On the road
As the road rises the smile broadens. A beautiful morning in Strathspey last weekend and oh what a coincidence. My road bike just happened to find it’s way onto the bike rack alongside the family menagerie of bikes. Fancied a bit climbing, so headed towards #67 in the official 100 climbs. Cairngorm. The road was abuzz with cyclists on the way. A time trial event was rolling off from Coylumbridge. Aero helmets, suits and speed machines aplenty. I suspect they were on a loop headed south of Aviemore to Kingussie or Kincraig then looping back to Feshiebridge on their ‘Race of Truth’. Some riders were warming up, heading up to Coylumbridge. I marvelled at the differences between my road bike and their time trial machines as I passed by. Aerobars, streamlined bottle cages, mega tucked riding positions. But the most notable difference; the noise or lack of. A faint whir of the bike cutting through the air, no drivetrain grumble or rattle and barely audible roll of tyres on road. I got onto the climb and obviously wasn’t warmed up enough, it was a struggle. Gasping for breath, constantly twitching on the saddle, constantly flipping gears. I reached the base station and immediately about turned not content with the ride. Enjoyment factor zero. The descent, however, is amazing and excluding one turn you have to give a little bit of respect, you can dial up some serious speed. I pass the snow gates and on a whim slammed the brakes, u-turned and decided to do the climb again. Fascinatingly the second time was much easier, the rhythm was pulsing and fast. The ride more comfortable and enjoyable. The view farther and more vibrant. I took a breather on reaching base station this time and soaked in the view back down towards Loch Morlich and beyond. Back on the descent for the second time. Two wheels proved to be faster than four. Cutting a dash I passed a few tourist cars on the way back down towards a vibrant and lively rousing Aviemore and then home. Upon arrival, I was greeted by my youngest (a rider in the making) playing in the garden. “Dad now can we cycle?” “Monkey see monkey do son?”! Ya beauty. A family afternoon on the bikes prevailed. Interspersed with Steam Trains, Beer gardens and Hot tubs One happy Rouleur. Happy Saturdays.
As the road rises the smile broadens
Some quality folktronica
Love reading about this era of Cycling. Jean Bobet was the brother to Legendary Louisson Bobet, Multiple Tour De France Champion It’s a first-hand account of his return from teaching in Aberdeen to ride with his brother in the Professional peloton. Great insights into racing and cycling at this time. If you like cycling books this is a must read
Big Stu put as on to these ‘Two Hands’ dudes and since we have tried their ‘Gnarly dudes’ and this one ‘Bellas Garden’. Both are great but the ‘Bellas’ is a bonafide Gerry Cinnamon belter and packs a pistol whipping 15.5%. Make sure you’re not operating machinery the proceeding days after tanning this beauty.
Other notables. ‘Chateau Pierre 1er’ A super smooth Bordeux first tried on holiday in Brittany and brought back by the gallon.
Continuing on with the theme of ‘Tomorrow We Ride’ I currently have an unhealthy fascination with vintage cycling which led me to this great find on you tube. This is an incredible account of the 1973 Giro. Why couldn’t racing still be like this? Domestiques carrying bottle openers around their necks, for the water and beers ( considered hydration) and rider interviews mid race. Brilliant watching.
Get Drinking, Reading, Listening and Rolling…..Short life advice: Probably best do that in reverse order.