The Rides

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The Ride. It is the cathedral of our sport, where we worship at the altar of the Man with the Hammer. It is the end to our means. Indeed, The Bike may be the central tool to our sport, but to turn the pedals is to experience the sensation of freedom, of flight. It is all for The Ride.

The world is overflowing with small, twisty roads that capture our collective imagination as cyclists. We spend our lifetimes searching out the best routes and rides; we pore over maps, we share with our fellow disciples, we talk to non-cycling locals all in pursuit of the Perfect Ride.

The Rides is devoted entirely to the best routes and rides around the world. Some are races or cyclosportives, others feature in the Classics and stages of The Great Races, while others still are little-known gems, discovered through careful meditation on The V. Be warned: these rides are not your average Sunday Afternoon spin; these rides are the best and most difficult rides in the word – they represent the rites of passage into La Vie Velominatus. It is to be taken for granted that these rides require loads of Rule #5, many of them Rule #10, and all of them are best enjoyed in Rule #9 conditions. They have been shared by you, the community. The Rides also features articles devoted to the greatest rides and providess a forum for sharing other rides for discussion.

If you’d like to submit a ride or an article about your own favorite ride, please feel free to send it to us and we’ll do our best to work with you to include it.

Haleakala

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 56km / Location: Paia, Maui, Hawaii, USA

haleakala

Haleakala is simultaneously the longest paved continuous climb in the world as well as the shortest ascent from sea level to 10,000 feet in the world. Though not terribly steep, this is a long, grinding climb that will reduce a strong rider to a whimpering lump.

To put the effort in perspective, this climb is 60km long a an average of 6% with two pitches as steep as 17%. That translates to somewhere between 3 or more hours of nonstop climbing, usually in Maui’s direct heat and often into a whipping headwind that spins around into a headwind no matter which direction the switchbacks take you.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/50412514

Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Category: Rouleur / Distance: 265 / Location: Liege, Belgium

lbl

Liege-Bastogne-Liege is not only La Doyenne, the oldest of the Classics, but also represents perhaps the most demanding course in cycling. The 280 km, 3000m vertical route starts with an easy ride out from Liege to Bastogne which lulls riders into a false sense of security; the hills are frequent, but none of them terribly demanding. Into Bastogne, and the story changes on the way back to Liege with 9 categorized climbs in the second half, including the fearsome Côte de la Redoute and the Côte de Saint-Nicolas.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58053308/

Paris-Roubaix

Category: Hardman / Distance: 265 / Location: Compiégne, France

paris-roubaix

L’enfur du Nord. The Hell of The North. The Queen of the Classics. This isn’t a ride over the stones from your local brick-paved roads. You think climbs are what make a ride tough? We’ve got news for you: this is the hardest ride on the planet and it boasts a maximum elevation of 55 meters. These are vicious, brutal stones; the kind that will stretch each kilometer to their full length, the kind of stones that you will feel long after the rattling of the bars has stopped. These stones will change you. Forever.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58052610/

Guide: Pavé Cycling Classics

Mortirolo/Gavia Loop

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 115km / Location: Bormio, Italy / Contributor: Joe

The Mortirolo is perhaps the most feared pass in Western Europe, and the Gavia the most storied. Given their proximity to each other, its a wonder why this isn’t the most talked-about ride in Italy. Maybe it is; its impossible to say without being Italian. The loop nature of this ride makes it feasible as a solo escapade, but any ride with the kind of stats this one bears – 3200 meters ascended in 115 kilometers including the viscously steep Mortirolo – is best enjoyed with a riding partner or support car.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/59027020/

200 on 100

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 330km / Location: Vernon, VT / Contributor: cdelinks

