Practice makes perfect. After a string of late starts, mishaps and consequently even later evenings, our group pushed through the sleepless nights, finally hitting the road before 8am. It took a while, but so it goes in brevets like this. 2100km in 177 hours is no walk in the park, yet it doesn’t have to be a panicked sprint either. There’s a balance to be achieved and oftentimes, it takes a bit of on-the-bike rehearsal. (more…)
As you might have noticed in the previous two galleries, not a lot of riders in the Sverigetempot are on traditional randonneur bikes, or even touring bikes. Rather, many of the participants are on carbon fiber road bikes, with a few select modifications to their components and of course, bikepacking bags. While there have been many excellent examples of bikes on this trip, I managed to photograph three in particular from the riders in our troop: Johan’s Focus, Daniel’s Roubaix and Johan’s Venge. Each have very similar specifications in terms of gear range and tires, but as you’ll see, are built to be lightweight, long-distance rigs. (more…)
As a cycling photographer, I love seeing how others pack in their kit…
At a certain point in brevets like this, it becomes a game of catch up. You’re either catching up on sleep or mileage. Think of it as a scale. On one end is hours slept and the other, mileage ridden, with events on the road either adding to, or subtracting from the balance. In our rider’s case, mechanicals on the third day made for a long night in the saddle. (more…)
I can’t even write an intro for this project, because Emi did such a great job with his. Emiliano is half of Manual for Speed and this summer, he’s bringing you a Tour de France Zine:
“OUI C’EST TOUT is a nod to Pierre Etaix’s Pays de Cocagne. Everyone should watch that immediately. My publication is a 20-page, 4-color, 2-D experience that will make you want to punch something while sippin’ on that Perri.
In the world of brevets, or randonneuring, Paris Brest Paris is probably the most infamous, with its total length of 1200km and massive rider roster. However, if you travel further north in Europe, something more sinister awaits. The Sverigetempot is a ten year old, officially-sanctioned brevet, totaling 2100 kilometers. It begins on the Sweden and Norway border, in a small town called Riksgränsen, which can barely be categorized as a town, it’s more of an outpost. From there, a small group of riders have either 144 hours or 177 hours to make it to the southernmost point of the country, Smygehamn. Along the way, there are checkpoints, or control points, at which point the riders will have to have their brevet cards time-stamped at designated places as proof of their mileage. There are other rules, such as there is no roadside assistance allowed and the riders are to be self-supported. While the organizers will transport a bag from the start, to the finish, every entrant must carry their clothing, food and water on their bikes. The countryside offers many hotels and hostels for shelter, so luckily, no camping equipment was necessary, allowing for lightly-packed bikes, with one thing in mind: efficiency. (more…)
When work is busy, the late afternoon is the only time I can ride and even then, I usually have to stay local. My go-to sunset loop is a mixed terrain ride, that takes me from one park to another, offering various vistas to the neighboring mountains. Sometimes I bring a camera, more than often I do not, but when I do, I’m always glad I did.
Catching the summer sunset and the rapid change in light, is always worth the extra wait and yes, weight…
Yesterday while on a ride, Erik hit a trash dumpster with his face in a freak accident. One minute we were all riding to explore the mountains and the next, a cacophony erupted and Erik was flying through the air before landing on his face. By the time Dylan and I made it to him, he was bleeding from his head and having seizures. I immediately called 911 and made sure he was breathing. After a few minutes, the ambulance and fire truck showed up, rushing Erik to the ER for scans.
A few hours later and he was good to go with a few stitches, a mild concussion and a sore back. All this happened just a few days before he and I are leaving for the Length of Sweden brevet, the Sverigetempot, a 1400 mile brevet from Northern to Southern Sweden. It made for an interesting start to the weekend and served as a sobering reminder that we’re all pretty fragile while on our bikes. Many thanks to the local South Pasadena emergency response teams for being so rad and be safe out there!
Farewell For Now, California
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
A little over a month ago I left my job of ten years and was in the final stages of moving out of my Los Angeles apartment. I was putting together the final pieces of the puzzle that would eventually result in me riding through South America for 10 months or so (more on that soon).
As luck would have it, a tiny hitch in my setup resulted in me having about 9 days without a job or home in California. So, I did the first thing that came to mind (the thing that typically comes to mind)… Road trip. (more…)
As someone who is always looking for visual references or inspiration for cycling photography, when I think I’ve hit a creative block, picking up a photo book inspires me to not only pick the camera back up, but refresh my perspective on the world. In an age when digital media has taken over print, finds like this bring back the desire to make and create meaningful, timeless photography. Even if you’re not a photographer, a good photo book on cycling really makes you appreciate the sport, especially during the Tour de France! I can say without a doubt that the latest publication from Magnum has piqued my interest.
Look, I’m not selling you on this book, I’m only saying the next time you’re in the mood to buy a hardcover photo book, do not miss Magnum Cycling. Even if you just flip through the digital files at their site. But if you do wish to purchase it, your local book store can order these quite easily. Mine did!