My old Look 386i frame…..

 

 

 

 

Re-visiting an old Look frame.

It’s been in the attic for a while.

I thought it was knackered. It might not be. (Probably still is though.)

It’s got a 3cm crack near the bottom bracket.

About 3 years ago I stopped riding it because it squeaked.

I’m hoping it’s just a crack in the lacquer.

I’m building it up again, in a vain attempt that maybe it is.

Wishful thinking. 

 

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And in other news, I dismantled my Bianchi Via Nirone.

I don’t ride it any more.

Soon to be sold.

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Backstage Passes.

These are the backstage passes I’ve amassed over the years. That lot weighs nearly 10kg!20121026-114728.jpg

I’ll show you some of my favourites.

Our first Ibiza Rocks gig. The one that Kate Moss tried to climb on stage. She wanted to kiss us. Probably. We are very kissable!20121026-114815.jpg

Motörhead 25th anniversary gig. Brixton, 2000. That gig was LOUD!20121026-115025.jpg

Our first live gig at Glastonbury. Some of my flightcases have still got mud on them from this show. Once that stuff impregnates your clothes/gear, it’s not coming off. We’ve tried to clean the flightcases but to no avail, that stuff is like concrete.20121026-115043.jpg

Miss Italia 2005. Ahem! Don’t ask!20121026-115124.jpg

The Who. One of the best live bands I’ve ever seen.20121026-115115.jpg

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I spent a fair few years playing with @natimbruglia. We used to do massive award shows all the time. This one’s from the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles 1998. Where I told Forrest Whittaker I realised how difficult acting jobs were to find in LA. He’ll get one soon. “Just hang on in there.”  I had no idea who he was!20121026-115052.jpg

The Robert Kennedy Memorial Concert, New York, 1998. Al Gore & Muhammad Ali were in the front row. That was weird. We had to have our backgrounds checked by the FBI before doing that gig. We even had Secret Service guys on guard outside our dressing room.20121026-115036.jpg

And my favourite one of all. I got to see Led Zeppelin rehearse/jam in 2007. They were incredible

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Rhône Alps – Day 4 – Road graffiti by Saxo Banksy

Retracing old ground today, but in reverse.

Ignoring all common sense once again I didn’t bother with much of a warm-up, so I went straight up the D80 climb up to Col du Mollard from Villargondran, the one with the lovely hairpins from Day 1. 16km long with 1,100m of climbing, that should wake me up at least. With the temperature hitting 32˚C this morning, the trees on this ascent gave welcome shade from the sun. I counted 44 hairpins in total, there might have been more, I wasn’t really paying attention. 44 seems about right.

Once at the top of Mollard, there’s a 6km descent before another big climb up to Croix de Fer.

Croix de Fer is French for Iron Cross, and guess what? There’s an Iron Cross up there. Here’s a picture of it….

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I was told that the descent from Croix de Fer/Glandon down to St. Etiene de Cuines is a must. If magnificent views of Mont Blanc are your thing, then this statement is correct. I enjoyed descending this road more than going up the damn thing. It’s a lot easier, hurts a lot less and takes a fraction of the time! As long as you’re pointing the bike in the right direction, you’re doing OK. This technique works well for me.

Some road graffiti from today’s ride….

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The view of Mont Blanc from Col du Glandon (it’s the white thing at the very back) ……

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Route: http://www.bikemap.net/route/1809162

Cycling done: A smidge more than yesterday.

Rocking and Rolling done: I’m still hearing dip, di-di, dip, di-di, dip, di-di, dip etc. What is that song called? Let me know at @perryguitar666. Again, I wish all manner of pestilence upon this artist. (Whenever I use the word ‘pestilence,’ I’d like you to imagine me as the Grim Reaper. Thanks.)

Distance: 79.7km

Vertical Gain: 2,141m

Legs: Feeling better

Oh, and here’s a 3m high sculpture of a bike at the top of Col du Glandon. And that’s Col de la Croix de Fer just above the pedal.

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Rhône Alps – Day 3 – Glandon, Croix de Fer and Mollard.

So enough of those little first category climbs, it’s time for some Hors Catégorie baby!

Today’s ride took me up to Col de la Croix de Fer via Col du Glandon, and then back up to Col du Mollard again.

This is a section of Stage 11 of this year’s Tour de France.

Not easy.

It began with a 10km spin down the Maurienne valley to Saint Etienne de Cuines where the climb begins.

I took a left up towards Glandon, (taking a right would mean you go up Col de la Madeleine, but more of that in a few days time).

It’s a steady climb averaging about 7% for the first 16km, but it lulls you into a false sense of security. I was taking it quite easy, my legs didn’t hurt too much, so I thought I was doing pretty bloody well. Then I remembered that the pros do this at twice my pace.

On top of the sudden realisation that I was actually not very good, the last 4km the gradient ramps up quite sharply. Great! 10%. 11%. 12%. 13%. 14%.

At this this point I was wishing all manner of pestilence upon the families of the people who built this road. My leg muscles began to burn and my lungs felt as if they were about to burst.

I did feel better when I got to the top of Glandon. Elation and relief were the emotions I felt as I was hunched over my handlebars dribbling onto my front wheel.

After the 2.5 km climb up to Croix de Fer, the narrow descent through the ski resorts has to be taken with caution. At some points in the road there isn’t enough room for an oncoming car and a descending bike. I took the ‘Tour de France’ descent off Col du Mollard as opposed to the one I did a couple of days previously. Very technical but a lot of fun.

Here’s a proper cyclist, Daniel Lloyd, who is about four thousand times better than me, with a proper insight into the climbs.

Route: http://www.bikemap.net/route/1760884

Cycling done: More than yesterday

Rocking and Rolling done: For some reason my brain is full of those shitty Eurodance pop tunes. Mainly the Numa Numa one, and the one that goes dip, di-di, dip, di-di, dip, di-di, dip etc. Total hell.

Distance: 74km

Vertical Gain: 2,069m

Legs: Hmmmm…..

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Rhône Alps – Day 2 – Col du Chaussy

And to the second warm-up day.

Starting with another ascent up the Lacets de Montvernier.

‘Lacets’ is what the French call hairpins. It’s also the French word for laces, as in shoelaces. Cute.

It’s impossible to take a good photo of the lacets from the road, so I got ‘my mate Dave’ to take a picture from his helicopter.

From the village of Montvernier, it’s a pretty steady climb to the top. There are a few disconcerting sheer drops along the way; fine on the way up, shit-your-pants on the way down. (I think I prefer shit-your-pants).

The last climb of the day took me up to the village of St. Pancrace, then back home to St. Jean de Maurienne.

After two days of ‘warming-up’, I’m fucking exhausted!

Route: http://www.bikemap.net/route/1760910

Cycling done: Same as yesterday

Rocking and Rolling done: Zilch

Distance: 57.6km

Vertical Gain: 1,563m

Legs: Oh FFS!!!

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