Alberto Contador’s Recon Ride for the Giro 2011

Alberto Contador’s Recon Ride for the Giro 2011
I think the mountain stages in the Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy) have become harder than the Tour de France. Alberto Contador is training using a 34 x 32 !!! That is just nuts ! That means the climb must be crazy steep. Think of the steepness of Twynn Rivers for 10kms straight up. Wow ! Then there's the treacherous descent down the monte Zoncolan which has parts of it not paved ! At what point are they going to stop this madness ? Contador says you have to see it to believe it.

Paris Roubaix - A Great Quote

When I read this description, it takes me back to the days watching CBS's coverage of Paris Roubaix in 1987. The opening scene conducted by this magical musical score had begun, and one of the greatest narratives I've ever been privy to. At the time I did not think much of this quote , but now I look back and it speaks volumes about the race, the riders and the region. It’s a quote that transcends through time.

John Tesh describes Paris Roubaix in 1987;

Thousands line the road in this annual rite of spring cheering their larger than life heroes. Urging, at times, even helping them victory. They ride in the tracks of bygone legends dreaming of distant fame and glory. But glory is not without a price.

These bloodied and battered warriors struggle through the rain, the cold, the mud, on roads better suited to oxen cart than bicycles. But for the victor there is glory, immortality and a place in history amongst the giants of the road.

Since 1896, the greatest bike racers on earth have come to test their very souls in this brutal and beautiful spectacle".

CBS Sports - John Tesh 1987

As I embark on my pilgrimage to the Arenberg forest later this year, I have yet another great memory from which to draw from.

A Cyclist's Dietary Nightmare – Sugar

Yes, its sweet, we put it in our coffee, we eat it and it makes us feel good. However, continued consumption of it, means "stored fat," which for cyclists means poor performance especially on hills.

There are two ways that sugar can sabotage your body and cause fat storage. Excess glucose is the first problem. The excess sugar we give our bodies is converted by the liver, and then goes into the form of FAT.

The second is excess insulin. When the body has to deal with excess sugar, it uses insulin to help it adapt. The body's fat burning process is shut down so that the sugar that has just been ingested can be immediately used for energy. Insulin takes all that sugar and puts it into your muscles and when those muscle stores are full, the excess sugars are converted to ??? Yes you guessed right, FAT.

I have been consuming too much sugar and have been trying to find a solution to my "sweet tooth" which rears it ugly head every now and then. Normally I would reach for a chocolate bar, or Nutella spread on bread. Not anymore. I thought the way to go would be fruit. However, many fruits have natural sugars which do contain too much sugar. As well I stopped drinking Tropicana as believe or not, it contains more sugar than coke zero !!!

So enter chromium picolinate as the alternative. It supposed to make you crave less sugar and help maintain healthy glucose levels. We'll see how I fair in the next few months.

CycleFilm's Latest - Team NetApp @ Roubaix

Markus' work once again shows brilliant film making. Its well done with great footage. The only thing I didn't like was the beginning "Gladiator like soundtrack" similar to what was used in the film "Chasing Legends" nor was I too pleased about the rock music either. I would have preferred to hear the sights and sounds of the riders bouncing over the Arenberg cobbles, as was done at @ 4:23. That was really good. At 4:45 the film takes on a new life, new meaning.. Its transcended from good to GREAT !!! The background musical score blended in with the background sounds was perfection. Can't wait for pt. II


Rapha - Mississippi

Mississippi Delta - May 9, 2009 from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Rapha - WV

nice musical score

Frankford, WV from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Rapha - NC

French Broad River | Asheville, NC from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Rapha in Lincoln, Nebraska

After watching this video, I think even the band "City and Colour" may even like Lincoln, NE.. nice job Team Rapha

Lincoln, NE from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Rapha Video - One of my Absolute Faves

This is one of my favourite Rapha Videos..


More Rapha Inspiration

Lots of fun around this Ranch..

Jeremy's Ranch, UT | Snowy Pass, WY | Missoula, MT from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Rapha Inspiration

More Rapha Inspiration


Rapha - Riding in Japan

Another great video with an ultra cool sound..

Yonretto Trailer from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Rapha Continental - Vail to Vail

Vail CO, was a great back drop for this video

Rapha Continental | Vail to Vail from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Rapha - Great Ocean Road Classic Ride

Great vid, camera work and musical score..

Great Ocean Road Classic from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Rapha - 1910 Challenge

Sensational video of men riding a stage in the Tour de France in tribute to those who rode it back in the 1910.

The 1910 Challenge from RAPHA on Vimeo.

More Rapha Love

I just love this video and wish it could have gone on for longer. Great musical score, good cinematography and Italy as a the backdrop makes it one of my faves.

Rapha Rides Monti Pallidi I from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Great Rapha Video

Great Video portraying the Rapha Condor Sharp Team

Tesco Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic 2011 from Andy Waterman on Vimeo.


