Sometimes when I am enjoying my coffee before heading out onto the road, I either read from a list of blogs (to be covered in a later post) or watch some videos for inspiration. Here a few videos I have been enjoying recently.
Le Course En Tete is a documentary profiling Belgian cycling star Eddy Merckx during his 1974 season. This film is packed with incredible footage of the Cannibal decimating his competition, but it’s most unique aspect is the intimate portrayal of his home life. We get to see Eddy give his daughter, Sabrina, a ride on his training bike. She even has her own top-tube saddle! Below is one of my favorite scenes, with some psychedelic bag pipes for added effect.
The entire documentary is on YouTube, and can be found . If you have a passing interest in the 1970s or vintage road cycling, this film is a must see. Similar, is The Greatest Show on Earth which focuses on the Grio d’Italia road race. Comparatively, this film has much more racing footage, but I prefer La Course En Tete.
Although I don’t ride or own a track bike anymore, I really enjoyed the simplicity and speed that a brakeless track bike provides. I kind of miss it. One of the masters of brakeless track bike street riding is Massan. Here is a recent edit from Macaframa with Massan expertly descending a hill in Berkley, CA. I don’t advocate riding like this, but Massan is nearly unparalleled in ability and athleticism, and clearly possesses the ability to control his machine.
I think some would scoff at the idiocy and recklessness of this, but descending a hill at 50mph on a bicycle with rim brakes or a brakeless bicycle with a fixed drivetrain is not very different. No one can just “stop” at 50mph on a bicycle. It’s slowing down. And Massan demonstrated his ability to do so.
Although I have never toured before, Ian Hibell is one of my personal heroes. Ian quit his 9-5 to cycle around the world. He continued his adventures into his 70s, until 2008 when he was tragically killed by a drunk driver in Greece. Here’s some inspiration for the tourists.