Ariane Luthi Scope O2

Cape Epic cancelled due to Corona virus

Cape Epic cancelled due to Corona virus

Ariane Luthi remains positive

Swiss mountain biker Ariane Luthi was incredibly disappointed when she first heard the Cape Epic had been cancelled. But the move has helped her see the bigger picture and she now hopes to help raise awareness in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Change your mindset and stay positive

The 36-year-old, who would have partnered Alice Pirard for the Andermatt Spur team, said the positive side of the cancellation of the eight-day event, due to have started this week, was that it would hopefully help prevent the spread of the virus in South Africa, with its subsequent risk to people’s lives.

“I can always keep myself busy. I’m going to invest more time into The Cyclists’ Alliance, a rider union for professional women cyclists. I wanted to do a lot more for them leading up to Epic.

“I’m also planning to visit the Spur Foundation this week to maybe do something for the kids who live in underprivileged places and talk about hygiene there.”

The five-time Epic winner said the moment on Friday evening when she heard news of the cancellation of the event, due to have started yesterday, was surreal.

Look at the bigger picture

“I couldn’t believe that it was cancelled. It was a huge decompression. The first 24 hours . . . I couldn’t sleep that night after it was cancelled.

“We build up so much tension and we were in such focus for this race and had obviously prepared a lot. It’s crazy what goes on in your body – physiologically and mentally – building up towards such a big goal.

“Very quickly we needed to snap out of our selfishness and have a look at the bigger picture. This race is just a bike race and it’s so much more about protecting people from the virus. Imagine this virus goes into the informal settlements, it would be a huge disaster. It’s much bigger than us.”

Luthi, who came third alongside Maja Wloszczowska in last year’s event, said she definitely supported the decision and felt it was the right thing to do.

“As I read up about this pandemic, I realise more and more that we need to flatten the curve as much as possible to slow down the infection rate so that the healthcare system won’t collapse.

“There is a huge danger that the coronavirus could infect more people here in SA and if this goes into townships where the hygienic circumstances aren’t as great as in our lives, it could be catastrophic.

“In those circumstances one has to show good leadership and calling it off was definitely right.”

Luthi said personally she had been so focused on what she had to do this past week, she now felt a bit embarrassed. But on the other hand, it was her job.

“Those two weeks before the race I step into such a bubble and focus so much on the race that I maybe lose a bit of perspective for what is happening around me.

“Therefore I was not really fearing anything. I was just looking at the Swiss media and saw what was happening there with a lot of cancellations of sport events. Them being cancelled a week before Epic, I thought SA would not really be so much in danger but I was also not so knowledgeable enough to make a good judgement.

“Looking back, it should have been obvious to me in that week. I just didn’t want it to be true. I put up my hopes so much to still race,” said Luthi who recently partnered with Canyon Bicycles.

She added that she did not have any health issues and had a strong immune system, so she was not scared of being infected but more scared of infecting others.

“Carrying the virus to someone who may not have the immune system I have and possibly kill another person like that.

“I think we all need to look at life a bit differently and be a bit more cautious about the planet and our health in general.”

Luthi said the Epic was her main goal of the season, with the second being the MTB Marathon European Championships and Swiss Marathon Championships in June.

“At the moment it’s an extraordinary situation and all our lives are put on hold with this health crises we’re in. We don’t know yet what other races will be happening.”

All in all, she wanted to thank the Epic organisers for making the call and she understood it was difficult for them to do so.

“Thanks to everyone who tried to create such a nice race for us and I hope they have a lot of understanding from the riders and stay strong.

“I wish them all the best going forward and I can’t wait to come back to it in 2021.”

Featured products

Scope O2D

The Scope O2D is a high-performance, tubeless ready off-road wheelset.  

From 1.398,00 EUR

Scope Freehub SRAM XDR

Our SRAM XDR optimized freehub is lightweight and durable.

69,00 EUR

Text: March 16, 2020, 12:49 pm By In the Bunch

Cape Epic cancelled due to Corona virus

Ariane Luthi remains positive

Swiss mountain biker Ariane Luthi was incredibly disappointed when she first heard the Cape Epic had been cancelled. But the move has helped her see the bigger picture and she now hopes to help raise awareness in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Change your mindset and stay positive

The 36-year-old, who would have partnered Alice Pirard for the Andermatt Spur team, said the positive side of the cancellation of the eight-day event, due to have started this week, was that it would hopefully help prevent the spread of the virus in South Africa, with its subsequent risk to people’s lives.

“I can always keep myself busy. I’m going to invest more time into The Cyclists’ Alliance, a rider union for professional women cyclists. I wanted to do a lot more for them leading up to Epic.

“I’m also planning to visit the Spur Foundation this week to maybe do something for the kids who live in underprivileged places and talk about hygiene there.”

The five-time Epic winner said the moment on Friday evening when she heard news of the cancellation of the event, due to have started yesterday, was surreal.

“There is a huge danger that the coronavirus could infect more people here in SA and if this goes into townships where the hygienic circumstances aren’t as great as in our lives, it could be catastrophic.

“In those circumstances one has to show good leadership and calling it off was definitely right.”

Luthi said personally she had been so focused on what she had to do this past week, she now felt a bit embarrassed. But on the other hand, it was her job.

“Those two weeks before the race I step into such a bubble and focus so much on the race that I maybe lose a bit of perspective for what is happening around me.

“Therefore I was not really fearing anything. I was just looking at the Swiss media and saw what was happening there with a lot of cancellations of sport events. Them being cancelled a week before Epic, I thought SA would not really be so much in danger but I was also not so knowledgeable enough to make a good judgement.

“Looking back, it should have been obvious to me in that week. I just didn’t want it to be true. I put up my hopes so much to still race,” said Luthi who recently partnered with Canyon Bicycles.

She added that she did not have any health issues and had a strong immune system, so she was not scared of being infected but more scared of infecting others.

“Carrying the virus to someone who may not have the immune system I have and possibly kill another person like that.

“I think we all need to look at life a bit differently and be a bit more cautious about the planet and our health in general.”

Luthi said the Epic was her main goal of the season, with the second being the MTB Marathon European Championships and Swiss Marathon Championships in June.

“At the moment it’s an extraordinary situation and all our lives are put on hold with this health crises we’re in. We don’t know yet what other races will be happening.”

All in all, she wanted to thank the Epic organisers for making the call and she understood it was difficult for them to do so.

“Thanks to everyone who tried to create such a nice race for us and I hope they have a lot of understanding from the riders and stay strong.

“I wish them all the best going forward and I can’t wait to come back to it in 2021.”

Featured products

Scope O2D

The Scope O2D is a high-performance, tubeless ready off-road wheelset.

From 1.398,00 EUR

 

Text: March 16, 2020, 12:49 pm By In the Bunch

Discovering Wales: Tracing a race that never was

Discovering Wales

Tracing a race that never was

Wales is beautiful. It’s wild, and wet at times. But it has a lot to offer. Nigel Leech and James Deane went on a gravel adventure of its own to find out.

From the Mid-West to Mid-Wales

Back in 2014 Gravel bikes hadn’t hit the big time. Only a handful of riders were aware of the US scene, and dedicated bikes were few and far between. It was a bold move then for Ian Barrington of Wildcat Gear to suggest a UK gravel race. Set in Mid-wales, the Wildcat 100 promised a taste of the Mid-West. Despite this, there was plenty of interest, almost certainly because of Ian’s depth of knowledge when it comes to Cambrian trails and the popularity of Wildcat gear. Great location, great route, excited riders. What could possibly go wrong?

The best laid plans of mice and men

With a full roster of riders all eager to hit the gravel, the event suffered a blowout at the eleventh hour. With the Wildcat 100 making use of so many forestry logging roads, the route passed through almost every active harvesting site in the region. To ensure the safety of a mass-start event would take months of coordination with NRW, something that just wasn’t feasible. That left Ian with no choice but to pull the plug. While the event might have been shelved, the GPX route lived on for tackling at a more relaxed pace. If you travel solo, or in a small group and are happy to be flexible, you can re-route on the fly if you come across the lumberjacks doing their thing!

Back to the future

Fast forward to 2019 and gravel bikes are the next big thing. Pop into your local high street bike shop and you’ll probably find something that makes the 2014 Salsa Warbird with it’s 35c tyres look positively old hat. Events like The Dirty Reiver, Gritfest and Grinduro are well established, so perhaps the Wildcat 100 should remain in the history books? As one of those riders who received the Dear John email, the route felt like unfinished business. So why not take along some contemporary adventure bikes and see what happens?

This is not a race

“A very good inn that Talbot Arms- where they are always glad to see an English gentleman. I experienced very good entertainment at the Tregaron Inn”, wrote  George Borrow in Wild Wales back in 1854.

“George Borrow went to Y Talbot on his walk around Wales, we should go there.”

“Yeah, but Google says the current owner trained under Marco Pierre White… lets go to the chippy.”

And with that, my dreams of following in the path of my fellow townsman were dashed, although certainly to the benefit of my bank balance. With two fish n’ chips ordered, we parked ourselves on the bench and waited for James Heaton from Wilderness Trail Bikes. James, a native South Walian arrived a few minutes later and while stuffing our faces with chips, we chatted about just how bad the weather forecast looked for the weekend… With the local postcodes covering several square miles of nothing, we took off in tandem relying on the trusty OS map to get us to our hostel.

Triple trouble!

We’d ridden the track past the hostel years previously and remembered that the southern section was much worse than the north so I wasn’t too worried as we turned off the tarmac. However, threading a van, rather than a mountain bike down a meandering farm track redefines whether a track is OK. After a few utterances of “Are you sure?” the headlights finally picked out the hostel from the gloom.

