Guest Article: Joe vs The Mountains

  1. if we all had a day like this, just think how good life would be

    Chapeau Joe

    I agree, my first love it Italy and the maglia rosa, tis the grandest tour no matter what the french think

  2. Thanks matey. On the same trip, I had a little wander around the Madone del Ghisallo and got really quite emotional. Such a passion for cycling in Lombardia.

  3. Wow. Fuck the pneumonia. I am going for a ride this weekend. Rule V, here I come!

  4. Wow is right! Those photos are awesome…can’t read the full story at the moment and don’t want to rush it, but can’t wait after seeing those hot picts!

  5. Amazing report Joe, this ride is what the Velominati site is about. The lone rider, up early, radio on, hiding the car, then riding out for a full sufferfest into the unknown. I wouldn’t have dared, even with my compact. Chapeau for the write-up and the fine photos, especially the shot of you and beer at the end.

    Is the Colnago brand new and what model? You’ve done it proud. After watching Voeckler and Eurocar on Colnagos this summer, I have Colnago Carbone.

  6. Your thoughts as you munched shot blocks and wondered about the Mortirolo at its base reminded me of this, one of my favorite opening quotes from Rouleur.

  7. Nice job. All the best rides are up and down mountains.

  8. Great story and well crafted to boot. You have a nice turn of phrase. Write more!

  9. Sublime.

  10. A great read, especially the ending with the local club hookup and the Stones on the radio.

    Thanks for posting it.

  11. Thanks for posting, Joe.
    Really enjoyed it an hope one day I can do this, or similar.

  12. Fantastic, Joe. Well done, on the saddle and on the page.

  13. @Joe, thank you for the article. I’m planning on doing the exact same ride on September 14th next year. I’m now really nervous and inspired… is that a bad thing? nice photos.

  14. Nice read; enjoyed the pictures as well!

  15. Fantastic opener for The Rides. Two legend climbs so well savored and written about. Thanks for your contribution to the community, but moreover, good on ya for an epic day.

  16. @frank

    Love the way Pantani is all like, oh it is such a responsibility to make everyone suffer.

    Great article, I wish there was some crazy climbs around here, not that I would do to well on them. All we got is up and down steep hills.

  17. Epic indeed!

    I feel that word gets thrown around way too much in the cycling media, but this ride certainly deserves that description. Well done!

  18. Great ride. Particularly like your timing of the ride to coincide with local roadworks, adding a 450m leg softener before the main climbs.

  19. Impressive Joe, well done on both the ride and the write up. One day…..

  20. Strong work, Joe. Cheers!

  21. Cheers all.

    @ Gianni – it’s a C50, I bought it secondhand of, from a semi pro in the Veneto. It has built in voodoo magic. How it can be so comfy and still so responsive is a total mystery.

    @Roadslave – you’ll smash it matey. Top tip – strip and grease your pedal threads before you set off. The creak that accompanied me all the way up the Gavia almost turned me into an axe-murdering psycho! ;)

  22. Well done Joe. Great ride well told!

  23. Nicely done Joe, both the ride and the article. While not nearly as good at it as I was 20 years ago, going uphill on a beautiful mountain is what cycling is all about. Sprinters be damned. Chapeau!

  24. Fuckin well done. way to represent to V-kit.

  25. @Joe

    it’s a C50, I bought it secondhand of, from a semi pro in the Veneto. It has built in voodoo magic. How it can be so comfy and still so responsive is a total mystery.

    Genius purchase. It just sent me to ebay looking for a used C-50, from a semi-pro, with the built in VooDoo. I’m looking forward to eventually owning a carbon bike but I don’t think it’s going to get me up the Mortirolo. Still, your write up makes it sound like a worthy life goal, especially then descending with some locals who know what they are doing.

  26. Great writing, Joe! Worthy of Krabbe.

    Off topic: Masterful cyclocross sprint finish at Koksijde, Belgium today. If Matt Goss steered that well at the World Championships, he would be wearing rainbows now.

    Jump to 6:50 for the finish (but the whole last lap is thrilling):

  27. @G’rilla
    Can’t believe Nys didn’t get flicked for that cutting PAuwels off in that sprint

  28. I think it turns on whether or not Pauwels’ front wheel overlapped. So hard to tell from the head-on camera angle.

    Here’s a useful summary of the rules during a final sprint:

  29. @Joe
    Epic ride made all the more poignant with the way the neglect of the Pantani monument evokes the sense of abandonment he must have felt at the end.

  30. Hey Joe where you going with … that bike. To awesomeville! That was the best – thanks

  31. Striking how the cathedrals of cycling are marked by so Little Fanfare or commercialism compared to other Sports. Remote muddy Farm Roads, high steep alpine Passes that Most People Never See. Kind of like cycling’s Place in Society…Considered a fringe sport by most, but i like this hardman remote aspect of the sport

  32. @Joe
    A story very well told! Not a fan of the word epic, but in this case… I’m also happy you had the chance to rode on the Ghisallo!

  33. Great tale, well told. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Great story Joe! I’ve almost got the my wife convinced on that area for our next summer holiday.

  35. @Joe

    There is a torrent of deliciously cold water, spouting out of the side of the mountain…

    The Font of Velotopia?

  36. @Chris


    There is a torrent of deliciously cold water, spouting out of the side of the mountain…

    The Font of Velotopia?

    Ya know, if I was Smart in the Ways Of Computers, I would figure out how to collect up symbols to uses as a V-font. You know, “A” as is “Assos”, “B” as in Bontrager, “C” as in Cinelli etc. etc. We’d be able to give Frank the original velomiskrit.

    Sadly, I am not Wise in the Way Of Computers.

  37. Last summer we did the same way. Was hard with my 42-26 gear climb the Mortirolo. We were really colose to see the famous “man with the hammer” in the middle way to Passo Gavia! Epic Round.

  38. @Frank (PipeGang- Ita)
    Salve Frank, a 42-26? You must have an old bel mezzo or you are just stubborn, or young. I actually like bigger inner chain rings for flatter landscapes, but certainly not the Mortirolo. I love the Pipe Gang Kit. That is a great looking design.

  39. @Frank (PipeGang- Ita)
    42-26 is a painful combination for that climb… you must have the Guns of Navarone!

  40. @Gianni

    I know that my old steel is not the perfect bike for climb the Mortirolo, but in september when I did the ride, was the only bicycle that I had so…. was something close to #5. During the climb, curve after curve I’d think a lot about the old pioneer of the cycling, because they have bigger gear than mine. 35 years old is a young age or not?

  41. @Frank (PipeGang)
    Yes, 35 is very young, enjoy it. Keep up the Rule #5, you were deep into the V on that climb with your 42 chainring. And yes, the riders of old were so hard they wouldn’t have used a 26 for mountains, maybe 21? It is hard to imagine, only 3 or 4 gears to fool with, one for climbing, two for the flats and one for descending.

    Even for someone twenty years older than you are, my mind was blown to to understand racers of my age did a very hard mountain climb in a ‘straight block’, which was about a 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 cassette. Rule #5 every day for those guys.

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