I Ain’t Afraid of no Hills!!!!

I have not had time to write about my exploits over in Fuiggi near Rome since my mountain climb as it has been non stop. A report on my third day with photos will appear as soon as I can find my card reader!

I came up to Cessenatico near Rimmini yesterday to stay at the www.hlungomare.com where I stayed last year and ride the Gran Fondo Pantanissimo today. I was not sure if I was entered into the Long (100 mile) or short (66 miles) version but was pleased to lear it was the short one as my legs are dead.

Not only did I climb 7408 on Friday, but also 3307 feet on Sunday. I knew today was going to be hilly but not as bad as it was. It all stated off quite hard. I was doing 25mph and struggling to hang on the back of 900 riders for the first 12 miles or so. Having completed the first climb of the day I was directed incorrectly 3km downhill by a marshal. It was not a happy climb back up I can tell you!

Having got back on course and after a few more climbs I descended a brutal hill with timing mats on the other side of the road and Pantani written on the road upside down. This could only mean one thing – we would have to come up it at some stage. Seeing the 14% gradient signs was not the most welcome sight in the world!

To cut a long story short I got up the 2.3 mile climb without walking and managed to get on the back of a gruppeto for the final 4 miles to the finish which was great as I had been riding by myself for most of the day at the back due to the mis-direction. I did 72 miles and climbed 6003 feet. That brings the total ascent in 3 days of cycling (over the past 4 days) to 18,000 feet and the mileage 161 miles.

Pretty happy with that!

Italy Day 2 Synopsis

Despite my back really hurting (I was off training for 3 months at the end of last year due to this) it was fine on the bike so was able to ride. We ventured into wine country today taking covering 47 miles with 3700ft of climbing in and around Barolo and Barberesco which was stunning. The hotel kindly gave me one of their cycling kits so 4 of us were cycling around as if in a team which felt great.

Before we set off I had a little time for some preparation and was pleased to have my bag of goodies from Secret Training. These are great kits and espcially so when traveling. My one contains ointment to prepare your muscles for exercise, sun screen, hand sanitiser, post ride wash gel, wipes, microfiber, anti-chafing cream and a few other bits. It also made me smell nice for quite a while which was nice!

As the mornings are still a little bit cold in Northern Italy I started off in my Jura Cycling Merino wool jersey from Stolen Goat which also kept me pretty warm whilst preping my bike whilst waiting for my guides.

The riding around here is just fabulous. There is very little flat so a continual climb followed by a fast descent. Switchbacks abound which are just the best fun ever and great for trying new lines out. I slowed the others down in the hills as expected as they are cycle guides and we simply do not have hills like this were I live in Kent. Still, as a mini peloton we raced along the flats at between 22 and 32 mph which was pretty awesome.

I am really liking Piedmont and will be sad to leave tomorrow but have great cycling some 5 hours drive away near Rome to look forward to

www.italycyclingholidays.com

Some of the Secret Racing kit.

Some of the Secret Racing kit.

The sun cream comes in a really hand bottle which fits in your jersey back pocket easily.

The sun cream comes in a really hand bottle which fits in your jersey back pocket easily.

In my retro jersey from Stolen Goat which I love!

In my retro jerset from Stolen Goat which I love!

Waiting for my Italian guides.

Waiting for my Italian guides.

A panorama from the tower at Borgogno winery

A panoramo from the tower at Borgogno winery

The rolling countryside around Barolo

The rolling countryside around Barolo

Me wine tasting in Barolo

Me wine tasting in Barolo

We had lunch in this fantastic restaurant called Aria di Langa. It started with some cured meats which was followed by a dish of raw beef that was in a mound and delicious. It is a speciality of the region. After this was a whole baked goats cheese by which time I was feeling full. This was not the end though as a big bowl of pasta and meat sauce followed. I wondered how I would ever be able to cycle afterwards especially as I also enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine!

We had lunch in this fantastic restaurant called Aria di Langa. It started with some cured meats which was followed by a dish of raw beef that was in a mound and delicious. It is a speciality of the region. After this was a whole baked goats cheese by which time I was feeling full. This was not the end though as a big bowl of pasta and meat sauce followed. I wondered how I would ever be able to cycle afterwards especially as I also enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine!

Spectacular views.

Spectacular views.

Looking at the town of Barbaresco where the famous wine estate Gaja is based.

Looking at the town of Barbaresco where the famous wine estate Gaja is based.

Great views from this look out and showing my new cycling kit off perfectly.

Great views from this look out and showing my new cycling kit off perfectly.

A climb up to the castle.

A climb up to the castle.

My new kit from the Hotel Scoiattolo is very smart!

My new kit from the Hotel Scoiattolo is very smart!

Back in the sun after the ride using my post ride wash from Secret Training

Back in the sun after the ride using my post ride wash from Secret Training

Italy Day 1

I am currently staying at the La Scoiattolo hotel (www.hotelscoiattolo.com/en/hotel.htm) near Turin as part of a work trip. The purpose of the visit is to write about the cycling in and around this area along with for other cycle based hotels throughout Italy. They are all part of www.italycyclingholidays.com/index_eng.html.

