You might have seen the Ötztal Glacier Road before. A 15km stretch of privately owned tarmac and the second-highest paved road in Europe. It was the location for the car-vs-plane chase scene in Spectre, the most recent 007 film, and it’s the perfect spot for such a high-octane affair, as our group of Rapha riders discovered when we rode there recently. “It was quite breathtaking,” says amateur racer Will Linton. “The first 5km were so steep it was punishing, but then it opens up to this stunning glacial valley that rises all the way to 2,830m. I’ve never ridden anything like it before.”
For snowsports enthusiasts, the attractions of the high alps of the Austrian Tirol are well known. But this landscape undergoes a transformation in the warmer months, which goes some way to explaining why cycling is set to take off here. With spring in the air and snow rapidly turning to meltwater, it proved an ideal time to explore.
The first official meeting of the Vegetarian Cycling Club was held in October 1888 in London, at the Central Vegetarian Restaurant in Farringdon. It is a common misconception that vegetarianism is a relatively new movement. In fact it was created before the 1800’s, and was popular particularly in the 1880’s. Vegetarian Restaurants were not uncommon at the time, most commonly in London. So it was an unsurprising consequence of that popularity that the club was formed.
On 20 May 1967, Eddy Merckx started his first ever Grand Tour when he lined up at the start of the 50th edition of the Giro d’Italia in Treviglio in the province of Bergamo.
It was a star-studded peloton which started that year. In addition to the 1966 winner Gianni Motta, other main contenders included previous winners Jacques Anquetil, Franco Balmamion, Vittorio Adorni and the 1965 Tour de France winner Felice Gimondi
Despite being just 21 years-old, Merckx had gained his tag as a contender due to his phenomenal start to the season where he won both Milan-San Remo and La Flèche Wallonne. Going into the race though, Merckx had little experience on the big climbs and it was unknown how he would perform when they reached the mountains.
Jake Rusby is a framebuilding instructor at the Bicycle Academy and one that specializes in beautiful fillet brazed construction. In a way, through teaching students this artistry, he’s passing the torch of knowledge to the next generation of framebuilders and since the Bicycle Academy’s student reach is worldwide, his impact will only have positive results in the industry as a whole. This is Jake’s personal bike. It’s an all-day road frame, built with Dura Ace, with a more relaxed geometry when compared to a crit racing machine. Jake wanted a bike he could spend every waking moment on, soaking in the sun in the British countryside outside of Bristol, where he recently just relocated from in London.
What is most impressive about all of this is that Jake painted this bike himself. He wanted the contrast of a single color, with areas of intensity in the details. After masking off dozens of dots, he began the painting process, resulting in a halftone-inspired final product which achieves his intention quite well. Other details I found intriguing are the split seat stay bridge and head badge, both acting as a reflection of the other.