“Dumptruck of Awesome” has become the catch-phrase associated with this brutally hard, yet strikingly beautiful 330 kilometer (200 mile) ride down Vermont Route 100.  This ride was made popular during the summer of 2011 when Ted King, Tim Johnson, and a local amateur cyclist, Ryan Kelly, documented this ride on film. The ride starts on the Canadian border and finishes on the Massachusetts border.  With over 2500 meters of climbing on this 330 kilometer ride, you will need to pack a few lunches to get through this one.  Do this ride in the Fall, and the foliage might be beautiful enough to distract you from the horrible pain you will most certainly suffer.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58052808/

De Ronde Van West Portlandia

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 76km / Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

A ride that officially “never happens” each spring, this 76 km route charts a course through Portland’s West Hills, paying homage to the European Spring Classics. Approximately 1,800 meters of paved and unpaved climbs are spread throughout the course, with several sections reaching grades of over 20%. More information can be found at Ronde PDX.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/15276210

Seattle Master Urban Ride

Category: Rouleur / Distance: 130km / Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

seattleronde

This is perhaps the most challenging urban route in Seattle, hitting three of the big hills that define Seattle’s topography. The route starts and ends on Phinney Ridge, but hits the climbs of Interlaken and Alder Street/Lake Dell Drive on its way to Mercer Island, before coming back to hit Queen Anne and Magnolia, weaving its way up each of these hills as many times as possible via the steepest route available before the finale to the north via Golden Gardens, Blue Ridge Drive, and Carkeek Park. Panoramic views of the Cascades, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, The Olympic Penninsula and Puget Sound makes this a standout Urban ride.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/57732282

  1. had a great ride today. t’was nothing special, a few miles in the afternoon sun, on smooth pavement, astride Reynolds finest chromoly. it is GOOD to be alive, fellas, ain’t it?




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  2. This is how it’s done.

    https://twitter.com/teamsky/status/908677519712428032




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  3. @RobSandy

    This is how it’s done.

    https://twitter.com/teamsky/status/908677519712428032

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    Uber cool




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  4. had my first LONG ride on my new Masi yesterday. South Louisiana is quite beautiful:

    this is what we refer to as “hilly”, here, and for me, it is the challenge of the year to do a ride this long in this terrain.




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  5. @Cary

    Looks like you got better weather than we did for our long ‘un. Good effort.




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  6. I also did my longest ever ride on Saturday, but I don’t really want to talk about that.

    I wanted to talk to you all about my friend Andy Foster, who was out in Yosemite on a climbing holiday last week. He was checking out the approach to a route on El Capitan with his wife Lucy when a sheet of rock described as the size of an apartment block peeled off directly above them.

    Andy did the only thing he could in the seconds he had; dived on top of Lucy and shielded her with his body. Andy died as the rocks fell on him but he saved Lucy’s life. I was thinking of Andy, and Lucy, as I rode on Saturday and it made all feelings of discomfort and suffering seem utterly trivial.

    I know this is not cycling related in any way, shape or form but I really wanted to share his story with you.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/british-climber-andrew-foster-rock-fall-yosemite-national-park-lucy-foster-1000-tonne-died-saving-a7975186.html




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  7. @RobSandy

    Condolences. I did see that in the news at the weekend.




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  8. @RobSandy

    I also did my longest ever ride on Saturday, but I don’t really want to talk about that.

    I wanted to talk to you all about my friend Andy Foster, who was out in Yosemite on a climbing holiday last week. He was checking out the approach to a route on El Capitan with his wife Lucy when a sheet of rock described as the size of an apartment block peeled off directly above them.

    Andy did the only thing he could in the seconds he had; dived on top of Lucy and shielded her with his body. Andy died as the rocks fell on him but he saved Lucy’s life. I was thinking of Andy, and Lucy, as I rode on Saturday and it made all feelings of discomfort and suffering seem utterly trivial.

    I know this is not cycling related in any way, shape or form but I really wanted to share his story with you.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/british-climber-andrew-foster-rock-fall-yosemite-national-park-lucy-foster-1000-tonne-died-saving-a7975186.html

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    i’m so terribly sorry for your loss. risk is ever present, and your friend certainly passed in noble circumstances.




