even a 29er or two in there – but only the beginning …
Naish Skater 2015 Surfboard
The new Skater has been developed with a redesigned, modern shape for beginner to advanced kiters who want to take their directional or strapless riding to new levels in any surf conditions with the option of riding strapped.
Its unique and durable honeycomb construction provides outstanding impact resistance in unison with the full deck pad. Its outline and length have been finely tuned for optimal control and balance while letting the rider focus on aerial tricks and hitting critical sections with ease and confidence.
This travel-friendly, compact design provides the same snappy maneuverability as a larger surfboard. Less board equals more snap and tighter, faster turns when combined with its thruster fin setup and exclusive bottom shaping. Performing flip and spin tricks have never been easier! Complete with:
– Naish Tri Carbon Cross Fins
– Naish Deck Pad
The Grandaddy of contemporary Urban Cyclocross, Bilenky’s “Junkyard Cross” took place again last weekend. By Grandaddy we’re referring of course to the event’s rich history, not its average rider’s age.
Bike radar review the cyclo-sportives they rode …. Some for the tick list I think
Cape Argus, South Africa, March
If you’ve ever put much thought into your ‘bucket list’ – the things to do before you die – we’ve got an idea that will leapfrog its way straight to the top. The Cape Argus, a 68 mile gallop across the breathtaking terrain of the Cape Peninsula, was perhaps the most fun we’ve ever had on a bike.
With over 35,000 lining up for the staggered mass-start in downtown Cape Town, the opening miles on this traffic-free ride are a frenzied whirlwind. It’s a job just to stay upright, with riders weaving their through an anxious peloton crying out for lines to be held. Crashes are inevitable, but if you can stay in one piece during the opening motorway miles you’ll be rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The coastal scenery is otherworldly, as is the lumpy stretch through Table Mountain National Park. Expect to see baboons at the roadside, too – just don’t throw your banana skins in their direction! If you’ve kept enough in the tank by the foot of Chapman’s Peak, you’ll savour the 40km sprint for home. All that’s left is to negotiate the stunning Suikerbossie climb, where an expectant public whip up a storm of enthusiasm. It’s perhaps the closest an amateur cyclist will get to being a pro.
The only downside is that, at 109km, the fun is over way to early. One solution, providing your start time is early enough and you can handle the blazing afternoon sun, is to do as some of our team did and head out for another loop – this time with added coffee and cake. We politely declined, having hammered through our limit during the ride proper with a respectable time of 3hr 19mins. Instead we took a seat in one of the many beer tents, cracking open a cold one with the time barely gone 10am.
Etape du Tour, France, July
While it was the same length as the ‘Argus’, Act 1 of last year’s closed-road Etape du Tour, thanks to its mountainous parcours, was a whole other proposition. It mirrored stage 19 of the 2011 Tour de France and, as in the race, the truncated 68 mile distance served to animate the ride, giving riders the confidence to tackle the fearsome trio of the Col du Télégraphe, Col du Galibier and Alpe d’Huez without fear of blowing a gasket further down the line.
The organisation was remarkable: police and photographer motorbikes (65 in all), official cars, trucks, vans, coaches, ambulances, Mavic technical support cars… the Étape mimics the Tour with more than just the route. That’s perhaps not surprising as the event is now run by ASO, owners of the Tour. We finished in 4:34, climbed the Alpe in 60 minutes, placed 322nd of 9,500 starters and loved every second of the experience.
Tour of Flanders cyclosportive, Belgium, March
It’s hard to tell from the above photo just how fast Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Barracuda is riding the cobbles of the Tour of Flanders but it was considerably quicker than our attempts 24 hours earlier during the sportive. We reckon there was around 20km of pave scattered around the tour’s 138km course, and our heart sank every time we saw a new stretch on the horizon.
Bike set-up is all important on the cobbles and, courtesy of our hosts for the weekend, Ridley Bikes, we had their Noah FB Fast, a fantastic bike totally out of tune with our surroundings. Its ultra-stiff frame put us through the wringer, each and every cobble stone sending shock waves through our arms, leaving us battered and bruised by the time we crossed the finish line in Oudenaarde with 4:50 on the clock. If only we could have mimicked Lars Boom’s tactic of switching to his low pressured cyclo-cross bike for the cobbles during the similarly punishing Paris-Roubaix, we’d have left Belgium in much better shape.
