curtain, people would have said ‘this guy is crazy!'” Cramer told the St Petersburg Times.

The route has now been fully prepared with only signposting remaining.

Cramer added: “There are parts of the track, particularly on the Russian-Finnish border, where you won’t see a car for several days, but then all of a sudden a herd of reindeer will appear!”

On the whole, the route is relatively flat. But most important to Cramer is the symbolic meaning, and the historical details, like plaques along the former border in Germany where people attempting to flee the East were shot dead by border police.

“The trail is not purely a scheme created for sustainable tourism. It preserves the memory of what the Iron Curtain once stood for.

“By leaving these historical features in, it is as though one is riding through an open air museum,” said Cramer.
“The situation [now] is not as grave as it was at the height of the Cold War,” said Cramer. “Russia needs the EU far more than the EU needs Russia. It is imperative that we stand together.”

“He who masters the past,” Cramer said, “is the master of the future.”

See http://www.ironcurtaintrail.eu for more about the trail.