... to what makes this great race so great, was my original title for this story, written on the eve of my first trip to San Remo to view La Primavera live. It was a spiritual journey, and this report was my humble attempt to put that into pictures and words.
VIDEO: One of the classic local rides near PEZ HQ, the 20km run from Capilano Road to Whytecliff Park near Horseshoe Bay winds along a jagged coastline marked with evergreen cedar and Arbutus trees. I joined the boys from Le Peloton CC for a Saturday ride, and turned on the GoPro to capture the action.
What surprised me most about the Fleche Wallonne parcours was just how hard this 200km ‘semi-Classic’ is. There’s nothing ‘semi’ about it… It deserves the prime time and throws up 11 rated climbs, including 3 passes over a 1300 meter brute called the Mur de Huy. Here’s how it happened to me…
Top Ride: The culmination of my visit to Holy Week was the long anticipated, much feared, and never completed ride across the parcours of Paris-Roubaix. Finally I learned what it was like to battle the toughest roads in northern France and earn my own lap of honour at the Roubaix velodrome.
It was a day of historic – and epic – proportions. We’ve 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 “pavé”.
One of the best reasons for choosing a good bike hotel is their skill to show me the best their region has to offer - like routes, rides, food & drink that I simply could not find on my own. This ride (and subsequent wine tasting) never would have have happened without my guide from Garda Bike Hotel leading me on a relaxed ride through the hills of valpolicella and an even more relaxed stop at the Santa Maria Valverde winery.
Travel: Stage 18 of the 2019 Tour de France will climb the mighty Col du Galibier at 2645 meters altitude. I "rode" it back in 2017 - maybe better to say I hauled my carcass up it. Here's a glimpse of the climb as I get inside 3km to the summit. It really is epic and awe inspiring - a must do.