We usually think of Europe when it comes to cyclist-friendly people and cultures, a completely different experience than what we get at home in North America. But Guadeloupe is much closer to home, and as we recently discovered, is also home to a people who absolutely love cyclists, and cycling.
Roadside Report: The big Basque one day classic in San Sebastian will battle it out this Saturday, so this gives us a great excuse to re-read Peter Easton’s Basque experience from last year. Cycling and food go hand in race mitt, especially in the Province of Gipuzcoa, Peter immersed himself in the Basque culture for 2½ unforgettable weeks of riding, food and great times.
The 2014 Tour de France stage 14 parcours to the summit finish at Risoul promises to be a cracker taking in the Col du Lautaret and Col d'Izoard before the final 13km throw down to the day's 3rd hors category climb. PEZ saddled up for a closer look...
With the likes of Carlos Betancur, Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Uran, Colombia has seen a real resurgence in the pro peloton in the last few years. PEZ's Nate King went to Medellin, Colombia to get some first hand experience of where these guys train - and no surprises - it's far from flat!
Our man in Germany Leslie recently pulled out one of his many vintage bikes, crossed over the border to Austria and particpated in one of the best retro/vintage mass rides going around, the In Velo Veritas. Superb organisation, atmosphere, food and wine led to a perfect weekend of retro riding.
The South of France's Languedoc region is a beautiful place to visit with its spectacular scenery, history, food and wine but it's also one of the best places in the world to ride a bike. Small roads through tiny, historic villages, vineyards, forests and a good collection of medium mountains, make for perfect Top Rides.
The thing about the Fleche Wallonne parcours that surprised me most was just how hard this 200km ‘semi-Classic’ is. There’s nothing ‘semi’ about it… This hard course deserves the prime time and throws up 11 rated climbs, including 3 passes over a 1300 meter brute called the Mur. Here’s how it happened to me…
The day before Paris-Roubaix amateurs had an opportunity to ride the storied cobbles themselves during the Paris-Roubaix Sportive. For those not willing to publicly display their pavé riding ineptitude, on the same day to the east another sportive mirroring a pro course provided an opportunity to publicly display one’s climbing ineptitude instead. We sent our man Leslie to try the 2014 Brabanste Pijl.
Our Italian race chaser Alessandro simply has bike racing pulsing through his veins. He was born on the Tirreno and now lives on the Adriatic so when the Tirreno-Adriatco came into his region this past week he couldn't help but skip work and travel to see the race. Just one last roadside warmup for him before his first true love, Sunday's Milan Sanremo.
PEZ's Nick O’Brien was live and in-color at the 96th la Primavera in 2005. Now over 100 years old, the race has changed with modern times, but as Nick discovered while riding the final “capi” that make it famous, the corsa is as tough and exciting as ever. Here's a worthy look back as we prep for this weekend's Primavera...
The 'Wielermuseum' in Roeselare in Belgium is the second Belgian Cycling Museum that our man Leslie has visited in recent months and once again the Belgians have come through with a worthy offering of quality displays dedicated to two wheels. From the general history of the bicycle to a sharp focus on racing it's all covered in this charming museum.
Travel: Warm weather cycling in the dead of winter is not nearly as far away as you might think. The Caribbean isle of Guadulpe offers up excellent roads, laid back hospitality, and sunny days. Chris Gutowsky of VéloSport Vacations knows it well...
Better known as the Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen cycling museum, a few hours spent here is a must for any true cycling fan visiting Belgium. Add in riding the famous cobbled bergs of the Tour of Flanders route, some fine Belgian beer, and meeting a Belgian legend and you've got a perfect weekend.
Our Literary editor Leslie traded his books for a lot of cool events this year: joining the vintage bike ride craze around Europe, covering various pro races and even EuroBike. But when you combine good times, beautiful countryside and the great wine of France, his day at the Anjou Velo Vintage Ride was his top pick.
For the very first time, the 2013 Tour de France took on the mythical Alpe d'Huez twice in one day by descending and then ascending the little known Col de Sarenne. In June, before the Dauphiné tested out the roads and much needed roadworks were completed, PEZ's man in France, Chris Selden cycled the route on a simply epic 150km and 4800m elevation day.
Our lover of all things vélo, Leslie has managed to find another gem in his broad European travels, the small, yet charming Rhenish Hesse Bicycle Museum in the wine district of the Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. The perfect excuse to enjoy a day out in the beautiful German countryside and take a look back at some pretty amazing bicycles at the same time.
Mt. Ventoux, it's a mythical place, steeped in Tour de France history and the site of many great battles over the years. Remember Armstrong vs Pantani in 2000? Or Eros Poli in 1994 when he lost 15 minutes on the mountain but still won the stage. For 2013 we added another battle to the history books as PEZ's own Chris Selden took on 30 other journos from around the world in climbing Mt. Ventoux.
There's been a lot of chatter about the Tour of Flanders this past week since the organizers have again changed the parcours of the great event after supposedly listening to fans' input. Nothing beats the old parcours though, as PEZ-Man Gord Cameron saw in the best possible way earlier this year - from the saddle.
Paris, France - the city of love, the Eiffel Tower, le Louvre and... traffic jams. Could Paris really be a destination for a PEZ 'Top Ride'? Well, yes as just 35km South-West of the capital is the gorgeous Vallée de Chevreuse where the cows, sheep and forest replace the hustle and bustle of the big city making it an ideal playground for cyclists.
Italy: land of sunshine, pasta, Fausto Coppi and home of the ultimate retro-ride. L’Eroica, “the Heroic,” saw its 17th running on October 6, 2013 and of course Pezcyclingnews was there joining the lucky participants enjoying some fine weather, some great food and some truly terrible roads on heavy bicycles with inappropriate gearing and lousy brakes. What could be better?