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  9. @RobSandy

    That’s awful to hear Rob. I saw it in the news but it becomes more real when there’s a closer contact.

    Not much anyone can add. I guess with rock-climbing, even more than cycling, people are mindful of the risks and the catastrophic potential – the fact that they still go ahead says a lot for them having a positive outlook and how much they love it.




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  10. Thanks for the kind words chaps.




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  11. @RobSandy

    My condolences man, I saw that on the news and it made me kind of glad that I didn’t have the balls or strength to climb rock and I ride a bike instead. Awful, awful but what a courageous and selfless act.




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  12. @RobSandy

    Mate, that’s fucking brutal, I’m so sorry. My condolences.




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  13. Saw that on the news. So sorry. Condolences, my friend.




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  14. A depressing yet amusing tale of someone who is possibly the Emperor of the Anti-V

    http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/strava-thread-goes-viral-as-riders-squabble-about-stealing-koms-and-cyber-bullying-354014




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  15. @RobSandy

    A depressing yet amusing tale of someone who is possibly the Emperor of the Anti-V

    http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/strava-thread-goes-viral-as-riders-squabble-about-stealing-koms-and-cyber-bullying-354014

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    That is bloody funny.




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  16. I’m amazed by his claim that he has set up over 800 segments. A sad (maybe lonely) obsessive do you think? The guy certainly needs to get a life beyond Strava methinks.




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  17. @Steve Trice

    I’m amazed by his claim that he has set up over 800 segments. A sad (maybe lonely) obsessive do you think? The guy certainly needs to get a life beyond Strava methinks.

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    There’s a life beyond Strava? Sorry, I don’t understand.

    Beautiful little ride into work this morning. Dressed perfectly for the 6C temperature; bibs and jersey, arm and knee warmers and NO GLOVES. Good legs too.

    Also discovered the Road ID app. If you don’t have this app, and have an other half who worries about you while you’re out riding, you NEED THIS APP. My wife was able to watch me commute to work safely from her desk. Very good.




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  18. @RobSandy

    My wife was able to watch me commute to work safely from her desk. Very good.

    You can do that with Strava.

    I’ll get my coat.




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  19. @Steve Trice

    @RobSandy

    My wife was able to watch me commute to work safely from her desk. Very good.

    You can do that with Strava.

    I’ll get my coat.

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    Huh. So you can. I had no idea. RoadID works great so far so I’ll stick with that.

    The weather is glorious here today – darnit I want to to sack off work and go for a ride.

    Itchy guns.




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  20. Whichever tracker you use, it’s a great safety element, PLUS I frequently find a coffee or a meal ready and waiting when I get home from a ride/ commute.




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  21. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    A depressing yet amusing tale of someone who is possibly the Emperor of the Anti-V

    http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/strava-thread-goes-viral-as-riders-squabble-about-stealing-koms-and-cyber-bullying-354014

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    That is bloody funny.

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    You guys might like this too, as I just spotted this (and contributed to it) on our local bike swap/sale page on FB.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/183937968413697/permalink/993661160774703/?sale_post_id=993661160774703&comment_id=994475297359956&notif_id=1507246595727101&notif_t=group_comment_reply




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  22. @BacklashJack

    I have seen people either selling or wanting to buy bike boxes. Seems odd when any LBS will usually be only too happy to give you one.




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  23. So, a question on drafting… We have tropical storm blowing in to town tonight and the ride this a.m. was breezy. Now, you know how sometimes you just don’t have the real obvious tell tale signs of wind direction? I’m mean, it’s pretty obvious when right in your face or right behind. But, sometimes you know it’s breezy but no flags, no leaves blowing cross the road, and the wind is swirling. Do you find that the group just kinda naturally settles in to best position for draft ? Four of us were riding along at a good clip on a flat open road and just settled in to riding in a really cool little echolon without any communication and nothing obvious showing the wind coming across. It’s almost as if you just naturally drift in to a position right behind, or a little aside, of the wheel ahead, in a kind of naturally following the path of least resistance. Know what I’m saying ?




