With Flowgroh stuck in his home area in Les Vosges, France due to lockdowns, he chose to teach his family friend Charles the ways of MTB. Learning stoppies, schralps and hucks became a school for Charles, and he was a quick learner. So much so, Charles would be awake at 6 am waiting for the next ride.
As I drive home to Barcelona from a photoshoot in the South of Spain, I dream about the next three days. They will be calm and tranquil while I worked from home. Then, my phone buzzes with a message from Mike, a friend and owner of a bed and breakfast in the Pyrenees Mountains in France. He needs help with a last-minute photoshoot further north in the Basque Country. By last minute, he means tomorrow. No time for a rest. I live for photoshoots. It’s my job. My passion. The lure of home will have to wait, as the car stays packed and continues northward toward France.
A few hours later I am in the French Basque Country, in the town of Saint Jean de la Luz. Mike has brought me to his friend, Julien’s house. It is like the rest of the neighborhood, an etxea, in typical Basque construction with white walls crossed by solid timber beams, covered with a clay terracotta roofs. And there in this iconic French village sits the subject for the day. It’s a fresh, stainless steel 2-11 Cycles. So fresh that it’s barely been out on the road yet.
The Touareg is Hutchinson’s newest tire, designed for gravel, touring, and bikepacking bikes. This new tire comes in three sizes – 700×40, 700×45, and 650×47 – with the latter two also available in a tan sidewall. A fast-rolling tread profile with directional pattern makes the Touareg perfect for multi-surface rides. See these in person at your local dealer and check out more information at Hutchinson.
Wish One Cycles is a framebuilding and engineering operation in France. They design, build, and paint their frames, with their most recent project being the SUB, a sport utility bicycle, which was tested in the high country in Colorado during the Steamboat Gravel Race. Be sure to check out their video from the event here, see more photos of the bike below and check out all the details at Wish One Cycles.
A historical route and tourist attraction, the Route des Grandes Alpes allows one to cross the French Alps from Thonon-les-Bains (North) to Nice (South) via the most important mountain passes featured in the Tour de France: Cormet de Roselend, Iseran, Galibier, Izoard or even La Bonnette. On paper, it is a bit like the best-of of the Alps in one week, akind of pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela for cyclists. Something that makes cyclists all over the world dream and that the French have within reach, but the grass is always greener… Thus, among the fifty or so cyclists with whom we ride regularly in Paris, no one had “ticked” the box off this crossing, whose starting point is only four and a half hours by train from the capital. L’Amicale Cycliste (the name of our crew) had to set an example, but not in any which way: we decided to attempt it when the passes opened, i.e. just after the last snowplow passages that open these closed roads all winter and push the valleys into a summer as sudden as it is temporary.
When I quit cycling for the first time in my life I was 21 years old. I´ve been loving it for some 18 years or so. But by that time, I was completely exhausted by a bicycle messenger scheme here in Germany that left me on the edge of homelessness. This was already ten years after I decided that the testosterone-fueled parental/official road cycling system of the same country was nothing for me…
Summer may be coming to an end, but this video from Cafe du Cycliste has all the vibes!
Paris-Brest-Paris is a crucible, a pilgrimage, a quest. Paris-Brest-Paris is a cycling event. It runs 1200km (768 Miles) from Paris to Brest on the coast and back. Out and back. 6,000 people participate. They start in waves, pulsing towards the French Coast in a chrome-fendered murmuration of wool jerseys, Berthoud bags, and dyno lights. Racers have to finish their migration to the coast and back in 90 hours. 90 hours, on a bike – that’s little to very little sleep. That’s riding pretty much straight through.
Wow. We get a lot of emails from framebuilders, from all over the world, but rarely does something this interesting come across our inbox. Caminade is a French framebuilder and his latest project will melt your mind. The ChillEasy is a titanium full suspension mountain bike with a side-mounted rear shock, inspired by motos, which makes total sense since a lot of mountain bike technology has been adapted from motos over the years. Talk to Keith Bontrager about that one!
Check out more photos below and see the full spec sheet at Caminade.
One Arm Bandit: Little Wings, Big Things
Photos and words by Ryan Le Garrec
François is what you would call in French a “fonceur”.
Literally, the word means “fast guy” but it’s more of an expression.
It evokes enthusiasm, determination, well, a lot of will and positivity,
and I couldn’t think of a better way to define this guy.
He won’t take no for an answer. From anyone. He is driven.
At the beginning, he was the first messenger working for Hush Rush, that another François created. He soon took the project by himself and managed to develop it into a real company.
I’m a huge fan of Time’s Speciale 12 pedals with their metal design, refined profile, and bear-trap like engagement but the pricing – at almost $350 – was out of range for a lot of people. Time has the answer, with their new Speciale 8 Enduro pedal. It has a smaller profile and isn’t as refined looking at the 12, but at $125, who can complain?
Colors: Black, Blue, Orange
Body material: Aluminum
Spindle material: Hollow steel
Weight: 392g / pair
Dimensions: Length – 90mm, Width – 64mm, Thickness – 21mm
Price: $125 (€150)
Availability: Late February
See more at Time!
The Chilkoot Quest is a self-supported bikepacking event in France that takes place over a long weekend, high in the Alps. See more at Chilkoot Quest.
There are a few of us out in the world of cycling who have always ridden Time pedals. In a world seemingly dominated by Shimano clipless systems, there are still diehard fans of the French company. It’s been years since Time updated their pedal platform and believe me when I say it’s been long overdue. With recent models lasting mere months, instead of years like their predecessors, I was thinking about making the switch to Shimano. Then the Speciale was announced.
The author and journalist François Paoletti rode, 105 years later, the mythical stage of the Tour de France between Bayonne and Luchon. He presents himself as a “Suiveur” – a follower – who is looking to trace the thread of old stories.
A La Bicyclette Rychtarski Flat Bar ‘Cross Bike
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson
A quick and even thorough internet search for the brand Rychtarski doesn’t turn up much. There’s a Facebook page for the brand, as well as a handful of Instagram posts, mostly of singlespeeds and track bikes, with a few modern road or all-road bikes in the mix. For the most part, the Polish brand Rychtarski has a pretty low-key presence at least from over here in the USA. But this bike isn’t a US-based bike, it’s owned by one of the guys at La Bicyclette, and it’s a total beaut!
Made from one of my all-time favorite tubesets, Columbus MAX, this rim-brake, flatbar ‘cross bike is perfect for inner-city living, where getting out of the myriad of paved or cobbled roads, in order to hit the dirt is a must.
Follow Rychtarski on Facebook to see more of their creations!
Follow Kyle on Instagram.
This is something that I never thought I’d be able to say. How about you, anyone reading this been to Mavic‘s world headquarters in Annecy, France? If you have, you know the energy, you know the history, and you know just how much yellow can be crammed into one building. If you haven’t, I did my best to photographically document the place, like you too were getting the same tour I did! When you roll up in a replica Mavic Peugeot 504 Service Course vehicle, they roll out the yellow carpet for you, and they even feed you!
The Time ATAC platform is my preferred pedal for mountain and ‘all-road’ riding, so when the company announced their Speciale pedal, my interest was piqued. Made in France, at Time’s factory in Nevers, these new pedals come in a few colors, are made from 6106-T6 aluminum, feature a wide platform, adjustable pins for optimal grip and a micro-adjustable clamping system, allowing riders to tune their engagement. I’m anxiously awaiting trying these out. See more information at Time and holler at your local dealer for ordering.
… and it looks like they’re having a blast. See more at @TeamDreamTeam.