Rapha Ladies Ride - Tonight

Please join in on 31st March - the inaugural Rapha Women’s Thursday Evening Ride around Regent’s Park. This will be a social ride lasting approximately an hour, taking advantage of the lighter evenings, and is open to anyone (and is likely to finish with a visit to the pub).

Meet at 6pm outside the Royal College of Physicians on the Outer Circle of Regent’s Park, London
Google maps: http://bit.ly/fN8p0k

5 Days In Mallorca

I have recently returned from having spent 4 days last week riding out in Mallorca under the very wonderful tutelage of Kieran from Rapha Europe. Whilst there I whetted my appetite for my first mountain and European riding experience, I also fell in love with what can only be described as epic and lush scenery. Mallorca is a popular choice indeed for the cyclist seeking stunning climbs, screaming descents and smooth tarmac. Every time we turned a corner we were greeted by a host of road riding enthusiasts and amateur racers seeking training miles. Whilst visiting I climbed Sa Calobra (a more in depth blog on this will be penned this week, watch this space), Cap Formentor a few times (twas situated very near to the hotel) and the Lluc. I based myself at the Hotel Sis Pins in Porte Pollenca, where the Rapha Cycle Club is situated. Its worth mentioning anyone interested in booking to stay here can get 10% off their rate when mentioning rapha. The cycle club was a great little hangout held group rides in the morning and race screenings in the afternoon, all washed down with copious amounts of latte machiato's and sensational ensa├»mada pastries. The food is great, I enjoyed paella, fabulous lamb at Tolo's and a nice bream with the lovely london boys. The weather was really changeable especially on the descents, but I managed to get a few hours of lovely sunshine to warm my pasty shade. IMay I extend a very special thanks to Kieran for being such a fabulous guide and great riding partner, and also Alex, Jack & Lars for many a giggle over dinner...
Hotel Sis Pins sea-view
Such a fabulous view!
My bike was treated to pro level storage
 A busy afternoon at the cycle club
 Latte Machiato, superb!
 Allez Lars!
 I punctured and stopped in this layby, cant complain!
 Kieran taps out the pace
 Karen attacks on the group ride to Sa Calobra
 Cap Formentor
 The view from Cap Formentor
 Trying to keep up with Julian on the Cap
 A very stylish Alex riding easy
Phipsy & Julian pull away for some big-ring shenanigans
The cycle-club group ride peloton climbs
Hard not to love this place....
Lars makes some adjustments
Myself & Julian posing for a pic at Cap Formentor
Outrageous cake stop

Hiatus

Advance apologies, as from tomorrow il be off to Mallorca to ride for a week, meaning bianchista updates will be thin on the ground. Upon my return I hope to have some nice images and features to share with you, including a write up on the pop up cycle cafe out there. In the meantime may I suggest the following web portals as a recommendation for you to get a hefty fix of all things bicycle. Enjoy!

M-S-R

I really want to see Haussler do it this year. I know he will cry if he does! come on Heiny.....

Kristian House

Pez cycling has got a really nice little interview with that super svelte diesel engine Kristian House. Click the image to go have a read...
Photo credit © Camille McMillan

Tohoku Ride - London

The RCC club is running an open ride in aid of the recent disaster in Japan. 2 rides of 110k & 85k will be lead from the meeting point below. If you plan on attending the ride please visit this link and kindly make a donation, which Rapha will match.
Meeting point: Barnet Cinema EN5 1AB

Date and time: Sunday 20th of March at 9am

Distance: 100km (with a lunch stop around the halfway mark)

Route: Hertfordshire/Essex
Pace: Steady, with a no-drop policy - ie. the group rides to the slowest rider.
Ride leader: Dominique Gabellini

More info here

Impeccable

Rapha Rides for Tohoku

Third charitable installment of the day comes via RaphaRapha is organizing a world wide charity ride in order to help the victims of the worst disaster in Japan since WW2, with a minimum donation of £10 to join, Rapha will match each riders donation. Keep a look out for the upcoming rides on the Rapha Rendezvous app, searching 'Tohoku'. I will post up details of any European based rides, as this really is a paryicularly worthwhile cause and a great way to make a meaningful financial difference to the aid of our Japanese friends.... Our thoughts are with you Japan! More info and donations via here

Phil Wood Tsunami Relief

Following on from the charitable auction Rouleur below, Phil Wood & Co is offering the 100 sets of Limited Edition track hubs meant exclusively for Asia for sale to everyone in all global regions starting March 14, 2011, with proceeds being donated to the Tsunami Relief for Japan. More info will be available on these soon and obviously I shall post as soon as that is available.

