Stumptown. The River City. Bridge Town. These are all names for what some call the finest cycling city in the United States: Portland, Oregon. While the state itself plays host to “Cycle Oregon” – a week long adventure to wow riders of all skill levels with rides like Bridge Pedal, Worst Day of the Year Ride and many others, the crown jewel city of the state, Portland, is one fine town in which to ride your bike.
It's just gone 2.00 am and we've had to abandon the tent and crawl into the mini-bus, the water in the plastic one gallon containers has frozen solid - Alaska? Welcome to Mount Ventoux, Provence, France; 12 hours later the sun feels like a blow lamp playing on your skin. It's the 1987 Tour de France and there's everything to play for - let's go back a smooth 20 years and enjoy the action anew.
The thing about the Flиche Wallonne parcours that surprised me most was just how hard this 200km ‘semi-Classic’ is. There’s nothing ‘semi’ about it… This hard course deserves the prime time and throws up 11 rated climbs, including 3 passes over a 1300 meter brute called the Mur. Here’s how it happened to me…
Like many cyclists my opportunities to get out on the bike are subtly balanced with the demands of family, work, and my complete inability to convince my better half that by going out for five hour bike rides instead of completing the decorating I started a year ago it's actually beneficial all round - enabling her to change her mind yet again on the colour scheme.
It was a day of historic – and epic – proportions. We’d journeyed far, across continents, oceans, and the toughest roads in Europe, to arrive at the route for Sunday’s Hell of the North – Paris-Roubaix. Me and my butt found out first hand what it’s like to ride the “pave”.
You might not believe this, but it doesn’t always rain on race day in Flanders. The Gent-Wevelgem racers rolled onto the course in mid-morning, and the sun suggested it was really spring. PEZ went cobble-deep with VeloClassic Tours to witness first-hand the craziness that makes the Belgian Classics… Classic.