Over 15,000 tackled the route late last month, with the number of kids, women and older gents taking part reflecting the bike-crazy part of the world we were in. In terms of the world’s big sportives – which this is definitely one – it’s one of the more relaxed. No timing chips are involved and you depart as and when you want. Don’t expect to whizz round in record breaking times, either; the roads are very narrow and, especially on the cobbled climbs, huge numbers of riders can be brought back together to the extent where your only option is to get off and push.
Exmoor Beast, UK, October
While you’re never guaranteed perfect weather, most of the big events we’ve taken on have at least been held during months where the prospect of warm sunshine is a possibility. Not so the Exmoor Beast, a 102 mile slog through Exmoor National Park held every year on the first day of the clocks going back. Only the Fred Whitton Challenge was a tougher day in the saddle last year and if it wasn’t for the fact that it came towards the end of the season when we had stacks of miles in our legs, it might have got the nod. We got around in 7:27, far too long a time to spend on a bike on the cusp of November. We could go on forever about how tough it, but this picture says it all.
Wiggle New Forest, April
While it might not be familiar to many readers outside the UK, Wiggle (and their partner in their sportive series, UK Cycling Events) have bagged a winner with their 85 mile event around the rather splendid New Forest National Park. Sportives are only as good as the roads they’re based on, and they don’t come much better than this. It’s not the hilliest by any stretch (our Garmin 800, courtesy of Cotswold Outdoor, registered 3,500ft), but it’s an exquisite route to rouse you from a post-winter slumber.
It takes you around the entire perimeter of the park and main roads are only used when absolutely essential. Watch out for the numerous wild horses, too, or you come a cropper in unfortunate fashion. With pigs and sheep roaming free in quaint villages en-route, it really was a world away from hectic city life. We were delighted with our time of 4:42 at the time, but seeing our initially lofty position on the leader board slip away as the day wore on was heartbreaking.
Organisers had to spread the event across two days this year, such was the demand. Over 1,500 took part on the Sunday alone, suggesting it could eventually end up becoming one of the ‘must do’ sportives on the calendar.
Fred Whitton Challenge, May
Quite what makes people rush on New Year’s Day – when entry opens – to sign up to this 112 mile monster is anyone’s guess. Maybe it’s the guilt from the excesses of the night before, or a rash New Year’s resolution.
Whatever the reason, the 1,400 places fill up in a matter of hours, with organisers now drawing the ‘lucky’ names out of a hat. A near catastrophic crash on the descent of Hardknott Pass, widely thought of as being the steepest road in Britain, left BikeRadar staring at an ignominious time north of 10 hours in 2011, and the desire to right this wrong is the reason we’ll be returning in future to do it all over again. Next year.
I like this video discovered on the MASH SF website …. it’s an advert for their Tuesday rides ….
Looks chilly but what nice hills / roads /weather / light ……
Red Bull Minidrome 2
You may remember the road.cc report earlier this year on the Red Bull Mini Drome when it was temporarily installed at Bethnal Green’s York Hall – the spectacle was memorably likened by TR to watching “a cat on a bicycle, cycling around in your bath.” Now, track cycling fans in Scotland’s largest city will have the chance to see the Minidrome for themselves and even ride it when it visits Glasgow in October.
Built by Velotrack, who designed the tracks for the Atlanta Olympics and Delhi Commonwealth Games, the velodrome, on which riders can hit speeds of up to 80 kph, will be at the Old Fruit Market on 2 October 2011.
Anyone with a fixed gear bike can apply to take part in the event, with registration through the Red Bull website. More than 100 competitors will race against the clock, with those posting the ten quickest times going through to the finals, which will have an individual pursuit final.
The three winners will receive custom gold, silver and bronze Charge bikes, and Neil Cousins from the brand said: “We’re excited to be part of Red Bull Mini Drome once again. After a thrilling and successful night at the last event in York Hall, London, we wanted to help bring even more to Glasgow.”