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  24. @Teocalli

    @BacklashJack

    I have seen people either selling or wanting to buy bike boxes. Seems odd when any LBS will usually be only too happy to give you one.

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    I think the guy is actually giving it away but it was a slow week on Stevebay. :)




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  25. @Randy C

    So, a question on drafting… We have tropical storm blowing in to town tonight and the ride this a.m. was breezy. Now, you know how sometimes you just don’t have the real obvious tell tale signs of wind direction? I’m mean, it’s pretty obvious when right in your face or right behind. But, sometimes you know it’s breezy but no flags, no leaves blowing cross the road, and the wind is swirling. Do you find that the group just kinda naturally settles in to best position for draft ? Four of us were riding along at a good clip on a flat open road and just settled in to riding in a really cool little echolon without any communication and nothing obvious showing the wind coming across. It’s almost as if you just naturally drift in to a position right behind, or a little aside, of the wheel ahead, in a kind of naturally following the path of least resistance. Know what I’m saying ?

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    Yes.




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  26. Enjoyed watching this race between Sean Kelly vs Greg Lemond vs Jonathan Edwards vs Juan Antonio Flecha




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  27. Not sure where to put this, so putting it here. My and the rest of the PEZ crew’s picks for the coolest TdF stages of all time. Let me know yours!

    https://www.pezcyclingnews.com/features/pez-picks-the-coolest-tour-stages-of-all-time/#.Wek880zMzdQ




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  28. @chuckp

    Not sure where to put this, so putting it here. My and the rest of the PEZ crew’s picks for the coolest TdF stages of all time. Let me know yours!

    https://www.pezcyclingnews.com/features/pez-picks-the-coolest-tour-stages-of-all-time/#.Wek880zMzdQ

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    Fun little read for a Friday morning.

    Cheers, Chuck!




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  29. Vintage rides planned for next year.

    https://www.eroicalimburg.com/

    http://www.anjou-velo-vintage.com/en/

    Anyone else planning on either?




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  30. @Teocalli

    Vintage rides planned for next year.

    https://www.eroicalimburg.com/

    http://www.anjou-velo-vintage.com/en/

    Anyone else planning on either?

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    Noted. Planning to do Eroica after not being able to do it this year. 160km for you?




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  31. @KogaLover

    Yup 160 Km




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  32. Thick Air

    Well, as the clocks change here in the UK and the season turns to Winter it’s moving to the time of year when more miles will be undertaken indoors in the Northern Hemisphere, the northern part of it anyway. A couple of weekends back as it was turning chillier and damp I was reminded of my sailing days and Autumn Series racing when we would sometimes observe that the wind was “heavy today” for a given wind speed. Meteorologists would deny that a wind speed of x could have a different impact from day to day but it used to be a common topic in the bar around a recovery ale or two.

    So it struck me that in just the same way, as the weather turns to Winter and the air is cooler and damper it must be thicker. This makes a lot of sense in performance terms.

    1. We wear more clothing so are naturally a little less aero.

    2. Pushing a less aero form through Thick Air has to be harder.

    I’ve therefore deduced that my drop in performance in the Winter has nothing to do with a drop in fitness but is actually down to Thick Air. It happens every year, so it must be true.




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  33. Anyone suffering Metatarsalgia? How did you treat?, time taken to heal?




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  34. @sthilzy

    Anyone suffering Metatarsalgia? How did you treat?, time taken to heal?

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    Having looked it up I have, though I did not know that it had a name. I encountered it in skiing. I have a mega high arches and what was happening in ski boots was that the pressure of the boot clips was pressing my metatarsal into the sole of the boot. Solution was custom footbeds to support my arches adequately and never had a problem since (including a number of seasons teaching full time). I have periodically used old ski footbeds in my cycling shoes or just found cycling footbeds that give me support and also not buckle down my instep too hard. I’ve just bought new shoes for next year and funnily enough thinking of getting proper footbeds made for those.