With the log-burner in the hostel topped up, we hatched our plans for the ride ahead with our respective regional delicacies, Adnam’s Broadside and Tan Y Castell Welsh cakes. A true athletes supper!

With the route passing close by, it made sense to start and finish from one of the Elenydd Hostels rather than the original start at the Llyn Brianne dam. Luck was on our side as Ty’n Cornel had vacancies and placed us directly on route. Relinquished by the Youth Hostel Association,Ty’n Cornel and Dolgoch Hostels were taken over by Elenydd Wilderness Hostels Trust. Run along the same principles as the YHA, the trust relies upon volunteers to take on fortnightly shifts as hostel wardens.

If you think the Wilderness label might be a bit OTT consider this. When Ty’n Cornel was a working farm (up until the 1950s) the children of the household would have to lodge in the next village to attend school and a visit to chapel on Sunday might be the only time you saw your neighbours outside of shearing season! A newspaper clipping from 2003 reports farms in the valley were finally being connected to mains electricity!

Quick detour

We have to confess to taking a cheeky short-cut at the start. There are three fords en-route that can turn nasty, so we wanted to make sure they were behind us before the heavens inevitably opened. A rapid descent led to a stream that needed hopping before turning into a climb that picked us off one by one until we were all pushing. The reward for cresting the summit was a view that let us know what we would be in for, solitude!

Of course, this being Wales, the climbing was far from done. The moorland tracks took the steepest, most direct route over the landscape while the labyrinth of Forestry tracks corkscrewed in endless spirals. Just as we felt our legs cry “enough!” , we’d round the next corner and gravity would throw us the base of the next climb. And so the winching began again.

The Bike: Cervelo Aspero

Cervelo’s first foray into the gravel sector and it’s unashamedly racy. If you dressed it up with slick tyres, it wouldn’t look out of place on a Sunday club run. A huge, stout downtube blends into an even stouter bottom bracket junction. Out back, the chainstays are the complete opposite to the Salsa’s comfort orientated, bowed seat stays. The Aspero’s short wheelbase and beefy rear triangle are all about  transferring power. “Haul ass, not cargo” was the tagline at launch. So naturally, the first thing we decided to do was load it up the hilt with bikepacking luggage! Far from standard, this Cervelo carried a huge range of gears courtesy of a SRAM AXS Eagle/Force ‘mullet’ combo and super light but strong, Scope O2 carbon wheels.

Limited Resupply

One obvious side-effect of riding in a remote location is the need for self-sufficiency. The route is designed so that riders pass through Llanwrtyd Wells during daylight hours. This is your one and only opportunity to stock up. When you next get close to town, it’ll most likely be Sunday morning and the shutters will be down! Llanwrtyd is a veritable Oasis in the desert of Wales with pubs, cafes and a corner shop on hand. We chose the Neuadd Arms, incidentally the Welsh HQ for The Monster Raving Loony Party. With what we had planned, it seemed appropriate!

The Green Labyrinth

After stocking up we hit the trail again, heading for Crychan Forest. It felt like most of the next 40km were spent in dense forest. As the light began to fade, the trails grew steeper and twistier. With legs tiring, it was all too easy for our small group to split as we settled into our climbing cadence.

The intermittent showers we’d had throughout the day now became proper rain. The decision was made to set up camp if a break in the rain coincided with a decent spot.

Light rain on your tent can be hypnotic, heavy rain can keep you awake. Neither compare to sustained bursts of gunfire at 2.30 a.m. a literal wake-up call that we were in the vicinity of the Sennybridge military training area! There was no hanging about at sunrise to strike camp and finish the final leg of the tour!

The last 40km were a delight, the relentless forest and mist finally giving way to stunning views across the empty Elenydd. Our first encounter with people since leaving Llanwrtyd came as we approached the Dam holding back the waters of Llyn Brianne. A great spot to stop and take in the great expanse of the reservoir and to be mesmerised by the frothing spillway.

Refuge in the mountains

The final milestone for us was reaching Capel Soar-y-Mynydd. The most remote chapel in Wales, with its whitewashed walls a beacon to aim for. Stepping inside is like stepping back in time. Bolt upright pews evoke thoughts of an alert congregation receiving a sermon from a fiery preacher!

Outside the graveyard has but three headstones, likely a reflection of how the harsh life of a hill-farmer wasn’t a route to great wealth. Standing here, you get that impression that very little has changed in decades and there is little to no sign of our modern life having intruded upon this timeless valley. The spell is suddenly shattered as a group of 2-stroke scramble bikes rattle down the hillside at full chat. And with that, we press on from the chapel and up yet another rocky climb.

We had less than an hours riding left but it was some of the most memorable. The rough climb out of the Camddwr valley became a competition to see who could get the furthest without dabbing. Crossing the plateau of Foel Fraith served to etch in our minds just how barren the landscape could be. As we splashed through the ford crossing the Doethie, we knew that while we had a hundred metres to go, our erstwhile racers would have had a hundred miles left to complete!

Reflection on the route

Chapeau to Ian for the excellent route, mostly avoiding any sign of human life, let alone traffic. The trails can be rough but are all rideable with only your fitness levels deciding if you need to hop off and push. If you really want to get away from it all on your gravel bike, this is the route to take! If 170km seems too daunting the route lends itself to being easily adapted by short-cuts.

Featured products

Scope O2D

The Scope O2D is a high-performance, tubeless ready off-road wheelset.  

From 1.398,00 EUR

Scope Freehub SRAM XDR

Our SRAM XDR optimized freehub is lightweight and durable.

69,00 EUR

Photography: Nigel Leech and James Deane. The article was also published on advntr.cc

Discovering Wales

Tracing a race that never was

Wales is beautiful. It’s wild, and wet at times. But it has a lot to offer. Nigel Leech and James Deane went on a gravel adventure of its own to find out.

From the Mid-West to Mid-Wales

Back in 2014 Gravel bikes hadn’t hit the big time. Only a handful of riders were aware of the US scene, and dedicated bikes were few and far between. It was a bold move then for Ian Barrington of Wildcat Gear to suggest a UK gravel race. Set in Mid-wales, the Wildcat 100 promised a taste of the Mid-West. Despite this, there was plenty of interest, almost certainly because of Ian’s depth of knowledge when it comes to Cambrian trails and the popularity of Wildcat gear. Great location, great route, excited riders. What could possibly go wrong?

The best laid plans of mice and men

With a full roster of riders all eager to hit the gravel, the event suffered a blowout at the eleventh hour. With the Wildcat 100 making use of so many forestry logging roads, the route passed through almost every active harvesting site in the region. To ensure the safety of a mass-start event would take months of coordination with NRW, something that just wasn’t feasible. That left Ian with no choice but to pull the plug. While the event might have been shelved, the GPX route lived on for tackling at a more relaxed pace. If you travel solo, or in a small group and are happy to be flexible, you can re-route on the fly if you come across the lumberjacks doing their thing!

Back to the future

Fast forward to 2019 and gravel bikes are the next big thing. Pop into your local high street bike shop and you’ll probably find something that makes the 2014 Salsa Warbird with it’s 35c tyres look positively old hat. Events like The Dirty Reiver, Gritfest and Grinduro are well established, so perhaps the Wildcat 100 should remain in the history books? As one of those riders who received the Dear John email, the route felt like unfinished business. So why not take along some contemporary adventure bikes and see what happens?

This is not a race

“A very good inn that Talbot Arms- where they are always glad to see an English gentleman. I experienced very good entertainment at the Tregaron Inn”, wrote  George Borrow in Wild Wales back in 1854.

“George Borrow went to Y Talbot on his walk around Wales, we should go there.”

“Yeah, but Google says the current owner trained under Marco Pierre White… lets go to the chippy.”

And with that, my dreams of following in the path of my fellow townsman were dashed, although certainly to the benefit of my bank balance. With two fish n’ chips ordered, we parked ourselves on the bench and waited for James Heaton from Wilderness Trail Bikes. James, a native South Walian arrived a few minutes later and while stuffing our faces with chips, we chatted about just how bad the weather forecast looked for the weekend… With the local postcodes covering several square miles of nothing, we took off in tandem relying on the trusty OS map to get us to our hostel.

Triple trouble!

We’d ridden the track past the hostel years previously and remembered that the southern section was much worse than the north so I wasn’t too worried as we turned off the tarmac. However, threading a van, rather than a mountain bike down a meandering farm track redefines whether a track is OK. After a few utterances of “Are you sure?” the headlights finally picked out the hostel from the gloom.

With the log-burner in the hostel topped up, we hatched our plans for the ride ahead with our respective regional delicacies, Adnam’s Broadside and Tan Y Castell Welsh cakes. A true athletes supper!

With the route passing close by, it made sense to start and finish from one of the Elenydd Hostels rather than the original start at the Llyn Brianne dam. Luck was on our side as Ty’n Cornel had vacancies and placed us directly on route. Relinquished by the Youth Hostel Association,Ty’n Cornel and Dolgoch Hostels were taken over by Elenydd Wilderness Hostels Trust. Run along the same principles as the YHA, the trust relies upon volunteers to take on fortnightly shifts as hostel wardens.

If you think the Wilderness label might be a bit OTT consider this. When Ty’n Cornel was a working farm (up until the 1950s) the children of the household would have to lodge in the next village to attend school and a visit to chapel on Sunday might be the only time you saw your neighbours outside of shearing season! A newspaper clipping from 2003 reports farms in the valley were finally being connected to mains electricity!

Quick detour

We have to confess to taking a cheeky short-cut at the start. There are three fords en-route that can turn nasty, so we wanted to make sure they were behind us before the heavens inevitably opened. A rapid descent led to a stream that needed hopping before turning into a climb that picked us off one by one until we were all pushing. The reward for cresting the summit was a view that let us know what we would be in for, solitude!