Rapha have done it again ! - Team Jersey

Just when I think Rapha cannot get any better, they do. I am talking about the Rapha Condor Team Jersey. Its simply the best article of clothing I've ever worn. Its rare that I put a garment on go "wow. ?" I can't believe how soft the material was to my skin. I've worn a lot of cycling jerseys in my day and nothing, and I mean NOTHING feels like this. Maybe its what Spiderman felt with his new costume ? An extension of his skin just like this jersey. Its like being in the cockpit of a Ferrari or Aston Martin, every detail included and nothing overlooked. I just wish I could have my entire wardrobe of this material.

Paris Roubaix – The Hell of the North /“L’Enfer du Nord”

We often describe “Paris Roubaix” as “the Hell of the North,” or “L’Enfer du Nord.” But where did this term derive from ? This was France’s coal mining region for many decades during the Great War. The road and the route had survived four years of brutal shelling , trench warfare and death. The Germans looted much of the equipment, and subjected French miners to work in harsh conditions to help the German’s war effort. The coal field was in the front line, and heavy fighting obliterated the entire northern French area. Approximately nine million had died and France suffered the most casualties over any Allied nation. There was destruction, poverty and shortage of men, but France had survived.

Days after the war had ended, those returning to Northern France wanted to know if there was still a road to Roubaix? If Roubaix was still there? As those few returning approached the area, the air began to linger with smells of broken drains, raw sewage and the stench of rotting cattle and carcasses. Trees were turned into blackened and ragged stumps. Their twisted branches pushed to the sky like the crippled arms of a dying man. Everywhere was mud. Nobody knows who first described it as 'hell', but there was no better word. And that's how it appeared next day in the papers. That little party had seen 'The Hell of the North.

Understanding the history of this great region , is going to make my pilgrimage even more monumental and emotional. I often think of numerous past soldiers who’s spirits must roam the area of Arenberg in the hundreds. Ghosts of Roubaix, I’ll be there soon


Another Great Video

This is a fantastic video which inspires and brings out my passion for this great sport that I live and breathe every moment of every day. Fabian, the Arenberg forest, and a great musical score. I could not ask for anything more.


My CycleFilm review

“Markus is a brilliant director, bringing real life to the screen .” -Simon Jagassar 2011

“Mike Cotty is masterful in his unique narration.” - Simon Jagassar 2011

Later this year, I will journey on my pilgrimage to France. My wife and I are planning to ride the great Cols of France, the Col du Galibier, L’Alpe D’Huez and Mont Ventoux. During my research, I stumbled upon some YouTube footage of CycleFilm. I posted a blog about CycleFilm earlier without actually owning the DVD's as was amazed and awestruck by this type of recon film. Now having owned two of them, I'm more captivated than ever. CycleFilm make real life documentaries, in a more “how to” format. They are informative recon videos for riding up Cols. So for anyone wanting to know how to ride and experience what the pros do, you now have a front row seat with their DVD sets. Its not your typical probing documentary to evoke some of action or emotion, it simply gives you the viewer , the goods, plain and simple. It is a must see for any cyclist interested in riding the cols.

The format , the program and the casting is spot on. I don’t know where they found Mike Cotty, but I think he could easily join Phil and Paul in the commentary booth. Mike Cotty is the perfect choice. He’s the rider giving us the viewers, the information needed to ride these mountain Cols. He speaks very well, very eloquently, and appears to be a natural when it comes to this type of commentary.

Following Mike Cotty in these films is like watching a casual training ride of a rider, as he narrates the entire route for you. Not only do you get insight on how to ride these cols, but you get glimpses into the towns of which you may stay at and even the stores along the route. Mike Cotty is brilliant in that he’s not only your tour guide but is more of a coach. I was amazed at the quality of the cinematography and the technology used as its very, very good. I can see and hear the commentary by Mike Cotty very well.

Markus and his team truly show their love for this sport and show they are not only pioneers in this industry, but innovators. I think CycleFilm own this segment of the market as no one does it better. I think they found a "niche market" here as there is nothing like it in the world of cycling documentaries.

In the years to come you’ll say "tour recon film" or “cycling documentary” and Markus' name will be mentioned front and center. It has been a joy to converse with him on different social media right up to my ordering of dvd's. His work has truly been a source of my inspiration for my pilgrimage later this year. Who knows, maybe his labour of love will inspire me to finally quit my 9-5 job and pursue the world of cycling behind the scenes ? It certainly feeds my desire to live in Europe even more so.

The world of professional cycling does not have many documentary film makers. Over the years, there have been a few that stood out in my mind. CycleFilm have certainly carved their niche among the best. I believe CycleFilm has spawned a new era of Cycling Film makers out there. Who knows, maybe this will inspire someone to finally create a weekly cycling show as they do for hockey in my country? There is so much potential to take it another level that I'm sure Markus and his team have already discussed. I hope one day they make a recon for Paris Roubaix or other Spring classics. I intend to buy every DVD offered by CycleFilm one day and have a CycleFilm night at my place. Of course I'll be cooking and you’re invited :-)