Not wanting to steal the limelight Joel waited until the Tour was over before hitting the Alps. He wanted to enjoy a few of the iconic stages including have a tilt at Alpe Duez, on his lonesome. He purchased his Z5 SL a few weeks ago with this trip in mind and he is more than satisfied with his choice.
His initial reaction to the bike was “What can I say, this thing is unbelievable. More like a magic carpet than a bicycle. Effortless speed combined with sublime comfort.”
Upon his return he sent us these shots and note below.
“My wife, Natalie and I spent a couple of weeks in early August in the French Alps enjoying the scenery, summer weather, food and cycling (me on the bike and Natalie in the team support car).
We took in some of the more well known climbs often included in the TdF such as col du Telegraphe, col du Galibier and col du Colombiere. As well as some of the lesser known but equally as difficult ones like le Semnoz (a daunting 18km 7.5% brute shadowing Lake Annecy) and col du Forclaz. But one mountain above all others stood out as the target for an all out assault, the storied Alp D’Huez.
The town at the foot of the Alp, Bourg d’Oisans, is about 140kms from where we were staying. The 280 km round trip on the bike through the mountains was far beyond me so it was decided that we’d tackle the Alp fresh after driving to the base. I’ve often heard cyclists say that there are longer and steeper climbs and that Alp D’Huez, at 14kms and 7.8%, is by comparison “not that hard”.
After rounding the first 2 or 3 corners I soon realised that nothing could be further from the truth. The publicised 7.8% average gradient rides much steeper because the hairpin corners are flattish platforms and the straights are ramps up at around the 10% level. The day we chose to attack the climb was hot and still. The steepness of the straights, heat and lack of shade on the road put me into the pain locker almost immediately. The hairpins make it difficult to maintain a comfortable rhythm. Constantly making you push into the red to maintain your speed and momentum.
Whilst scenic in its own way, Alp D’Huez does not offer awe inspiring views. Distraction from the pain must be found within on this climb. Luckily for me we listened to French pop songs on the radio in the car on the drive over. Many of these replayed over and again in my mind keeping me entertained and partially distracted from the pain as I ticked off the 21 bends one by one.
The top section of the climb has 3 different “finish lines” (Vieil Alpe at 12.2 kms – complete with banner) Bourg d’Oisans time trial course at 13.9kms, and the TdF finish at the summit 14.4 kms). After a very difficult hour or so in the saddle I completed the time tral section of the climb in 58:53 and the TdF finish in 1 hour 15 seconds. I’ve already suggested to Natalie a return mission next year!”
No rim heat issues for Joel on the long descents as he took a set of our 1300gram custom wheels on his trip and, as he said to a prospective Parlee customer during the week, “they give very little away to my XXXX carbon clinchers”.
There is a great owner review by Lex in Sydney on the “Sweat and Gears” Blog which can be viewed here. Lex visited Cycling Edge and took a display bike for an extended ride which sealed his decision on the Parlee. We offer this opportunity on most models.
Nice blog Simon.
When we asked how he is finding the bike Lex’s response was “it makes me happy”. Does that define success?
Here are Brian’s great shots of Casey (Cielo Cross SS) who was second in “A Grade”, Cam (Moots PsychloX) who was third and Simon (Parlee CX) who had a strategic flat while trying to breath through a straw!
Canberran Andy Milne dropped south and took the A “Where is Lewis” Grade race by storm. Second went to “Team” Cycling Edge with Casey Munro on our Cielo SS Cross with Cam McKenzie close behind on the MOOTS Psychlo X.
Simon Carey found that “Riding with Whooping Cough” is neither a Kevin Costner sequel nor a a good idea and was quietly grateful for a front puncture on the Parlee CX.
Lewis had a day feeling flatter than the Parlee’s front tyre but gave a wink when it was suggested he was just managing the odds before the Vic Open in a coupla weeks.
Currently on display at Ausbike in Melbourne is our PARLEE TT bike featuring a full compliment of HED wheels, Corsair bars and “Lazy S” extensions. The build also features the new Vision bar end shifters which at first blush work extremely well.
The display also features our new stand in black.
Cycling Edge wishes to encourage the development of sound ‘Cross technique (tongue firmly implanted in cheek).
We will therefore make a cash award of $50 in each race to the competitor who is judged by an “independent and revered” adjudicator to have displayed the best leap over a nominated barrier which will be announced prior to the races.
Elements of the scoring may include, but not be limited to, height, length, style and hang time with the judges decision being final.
There is catch and one condition. The catch is that only leaps in the second half of the race will count. Nasty! The condition is that you must be at the presentations to collect the cash. Make sure your number is visible!
We have included some shots of techniques that work and if you go to the Dirty Deeds CX blog you will find some in the gallery that don’t!
Well the last round of Rat(tray) Racing is on the weekend at the Brunswick velodrome and what DIRTY DEEDS will be employed to break Lewis’ run?
Will N1 and N2 be elevated to play “Where is Lewis”?
Will our guest “Rapha” rider be more “rough” than “tumble”?
Will you recognise Sven Nys?
Will Snozz win by a nose?
Who will win the prize for the longest “hangtime” over the boards?
How many yellow clad aspiring Cadels will front to break the Trailmix clawhold in the children’s race?
Will the Open Class rules be fully exploited by the application of the much fantasised “cancellara” seatpost motor?
Will the Team Tandem return and has their welding improved?
Will The Devil feel the heat?
Will the Interstate aspirants learn that the Mexican Wave employs only one finger?
WILL THERE BE COFFEE??????
Whatever your view it is guaranteed to be unadulterated fun! So again we say “do yourself a favour” and be there!
Drop by and say hello at Cycling Edge and have a look, feel and perhaps a ride of our Parlee, Moots and Cielo ‘Cross bikes.