Of course, this being Wales, the climbing was far from done. The moorland tracks took the steepest, most direct route over the landscape while the labyrinth of Forestry tracks corkscrewed in endless spirals. Just as we felt our legs cry “enough!” , we’d round the next corner and gravity would throw us the base of the next climb. And so the winching began again.

The Bike: Cervelo Aspero

Cervelo’s first foray into the gravel sector and it’s unashamedly racy. If you dressed it up with slick tyres, it wouldn’t look out of place on a Sunday club run. A huge, stout downtube blends into an even stouter bottom bracket junction. Out back, the chainstays are the complete opposite to the Salsa’s comfort orientated, bowed seat stays. The Aspero’s short wheelbase and beefy rear triangle are all about  transferring power. “Haul ass, not cargo” was the tagline at launch. So naturally, the first thing we decided to do was load it up the hilt with bikepacking luggage! Far from standard, this Cervelo carried a huge range of gears courtesy of a SRAM AXS Eagle/Force ‘mullet’ combo and super light but strong, Scope O2 carbon wheels.

It’s not just the bikes that have evolved

As gravel bikes have evolved, component suppliers have had to keep pace with demands. There’s no need to rely on ‘cross tyres, when you can find better all-rounders, and more specialised treads. On this trip we used WTB’s 700 Venture 40c, and Byway 44c.

Unsurprisingly, the WTB Byway excelled on tarmac and dry terrain. However it more than held it’s own on some of the rockier sections of trail. Behaving just like a miniature MTB tyre, the Sendero hooked up in the gloop and railed loose corners. Undoubtedly the while Ventures split the difference as the capable all-rounder.

No doubt us all running tubeless helped with grip and comfort while warding off punctures.

The Green Labyrinth

After stocking up we hit the trail again, heading for Crychan Forest. It felt like most of the next 40km were spent in dense forest. As the light began to fade, the trails grew steeper and twistier. With legs tiring, it was all too easy for our small group to split as we settled into our climbing cadence.

The intermittent showers we’d had throughout the day now became proper rain. The decision was made to set up camp if a break in the rain coincided with a decent spot.

Light rain on your tent can be hypnotic, heavy rain can keep you awake. Neither compare to sustained bursts of gunfire at 2.30 a.m. a literal wake-up call that we were in the vicinity of the Sennybridge military training area! There was no hanging about at sunrise to strike camp and finish the final leg of the tour!

The last 40km were a delight, the relentless forest and mist finally giving way to stunning views across the empty Elenydd. Our first encounter with people since leaving Llanwrtyd came as we approached the Dam holding back the waters of Llyn Brianne. A great spot to stop and take in the great expanse of the reservoir and to be mesmerised by the frothing spillway.

Refuge in the mountains

The final milestone for us was reaching Capel Soar-y-Mynydd. The most remote chapel in Wales, with its whitewashed walls a beacon to aim for. Stepping inside is like stepping back in time. Bolt upright pews evoke thoughts of an alert congregation receiving a sermon from a fiery preacher!

Outside the graveyard has but three headstones, likely a reflection of how the harsh life of a hill-farmer wasn’t a route to great wealth. Standing here, you get that impression that very little has changed in decades and there is little to no sign of our modern life having intruded upon this timeless valley. The spell is suddenly shattered as a group of 2-stroke scramble bikes rattle down the hillside at full chat. And with that, we press on from the chapel and up yet another rocky climb.

We had less than an hours riding left but it was some of the most memorable. The rough climb out of the Camddwr valley became a competition to see who could get the furthest without dabbing. Crossing the plateau of Foel Fraith served to etch in our minds just how barren the landscape could be. As we splashed through the ford crossing the Doethie, we knew that while we had a hundred metres to go, our erstwhile racers would have had a hundred miles left to complete!

Reflection on the route

Chapeau to Ian for the excellent route, mostly avoiding any sign of human life, let alone traffic. The trails can be rough but are all rideable with only your fitness levels deciding if you need to hop off and push. If you really want to get away from it all on your gravel bike, this is the route to take! If 170km seems too daunting the route lends itself to being easily adapted by short-cuts.

Featured products

Scope O2D

The Scope O2D is a high-performance, tubeless ready off-road wheelset.  

From 1.398,00 EUR

Freehub SRAM XDR

Our SRAM XDR optimized freehub is lightweight and durable.

69,00 EUR

Photography: Nigel Leech and James Deane. The article was also published on advntr.cc

Discovering Wales

Tracing a race that never was

Wales is beautiful. It’s wild, and wet at times. But it has a lot to offer. Nigel Leech and James Deane went on a gravel adventure of its own to find out.

From the Mid-West to Mid-Wales

Back in 2014 Gravel bikes hadn’t hit the big time. Only a handful of riders were aware of the US scene, and dedicated bikes were few and far between. It was a bold move then for Ian Barrington of Wildcat Gear to suggest a UK gravel race. Set in Mid-wales, the Wildcat 100 promised a taste of the Mid-West. Despite this, there was plenty of interest, almost certainly because of Ian’s depth of knowledge when it comes to Cambrian trails and the popularity of Wildcat gear. Great location, great route, excited riders. What could possibly go wrong?

The best laid plans of mice and men

With a full roster of riders all eager to hit the gravel, the event suffered a blowout at the eleventh hour. With the Wildcat 100 making use of so many forestry logging roads, the route passed through almost every active harvesting site in the region. To ensure the safety of a mass-start event would take months of coordination with NRW, something that just wasn’t feasible. That left Ian with no choice but to pull the plug. While the event might have been shelved, the GPX route lived on for tackling at a more relaxed pace. If you travel solo, or in a small group and are happy to be flexible, you can re-route on the fly if you come across the lumberjacks doing their thing!

Back to the future

Fast forward to 2019 and gravel bikes are the next big thing. Pop into your local high street bike shop and you’ll probably find something that makes the 2014 Salsa Warbird with it’s 35c tyres look positively old hat. Events like The Dirty Reiver, Gritfest and Grinduro are well established, so perhaps the Wildcat 100 should remain in the history books? As one of those riders who received the Dear John email, the route felt like unfinished business. So why not take along some contemporary adventure bikes and see what happens?

This is not a race

“A very good inn that Talbot Arms- where they are always glad to see an English gentleman. I experienced very good entertainment at the Tregaron Inn”, wrote  George Borrow in Wild Wales back in 1854.

“George Borrow went to Y Talbot on his walk around Wales, we should go there.”

“Yeah, but Google says the current owner trained under Marco Pierre White… lets go to the chippy.”

And with that, my dreams of following in the path of my fellow townsman were dashed, although certainly to the benefit of my bank balance. With two fish n’ chips ordered, we parked ourselves on the bench and waited for James Heaton from Wilderness Trail Bikes. James, a native South Walian arrived a few minutes later and while stuffing our faces with chips, we chatted about just how bad the weather forecast looked for the weekend… With the local postcodes covering several square miles of nothing, we took off in tandem relying on the trusty OS map to get us to our hostel.

Triple trouble!

We’d ridden the track past the hostel years previously and remembered that the southern section was much worse than the north so I wasn’t too worried as we turned off the tarmac. However, threading a van, rather than a mountain bike down a meandering farm track redefines whether a track is OK. After a few utterances of “Are you sure?” the headlights finally picked out the hostel from the gloom.

With the log-burner in the hostel topped up, we hatched our plans for the ride ahead with our respective regional delicacies, Adnam’s Broadside and Tan Y Castell Welsh cakes. A true athletes supper!

With the route passing close by, it made sense to start and finish from one of the Elenydd Hostels rather than the original start at the Llyn Brianne dam. Luck was on our side as Ty’n Cornel had vacancies and placed us directly on route. Relinquished by the Youth Hostel Association,Ty’n Cornel and Dolgoch Hostels were taken over by Elenydd Wilderness Hostels Trust. Run along the same principles as the YHA, the trust relies upon volunteers to take on fortnightly shifts as hostel wardens.

If you think the Wilderness label might be a bit OTT consider this. When Ty’n Cornel was a working farm (up until the 1950s) the children of the household would have to lodge in the next village to attend school and a visit to chapel on Sunday might be the only time you saw your neighbours outside of shearing season! A newspaper clipping from 2003 reports farms in the valley were finally being connected to mains electricity!

Quick detour

We have to confess to taking a cheeky short-cut at the start. There are three fords en-route that can turn nasty, so we wanted to make sure they were behind us before the heavens inevitably opened. A rapid descent led to a stream that needed hopping before turning into a climb that picked us off one by one until we were all pushing. The reward for cresting the summit was a view that let us know what we would be in for, solitude!

Of course, this being Wales, the climbing was far from done. The moorland tracks took the steepest, most direct route over the landscape while the labyrinth of Forestry tracks corkscrewed in endless spirals. Just as we felt our legs cry “enough!” , we’d round the next corner and gravity would throw us the base of the next climb. And so the winching began again.

The Bike: Cervelo Aspero

Cervelo’s first foray into the gravel sector and it’s unashamedly racy. If you dressed it up with slick tyres, it wouldn’t look out of place on a Sunday club run. A huge, stout downtube blends into an even stouter bottom bracket junction. Out back, the chainstays are the complete opposite to the Salsa’s comfort orientated, bowed seat stays. The Aspero’s short wheelbase and beefy rear triangle are all about  transferring power. “Haul ass, not cargo” was the tagline at launch. So naturally, the first thing we decided to do was load it up the hilt with bikepacking luggage! Far from standard, this Cervelo carried a huge range of gears courtesy of a SRAM AXS Eagle/Force ‘mullet’ combo and super light but strong, Scope O2 carbon wheels.

