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What Makes The Ultimate Bike Ride? | The GCN Show Ep. 264

What Makes The Ultimate Bike Ride? | The GCN Show Ep. 264

– Welcome to the GCN Show. – Welcome to the GCN Show. – This week we ask the big question. What is the world’s best road bike ride? – We also look at sensitive heat maps, headphones whilst riding, plus we have some very cool tech for you. – We’ve got a race
roundup, cycling shorts, and all of your usual favourites, too. – Plus a new haircut. – Nice. – Have a rub at the back bit, mate. – Shorter than normal. – I know. (upbeat music) This week in the world of cycling, we learnt the Strava’s Global Heat Map not only gives us information about all the favourite cycling
routes in the world, but also some rather
sensitive information as well. – Yeah, the latest heat
map has highlighted the somewhat confidential
location of some military bases as well as the location
and the whereabouts of the personnel within them, oops. – Now we also learned that 48% of you think we should forgive all former dopers. And then half of the rest of you think we should stay as we are and the other half think that, yeah, we shouldn’t speak to them ever again. So, Mr. Lance Armstrong, if
you happen to be watching, you should be relatively well-received when you head to Flanders in a couple months time based on that. – This week, we also learned that the small Spanish Island
of Gran Canaria here, just off the northwest
coast of Africa, is frankly, it’s amazing for riding a bike, isn’t it? – It is. We came in search of a bucket list ride, so the kind of thing every
cyclist needs to tick off. And the reason for that
is because easyJet, which is Europe’s big
low-cost, very orange airline, asked us to shed some light on the amazing and varied riding opportunities
on this continent. And then they left the details up to us. And so we decided that
we’d come to Gran Canaria. – We did, and whilst
researching it and, in fact, doing the route that we had chosen, we had a few conversations
trying to determine exactly what constitutes
the ultimate bike ride. And in fact, what would make the very best bike ride in the world? Now we’re sure that you’ve
got some ideas on this back there at home. – Yeah, that’s right. We want you to get involved in the comments section, of course. Now one of the things that we
came up with first was that the ultimate ride should be very different to what you normally do. So in this case, in Gran Canaria, one of the key differences, as you can probably tell, is the weather. So we left a rather cold and wet England, and then four and a half
hours on a plane later and here we are. And we’ve been riding around in shorts and short sleeved jerseys. – Although we have had to don
some hoodies now, haven’t we? ‘Cause it’s dipped down to 20 degrees. – Oh my goodness, 20. – He’s even got hot chocolate. – Yeah. The difference doesn’t just have to be weather related, though. It could be the kind of roads that are on offer, or the terrain. – Yeah, yeah, I definitely think geography is a big thing for a
bucket list ride, isn’t it? – Yeah. – We, for example, where we both live, don’t have any mountains near us. So it’s always nice to go away somewhere where there are some long climbs to ride. And I also think it helps if the place is stunningly beautiful. And this ticks both
those boxes, doesn’t it? It’s got the long climb,
but also so beautiful that you want to stop
every couple of kilometres to take a photo. Mainly so that you can
gloat on social media. Everyone is stuck back home in the rain. But the ride was incredible, wasn’t it? It had a bit of everything. It had the mountains. It had the ocean in the distance. It had rock faces. You went through pine forests. We even had a lot of cacti
to look at, didn’t we? – Yeah, cactus are great, aren’t they? Although, it’s not essential
for a bucket list ride. – No, what cacti? – No, no, I mean the geography. I mean incredible
geography isn’t essential. Take Flanders, for example. So there is a certain beauty to Flanders, but it’s not classically beautiful like the Dolomites, for example. But yet there’s definitely a place on every cyclist’s bucket list
for an ultimate ride there. You could go up the
Muur, and the Koppenberg, and the Kroisberg, and the Kwaremont, and it would just be amazing ’cause there’s just such
history to the place. – Yeah, history, definitely,
is another big thing, ’cause Flanders is always
a must do ride for me. And when I did do it, it most
certainly didn’t disappoint. So I guess it’s kind of