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  35. @Teocalli

    Thick Air

    Well, as the clocks change here in the UK and the season turns to Winter it’s moving to the time of year when more miles will be undertaken indoors in the Northern Hemisphere, the northern part of it anyway. A couple of weekends back as it was turning chillier and damp I was reminded of my sailing days and Autumn Series racing when we would sometimes observe that the wind was “heavy today” for a given wind speed. Meteorologists would deny that a wind speed of x could have a different impact from day to day but it used to be a common topic in the bar around a recovery ale or two.

    So it struck me that in just the same way, as the weather turns to Winter and the air is cooler and damper it must be thicker. This makes a lot of sense in performance terms.

    1. We wear more clothing so are naturally a little less aero.

    2. Pushing a less aero form through Thick Air has to be harder.

    I’ve therefore deduced that my drop in performance in the Winter has nothing to do with a drop in fitness but is actually down to Thick Air. It happens every year, so it must be true.

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    I seriously investigated an issue of increased resistance in my bottom bracket last year. Turns out it was just winter and I was really tired.




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  36. @Teocalli

    @sthilzy

    Anyone suffering Metatarsalgia? How did you treat?, time taken to heal?

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    Having looked it up I have, though I did not know that it had a name. I encountered it in skiing. I have a mega high arches and what was happening in ski boots was that the pressure of the boot clips was pressing my metatarsal into the sole of the boot. Solution was custom footbeds to support my arches adequately and never had a problem since (including a number of seasons teaching full time). I have periodically used old ski footbeds in my cycling shoes or just found cycling footbeds that give me support and also not buckle down my instep too hard. I’ve just bought new shoes for next year and funnily enough thinking of getting proper footbeds made for those.

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    Interesting. I’m the opposite. I have very low arches. I’ve had some issues, particularly with my right foot, where I’d get excruciating hot spots. I tried some of the Giro insoles with the arch inserts. On the left foot I had the lowest level (green) and on the right foot nothing, but a small shim of foam I made myself. What kind of custom footbeds did you get/use?

    BTW, if anyone wants extra medium/large/XL Giro footbed inserts, give me a holler. I’ll not be using them.




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  37. @wiscot

    I had my latest ones done by a boot fit guru in Crested Butte CO when I used to work out there. He also modified the previous ones that I had done at Snow and Rock in the UK and made them way more supportive. The issue he pointed out for me is that my arch is so high that the standard hot form process can’t really cope with them without further hand tuning (filling) under the arch. Though one of the issues with trying ski boot ones is that generally there is more space in a ski boot than a cycling shoe, so my best ski boot footbeds are too bulky for my cycling shoes. There is also a tendency for ski boot fits to add some heal lift which does not work in a cycling shoe.

    I think flat feet are a whole different ball game that I know nothing about. Though I understand that even a couple of layers of duck tape in the right place can make a world of difference.

    Going to see what my local sports physio centre do tomorrow as I have one of my periodic sessions with them to reassemble my various rugby injuries. They do custom footbeds and the physio I see is a cyclist so will see what they say (and charge!).




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  38. heel…….




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  39. Well I think I got in my entry for Gran Fondo Strada Bianche. The site is not the clearest, especially if you don’t understand Italian and their paperwork! So just waiting on the confirmation to come back. Seems from their Facebook page that loads of people are struggling so I may have been lucky to get through.

    I feel I need to celebrate with more Hill Reps for lunch and incorporate a Strada section up the Bridlepath section of my local hill.




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  40. Ha Ha! Well judging by the comments on their Facebook site it was not just me not speaking Italian.