It’s not just the bikes that have evolved

As gravel bikes have evolved, component suppliers have had to keep pace with demands. There’s no need to rely on ‘cross tyres, when you can find better all-rounders, and more specialised treads. On this trip we used WTB’s 700 Venture 40c, and Byway 44c.

Unsurprisingly, the WTB Byway excelled on tarmac and dry terrain. However it more than held it’s own on some of the rockier sections of trail. Behaving just like a miniature MTB tyre, the Sendero hooked up in the gloop and railed loose corners. Undoubtedly the while Ventures split the difference as the capable all-rounder.

No doubt us all running tubeless helped with grip and comfort while warding off punctures.

The Green Labyrinth

After stocking up we hit the trail again, heading for Crychan Forest. It felt like most of the next 40km were spent in dense forest. As the light began to fade, the trails grew steeper and twistier. With legs tiring, it was all too easy for our small group to split as we settled into our climbing cadence.

The intermittent showers we’d had throughout the day now became proper rain. The decision was made to set up camp if a break in the rain coincided with a decent spot.

Light rain on your tent can be hypnotic, heavy rain can keep you awake. Neither compare to sustained bursts of gunfire at 2.30 a.m. a literal wake-up call that we were in the vicinity of the Sennybridge military training area! There was no hanging about at sunrise to strike camp and finish the final leg of the tour!

The last 40km were a delight, the relentless forest and mist finally giving way to stunning views across the empty Elenydd. Our first encounter with people since leaving Llanwrtyd came as we approached the Dam holding back the waters of Llyn Brianne. A great spot to stop and take in the great expanse of the reservoir and to be mesmerised by the frothing spillway.

Refuge in the mountains

The final milestone for us was reaching Capel Soar-y-Mynydd. The most remote chapel in Wales, with its whitewashed walls a beacon to aim for. Stepping inside is like stepping back in time. Bolt upright pews evoke thoughts of an alert congregation receiving a sermon from a fiery preacher!

Outside the graveyard has but three headstones, likely a reflection of how the harsh life of a hill-farmer wasn’t a route to great wealth. Standing here, you get that impression that very little has changed in decades and there is little to no sign of our modern life having intruded upon this timeless valley. The spell is suddenly shattered as a group of 2-stroke scramble bikes rattle down the hillside at full chat. And with that, we press on from the chapel and up yet another rocky climb.

We had less than an hours riding left but it was some of the most memorable. The rough climb out of the Camddwr valley became a competition to see who could get the furthest without dabbing. Crossing the plateau of Foel Fraith served to etch in our minds just how barren the landscape could be. As we splashed through the ford crossing the Doethie, we knew that while we had a hundred metres to go, our erstwhile racers would have had a hundred miles left to complete!

Reflection on the route

Chapeau to Ian for the excellent route, mostly avoiding any sign of human life, let alone traffic. The trails can be rough but are all rideable with only your fitness levels deciding if you need to hop off and push. If you really want to get away from it all on your gravel bike, this is the route to take! If 170km seems too daunting the route lends itself to being easily adapted by short-cuts.

Featured products

Scope O2D

The Scope O2D is a high-performance, tubeless ready off-road wheelset.

From 1.398,00 EUR

 

Photography: Nigel Leech and James Deane. The article was also published on advntr.cc

Scope Backyard Breakaway: Experiencing Eindhoven’s hidden roads

Swedish MTB stalwart Calle Friberg is a well-known figure in professional mountain biking. He’s been at the start line of nearly every renown race one can think of, from XCO World Cups to the Cape Epic. Over the years he has gained invaluable experience. Also when it comes to product choice. Together with him, we would like to give you a few tips on how you can run your tubeless wheels.

Scope Backyard Breakaway

Experiencing Eindhoven’s hidden roads

It’s still dark outside when the alarm goes off. A few raindrops are making their way down the window. The weather is better than the forecast predicted. Wet, but not too wet. A typical fall day, sort of.

Putting up the signs for the kings of the rolling hills and the kings of the gravel segments sets the mood for the day and as we lift the last flag onto its pole outside the Cyklist at 8h30am the first riders arrive for an early morning brew.

The clouds are still hanging deep over Eindhoven but it’s dry as the teams roll out from the café to explore the course of the Backyard Breakaway. Each team is joined by riders of Scope sponsored professional continental team Wallonie-Bruxelles.

Together with Yorit Kluitman, the mastermind behind the Pathfinder Giro, we designed a course that shows the diversity of the local heaths south of Eindhoven, but that would also take riders through local forests and into the hills of the Belgian part of Limburg.

Leaving Eindhoven’s city center, the streets are as empty as they get on a damp Sunday morning in fall. Narrow bike paths lead the riders out of town and as they reach the outskirts their pulse pumps in the rhythm of the day. The kings of the gravel segment takes some of them by surprise. But all get through it unscathed. Ready for the first of two coffee stops along the course.

Werner Coolen’s iconic fire truck is parked outside the Achelse Kluis, a monastery located on the border between the Netherlands and Belgium. Time to briefly review the first segment. And time for laughter.

After a short while, the Backyard Breakaway peloton takes off to head south. Following along the Bocholt-Herentals channel the teams get deeper into the Limburg region and finally reach the kings of the rolling hills segment.

A couple of horse-drawn carriages make their way up the climb before the teams emerge from the drizzle. They don’t block the way, though, and all teams are able to challenge the clock.

The rain helped to harden the loose gravel. And makes for mud-covered faces at the end of the segment. From here it’s only a couple of kilometers to the second coffee stop.

The drizzle turns into proper rain for a while as the teams make their way back to the Achelse Kluis. All boilers of Werner’s coffee machine are running as the teams roll onto the parking lot. For some the next brew will be what they need to get them home.

Back at the Cyklist, the World Championship race heats up in Yorkshire. In conditions that arguably worse than the ones the Backyard Breakaway teams faced. The café gets loud as Mathieu van der Poel makes his way to the front group. Time for us to award the fastest teams of the day.

It’s been great to see so many riders turning up for the inaugural Backyard Breakaway. And even though van der Poel isn’t able to make his move count in the end, it doesn’t spoil the mood. Smiles for miles are still setting the scene a couple of hours after the ride and talks turn for the next editions of the Backyard Breakaway.

Featured products

Scope Jersey

The Scope jersey is a lightweight short sleeve jersey.

69,00 EUR

Scope Custom

Our custom wheels make your bike look even more unique. 

From 1.496,00 EUR

The inaugural Backyard Breakaway was supported by the Cyklist Wielercafe, Il Magistrale Cycling Coffee and JGuillem. All photos by Yorit Kluitman.

Scope Backyard Breakaway

Experiencing Eindhoven’s hidden roads

It’s still dark outside when the alarm goes off. A few raindrops are making their way down the window. The weather is better than the forecast predicted. Wet, but not too wet. A typical fall day, sort of.

Putting up the signs for the kings of the rolling hills and the kings of the gravel segments sets the mood for the day and as we lift the last flag onto its pole outside the Cyklist at 8h30am the first riders arrive for an early morning brew.

The clouds are still hanging deep over Eindhoven but it’s dry as the teams roll out from the café to explore the course of the Backyard Breakaway. Each team is joined by riders of Scope sponsored professional continental team Wallonie-Bruxelles.

Together with Yorit Kluitman, the mastermind behind the Pathfinder Giro, we designed a course that shows the diversity of the local heaths south of Eindhoven, but that would also take riders through local forests and into the hills of the Belgian part of Limburg.

Leaving Eindhoven’s city center, the streets are as empty as they get on a damp Sunday morning in fall. Narrow bike paths lead the riders out of town and as they reach the outskirts their pulse pumps in the rhythm of the day. The kings of the gravel segment takes some of them by surprise. But all get through it unscathed. Ready for the first of two coffee stops along the course.

Werner Coolen’s iconic fire truck is parked outside the Achelse Kluis, a monastery located on the border between the Netherlands and Belgium. Time to briefly review the first segment. And time for laughter.

After a short while, the Backyard Breakaway peloton takes off to head south. Following along the Bocholt-Herentals channel the teams get deeper into the Limburg region and finally reach the kings of the rolling hills segment.

A couple of horse-drawn carriages make their way up the climb before the teams emerge from the drizzle. They don’t block the way, though, and all teams are able to challenge the clock.

The rain helped to harden the loose gravel. And makes for mud-covered faces at the end of the segment. From here it’s only a couple of kilometers to the second coffee stop.

The drizzle turns into proper rain for a while as the teams make their way back to the Achelse Kluis. All boilers of Werner’s coffee machine are running as the teams roll onto the parking lot. For some the next brew will be what they need to get them home.

Back at the Cyklist, the World Championship race heats up in Yorkshire. In conditions that arguably worse than the ones the Backyard Breakaway teams faced. The café gets loud as Mathieu van der Poel makes his way to the front group. Time for us to award the fastest teams of the day.

It’s been great to see so many riders turning up for the inaugural Backyard Breakaway. And even though van der Poel isn’t able to make his move count in the end, it doesn’t spoil the mood. Smiles for miles are still setting the scene a couple of hours after the ride and talks turn for the next editions of the Backyard Breakaway.

Featured products

Scope Jersey

The Scope jersey is a lightweight short sleeve jersey.

69,00 EUR

Scope Custom

Our custom wheels make your bike look even more unique. 

From 1.496,00 EUR

The inaugural Backyard Breakaway was supported by the Cyklist Wielercafe, Il Magistrale Cycling Coffee and JGuillem. All photos by Yorit Kluitman.

