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Cyclist: The Big Rides Cyclist: The Big Rides

Cyclist: The Big Rides

Cyclist: The Big Rides Vol. 3

There’s nothing like an epic day out on the bike – an ambitious adventure into unknown territory that challenges your mind and body with big distances and tough climbs, and rewards you with spectacular scenery, thrilling descents and a feeling of exhausted accomplishment. It’s the kind of life-affirming experience that Cyclist magazine has been exploring for the last three years, and now we are bringing together the latest collection of nine such ‘Big Rides’ in one volume. There are tough climbs in Crete, the Pyrenees and Colorado; we cycle up Europe’s tallest, most active volcano in Sicily – which erupts a week later – and tackle Lanzarote’s alien landscape, among others. We hope you find them as inspirational as we have.

Страна:
United Kingdom
Язык:
English
Издатель:
Dennis Publishing UK
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the big rides

VOL 3 There’s nothing quite like an epic day out on the bike – an ambitious adventure into unknown territory that challenges your mind and body with big distances and tough climbs, and rewards you with spectacular scenery, thrilling descents and a feeling of exhausted accomplishment. It’s the kind of life-affirming experience that Cyclist magazine has been exploring for the last three years, and now we are bringing together the latest collection of nine such ‘Big Rides’ in one volume. There are tough climbs in Crete, the Pyrenees and Colorado; we cycle up Europe’s tallest, most active volcano in Sicily – which erupts a week later – and tackle Lanzarote’s alien landscape. Elsewhere, we explore classic peaks from the French Alps and Spain’s Picos de Europa mountains. We hope you find them…

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a fistful of bar tape

Although you might not think it, chances are you’ve seen this place before; most likely on a lazy, sofa-bound Sunday flicking through the TV channels, or during a late-night slot when you know you really should be in bed but you can’t help staying up to watch a film you’ve seen a dozen times before. This is the exotically named Tabernas Desert which, at 40°C in the shade and with as little as 20cm of rain per year, provided the backdrop for a host of classic Man-With-No-Name movies that put Clint Eastwood and director Sergio Leone on the map. Also, in the process, giving rise to the term ‘Spaghetti Westerns’. It’s not exactly the first place you’d think of turning up to dressed in Lycra. Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ Saddle up and move…

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cyclist vs the volcano

Have you seen the news?’ asks Chris excitedly on the other end of the phone. It’s Monday morning and I’m still a bit fuzzy. ‘No, why?’ I reply. ‘Etna’s erupted!’ he exclaims. I flick hurriedly to the BBC News web page and sure enough, there are pictures of Mount Etna spewing molten lava and sparks high into the Sicilian night sky. It is only a week since Chris, a Madison-Genesis team rider, and I packed up our bikes and flew home after riding a long loop around Europe’s tallest and most active volcano. ‘I can’t believe it,’ I respond, a bit shocked. ‘That would have made one hell of a story…’ As I hang up the phone, my thoughts turn from feeling cheated out of witnessing one of nature’s most incredible spectacles…

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high point

It is early summer in the French Alps but somewhere along the road from the fortified mountain town of Briançon to the upper flanks of the 2,361m Col d’Izoard we seem to have cycled through a wormhole and ended up at Christmas. Snow-dusted ridges surround us like the walls of a winter castle, and in the open bowl beneath them are pine forests, slabs of snow, and a cosy chalet with a sloping roof. Looking down on this solitary mountain refuge – built by Napoleon III in 1858 and seemingly miniaturised by its epic surroundings – gives the impression we’re cycling inside an enormous snow globe. All it needs is a divine hand to shake us around, and the snow will rise up from the curved slopes of the Izoard…

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battleground of the vuelta

Sneak Picos Discover an untapped region of cycling paradise Starting in Potes, ascend on the N-621 south-west over the San Glorio and follow the road all the way to Riaño. At the large junction in Riaño where the N-621 meets the N-625, go north (not over the Embalse de Riaño lake). Follow this road beside the lake as it heads north on the long descent through the Los Beyos gorge to Cangas de Onis. When entering the town take a right onto Avenue Covadonga (do not cross the river). Now follow the Avenue Covadonga (AS-114) and eventually you will reach a large roundabout. Go straight over (first exit) onto Congas Onis Panes (AS-114) until reaching a second roundabout. Go straight over (first exit, in a southerly direction) on the AS-262. This runs…

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the grand peak

It was 15th November 1806 when Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike first made sight of what he called the ‘Grand Peak’. He estimated its height at 18,581ft, and speculated, ‘no man could have climbed to its pinical [sic]’. It was probably the harsh winter, hostile natives and limited provisions that discouraged him from climbing the mountain, as much as its otherworldly height (which is actually a slightly more modest 14,111ft). But as my riding partner Charlie and I approach Colorado Springs in our hire car and the giant of Pikes Peak emerges on the horizon, we can sympathise with Pike’s reluctance to labour to its vast, bare summit. While Colorado is not short of mountains, Pikes Peak has a heritage that makes it distinct from the rest of the state’s 53 ‘fourteeners’…

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