100 Sets have been made and serialized specifically for the United States
Serial Numbers for hubs made for the United States follow this outline:
S/N # 3.5 – XX/XX S
“S/N#”  = Serial Number
“3.5″ = Measurement of the hub flange, 3.5 Inches
“XX/XX” = What number your hub is out of how many made in that particular finish
“S” = In this case is the Silver or Polished finish, “R” for Red, “B” for Blue, “G” for Green, … 
100 Sets have been made and serialized specifically for Europe
Serial Numbers for hubs made for Europe follow this outline:
S/N: 90EU – XX/XX S
“S/N:”  = Serial Number
“90″ = Measurement of the hub flange, 90 Millimeters
“EU” = Europe
“XX/XX” = What number your hub is out of how many made in that particular finish
“S” = In this case is the Silver or Polished finish, “R” for Red, “B” for Blue, “G” for Green, … 
The 100 sets being completed for the Japan Tsunami Relief will have the following serial number:  S/N: 90JP – XX/XX S
Phil Wood & Co. is currently working on a few changes for this last 100 Limited Edition hub sets.  Thank you all for your support and a special thanks to those who have already purchased a hub set.  If you would like to purchase a set of these hubs please email sales@philwood.com

Rouleur Issue 1 Auction

The guys over at the excellent Rouleur journal found a handful of their hallowed out-of-press Issue one somewhere deep within their vaults. This much sought after edition commands lucrative figures on auction sites for the discerning collector. Rouleur are auctioning off the last 5 remaining copies of this amazing magazine in aid of the John Ibbotson Fund, helping to raise funds in the memory of John Ibbotson to help fund aspiring young talent to race in Europe. A wonderful and worthwhile cause I'm sure readers will agree, simply send a bid to ibbofund@rouleur.cc , and the five highest bidders will receive notification and payment instructions once the auction ends on 21st March 2011. So get bidding - support young racers and acquire a small yet neatly formed piece of cycling history. Good Luck!
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The first issue of Rouleur, published in May of 2006, includes 68 pages with features on the much-debated issue of Campagnolo or Shimano, the fixed-gear bicycle and the Dauphine Liberee, and an interview with legendary rouleur, Magnus Backstedt. The photographs in this issue were taken by Gerard Brown and Ben Ingham.
Full list of contents:
Redoubtable Rouleurs by Rouleur contributors
Pride & Prejudice by Rouleur contributors
Le Tourmalet by Graeme Fife
Dauphine by Gerard Brown
Kraftwerk by Jack Thurston
Obsession by Ben Ingham
Fixed Idea by Matt Seaton
Magnus by Guy Andrews
The cover photograph was taken by Ben Ingham.
Rouleur 1 is out of print. Guide Price circa £150.

Springtime

The first sings of springtime reveal themselves as days in the saddle become longer, the efforts easier and spirits are lifted out of the dark bitter mornings that encapsulated our winters training. As much as I loved my fingertips becoming numb and my kneecaps seizing up, the warm sun was a welcome change to the riding of late. After a long day in the saddle on Saturday id even go as far as to believe I can just make out the feint outline of the beginnings of the hallowed 'Grand Tour Gloves Tan'. Roll on springtime, I want nothing more than to line up for the HOTN 2 ride with the sun beating down and short sleeves. Here's hoping....
shadows
Surrey Lanes
Bianchista takes a pitstop
Jamie changes a tube
...the spoils

Dedication....

When simply riding wheels aint enough...

Boardman Elite

Firstly, an apology for lack of  updates recently. Many things seem to get in the way of sitting down and posting up items - mainly an increase in riding time and travel for work. I shall endeavour to restore some semblance of regular posting, be it gear news or general chit chat of the two wheeled variety.
Last week I visited the Boardman Bikes launch along with many others from the web. Now, my good riding friend has a Boardman carbon bike from a couple of years ago, and il be honest - his main reasons for choosing the bike at the time were in fact that his employer was locked into Halfords via the cycle to work scheme. The boardman failed to excite, and stock it was a fairly nice carbon bike well specced for the £1k pricetag (using SRAM Rival and ritchey finishing kit).
I wanted to attend the launch to take a sneak peek at the models from their new 'Elite' range. Having seen their very nice UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling Team bikes, the super-light climbing machine - the Boardman SLR, I wanted to see if they looked as good in real life as they did in the pics. The styling seems a lot more worthy of the Elite level moniker, and the bikes look anything other than 'budget'.
Charly Wegelius Pro Issue SLR 9.81
The super light SLR 9.4 full spec can be found here.
Tipping the scales under the UCI weight limit.... out of the box!

The bike that caught my eye was the AiR aero roadbike, the incredibly specced 9.2 model, coming in at £2.3k, expect to find mavic cosmics, Ultegra and lovely FSA custom crank. I loved the overall look of the bike, its something id be more than happy to ride, and actually has looks worthy of the elite range badge. For a shade over £2k, enthusiasts and racers alike will struggle to find a more competitively priced steed than this.
Full specs on the AiR can be found here

Final note was the bonnie looking CX bike, featuring SRAM drivetrain, disc brakes and welds that have to be seen to be believed! RRP at a shade under £900, this looks like a great option for those dipping their toe into cyclocross, but would also be ideal as a versatile commuter (racks not a problem either)

Greipel's Machine

Anime

Track World Cup Manchester