Scope Backyard Breakaway

Experiencing Eindhoven’s hidden roads

It’s still dark outside when the alarm goes off. A few raindrops are making their way down the window. The weather is better than the forecast predicted. Wet, but not too wet. A typical fall day, sort of.

Putting up the signs for the kings of the rolling hills and the kings of the gravel segments sets the mood for the day and as we lift the last flag onto its pole outside the Cyklist at 8h30am the first riders arrive for an early morning brew.

The clouds are still hanging deep over Eindhoven but it’s dry as the teams roll out from the café to explore the course of the Backyard Breakaway. Each team is joined by riders of Scope sponsored professional continental team Wallonie-Bruxelles.

Together with Yorit Kluitman, the mastermind behind the Pathfinder Giro, we designed a course that shows the diversity of the local heaths south of Eindhoven, but that would also take riders through local forests and into the hills of the Belgian part of Limburg.

Leaving Eindhoven’s city center, the streets are as empty as they get on a damp Sunday morning in fall. Narrow bike paths lead the riders out of town and as they reach the outskirts their pulse pumps in the rhythm of the day. The kings of the gravel segment takes some of them by surprise. But all get through it unscathed. Ready for the first of two coffee stops along the course.

Werner Coolen’s iconic fire truck is parked outside the Achelse Kluis, a monastery located on the border between the Netherlands and Belgium. Time to briefly review the first segment. And time for laughter.

After a short while, the Backyard Breakaway peloton takes off to head south. Following along the Bocholt-Herentals channel the teams get deeper into the Limburg region and finally reach the kings of the rolling hills segment.

A couple of horse-drawn carriages make their way up the climb before the teams emerge from the drizzle. They don’t block the way, though, and all teams are able to challenge the clock.

The rain helped to harden the loose gravel. And makes for mud-covered faces at the end of the segment. From here it’s only a couple of kilometers to the second coffee stop.

The drizzle turns into proper rain for a while as the teams make their way back to the Achelse Kluis. All boilers of Werner’s coffee machine are running as the teams roll onto the parking lot. For some the next brew will be what they need to get them home.

Back at the Cyklist, the World Championship race heats up in Yorkshire. In conditions that arguably worse than the ones the Backyard Breakaway teams faced. The café gets loud as Mathieu van der Poel makes his way to the front group. Time for us to award the fastest teams of the day.

It’s been great to see so many riders turning up for the inaugural Backyard Breakaway. And even though van der Poel isn’t able to make his move count in the end, it doesn’t spoil the mood. Smiles for miles are still setting the scene a couple of hours after the ride and talks turn for the next editions of the Backyard Breakaway.

Featured products

Scope Jersey

The Scope jersey is a lightweight short sleeve jersey.

69,00 EUR

The inaugural Backyard Breakaway was supported by the Cyklist Wielercafe, Il Magistrale Cycling Coffee and JGuillem. All photos by Yorit Kluitman.

Scope Backyard Breakaway: A day out on our home roads

Approaching the 2019 season, Riwal Readynez made a game changing decision when they chose to use a tubeless optimized wheel setup. And the statistics would prove that decision right.

Scope Backyard Breakaway

A day out on our home roads

Scope is a brand made in cycling. And it’s a brand that has its headquarters right at the heart of it; in the Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

The Netherlands, much like Belgium, are known as a place of sheer cycling enthusiasm. Plenty of world class athletes have honed their skills here, before becoming stars of the sport. Riders like Steven Kruijswijk, Wout Poels, and Koen de Kort, who just finished the 106th edition of the Tour de France are just of them. Others are Lars Boom, Jeroen Blijlevens, and Gert-Jan Theunisse, just to name a few.

Like most of the Netherlands, North-Brabant is mostly flat but nearly every part of the area is above sea level. Crossing into Belgium, one can even find a few climbs. Thus, the area makes for perfect rides.

Sharing the ride

We love cycling. In all its facets. And we like to share the ride.

On the 29th of September we’ll arrange the inaugural Scope Backyard Breakaway, a ride during which we’ll not only show you the roads we normally ride on. But, and more importantly, a ride that shall allow us to have a good time together. A chilled one, with a little flavor.

Here are the key facts:

Date: 29 September 2019

Location: Cyklist Wielercafe, Gasfabriek 3, 5613CP Eindhoven

Start Time: 09h30 AM

Finish Ride: 03h00 PM 

Awards: 03h30 PM 

Motto: Discoveries. Team Spirit. Fun.

Course: 124 km or 60 km. Please join our Strava club to check out the course [Link]. We designed the course in a way that allows you to make a decision to ride either the long or the short option at our coffee stop location (halfway point of the short course). 

Segments: Kings of the rolling hills, Kings of the gravel

Program: We invite you and your friends to join us at the end of September in Eindhoven for the first edition of the Scope Backyard Breakaway. Riding together as a team of 4 to 6 riders you’ll have the chance to explore our test and training area, win some cool prizes and just simply have a great time with like-minded people.

The route(s)

Speaking of good times, we created a course and program that allows riders of all levels to enjoy the nature south of Eindhoven, while also being able to grab a mid-ride coffee and to watch the finale of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.

We designed the course together with Eindhoven based designer Yorit Kluitman, a prominent figure in the local bike scene and author of Bicycle Landscape, a book that captures the Dutch landscape from behind the bars.

Using the July weather, we headed out together to decide on the route and the timed segments that will offer you and your friends the chance to measure yourself with the other participants.

Same as on the day of the event, we started our ride at the Cyklist Wielercafe in Eindhoven, the perfect point to meet up and get ready for any the ride in and around town. From here it doesn’t take long to leave the urban roads behind us. It literally only takes a couple of minutes until one can enjoy to spin the legs in some stunning nature.

Leaving Eindhoven, we headed south, following the narrow cycling paths towards the Grote Heide and Valkenhorst. After passing through a couple of small villages we reached a stretch of roads that will become the “Kings of the gravel” segment, come the day of the event. And in case you want to check it out beforehand, don’t worry – we’ll publish the segment before the event, so you can prepare yourself for the challenge. The segment combines roads that feature hard-packed sand, gravel and cobbles – nothing, though, that can’t be ridden on a road bike. We can confirm that, and our bikes as well.

After finishing the segment, we continued on some quiet countryside roads and headed to one of the area’s most iconic sights, the De Achelse Kluis. On the day of the event, you’ll be able to find a coffee truck here. To take a short breather, grab a coffee and to fill up your bottles. The monastery will also mark the halfway point of the short route (60 km), as one will be able to head back to the Cyklist Wielercafe from here, riding along the same roads the will mark the final stretch of the long route (120 km).

Crossing the border to Belgium, we continued to head south and to follow the roads that we had in mind for the long route. Riding along the Bocholt-Herentals canal, we pedaled towards Bocholt and Opoeteren, the halfway point of the long route. And the start of the heuvels, the rolling hills.

Leaving the village we tackled a few narrow roads, perfect for a good day in the saddle. And perfect for the “Kings of the rolling hills” segment. Much as it’s been for us, it will be a surprising one for you and your friends. But, don’t worry, the segment is certainly cool. One, that most definitely will make you talk about it afterwards.

It didn’t take us long to decide on the roads for the second of our two timed segments. From there on we continued north, through the fields and back to the canal and the monastery, on roads that feature really smooth tarmac.

Coming back to the monastery, you’ll be able to grab another coffee before tackling the final stretch of the Backyard Breakaway. The final 30 kilometers of the course lead us through the Langbosch, and the t’Leenderheide, allowing us to take in the scenery of small Brabant villages and their surrounding nature.

We came back to the Cyklist after roughly 4 hours. However, on the day of the event we’ll take it easier.

 

Click here to join our Strava club and download the route

The challenges

As already mentioned, we designed two challenges along the way. While it is cool to just simply enjoy a ride with your friends in the nature, we know that some of you also like to put the hammer down. The two segments we designed shall allow you to do so.

The challenges are also the reason why we’d like you to sign up as a group. However, if you can’t convince your friends to join, then you can also sign up for the event as an individual. The Scope Backyard Breakaway is a free event. And in the end, the main goal is to provide you with the chance to get a memorable ride in, in great nature and with like-minded people.

 

Click here to sign up for the event

 

We will publish the two segments on Strava before the Backyard Breakaway.

After the ride

After coming back to the Cyklist Wielercafe you will find time to refuel. And before we’ll finish the day with a public viewing of the Worlds, we’ll award the team(s) that clocked the fastest time on the two segments.

Together with Yorit, we finished our coffee at the café and made some final notes to prepare the event. We’re already looking forward to it and to welcome you on the 29th September.

Featured Products

Scope R3d

The Scope R3d performs best in the mountains and on challenging terrain.

From 1.398,00 EUR

Scope R4c

The Scope R4c is our outstanding all-rounder, a wheelset without any limitations.

From 1.398,00 EUR

Photography by Yorit Kluitman & Veit Hammer

Scope Backyard Breakaway

A day out on our home roads

Scope is a brand made in cycling. And it’s a brand that has its headquarters right at the heart of it; in the Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

The Netherlands, much like Belgium, are known as a place of sheer cycling enthusiasm. Plenty of world class athletes have honed their skills here, before becoming stars of the sport. Riders like Steven Kruijswijk, Wout Poels, and Koen de Kort, who just finished the 106th edition of the Tour de France are just of them. Others are Lars Boom, Jeroen Blijlevens, and Gert-Jan Theunisse, just to name a few.

Like most of the Netherlands, North-Brabant is mostly flat but nearly every part of the area is above sea level. Crossing into Belgium, one can even find a few climbs. Thus, the area makes for perfect rides.

Sharing the ride

We love cycling. In all its facets. And we like to share the ride.

