James Freeborough

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Hilts vs Marmotte 2010

September 15th, 2010

La Marmotte is a one-day cyclosportive event in France, utilizing some of the climbs used in the Tour de France. The route is 174 km (108 mi) long and features more than 5180 metres of climbing. The event goes over the Col du Glandon, Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier and finishes at the top of one the most famous Tour de France climbs, Alpe d’Huez. Boom, Simple!

The who and why?
Me and two friends, why not. Well, I’ll tell you why not……
Back at the end of 2009 my friend Alex sent me a link to La Marmotte, I was just back from doing 3 days in the Alps as part of a Macmillan Cancer Support challenge and thought it sounded like a good idea. I had trained hard for the trip with Macmillan and as a result had gone really well over all the major climbs that the Marmotte takes in, this was however over 3 days in September so a bit different to doing all of them in one day at the height of summer!

When I first broached the idea of doing this with Mission control (aka Mrs Hilts) she stated that training for this was not to interfere with family life and by the way she was pregnant again with number 3 child due exactly 1 month before the Marmotte. Hmmm, not ideal really, I’m pretty sure Lance Armstrong doesn’t spend the month before the tour pacing up and down with a screaming baby at 2am!

or lack of. I managed to convince myself that sweating in the garage on the Turbo trainer while watching re-runs of the 07 Tour de France on DVD would be a good way to get through the winter and I was right. I managed not to put on the obligatory 14lbs over Christmas and started the year in rude health and fit’ish… Over the course of spring I managed to fit in a few rides to work and back (which is a 47 mile trip each way) and one medium length sportive. So, when June arrived I was pretty much at my fighting weight of 13 stone (82 kilos) and feeling ok about the whole thing. I suppose the only nagging sense of doom came from the fact that I was looking for a time of around 9hrs for the Marmotte, and my longest training ride had been 4 hrs long…9hrs is a long time in the saddle and I had not ridden for that sort of time since the Etape du Tour in 2008 where I had bonked terribly after ‘forgetting’ to eat having been caught up in the excitement..


Our Autumn Picture of the Month courtesy of Shamus

December 9th, 2008

Shamus POTM

How Retro…..How Cool ???

May 19th, 2008

We’ve seen a few builds using drop bars recently, so thought this pic from 1990 would maybe explain where it all came from… Absolute proof that the man Tomac can make anything look the business…..

Jonny T

BOTM April 2008 – The Concorde of Dr S …

May 12th, 2008

It held off some mighty impressive builds, the power of Orange !!



May 9th, 2008

Here is the winner of the April POTM competition.. CherryMatt’s Pace RC100 in a Bluebell wood, a very retro scene indeed..


Photo Of The Month – March 2008 – Yo Eddy’s Indian Adventure

April 16th, 2008

A great pic to win the ‘Two Wheeled Landscape’ competition: Look out for the next POTM competition in the forum..


The Scrapheap Challenge is ON !!!

March 12th, 2008

Take a look at the Chat Forum and see the challenge for those who are up for it !!!


If you go down in the woods today…

March 10th, 2008

you’ll meet the Retrobike mods… so be afraid be very afraid and don’t forget your banjo….

The Mods

Vive La Difference – BOTM Feb 08 – Emery Primo

March 3rd, 2008

Another winner from over La Manche (is this a conspiracy ??) Albatros’ 1995 Emery Primo

Very nice work..


Winner – Action Photo of the Month Feb 08 – Wu Tangled

March 3rd, 2008

Gus wins our first Action shot competition with this shot of Mrs Wu out on her Dekerf, a top pic and worthy winner..

Mrs Wu's Grand day out

1984 Cunningham Racer – Big Red

February 20th, 2008

It’s not often we feature someones bike on the home page unless they have won a BOTM vote, however I think for this piece of history we can make an exception!! Bushpig’s Cunnigham is quite a machine and an interesting story behind it, read more at Readers Bikes…..

Big Red

One week to Afan Rideout – Sat 23rd

February 15th, 2008

The mighty Gump will be leading you all around the best that Afan has to offer, not to be missed !!


The world of Cycling loses one of it’s favourites…

February 5th, 2008

Independent minded.
A person with a sense of humor.
Somebody who doesn’t take himself too seriously.

Thats is how Sheldon Brown described himself and all of you familiar with his site will attest to that fact, it’s probably how most bike enthusiasts would like to be remembered. Over the years we have all come to rely on Sheldon and his encyclopedia of bike knowledge, the SeatPost chart has saved me much time and effort.

So, now he’s gone to a place where there are no cars and just miles of endless flowing singletrack weaving among the clouds, wonder if he’ll show god how to roll a steel beed tire for tight packing !!

Thanks for everything mr Brown…

Sheldon brown

Feeling Hot Hot Hot – BoTM Jan 2008 is Kase’s Kona Hot

February 1st, 2008

BOTM winner in our KONA special is kase1983′s Kona Hot, a quality winner in a stiff competition..


Photo Of the Month – Jan 08

January 31st, 2008

Two really different types of photo, Joint winners and both deserve their place on the Front page..

Here we have one of p20‘s Mates taking a tumble, below Ameybrooks arty shot of a Porc Trail !!



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