‘our video for Glasgow Bike Shed – a worthy charity …….
From a blog on SPITALFIELDS LIFE
On a day when the light was as you thought only existed in landscapes by Gainsborough, five hundred dapper gallants on bicycles, dressed up to the nines in tweeds and other fancy gear, set out from St Paul’s Cathedral at midday to flaunt their finery in the face of the metropolis’ populace. And to see this vast current of stylish cyclists go forth from the great cathedral – launching themselves with a cheer down Ludgate Hill on flawless Spring day – it was a joyous spectacle, guaranteed to melt the heart of any foolish misanthrope in a flash.
I never saw so much tweed gathered together in one place, as I saw that morning beneath the gleaming dome towering overhead. There were so many plus-fours and suits and jackets and trews and caps and waistcoats and ties, that I thought my vision was going awry for all the herring-bone pattern crossing my retina. Yet everyone looked different from another, everyone wore tweed differently and everyone had dressed to look their very best, expressive of their relish at being among the first five hundred who managed to snaffle up one of the coveted tickets. The gentlemen had waxed their moustaches and the ladies had primped their perms. Groomed and shining, all were raring to leap astride their mounts and take the city by storm, riding vintage bicycles, penny-farthings and tandems and boneshakers. There was even a piano-bicycle with a pianist who kept on pedalling even as he played the keys.
Just in its third year, no wonder the magnificent Tweed Run is already a global sensation. Beginning with one hundred and sixty cyclists arrayed in tweed for a turn around London in January 2009, it has now inspired copycat events in sixteen other cities across the world including New York, Paris, Sydney and Tokyo. Elegant in its simplicity, the notion of enthusiasts for traditional cycling attire banding together for a beano, enjoying a high old time, lifting the spirits of a city and raising money for bikes for Africa, the Tweed Run is one of the things we can be proud of giving to the world.
The traffic ground to a halt – horns honked and five hundred cycle bells tinkled – and drivers leaned from their windows to gawp in awestruck delight as, like salmon coursing through a great river, the playful cyclists of the Tweed Run teemed through the city streets spreading innocent amazement, causing pedestrians to stop in wonder and break into laughter at the bizarre poetry of this unique event.
Across Westminster Bridge they pedalled, over to the Palace then down the Mall, around Trafalgar Square and up Regent St – where Saturday shoppers broke into cheers and applause – before veering East to arrive at Lincoln’s Inn Fields at two for tea. Remarkably for such an unseasonably warm day and the ubiquity of tweed, there were few who displayed visible perspiration or reddening of the face, although the queue for a cuppa stretched halfway to the Old Cheshire Cheese and the lawn was littered with those grateful to recline upon the soft green grass in the shade of the heavy blossom and freshly unfurled leaves overhead. Music from the bandstand drifted gently among the trees as photographers took advantage of this colourful fête champêtre, while the tweedy cyclists, having become a tribe now, turned enthusiastically gregarious, and since they no longer required any introduction to one to another, a spontaneous sense of communal goodwill and excitement arose which overflowed the park.
From here, as the afternoon shadows lengthened, it was a straight home run Eastward down the Clerkenwell Rd to arrive at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Social Club, completing the day’s modest ten mile jaunt. There was singing and tap dancing, and a lively trade in pints at the bar as parched cyclists quenched their thirsts, and the party soon spilled out onto the green where new friends were swapping contacts as the time for farewells drew near. Lingering late and reluctantly leaving, it was a day of beautiful hullaballoo, already containing the anticipation of fond memories to come.
Later, I realised how rare it was to see so many people relaxed and happy in public, and inhabiting the city streets as if they owned them – which we all do. The day was a celebration of our great city which offers an unsurpassed backdrop to life, and the day was celebration of British idiosyncrasy and our culture that delights in imaginative individuality of all kinds, and the day was celebration of dressing up and having fun, and the day was a celebration of moustaches, and the day was celebration of cycling, and, naturally, the day was a celebration of tweed – because, in case you did not know it, tweed is sexy again.