As the UCI Mountain Bike World Championship approaches and the World Cup wraps up, the European marathon season is in full swing, and it is positively thriving.
The 25th edition of the Grand Raid took place in Switzerland last weekend.
The Grand Raid is an epic high-mountain place-to-place race that runs from the ski resort of Verbier to the small mountain town of Grimentz. Along the way riders take in more than 5000 meters of climbing over 125km.
Steve Thomas challenged himself to tackle the Haute Route - the toughest and highest cyclosportive in the world.
From the Grand Canal of Venice to the shores of Lac Leman, it’s been something of an epic week for the first ever editions of the Hatue Route Dolomites and Swiss Alps cyclosportive event.
Some three years ago, OC Sport, a major sports marketing company, set out with the grand idea of organising the toughest and highest cyclo sportive event in the world – the Haute Route Alps. The event ran over a week and crossed many of the major cols that are crammed in between Geneva and Nice, it was a huge success. Last year they added a trans Pyrenean version, while this year the Dolomites was the Italian inclusion in the offering.
Anthony Tan may just have uncovered the greatest irony on our roads.
I remember when the bicycle was safe and it was fun
The next time I cycle I'm gonna bring a gun
These are part of the lyrics from the song Fish Face, I discovered after reading a chapter from the fourth edition of The Cycling Anthology, from punk band Abdoujaparov, named after one of cycling's most terrifyingly scary sprinters.
Following a decade using public transport, driving or walking, or a combination of the aforementioned, and becoming a commuting cyclist once again, the verse perfectly encapsulates the sentiment I've been feeling out on the roads since my return. Full Story
The headline was inapt but for Anthony Tan the message was crystal clear.
'Police launch inner-city cyclist blitz', read the article headline in Monday's online edition of the Age newspaper.
"Cyclists and drivers in Melbourne's CBD, inner north and south-east will be targeted in a week-long blitz that will see police flood black spot areas and fine those breaking the law," reporter Caroline Zielinski opened by saying.
You’re fully aware that you haven’t ridden a bike for more than five minutes in over six weeks, you’ve been eating like a slob, and your recent physical activity level could at best be described as ‘slothful’. And yet somehow, you’re totally and utterly convinced that when you jump back on the bike, for that first, ice-breaking ride, it’ll all be fine. That you’ll be conquering Cols like the pros.
I’ve been riding bikes my whole life. I’ve been a ‘cyclist’ for the last decade. But every time I step away, be it for a holiday, a period of work overseas, or I simply lose motivation, I tend to believe that my idleness will have absolutely no bearing on my fitness. I’ll just kit up, roll out, and bang, it’ll be like, err, riding a bike.
Because, you know, the croissant only diet in France wasn’t just tasty, but healthy too! My belly hasn’t bulged, my pants have shrunk… All of them. I’m puffing more than usual because of the pollens, not that my cardio system hasn’t been out of first gear in more than a month. I’m not unfit. I’m not!