Can’t get enough of cycling when you’re off the bike? We know the feeling, so every month we can’t wait to check out what’s going on in the world of cycling journalism. This month we thought we’d share a few of the great stories that you might have missed in the latest cycling magazines – including ones that you can only find in print, but are worth the price of admission.
First up is a fascinating story about the Bordeaux-Paris race from 1963, won by Tom Simpson. Culled from the archives of their sister publication Cycling Weekly, the story is full of amazing race day photos that tell the tale of this 500km long former Classic race. Riders started the race at 2am, and stopped partway through to change into their race kits on the side of the road! The strangest part of the race was that for the last 250km, the riders were paced by motorized “dernys” (gas powered scooters) – a bit like a track race out on the open road!
Next up, from the latest Bicycling magazine, is a story of a quest to get an interview with the legendary Eddy Merkcx. Apparently Merckx is still tough to catch up to, just like he was in his racing days, but this profile about the present-day Merckx reveals a man that is supremely comfortable in his role as cycling legend, yet who rarely looks back at his racing career or seeks out acclaim for his accomplishments.
In the November issue of Velo magazine, there’s a great interview with everyone’s favorite hardman cyclist, Jens Voigt, but the article that caught our eye was the ranking of the top 10 hardmen of the post-wart era (I guess you have to rule out those early cyclists who rode unpaved roads with no derailleurs – by default they would probably win any hardman contest). Our favorite tale of adversity overcome is about Fiorenzo Magni, who broke his collarbone in the middle of the 1956 Giro d’Italia (the final race of his career), yet who refused to give up even though he had to have a strip of innertube attached to his stem to stabilize his bike – the other end of which he held with his teeth!
Finally, for our fellow mountain bike riders out there, we dug the short story, “The Picashaw Pedaler”, in issue #159 of Dirt Rag magazine. The winner of their Literature Contest, this spooky tale of a sleep-deprived 24-hour racer who starts seeing a figure in the woods strikes home for anyone who’s ridden all out through the night. Was it just a hallucination.. or was it something else?