When cyclists are their worst enemy

Now dont get me wrong… I am a cyclist and I love cycling.

However in my part of the world their is a small knot of riders who appear to be above saying hello to others and look down on motorists.

Surely we should be working to share the roads not have one vehicle or other have any level of supremacy?

Over the weekend I saw a couple of large groups whilst I was out riding alone. On a narrow single track lane a mini peloton coming the other way made no effort to avoid their spread over the road leaving me with the choice of a less than 2 metre gap or a ditch.

They offered no wave of acknowledgement either. They were in the zone and racing.

The following day whilst out on an essential car journey I came up behind a group of three riders on a similarly narrow lane. There was already a car behind them and another two joined the tail behind me.

No-one could get by for almost a mile despite the cyclists looking back and seeing the gaggle of motorists behind them.

And whilst I accept and understand that there is no obligation for the riders to slow up or single up to let the cars through, it would be courteous and show that we understand that the roads are shared spaces.

I do accept that there are some terrible motorists out there, I get my right elbow hair shaved off by wing mirrors regularly, but maybe its time for us to admit that there are some terrible cyclists as well?

Reading some social media and forums it seems that there is a war to be fought on the roads. A war where middle aged males in Rapha kit riding expensive Specialized bikes feel the need to express their right to ride.

It doesn’t need to be like that. We are all just trying to get somewhere.

So why don’t you try letting a motorist pass you on a narrow road if you can. They might acknowledge it with a wave, they might not. But you will have avoided raising their blood pressure so they might considerate to a horse or pedestrian at the next junction.

Pay it forward, it feels good and might diffuse a bit of this perceived tension.

The ugly Alp?

Cyclist magazine has run its top 100 climbs in this months magazine.

Strangely as I thumbed up and down the list, Alp D’Huez was only just able to scrape into the top 50.

I agree with the magazine’s protestation that its not the most visually endearing climb as you ride up it or on the white knuckle descent back down it.

I also concur that there are more scenic routes nearby with the Sarenne and Villard Regulas. I would also say that the summit of the Croix der Fer is more appealing.

I also agree that the town at the top is set up to take cyclists credit cards and hammer them! The first time I rode up I wobbled my way back down with a jersey and a bottle stuffed down the back of my jersey.


When your wheels go over the roundabout out of Bourg D’Oisans and turn left past the campsite you are transported to a different world.

A world where Steve Rooks and Andy Hampsten are grinding their way up through the forested area. Where a wide eyed teenager would watch the tv highlights before heading out across the fens looking for a flyover or small drag to get his jersey zipper open to imitate his heroes.

So whilst if you judge it purely on aesthetics there are better climbs, if you judge it on the experience of riding up it in the wheel tracks of legends, there is none better.

Lance battles for relevance


I thought Oprah was the end of this sorry tale, but it seems Lance Armstrong, fresh from the success and positive reviews of his Wedu podcast is back in the forefront of the cycling media.

To be honest I think a lot of people who would class themselves as “into” cycling are probably so far over the American and his negative impact on the sport that we will be able to take or leave the ESPN documentary.

The fact this is the second programme to offer the truth with no holes barred makes me sceptical for a start.

But he has apologised to Stephanie McIlwain of Oakley and Fillipo Simeoni who he hounded out of the sport along with his primary targets Christophe Bassons and Betsy Andreu.

For me this is too little too late. I still remember the tweet with all the yellow jersey’s on the wall post being found guilty of doping. There are ways to make amends to the people he hurt directly. A TV show which propels him back into the limelight isn’t one of them.

Bolle Vortex – still the business (Product Review)

As with all product reviews on this website, the products are bought and paid for out of my own money so I can be objective and honest in my appraisal of them.

Today we are looking at Bolle Vortex sunglasses that I picked up second hand for just over £10 on Ebay.

I picked up a couple of pairs at that price based on some historic affection I have for the brand.

My first years of bike racing back in the early 1990s saw their Edge and Micro Edge models as dominant in the peloton as Oakley radars were.

Miguel Indurain, Laurent Jalabert, names that evoke a time when the drugs arms race was starting but when cycling was still a mystical and wonderful sport for a lad in his late teens.

My Micro Edge cost me £29 back then and had a gold mirrored lens. They had black frames with yellow arms and I loved them.

Since then Bolle has had an up and down time on the faces of pro cyclists.

Jalabert stuck with them the longest during his Once and CSC years but after that it was Orica who next took them on before their current position on the face of Romain Bardet at Ag2r.

I was excited to get the winning bid on these pairs and was keen to get out on the road and test them.

The reviews I had seen on the internet were positive. The frames and lenses both scoring well when compared to other brands.

It was a grim morning when I first headed out with the white frames and purple multi light lenses in. They were really comfortable and despite not being the size of some of the modern glasses the coverage was perfect for me, and I do have a bit of a beachball head.

They didn’t slip or move about on my face and despite it being a damp winter morning there was no fogging or misting. i suppose that should be expected as at full price back in the day these were priced at over £100.

For me I wanted a pair of glasses for October to March with no need to change and I got exactly that. They are utterly brilliant.

The other pair performed as well on warmer days and had the addition of a bright red/gold mirrored lens. The sort of glasses you want to look pro by turning them upside down in your helmet vents on a tough climb. You know the drill!

It’s fair to say that Bolle are back at the head of my affections and that I prefer them to a certain American brand that are omnipresent. I go through a lot of glasses as this article testifies but these are about as perfect as you can get.

They ooze retro cool and evoke memories of a period when I was just getting into the sport. But they are also modern enough to wear now and performance is best in class.

Get out there are shop a bargain people!

Is Froome transfer story for real?

No soon had my post which mentioned how I felt there was a bit of a bias against Ineos at Cyclingnews gone live that the website launched a story saying Froome wanted out, and maybe even before the 2020 Tour de France, should that happen.

Interesting stuff.

Reading the comments on the article shows that many share the viewpoint I have that there is an agenda of some sort at play here.

The comments point to the fact that the article is full of “Cyclingnews understands” and “we believe and agent said”. Of course there is the old adage that there is no smoke without fire and you don wonder how all of the leaders will fit at Ineos. Who will get the front seat of the team bus for example (!). But I don’t see Froome going at this stage of the season.

Ineos don’t release riders unless they feel their performances will be going down. SO for me if Froome does pitch up at Bahrain before any Tour de France sets off, I wouldn’t be betting my last pound on him doing much.

Beers of Belgium post 14/05/2020

Welcome to Beers of Belgium CC, a side project to the Fendrien website.

My idea has been to combine my love of Flemish cycling (the crux of the whole site) with my love of their ale.

The plan is to develop themed kit and offer reviews of the beers along with places to drink and buy them.

There will be a review of a brewery tour I undertook in Oudenaarde and some pictures of some drinks.

Enjoy !