after a rather embarrassing 7 years at the top of this fairly meaningless summit, Cervelo was demoted to third in the cyclingnews.com reader’s survey of Best Team Bike of 2012, with the Specialized McLaren Venge taking top spot.
here’s a beautifully shot little film all about the 2012 Mongolia Bike Challenge, an MTB race that traverses the wild and often spectacular landscape that once was home to the formidable Ghengis Khan. next year crankpunk will be hauling flesh over the rutted grasslands and sleeping in a yurt under a canopy of stars too, as my CCN team has received an invitation to take part. can’t wait…
crankpunk’s been looking forward to the launch of Factor’s first production bike for a while now, and i’m currently hunkered down in my pup tent in the queue to get hold of one for a review. quite how the Factor design team will incorporate and adapt the innovations included in their first two models will be very interesting to see. the new bike will have a completely custom built handlebar from a well-known brand, what looks to be quite a serious computer, and some new wheels from a new brand that is working with Factor.
cantaloupes. must be. crankpunk had a couple of BMX back in the day but after one too many nutcracker not-too-sweets and one particularly nasty faceplant (aged 12, in front of my longed-for-but-never-to-be sweetheart, Pamela Barber – if you’re out there Freckles, i’m cranking solo, and the scars have almost healed) i gave up altogether. and so my respect and admiration for these guys comes from a memory of pain and works its way up past my muffin-esque overflow to my cerebral cortex,to the spongy area that records all the data – which has great difficulty computing just how in the heck they do this stuff.
the precision, the courage, the sheer rock-blockin’ verve of these two-wheeled artists gets me feeling that what i think i know is nothing. it’s like when you’re presented with an image of an organism magnified a million times and you can only respond with the realisation that the reality that we perceive is in fact the merest sliver of what is actually real. and when i say ‘the merest sliver’, i mean like a grain of sand on 10 kilometer stretch of beach. that’s what i feel when i see Danny McAskill nail a trick. or when the guy at 3:58 on this video does what he does. i know what i can do on a bike, and it’s basically to go pretty fast in a straight line. and i feel pretty damn cool when i bunny hop a train track at 65km/hr with 120 guys around me. and then i see what he can do on a bike and my bunny gets hopped on and stomped on and beaten to a bloody pulp.
remember when life was simpler? when you didn’t have to worry about that summer’s short length, cos all men wore short shorts? when a fella with a massive mustache could get away with wearing mule clogs? and if he had more hair on his chest than his head, well hell, that was just the way it stayed… remember when companies had to draw the image by hand and get it printed without being able to rejig it a million times on a computer so it was perfect? when people just ‘made do’?
ah the good old days…
as is often his wont, crankpunk was sat at a local coffee shop a few weeks back, before the back got crocked, talking to a friend after a training ride. weʼd just done 150km and were discussing the differences between our bikes, the ride quality and comfort, the aesthetics, carbon lay-ups and so on and so on.
i asked my friend, an experienced ex-pro who has ridden and raced many bikes over the years, which bike, of all the bikes heʼd owned, was his favorite.
“1984 Bianchi,” was his immediate reply.
i wasnʼt surprised that this accomplished bike racer would choose a bike that was now more than 25 years old and cost a fraction of a modern bike over his Shimano Di2, slick 50mm carbon wheel-equipped, ultra-modern carbon bike that sat glistening in the sunlight just a meter or two away.
“you?’ he asked. without hesitation: