A lot of people love cycling. For one reason or another, it’s a sport that lends itself to obsession. Mike Kuhn has been showing his love and obsession with over two decades of riding, racing, race promotion, and advocacy. He’s perhaps best known for putting on the Transylvania Epic, a seven day mountain bike stage race in the heart of Pennsylvania. He’s also the man behind IronCross, an endurance cyclocross race, along with many more road, cross, and mountain bike races through the years. And though two decades of race promoting is inarguably an example of giving back to the bike community, Mike is also heavily involved in trail advocacy. He and Transylvania Epic co-founder Ray Adams launched a nonprofit The Outdoor Experience Organization in 2009 to raise funds for mountain bike trail building, maintenance, documentation and outreach in Pennsylvania. I had the chance to speak with Mike about his history in bike racing, the rapid growth of the Transylvania Epic and endurance racing, his vision to revive a small PA mining town with a high-quality trail network, and more.
My parents recently moved to Doha, Qatar. They happened to arrive just before the start of the Tour of Qatar and were able to catch the final stage of the race this morning. Stage 6 began a little over 100 km outside of Doha and ended with a few laps around the Corniche, a waterfront promenade in the capital city. All photos by Jeremy Cohen. Enjoy.
Tom Hopper working for Garmin Sharp. Photo from VeloNews.
Mechanics are unsung heroes of bike racing. Most people recognize the critical role they play in a rider’s success (it’s tough to win if your bike falls apart on your breakaway). But how many of us could name the mechanic supporting Andy Hampsten the day he attacked over Gavia Pass or the guy working the pits for Jonathan Page when he took Silver at Worlds? Good mechanics are perhaps most critical in cyclocross where harsh conditions and hard racing frequently result in destroyed derailleurs, flat tires, and worse. Tom Hopper is a mechanic for the Rapha Focus cyclocross team. In this interview he discusses what it takes to be a successful pro-team mechanic, his history in cycling, innovations in cyclocross technology, and more.
Tom Simpson is a British cycling legend. He was the first Brit to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, first to win the World Championship rode race, and won several Spring Classics and Vuelta a España stages. He died in 1967 on the 13th stage of the Tour de France, while climbing the Mont Ventoux. A potent combination of amphetamines and alcohol in his system allowed him to literally ride himself to death.
In 2010, BBC produced an hour long documentary about Simpson called Death on the Mountain. It not only looks at the fateful 1967 tour, but Simpson’s escape from poverty through cycling, his rise to fame, and the circumstances that lead to his unfortunate death. The program is filled with interviews with Simpson’s teammates and competitors and excellent footage of professional races from that era.
Graeme Obree likely needs no introduction among cyclists who’ve been involved in the sport for any length of time. The Scotsman is famous for his world hour records and the unorthodox “superman” position he used on his custom built track bike, Old Faithful. Nearly two decades after beating the UCI hour record, Obree is chasing a new world record, the human powered vehicle land speed record. Given that the only rule for the HPV record is that the vehicle must not have an engine, Obree is free to play to his creative strengths and build any wild bike he can dream up.
Humans Invent–a British website focused on inventions, design, and innovation–produced a series of video interviews with Obree as he built his bike and prepares for the speed record. They’re well done and provide terrific insight into Obree’s unique way of thinking about bikes, design, passion, and more.