I am going to keep these updates short as full articles will appear alongside a digital magazine that I will be producing. Below I have posted some photos to give you an overview of this area and show how beautiful it is. This was a short ride of just 20 miles (but going up hill!) as we took the van out to see some farther away places. If you like my new helmet and sunglasses they are available from www.stolengoat.com

The old boy in the bike shop was a superstar. I had been riding with the bike shops owner, Carla, for a couple of hours and she offered to have her man repair by mountain bike whist we we out as the bolt had come off the quick release skewer. Not having anything to fit (I ride a Lapierre) as it is a specialist part he actually fabrictaed a part for me! I have no idea what he did but it is a good temporary fix so I can ride today. Saying that my back is killing me so will just have to drug up sufficiently!

The old boy in the bike shop was a superstar. I had been riding with the bike shops owner, Carla, for a couple of hours and she offered to have her man repair by mountain bike whist we we out as the bolt had come off the quick release skewer. Not having anything to fit (I ride a Lapierre) as it is a specialist part he actually fabrictaed a part for me! I have no idea what he did but it is a good temporary fix so I can ride today. Saying that my back is killing me so will just have to drug up sufficiently!

Beautiful churches on top of each hill.

Beautiful churches on top of each hill.

We climbed for almost 10 miles to reach this Dourmo. It was stunning and overlooked Turin and the Alps behind.

We climbed for almost 10 miles to reach this Dourmo. It was stunning and overlooked Turin and the Alps behind.

The view from the Dourmo over Turin.

The view from the Dourmo over Turin.

A selection of high up houses.

A selection of high up houses.

One of the windy roads that we climbed up.

One of the windy roads that we climbed up.

Sergio, my guide maybe retired but he sure can go up the hills at a ferocious pace!

Sergio, my guide maybe retired but he sure can go up the hills at a ferocious pace!

Me wearing my new Salice helmet and glasses. I love the way the stripes of the Italian flag come down from the helmet and match up to the sunnies. Very cool.

Me wearing my new Salice helmet and glasses. I love the way the stripes of the Italian flag come down from the helmet and match up to the sunnies. Very cool.

Tour of Flanders

I was in Flanders last weekend on behalf of www.pezcyclingnews.com to write and article for them. It is due to be published today so keep a look out on their website.

If you have never been to the race it is a great one to watch with a real party atmosphere. To give you an idea people began drinking in the bars at 08:00 in Brugge and the party atmosphere carried on around the course.

pez_flanders24

The race is famous for it’s brutal cobbled climbs so instead of making a video of me going up one I made one of the descent of the Koppelberg. It gives a real insight to how hard it is! I felt like I had been on a industrial vibrating plate for hours afterwards.

Next stop is Paris-Roubaix this weekend.

Revolution Series – London

I was fortunate to cover the Revolution Series in London last weekend. Below is a digital magazine that I have created of my work. Please feel free to click to expand to a larger size and share in Twitter and other social media. The link is www.different-perspective.co.uk

Has Spring arrived?

Having spent the past few months looking at the beautiful images on @cyclingtips depicting the Australian summer, I was more than eager to get out on my “race” bike once again with the advent of a mild and sunny day today. Having been in hibernation and locked up securely during the English winter of wind and floods, I gave my Wyndy Milla a little spruce up and oil before setting off on an 82km ride. It was a lovely day on a route that I repeated from last week to gauge a time comparison between my race bike and winter bike. The difference was an astonishing 31 minutes faster! This is no doubt due to knowing the route, being on a better bike and having more confidence over the distance, as I have been injured and not attempted anything over 41km since October 2013. I averaged 17.3 mph which is about 29kph.

Being a photographer I thought I would try my hand and taking a video of my ride having had a couple of practice attempts. I am definately a stills photographer and not a “video guy”. There is so much to learn and it is so different. Making a “selfie video” adds more complexity so it is very much a work in progress. I will learn more, get better and one day make a video I am proud of!

Scott Addict

I am not in the market for a new bike (although I would like a ‘Cross bike) but stumbled upon this video by Scott on their Addict road bike. I wanted to share it with you for the production quality – it sensational and provides a great lesson for all of us who strive to make better movies. Look at the story telling, the length of each clip, the angles and the timing. It is a beautiful piece of work.

www.scott-sports.com/us/en/video/bike/Addict_LightweightObsession

Discovered us at the Triathlon and Bike Show?

Different Perspective is a photography based magazine that focusses on swimming, cycling and running and all three combined. It is run by myself, David Pearce, a professional sports photographer and triathlete. Bored of the same old imagery of triathlons my goal is to bring photojournalism to the sport complementing the “hero” shots. I want triathlon photography to catch up with cycling in terms of quality. My work is accompanied by interviews and articles and various posts on the BLOG here. It is 100% free but for it to remain so I need subscribers to enable me to get sponsors on board. If when looking through the magazines (accessed below or too the right) you can subscribe on page 3 that would be amazing. Sorry for the plea but I need this to happen.

You will notice that the latest edition also includes female boxing and Ping Pong World Championships. This is because of winter and lack of Triathlons taking place at the moment. In the future as the magazine grows I will be travelling abroad to capture triathlons and cycle races. I am really enjoying capturing CycloCross at the moment and you can see work from the latest race I covered below.

Lastly, please tell all you Triathlon friends about this site. It costs nothing yet will mean everything to me – the link is www.different-perspective.co.uk. To receive the latest posts please follow me on Twitter and Facebook by clicking the buttons on the right.