It’s nearly April, and those of us with a romantic, obsessive zeal for the classics season and trying to pedal really hard with a noseful of pollen are partying like it’s 2006 over here. Boonen is back; back to his towering, smiling, world-beating, cobble-smashing, mega-sprinting best—the world of bike racing is much the better for this, and the races themselves have been beautiful and hard fought.
And one of the more interesting facts to emerge this week is that a certain occasionally overlooked French teammate of Boonen’s has reminded all and sundry that his 2nd place in last year’s Ronde was no accident, and he is a genuine contender for the win on Sunday. Right: The Tour of Flanders is this Sunday, 4/1. Have you forgotten? We hope you haven’t forgotten. In any event, some of us here on the Embrocation editorial staff have been harboring a man-sized man-crush on Mr.Sylvain Chanvanel for years now…and we breathe such a sigh of affectionate vindication when he earns it, every so often.
And now for our loosely organized smattering of observations about the world of bikes and racing for the week:
The biggest news of our week. Of our year, actually. I mean really. Do you have any idea how much putting out this volume means to us? Buy a copy, you’ll love it. And thanks for your support.
Jered Gruber is very quickly becoming a household name. His flickr dump from E3 Harelbeke is effing amazing, check it out. Hey Jered, wanna come play with us some time?
Graeme Obree did many interesting things and is an amazing and passionate character. Too bad he doesn’t speak English (may need subtitles.)
Oh, Mario. To be honest, if we were you at least some of us would be doing the same thing.
Quite an interesting and insightful article and rather uncharacteristic of the big V. But for me, it misses one of the major points. Regardless of how hand made an Asian carbon bicycle may be, it’s still a big-box, mold-made carbon bicycle. North American small frame makers (and an ever-decreasing number of overseas outfits) are the last bastions of high-end steel, aluminum and titanium bicycle manufacturing. Part of the ethos of the NAHBS is the origin story, and part of it is just that some people don’t want molded, mass-produced carbon bikes for ride quality reasons, no? It’s a question of function in addition to form.
We can’t decide if this is dreadful or wonderful. Feeling this divided must mean it’s art, right? Or maybe just engineering run amok. In any case, even if it’s a bit pointless, it’s a cool example of Euro-style design.
On the other side of the coin, we have here a fine example of Russian design.
Recently we’ve found ourselves smitten by Cantilever and Press. Their understated, functional woodworking has us hankering for some fine wood crafts here in Embro HQ.