On the 29th of September we’ll arrange the inaugural Scope Backyard Breakaway, a ride during which we’ll not only show you the roads we normally ride on. But, and more importantly, a ride that shall allow us to have a good time together. A chilled one, with a little flavor.

Here are the key facts:

Date: 29 September 2019

Location: Cyklist Wielercafe, Gasfabriek 3, 5613CP Eindhoven

Start Time: 09h30 AM

Finish Ride: 03h00 PM 

Awards: 03h30 PM 

Motto: Discoveries. Team Spirit. Fun.

Course: 124 km or 60 km. Please join our Strava club to check out the course [Link]. We designed the course in a way that allows you to make a decision to ride either the long or the short option at our coffee stop location (halfway point of the short course). 

Segments: Kings of the rolling hills, Kings of the gravel

Program: We invite you and your friends to join us at the end of September in Eindhoven for the first edition of the Scope Backyard Breakaway. Riding together as a team of 4 to 6 riders you’ll have the chance to explore our test and training area, win some cool prizes and just simply have a great time with like-minded people.

The route(s)

Speaking of good times, we created a course and program that allows riders of all levels to enjoy the nature south of Eindhoven, while also being able to grab a mid-ride coffee and to watch the finale of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.

We designed the course together with Eindhoven based designer Yorit Kluitman, a prominent figure in the local bike scene and author of Bicycle Landscape, a book that captures the Dutch landscape from behind the bars.

Using the July weather, we headed out together to decide on the route and the timed segments that will offer you and your friends the chance to measure yourself with the other participants.

Same as on the day of the event, we started our ride at the Cyklist Wielercafe in Eindhoven, the perfect point to meet up and get ready for any the ride in and around town. From here it doesn’t take long to leave the urban roads behind us. It literally only takes a couple of minutes until one can enjoy to spin the legs in some stunning nature.

Leaving Eindhoven, we headed south, following the narrow cycling paths towards the Grote Heide and Valkenhorst. After passing through a couple of small villages we reached a stretch of roads that will become the “Kings of the gravel” segment, come the day of the event. And in case you want to check it out beforehand, don’t worry – we’ll publish the segment before the event, so you can prepare yourself for the challenge. The segment combines roads that feature hard-packed sand, gravel and cobbles – nothing, though, that can’t be ridden on a road bike. We can confirm that, and our bikes as well.

After finishing the segment, we continued on some quiet countryside roads and headed to one of the area’s most iconic sights, the De Achelse Kluis. On the day of the event, you’ll be able to find a coffee truck here. To take a short breather, grab a coffee and to fill up your bottles. The monastery will also mark the halfway point of the short route (60 km), as one will be able to head back to the Cyklist Wielercafe from here, riding along the same roads the will mark the final stretch of the long route (120 km).

Crossing the border to Belgium, we continued to head south and to follow the roads that we had in mind for the long route. Riding along the Bocholt-Herentals canal, we pedaled towards Bocholt and Opoeteren, the halfway point of the long route. And the start of the heuvels, the rolling hills.

Leaving the village we tackled a few narrow roads, perfect for a good day in the saddle. And perfect for the “Kings of the rolling hills” segment. Much as it’s been for us, it will be a surprising one for you and your friends. But, don’t worry, the segment is certainly cool. One, that most definitely will make you talk about it afterwards.

It didn’t take us long to decide on the roads for the second of our two timed segments. From there on we continued north, through the fields and back to the canal and the monastery, on roads that feature really smooth tarmac.

Coming back to the monastery, you’ll be able to grab another coffee before tackling the final stretch of the Backyard Breakaway. The final 30 kilometers of the course lead us through the Langbosch, and the t’Leenderheide, allowing us to take in the scenery of small Brabant villages and their surrounding nature.

We came back to the Cyklist after roughly 4 hours. However, on the day of the event we’ll take it easier.

The challenges

As already mentioned, we designed two challenges along the way. While it is cool to just simply enjoy a ride with your friends in the nature, we know that some of you also like to put the hammer down. The two segments we designed shall allow you to do so.

The challenges are also the reason why we’d like you to sign up as a group. However, if you can’t convince your friends to join, then you can also sign up for the event as an individual. The Scope Backyard Breakaway is a free event. And in the end, the main goal is to provide you with the chance to get a memorable ride in, in great nature and with like-minded people.

 

Click here to sign up for the event

 

We will publish the two segments on Strava before the Backyard Breakaway.

After the ride

After coming back to the Cyklist Wielercafe you will find time to refuel. And before we’ll finish the day with a public viewing of the Worlds, we’ll award the team(s) that clocked the fastest time on the two segments.

Together with Yorit, we finished our coffee at the café and made some final notes to prepare the event. We’re already looking forward to it and to welcome you on the 29th September.

Featured Products

Scope R3d

The Scope R3d performs best in the mountains and on challenging terrain.

From 1.398,00 EUR

Scope R4c

The Scope R4c is our outstanding all-rounder, a wheelset without any limitations.

From 1.398,00 EUR

Photography by Yorit Kluitman & Veit Hammer

Scope Backyard Breakaway

A day out on our home roads

Scope is a brand made in cycling. And it’s a brand that has its headquarters right at the heart of it; in the Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

The Netherlands, much like Belgium, are known as a place of sheer cycling enthusiasm. Plenty of world class athletes have honed their skills here, before becoming stars of the sport. Riders like Steven Kruijswijk, Wout Poels, and Koen de Kort, who just finished the 106th edition of the Tour de France are just of them. Others are Lars Boom, Jeroen Blijlevens, and Gert-Jan Theunisse, just to name a few.

Like most of the Netherlands, North-Brabant is mostly flat but nearly every part of the area is above sea level. Crossing into Belgium, one can even find a few climbs. Thus, the area makes for perfect rides.

Sharing the ride

We love cycling. In all its facets. And we like to share the ride.

On the 29th of September we’ll arrange the inaugural Scope Backyard Breakaway, a ride during which we’ll not only show you the roads we normally ride on. But, and more importantly, a ride that shall allow us to have a good time together. A chilled one, with a little flavor.

Here are the key facts:

Date: 29 September 2019

Location: Cyklist Wielercafe, Gasfabriek 3, 5613CP Eindhoven

Start Time: 09h30 AM

Finish Ride: 03h00 PM 

Awards: 03h30 PM 

Motto: Discoveries. Team Spirit. Fun.

Course: 124 km or 60 km. Please join our Strava club to check out the course [Link]. We designed the course in a way that allows you to make a decision to ride either the long or the short option at our coffee stop location (halfway point of the short course). 

Segments: Kings of the rolling hills, Kings of the gravel

Program: We invite you and your friends to join us at the end of September in Eindhoven for the first edition of the Scope Backyard Breakaway. Riding together as a team of 4 to 6 riders you’ll have the chance to explore our test and training area, win some cool prizes and just simply have a great time with like-minded people.

Sharing the ride

We love cycling. In all its facets. And we like to share the ride.

On the 29th of September we’ll arrange the inaugural Scope Backyard Breakaway, a ride during which we’ll not only show you the roads we normally ride on. But, and more importantly, a ride that shall allow us to have a good time together. A chilled one, with a little flavor.

Here are the key facts:

Date: 29 September 2019

Location: Cyklist Wielercafe, Gasfabriek 3, 5613CP Eindhoven

Start Time: 09h30 AM

Finish Ride: 03h00 PM 

Awards: 03h30 PM 

Motto: Discoveries. Team Spirit. Fun.

Course: 124 km or 60 km. Please join our Strava club to check out the course [Link]. We designed the course in a way that allows you to make a decision to ride either the long or the short option at our coffee stop location (halfway point of the short course). 

Segments: Kings of the rolling hills, Kings of the gravel

Program: We invite you and your friends to join us at the end of September in Eindhoven for the first edition of the Scope Backyard Breakaway. Riding together as a team of 4 to 6 riders you’ll have the chance to explore our test and training area, win some cool prizes and just simply have a great time with like-minded people.

 

The route(s)

Speaking of good times, we created a course and program that allows riders of all levels to enjoy the nature south of Eindhoven, while also being able to grab a mid-ride coffee and to watch the finale of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.

We designed the course together with Eindhoven based designer Yorit Kluitman, a prominent figure in the local bike scene and author of Bicycle Landscape, a book that captures the Dutch landscape from behind the bars.

Using the July weather, we headed out together to decide on the route and the timed segments that will offer you and your friends the chance to measure yourself with the other participants.

Same as on the day of the event, we started our ride at the Cyklist Wielercafe in Eindhoven, the perfect point to meet up and get ready for any the ride in and around town. From here it doesn’t take long to leave the urban roads behind us. It literally only takes a couple of minutes until one can enjoy to spin the legs in some stunning nature.

Leaving Eindhoven, we headed south, following the narrow cycling paths towards the Grote Heide and Valkenhorst. After passing through a couple of small villages we reached a stretch of roads that will become the “Kings of the gravel” segment, come the day of the event. And in case you want to check it out beforehand, don’t worry – we’ll publish the segment before the event, so you can prepare yourself for the challenge. The segment combines roads that feature hard-packed sand, gravel and cobbles – nothing, though, that can’t be ridden on a road bike. We can confirm that, and our bikes as well.

After finishing the segment, we continued on some quiet countryside roads and headed to one of the area’s most iconic sights, the De Achelse Kluis. On the day of the event, you’ll be able to find a coffee truck here. To take a short breather, grab a coffee and to fill up your bottles. The monastery will also mark the halfway point of the short route (60 km), as one will be able to head back to the Cyklist Wielercafe from here, riding along the same roads the will mark the final stretch of the long route (120 km).

Crossing the border to Belgium, we continued to head south and to follow the roads that we had in mind for the long route. Riding along the Bocholt-Herentals canal, we pedaled towards Bocholt and Opoeteren, the halfway point of the long route. And the start of the heuvels, the rolling hills.

