Over the last thirty five years of cycle racing, I’ve often considered my peers and their contentment at riding the same disciplines, indeed the same races, year in year out. Each to their own and all that, but it’s not for me. It’s probably a Myers-Briggs personality thing. Firstly, I like new experiences; secondly, as a very average amateur athlete, I have never really found a discipline that has offered fame and fortune. Riding the same races over and over again holds little appeal.
The longest road climb in the world is in the majestic hills of Colombia. Quite appropriate really, when you consider that this is where the best climbers come from. Let’s take a look at this amazing route and maybe inspire you to take it on.
I’d better open up by saying that I wasn’t on a drug crazed trip in our capital city. No, I’d simply gone down to London to spend time with our son, a photographic artist who lives in the south of the city. Yes, a man after my own heart, whose apartment is filled with bikes and bike parts, all fixed gear machines, including a folding one! He has other bikes… numerous at the family home, but London is for riding real – and that means fixed gear.
Sitting at an altitude of 1968m the Cormet de Roselend connects Beaufort(744m) in the Beaufortain valley in the west and Bourg-Saint-Maurice(840m) in the Tarentaise Valley to the east. The climb has a rich TDF history. It was first featured in the 1979 Tour de France and ten times since. In 2019 the climb was cut from the tour as a mudslide rendered the climb impassable. It returns in 2020 for stage 18 and just happens to follow our preferred route over the Cormet!
I used to be a bit of a philistine when it came to coffee, coffee was just coffee and instant tasted okay. That was until I started drinking freshly ground and freshly made coffee. What a revelation and how bad instant now tastes. Far from being any kind of connoisseur, but I can now appreciate the subtle undertones of flavours in different coffees, although this has created a bit of hole for myself, demanding good coffee wherever I travel, even bikepacking.
The Bowland Badass, whilst starting in the quiet village of Garstang, is an epic 167 mile road cycling route in Lancashire and Yorkshire, with a series of epic and tough climbs. It was run as a sportive, and we’ve included the route here, so that you can ride it yourself at any time, either in a one day adventure, or as a cycle tour over a weekend.
One of the classics of the alps and steeped in history, it is believed the Carthaginian general Hannibal used this very route. The road connects Bourg st Maurice on the edge of the Isere in France with the Aosta Valley in Italy via the french resorts of La rosiere and La thuile on the Italian side.
Telegraph Hill in London is a secret viewpoint with one of the very best views over the city. Take a cycle ride from Central London, along the Southbank to this amazing small park.
It is possible to find country lane road cycling routes in Sussex and London. The classic Ditchling Beacon road cycling climb is an example, cycling from Balcombe to Brighton.
The Colle dell’Agnello links Italy and France, and at 2,744 m (9,003 ft), it is the third highest paved road pass of the Alps. This route takes in a hard ascent, with a break in the mountains before the return. Maybe consider an overnight 😉