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  41. So by reducing team sizes for the Grand Tours they seem to have incentivised the teams to cut their rosters. not exactly promoting Pro Racing for the riders. Maybe it will permit more Continental teams to enter the GTs and it could help by reducing sponsor costs I guess but it does seems to be a two edged sword. Only time will tell if it actually improves racing as it could just make the whole thing more conservative if teams feel they need to conserve effort.




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  42. @Teocalli

    I get the impression the UCI are hoping to stop Sky being so dominant but they will still have the strongest team and everyone else will have 1 less guy to work against them. Plus Sky seem to but the best thinking into adapting to changes.

    What do you think about the rumours Froome will go for the Giro in 2018?




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  43. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    I get the impression the UCI are hoping to stop Sky being so dominant but they will still have the strongest team and everyone else will have 1 less guy to work against them. Plus Sky seem to but the best thinking into adapting to changes.

    What do you think about the rumours Froome will go for the Giro in 2018?

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    I think Froome will go for Tour #5 to put him in that exclusive club. I think he’d like to ride the Giro, but the Tour looms larger. The issue is, to ride the Giro and the Tour with expectations to win both, is asking too much. And, if he wins the Tour in 18, he’ll go for a 6th win in 19.




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  44. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    I get the impression the UCI are hoping to stop Sky being so dominant but they will still have the strongest team and everyone else will have 1 less guy to work against them. Plus Sky seem to but the best thinking into adapting to changes.

    What do you think about the rumours Froome will go for the Giro in 2018?

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    i read the article about the tour being a week later, thus providing uncharacteristic temptation to try it. but man, the Giro is so different from the tour due to the season. it is a very interesting proposition, though.




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  45. RVV entry in!

    http://www.sport.be/werideflanders/2018/en/




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  46. @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    @sthilzy

    Anyone suffering Metatarsalgia? How did you treat?, time taken to heal?

    0

    Having looked it up I have, though I did not know that it had a name. I encountered it in skiing. I have a mega high arches and what was happening in ski boots was that the pressure of the boot clips was pressing my metatarsal into the sole of the boot. Solution was custom footbeds to support my arches adequately and never had a problem since (including a number of seasons teaching full time). I have periodically used old ski footbeds in my cycling shoes or just found cycling footbeds that give me support and also not buckle down my instep too hard. I’ve just bought new shoes for next year and funnily enough thinking of getting proper footbeds made for those.

    0

    Interesting. I’m the opposite. I have very low arches. I’ve had some issues, particularly with my right foot, where I’d get excruciating hot spots. I tried some of the Giro insoles with the arch inserts. On the left foot I had the lowest level (green) and on the right foot nothing, but a small shim of foam I made myself. What kind of custom footbeds did you get/use?

    BTW, if anyone wants extra medium/large/XL Giro footbed inserts, give me a holler. I’ll not be using them.

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    Thanks guys for your feed back! My Metatarsalgia is in the left foot, known as foot extensor tendon tenosynovitis/foot flexor tendon tenosynovitis.

    @wiscot

    @Teocalli I stuffed up my toes in the late 80’s from XC skiing heaps as well as have a shit fit on DH ski boots doing moguls – lost both big toenails! Still recovering!

    I’ve had an MRI which showed some joint wear on my Left foot/big toe joint. Has cortisone injected, has helped. Doc and physio only gave me one hour ride a week as well as deep calf exercises with rubber band. This was due to me walking funny to counteract the Metatarsalgia and my calf tendon from the toe remained cramped, at least three tears! The calf has been made weak due to this. Hence the intense deep calf exercises. Feel better, have done three one hour rides (spinning) and pulled up sore. Rode with this guy for support!

    Doc referred me to podiatrist specialising in cycling orthotics, will be seeing late next week. See what happens next!




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  47. Strada section in my hill rep loop for Strada Bianche training….




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  48. hmmm – trouble posting pics…….




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  49. Sorted……




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  50. @Teocalli

    Mm, bumpy.

    You probably still got less muddy than I did on my commute into Newport this morning.




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