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Wednesday

Road To Roubaix - Film Review


The absolute best cycling film to date. It was a powerful, emotional journey for myself watching this film. It is the greatest sporting documentary of our time. It truly celebrates one of the most historical and relevant races in the world. David Deal, Dave Cooper, Kathryn Hempel and all who worked on this film I have great respect for you. It was captivating right from the opening credits.

This film captured the true essence and spirit of Paris Roubaix and what it means to those who love this great sport. It gave you a sense of what it takes to ride on the cobbled roads which have been battered by Napoleonic and two World Wars. The history of this region is truly astounding.

The behind the scenes footage tastefully displays what it takes to be a professional cyclist and brings you inside the pain, suffering and the joys of victory. The cinematography captures the beauty of the region through stunning panoramic views, the footage of the race, riders, and the infamous cobblestones. Johnny Greene's raspy voice , combined with the musical scores, parallels the old CBS coverage of the Tour de France during the years 1985-1988, which simply heightened the emotional level greatly.

Every now and then, there is a film that impacts your life greatly. Well for me, this is one of those films. As I journey through my mid life crisis, trying to understand and reflect on my life. Part of this film explains who I am. I delved deep into this film, and came out understanding more about myself. Where I started, who I became, and who I am today. Those who know me, know I am a part of those roads, the fields, the homes, the towns of Northern France. It is my calling. There's no other place I'd rather be in the world than in and around the roads of Roubaix. It is where I belong.







Monday

Paris Roubaix - where my ashes shall lay..




Paris Roubaix is one of the oldest races in professional cycling.

This one day race, known as the “Queen of Classics” is my favourite. An ultimate test of a cyclists resilience. I love the history, the terrain, and the uncertainty , as its a race where favourites don't normally win, and its race where a "domestique" can land in the history books from a good break or by merely staying on his bike.

It is that air of uncertainty that surrounds the “Hell of the North” which appeals to a rare breed of cyclists, willing to risk everything for a chance to ride into the Roubaix velodrome waving hands in the air, and to stand atop the podium in the sport’s toughest classic.

I became obsessed with this race back in the mid 80's and now almost 25 years later, I have re-captured that undiminished passion for this race, the region, and the history of this great sporting spectacle.

During my high school years, my favourite subject was European History, so understanding Paris Roubaix was quite easy for me. Run your fingers through the topsoil in that region of Northern France and you are likely to find shrapnel and splintered bones. The race has been shaped by history's wars and iconic battles of past.

I used to often dream about bouncing over the cobblestone roads also known as pavé. Even to this day, I often imagine myself riding through the Forest of Arenberg. A spot in the race which is the most treacherous stretch, and for what the race has become known for. Its never won here. But it is often lost.

So as the years go by, and my time on earth ends, my only wish is for my ashes to lay across Paris Roubaix.

(exit from the forest of Arenberg. The cyclists exit and turn left onto the road.)




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Wednesday

Rapha - The Definition of Perfection

Over time, mostly everyone finds clothing companies that suits them more than others. Whether it be to their body type, type of clothes, the cut of pants, or the type of dress, we all gravitate to those companies who are a good fit for us. We shop at their establishments regularly, we browse their offerings frequently, and overall, we make the claims of liking the store for its continued match to our physique and overall look.

I've always been a brand loyal person and I can honestly say that it has taken a long time for a company to come by and excite me so much about their brand.

Well, there is, and that company is Rapha Clothing. (http://www.rapha.cc)

Rapha's Cycling Clothing appeals to classic cuts and looks, but uses today's technology for their materials which makes for the perfect blend.

In today's world, I find it a welcome surprise in that a company's vision is parallel to my own. Their passion for road racing is exemplary in their clothing line. Rapha was created to celebrate road riding and develop the best performing and most stylish cycling clothes and accessories in the world. Rapha's philosophy make me reminiscene of the greats of cycling pasts.

From top to bottom , base layer to outer layer no one does it better in my books. They are not cheap however, so you will be paying more for this timeless exclusivity and top notch quality. But I think well worth it in the long run.

I am proud to wear their name on and off the bike !

-Simon

Monday

The Days of Yore




I have returned to my first true love, Cycling, (European Pro Cycling)
It was a sport I used to live and breathe back in the mid 80's.
My friends Domenic, Dennis, and Marshall and I were in high school and would go to our local bike shops and admire bikes, frames, equipment and more.


We dreamed of one day riding the cobbles of Roubaix, mountain passes in France, and Italy. We would dream of riding with our heroes. Everyone around us focused on hockey , basketball, baseball, volleyball, and local north american sports, while our true heroes were racing bicycles around Europe, competing in a sport barely recognizable in our home town. We would read about heroes through a publication called "Winning" Magazine. We were certainly a minority in our high school. I could remember our friends telling us stories of a previous night's hockey game, and we would clue out, and fill our head with thoughts of our European warriors.

To many surprise, a U.S. television network, CBS carried great coverage of both Paris Roubaix and The Tour De France. It was the most inspirational coverage, a sport, could ever imagine. Gracing our televisions, were the voices of Phil Liggett and John tesh, who simply made our afternoon. My heroes were of these cyclists, competing and racing through Europe; LeMond, Delgado, Indurain, Hinault, Fignon etc. etc. Now I find returning to my roots so to speak.

I'm saddened to think back at my life and how I dropped this sport for other life events. I got into motorsports and became passionate about Formula One. However, the motorsport passion has come and gone as I re-unite my feelings for cycling. Thanks to La Bicicletta for their inspiration as well.

Before the money and the cars, and the motorsports, I embraced the sport of cycling. It was alwasy good to me. I once again will travel down that road, mindful this time around, never to leave it behind ever again.