Leaving the village we tackled a few narrow roads, perfect for a good day in the saddle. And perfect for the “Kings of the rolling hills” segment. Much as it’s been for us, it will be a surprising one for you and your friends. But, don’t worry, the segment is certainly cool. One, that most definitely will make you talk about it afterwards.

It didn’t take us long to decide on the roads for the second of our two timed segments. From there on we continued north, through the fields and back to the canal and the monastery, on roads that feature really smooth tarmac.

Coming back to the monastery, you’ll be able to grab another coffee before tackling the final stretch of the Backyard Breakaway. The final 30 kilometers of the course lead us through the Langbosch, and the t’Leenderheide, allowing us to take in the scenery of small Brabant villages and their surrounding nature.

We came back to the Cyklist after roughly 4 hours. However, on the day of the event we’ll take it easier.

The challenges

As already mentioned, we designed two challenges along the way. While it is cool to just simply enjoy a ride with your friends in the nature, we know that some of you also like to put the hammer down. The two segments we designed shall allow you to do so.

The challenges are also the reason why we’d like you to sign up as a group. However, if you can’t convince your friends to join, then you can also sign up for the event as an individual. The Scope Backyard Breakaway is a free event. And in the end, the main goal is to provide you with the chance to get a memorable ride in, in great nature and with like-minded people.

 

Click here to sign up for the event

 

We will publish the two segments on Strava before the Backyard Breakaway.

After the ride

After coming back to the Cyklist Wielercafe you will find time to refuel. And before we’ll finish the day with a public viewing of the Worlds, we’ll award the team(s) that clocked the fastest time on the two segments.

Together with Yorit, we finished our coffee at the café and made some final notes to prepare the event. We’re already looking forward to it and to welcome you on the 29th September.

Featured Products

Scope R3d

The Scope R3d performs best in the mountains and on challenging terrain.

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Scope R4c

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From 1.398,00 EUR

Photography by Yorit Kluitman & Veit Hammer

Ride Berlin

The lap around the Great Wannsee covers roughly 60 kilometers of narrow roads, roads that don’t see much traffic on Saturday mornings and that make for a perfect backyard breakaway.

RIDE BERLIN

ESCAPING THE RUSH

Berlin. The German capital is a city with many facets. It’s a city with a colorful history, one in which culture, art, and metropolitan behavior go hand in hand. Berlin is a city that hardly rests. However, it’s possible to escape the rush. And that is exactly what Rick Schubert and Danny Liebisch did on a crisp day in February.

Spending a major part of the year chasing the professional mountain bike circus around the globe, Rick enjoys the diversity of his home town. As a professional photographer, he’s used to look at Berlin from a different angle. The months on the road help him to read the city in his own way.

Prior to the rush of his 2019 season, Rick wanted to capture Berlin in a special way. He was looking for a rather unusual canvas. And he found it along the Havel and Great Wannsee. Together with one of his mates, Danny Liebisch, he headed out to capture the sceneries of a cold ride along the shores.

The Great Wannsee is a bight of the Havel river, located in the south-west of Berlin. From Moabit, where both Rick and Danny live, they headed towards the Grunewald. Reaching the Heerstrasse, one of the city’s arterial roads, the scenery couldn’t have been much more different than what was awaiting them just a little while later.

It’s been an early Saturday morning and the birches were dressed in their best weekend attire. The Grunewald was rather quite and reflected the watery surface of the Havel. It’s been what they were looking for. Danny’s breath cut through the moments, setting the rhythm for Rick’s shutter.

The lap around the Great Wannsee covers roughly 60 kilometers of narrow roads, roads that don’t see much traffic on Saturday mornings and that make for a perfect backyard breakaway. Especially in February. They’re the perfect setting for an escape from the day-by-day hectic life that make Berlin the place it is. A restless city with place to rest. A city of unexpected facets.

Featured Product: Scope R5d

Photography: Rick Schubert

 

RIDE BERLIN

ESCAPING THE RUSH

Berlin. The German capital is a city with many facets. It’s a city with a colorful history, one in which culture, art, and metropolitan behavior go hand in hand. Berlin is a city that hardly rests. However, it’s possible to escape the rush. And that is exactly what Rick Schubert and Danny Liebisch did on a crisp day in February.

Spending a major part of the year chasing the professional mountain bike circus around the globe, Rick enjoys the diversity of his home town. As a professional photographer, he’s used to look at Berlin from a different angle. The months on the road help him to read the city in his own way.

Prior to the rush of his 2019 season, Rick wanted to capture Berlin in a special way. He was looking for a rather unusual canvas. And he found it along the Havel and Great Wannsee. Together with one of his mates, Danny Liebisch, he headed out to capture the sceneries of a cold ride along the shores.

The Great Wannsee is a bight of the Havel river, located in the south-west of Berlin. From Moabit, where both Rick and Danny live, they headed towards the Grunewald. Reaching the Heerstrasse, one of the city’s arterial roads, the scenery couldn’t have been much more different than what was awaiting them just a little while later.

It’s been an early Saturday morning and the birches were dressed in their best weekend attire. The Grunewald was rather quite and reflected the watery surface of the Havel. It’s been what they were looking for. Danny’s breath cut through the moments, setting the rhythm for Rick’s shutter.

The lap around the Great Wannsee covers roughly 60 kilometers of narrow roads, roads that don’t see much traffic on Saturday mornings and that make for a perfect backyard breakaway. Especially in February. They’re the perfect setting for an escape from the day-by-day hectic life that make Berlin the place it is. A restless city with place to rest. A city of unexpected facets.

Featured Product: Scope R5d

Photography: Rick Schubert

RIDE BERLIN

ESCAPING THE RUSH

Berlin. The German capital is a city with many facets. It’s a city with a colorful history, one in which culture, art, and metropolitan behavior go hand in hand. Berlin is a city that hardly rests. However, it’s possible to escape the rush. And that is exactly what Rick Schubert and Danny Liebisch did on a crisp day in February.

Spending a major part of the year chasing the professional mountain bike circus around the globe, Rick enjoys the diversity of his home town. As a professional photographer, he’s used to look at Berlin from a different angle. The months on the road help him to read the city in his own way.

Prior to the rush of his 2019 season, Rick wanted to capture Berlin in a special way. He was looking for a rather unusual canvas. And he found it along the Havel and Great Wannsee. Together with one of his mates, Danny Liebisch, he headed out to capture the sceneries of a cold ride along the shores.

The Great Wannsee is a bight of the Havel river, located in the south-west of Berlin. From Moabit, where both Rick and Danny live, they headed towards the Grunewald. Reaching the Heerstrasse, one of the city’s arterial roads, the scenery couldn’t have been much more different than what was awaiting them just a little while later.

It’s been an early Saturday morning and the birches were dressed in their best weekend attire. The Grunewald was rather quite and reflected the watery surface of the Havel. It’s been what they were looking for. Danny’s breath cut through the moments, setting the rhythm for Rick’s shutter.

The lap around the Great Wannsee covers roughly 60 kilometers of narrow roads, roads that don’t see much traffic on Saturday mornings and that make for a perfect backyard breakaway. Especially in February. They’re the perfect setting for an escape from the day-by-day hectic life that make Berlin the place it is. A restless city with place to rest. A city of unexpected facets.

Featured Product: Scope R5d

Photography: Rick Schubert

The Wind goes fresh over the Limfjord’s Waters

Scandinavian winters can be grim. Cold and wet. But they can also be aesthetic, beautiful. They can be tender and crisp at the same time. This is the story of a winter ride in the backyard of our bearing partner CeramicSpeed.

THE WIND GOES FRESH OVER THE LIMFJORD’S WATERS

A WINTER RIDE IN THE NORTH-WESTERN CORNER OF DENMARK

Scandinavian winters can be grim. Cold and wet. But they can also be aesthetic, beautiful. They can be tender and crisp at the same time.

When Erik Bertelsen wrote the words for Povl Hamburger’s composition Blæsten går frisk over Limfjordens vande – which roughly translates as The Wind goes fresh over the Limfjord’s Waters – he had the people of Northern Jutland, the iconic fjord and its surrounding slender hills in mind. Originally written in the late 1930’s, the composition quickly became something like the areas answer to the Danish national anthem.

Not necessarily connected to any season, the composition somehow served as a prelude to a recent winter ride along the Limfjord, mainly the shores of the Venø bay, and the heath around Flyndersø.

Our bearing partner CeramicSpeed has its headquarter in Holstebro, Denmark. Together we went for a ride in their backyard. The plan was to head north, all the way to Kås, before following the direction of the wind. The temperature was hovering around zero as we clipped in. The wind was mild, but the air strikingly hard.

Reaching Handbjerg, the fjord presented itself with the pale beauty of an early January morning. It started snowing. At this time of the year, the area is a quiet reminiscence of nature.

The Limfjord has been regarded as a fjord ever since the Middle Ages. By then its only opening to the sea was in the east. However, in 1825 the North Sea broke through from the west, giving the fjord its modern shape. Since that year its shallow waters separate the North Jutlandic Island from the Jutland Peninsula.

Deer crossed our way as we reached Ejsingholm. Rolling along the eastern shores of the fjord we were presented with an impressive view and freezing slush. This ride was far from being an easy stroll.

An unlimited amount of quiet roads, both tarmac and gravel, make this area a great one for riding. No matter the conditions.

Searching Harbours

The harbour in Gyldendal wore a wintery dress. There were only a few boats in the icy water. We took a breather, and a cup of tea from the thermos. The village is located just a few kilometers south of Kås. During the summer months it is a gently breathing home for tourists. This time around it was closed for the season.

