Oversized white t-shirts flapping listlessly between a great white softbox Welsh sky and endless hordes of casual, sunbathing daisies. Jersey pockets bulging with hard boiled eggs and gummy bears. Hushed whispers of chain ring print, oil tattooed cyclists entering a bird hide and unzipping Leica binocular cases. Nature’s comfortable chatter pauses incrementally to listen to the doppler shifting cacophony of a freewheeling Hope RS4 flying down a caution signed gradient. The Fforest Gran Ffondo must be, objectively, the finest road cycling event around right now.
The text of this story came into existence as perhaps the world’s longest Slack post. It is a message to my road cycling team in which my passion for recounting a grand adventure, in this case, the longest bike ride of my life, got the better of me. While I have edited it for readability and understanding, it largely remains the point-to-point, sometimes crude and irreverent, stream-of-consciousness post as received by my friends – So welcome to the team.
“The bike world is undeniably insular. It’s always been divided into categories, but as we add more subcategories, riders become more confined to fitting into their neat little boxes of road, cyclocross, gravel, XC, enduro, downhill, freeride, BMX, street. Riders pick a box and stick with it, rarely acknowledging that the others exist.
Andrew Jackson is out to break down those barriers.”
The Golden State Skyline is a human-powered, self-supported linkup of all fifteen 14,000’ peaks in California, stretching from Mt. Shasta in the Cascades to Mt. Langley, the southern tip of the Sierra. Along with my friends Jonny Morsicato and Charlie Firer, followed by film crew Colin Rex and Nick Smillie, I set off to complete the Golden State Skyline on August 14. Our planned route covered 800 miles by bike, 100 miles on foot, and 100,000 feet of vertical gain, including technical difficulties up to 5.9. But life had other plans…
The Tour of Ara was a truly unique race, out of South Africa:
“The Tour of Ara, named for the Southern Hemisphere constellation of Ara, was a prestige race ridden mostly on South African-built steel racing bicycles in the proud tradition of the early Italian multi-day stage races. For it’s five year duration, the Tour followed a tough dirt-road route over six days through the beautiful but harsh semi-desert South African Karoo each year. It was as much a race as it was an exploration and celebration of this unique landscape and the people that live there. This 34 minute documentary follows 40 racers as they experience life-changing situations, meet locals, and face some serious race challenges – soft sand, corrugated roads, loose stones, sharp tyre-shredding rocks, rain and mud.”
Here’s a very weird look at BBUC’s new lineup in a video entitled “Off Season” set to the tune of Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man.”
This bike should need no introduction to the readers of this site. It’s All-City’s flagship road model, made from Columbus Zona tubing and available this year in a classic throwback magenta and pink paint job. The Mr. Pink is one of the best steel road bikes on the market. It’s affordable and capable with the only limitations being those which you set yourself.
So what drew me to review this beaut? For the first time since this bike’s launch, I felt drawn to it in more than just an aesthetic attraction. All-City as a brand has hit the point now where they’re improving on their current catalog piecemeal, rather than focusing on launching entirely new models. At least that’s my observation and the Mr. Pink got some much-needed upgrades.
The Col Collective takes on one of the most iconic climbs, Stelvio!
“As the highest road pass in Italy, standing proud at 2,758 metres, the Passo dello Stelvio needs very little introduction. From Prato its 48 bends carve their way up the mountain in what appears to be an endless road towards heaven, constantly switching back and forth the higher you climb. This was the final ascent of the day after two days in and around the Eastern and Italian Alps, we had a long transfer over to the Dolomites to look forward to but before doing so one last (big) mission to complete. Although warm and bright in the valley when we started the clouds were thickening up above and temperature dropping fast as the sun dipped its head on the distant horizon. Will we make it to the top before dark was the question on everyone’s mind? Watch now to find out. Chasing daylight, climbing mountains, what a feeling, this is definitely why we ride! “
What do you call a road bike with a decalleur? I dunno? Light tourer? Whatever it is, Chris Bishop’s calling it a road bike, but it’s way more than that. Head over to the Bishop Flickr to see more.
This bike is amazing – the striping on the stays!!!. Killer job, Chris!