Reaching Kås the skies cleared up. The trees pointed eastwards. There was a lonely fisherman in the water trying his luck. Braving the weather, we were like brothers in arms.

Off Guard

Two hours in the saddle feel different in winter. Especially when the cold gets under the skin. Riding east we decided to stop and grab something warm along the way. An old friend of mine once said that there is always enough time for a burger. I guess, he just wanted to prove a point when he said that. However, having faced the morning snow his statement seemed to us as a testimony of truth. We were hungry and cold, but happy. The skies cleared up when we caught our Garmin’s off guard and rolled up to the small snack bar.

The coffee was hot. It didn’t matter that one could taste that it had been on the hotplate for some time. It simply wasn’t important in that moment. The waitress was friendly. I’m not sure if it was politeness, but she listened to our stories with the devotion of a young mother whose children return home from play. The burgers were a feast.

Cracking on, the ride turned into a chase of the early sunset. Winter days in Scandinavia offer only a few hours of daylight.

The sun started to set as we left the snack bar and headed off to the iconic heath around Flyndersø. Located a couple of kilometers south of Skive, a historic mill stands tall against the conditions of time. Mud tracks on the gravel guided our way. Rain clouds were about to win the battle over the sun. An unequal fight, it seemed.

Flyndersø was created by a string of kettle holes during the last Ice Age. Since then the lake hasn’t changed much. Instead, it developed a breathtaking beauty.

The trails along the hills on the eastern side of the lake offer great views. They guide one through marsh, grasslands, moor and old oak bushes. On some days one can see grazing animals.

Last but not least

We didn’t see any that day. Rolling up one of the hills a feeling of calm silence unfolded. It wasn’t all that cold anymore. The rain showed mercy to the sun.

After a mere four hours on the bike, the area had told its secrets. A winter tale. The sun set as we rolled back and got off of our bikes. It was a good day.

Featured Product: Scope R5d

 

THE WIND GOES FRESH OVER THE LIMFJORD’S WATERS

A WINTER RIDE IN THE NORTH-WESTERN CORNER OF DENMARK

Scandinavian winters can be grim. Cold and wet. But they can also be aesthetic, beautiful. They can be tender and crisp at the same time.

When Erik Bertelsen wrote the words for Povl Hamburger’s composition Blæsten går frisk over Limfjordens vande – which roughly translates as The Wind goes fresh over the Limfjord’s Waters – he had the people of Northern Jutland, the iconic fjord and its surrounding slender hills in mind. Originally written in the late 1930’s, the composition quickly became something like the areas answer to the Danish national anthem.

Not necessarily connected to any season, the composition somehow served as a prelude to a recent winter ride along the Limfjord, mainly the shores of the Venø bay, and the heath around Flyndersø.

Our bearing partner CeramicSpeed has its headquarter in Holstebro, Denmark. Together we went for a ride in their backyard. The plan was to head north, all the way to Kås, before following the direction of the wind. The temperature was hovering around zero as we clipped in. The wind was mild, but the air strikingly hard.

Reaching Handbjerg, the fjord presented itself with the pale beauty of an early January morning. It started snowing. At this time of the year, the area is a quiet reminiscence of nature. The Limfjord has been regarded as a fjord ever since the Middle Ages. By then its only opening to the sea was in the east. However, in 1825 the North Sea broke through from the west, giving the fjord its modern shape. Since that year its shallow waters separate the North Jutlandic Island from the Jutland Peninsula.

Deer crossed our way as we reached Ejsingholm. Rolling along the eastern shores of the fjord we were presented with an impressive view and freezing slush. This ride was far from being an easy stroll.

An unlimited amount of quiet roads, both tarmac and gravel, make this area a great one for riding. No matter the conditions.

Searching Harbours

The harbour in Gyldendal wore a wintery dress. There were only a few boats in the icy water. We took a breather, and a cup of tea from the thermos. The village is located just a few kilometers south of Kås. During the summer months it is a gently breathing home for tourists. This time around it was closed for the season.

Reaching Kås the skies cleared up. The trees pointed eastwards. There was a lonely fisherman in the water trying his luck. Braving the weather, we were like brothers in arms.

Off Guard

Two hours in the saddle feel different in winter. Especially when the cold gets under the skin. Riding east we decided to stop and grab something warm along the way.An old friend of mine once said that there is always enough time for a burger. I guess, he just wanted to prove a point when he said that. However, having faced the morning snow his statement seemed to us as a testimony of truth. We were hungry and cold, but happy. The skies cleared up when we caught our Garmin’s off guard and rolled up to the small snack bar.

The coffee was hot. It didn’t matter that one could taste that it had been on the hotplate for some time. It simply wasn’t important in that moment. The waitress was friendly. I’m not sure if it was politeness, but she listened to our stories with the devotion of a young mother whose children return home from play. The burgers were a feast.

Cracking on, the ride turned into a chase of the early sunset. Winter days in Scandinavia offer only a few hours of daylight.

The sun started to set as we left the snack bar and headed off to the iconic heath around Flyndersø. Located a couple of kilometers south of Skive, a historic mill stands tall against the conditions of time. Mud tracks on the gravel guided our way. Rain clouds were about to win the battle over the sun. An unequal fight, it seemed.

Flyndersø was created by a string of kettle holes during the last Ice Age. Since then the lake hasn’t changed much. Instead, it developed a breathtaking beauty.

The trails along the hills on the eastern side of the lake offer great views. They guide one through marsh, grasslands, moor and old oak bushes. On some days one can see grazing animals.

Last but not least

We didn’t see any that day. Rolling up one of the hills a feeling of calm silence unfolded. It wasn’t all that cold anymore. The rain showed mercy to the sun.

After a mere four hours on the bike, the area had told its secrets. A winter tale. The sun set as we rolled back and got off of our bikes. It was a good day.

THE WIND GOES FRESH OVER THE LIMFJORD’S WATERS

A WINTER RIDE IN THE NORTH-WESTERN CORNER OF DENMARK

Scandinavian winters can be grim. Cold and wet. But they can also be aesthetic, beautiful. They can be tender and crisp at the same time.

When Erik Bertelsen wrote the words for Povl Hamburger’s composition Blæsten går frisk over Limfjordens vande – which roughly translates as The Wind goes fresh over the Limfjord’s Waters – he had the people of Northern Jutland, the iconic fjord and its surrounding slender hills in mind. Originally written in the late 1930’s, the composition quickly became something like the areas answer to the Danish national anthem.

Not necessarily connected to any season, the composition somehow served as a prelude to a recent winter ride along the Limfjord, mainly the shores of the Venø bay, and the heath around Flyndersø.

Our bearing partner CeramicSpeed has its headquarter in Holstebro, Denmark. Together we went for a ride in their backyard. The plan was to head north, all the way to Kås, before following the direction of the wind. The temperature was hovering around zero as we clipped in. The wind was mild, but the air strikingly hard.

Reaching Handbjerg, the fjord presented itself with the pale beauty of an early January morning. It started snowing. At this time of the year, the area is a quiet reminiscence of nature.

The Limfjord has been regarded as a fjord ever since the Middle Ages. By then its only opening to the sea was in the east. However, in 1825 the North Sea broke through from the west, giving the fjord its modern shape. Since that year its shallow waters separate the North Jutlandic Island from the Jutland Peninsula.

Deer crossed our way as we reached Ejsingholm. Rolling along the eastern shores of the fjord we were presented with an impressive view and freezing slush. This ride was far from being an easy stroll.

An unlimited amount of quiet roads, both tarmac and gravel, make this area a great one for riding. No matter the conditions.

Searching Harbours

The harbour in Gyldendal wore a wintery dress. There were only a few boats in the icy water. We took a breather, and a cup of tea from the thermos. The village is located just a few kilometers south of Kås. During the summer months it is a gently breathing home for tourists. This time around it was closed for the season.

Reaching Kås the skies cleared up. The trees pointed eastwards. There was a lonely fisherman in the water trying his luck. Braving the weather, we were like brothers in arms.

Off Guard

Two hours in the saddle feel different in winter. Especially when the cold gets under the skin. Riding east we decided to stop and grab something warm along the way.An old friend of mine once said that there is always enough time for a burger. I guess, he just wanted to prove a point when he said that. However, having faced the morning snow his statement seemed to us as a testimony of truth. We were hungry and cold, but happy. The skies cleared up when we caught our Garmin’s off guard and rolled up to the small snack bar.

The coffee was hot. It didn’t matter that one could taste that it had been on the hotplate for some time. It simply wasn’t important in that moment. The waitress was friendly. I’m not sure if it was politeness, but she listened to our stories with the devotion of a young mother whose children return home from play. The burgers were a feast.

Cracking on, the ride turned into a chase of the early sunset. Winter days in Scandinavia offer only a few hours of daylight.

The sun started to set as we left the snack bar and headed off to the iconic heath around Flyndersø. Located a couple of kilometers south of Skive, a historic mill stands tall against the conditions of time. Mud tracks on the gravel guided our way. Rain clouds were about to win the battle over the sun. An unequal fight, it seemed.

Flyndersø was created by a string of kettle holes during the last Ice Age. Since then the lake hasn’t changed much. Instead, it developed a breathtaking beauty.

The trails along the hills on the eastern side of the lake offer great views. They guide one through marsh, grasslands, moor and old oak bushes. On some days one can see grazing animals.

Last but not least

We didn’t see any that day. Rolling up one of the hills a feeling of calm silence unfolded. It wasn’t all that cold anymore. The rain showed mercy to the sun.

After a mere four hours on the bike, the area had told its secrets. A winter tale. The sun set as we rolled back and got off of our bikes. It was a good day.