like, Flanders is similar to Alpe D’Huez in many ways. I mean, it’s not quite the
same because, obviously, Alpe D’Huez is a mountain and
Flanders is reasonably flat. But you know what I mean. It’s one of those rides where there are better mountains,
more beautiful mountains, and there’s certainly
quieter mountains to ride, and yet you still feel that
you need to go and do it and tick it off your list. And when you do, you’re not disappointed. – No. Okay, I’ve got a question for you. Could you have an
ultimate ride in the rain? – A wet, rainy, ultimate ride. – Yep. – No, no, I wouldn’t have thought so. I mean, I don’t mind riding in the rain, but a wet ride on a route
is never going to be as good as that same
route done in the dry. It’s not that I necessarily always need to be in dry, arid conditions. In fact, I probably would
rather go to a country where, in general, the climate’s not fantastic, but you just luck out on
the day that you ride. – So a component of an ultimate ride, then, is being lucky? – Yeah, yeah, I think to a degree, yeah. – Yeah, I can’t disagree with that. Something you can control
though, the roads. They’re an absolute
fundamental to an ultimate ride is roads that are just brilliant to ride. – [Man In Orange] Go on. – Well, I mean, like, they’ve got to be twisty, haven’t they? Really twisty and narrow
to make you feel fast, and also keep things interesting. The surface has to be buttery
smooth, I would’ve thought. They can’t be too steep,
at least not for too long, but then I don’t think an ultimate ride could be flat, either. – No, but there are exceptions
to that, too, aren’t there? I mean, cobblestones and
pave, it’s not smooth. – Yeah, that’s a good point actually. So the road surface either
has to be perfectly smooth, or really, really crap. – Exactly, and that’s
because we’re bike riders and sometimes we do
something simply because it’s quite hard to do. And that is all that you need. So the pave has all that history
and iconic thing going on, but it gives you, well it
sort of presents a challenge, doesn’t it to you? – Challenge, yes, that
is the last ingredient, I think, for an ultimate ride. So it has to present some
kind of difficulty to you. I mean, maybe I’m a masochist, but unless it leaves some
kind of mark in your mind other than just sheer enjoyment,
it’s going to fade away. So things like the Taiwan KOM Challenge. I don’t know, have I mentioned that we’ve done that before?
– [Man In Gray] Yes. – Yeah, three and a half thousand metres of ascent over 100 kilometres. Definitely remember that one. Or here, in fact, in Gran Canaria we might have unwittingly descended Europe’s most dangerous road. That’ll stand in the memory
even though, fortunately, none of us actually fell off. – Yeah, it was interesting, wasn’t it? – Oh yeah. – Alright then, it’s
over to you at home now. We would like to know what constitutes the ultimate bike ride for you. Does it need to be iconic? Does it just have to be
stunningly beautiful? Or would you prefer to get
yourself off the beaten track where not many people have gone before? I’ve got a feeling that we’re going to get quite a varied list of
answers to this, though. – Yeah, looking forward to reading those. – Yeah, leave them in the
comments section right down below. – Yeah, and you won’t have
to wait long until you see our GCN bucket list ride. – Yeah, I can’t wait for them to see it. (trumpet call) (electronic gong) – It’s now time for cycling shorts. – Do you cycle with headphones? If so, you could be putting
yourself and others at risk. Unless you’re a teenager. – Yeah, this was as a
result of a dutch study that was published in the journal called Accident Analysis & Prevention, or AAP. – It’s on my favourites map. – I’ve seen you read that in the office. – I love it. – Yeah, basically it was
a study of 2,250 cyclists, all from distinct age groups. And it concluded, quite interestingly, that listening to music
or talking on the phone negatively affected the
perception of sounds that are crucial for safe cycling. – Well, I guess there’s
no surprise there, Matt, but, in the teenage
group, they actually found no correlation at all
between listening to music and talking on the phone
versus the number of incidents. – Yeah, but this shouldn’t
actually give you an excuse to use headphones, regardless of the fact that if you’re a teenager or not. Especially with the prevalence of quieter vehicles out on the road, like electric cars for example. So stay safe out there. – Speaking of which, rider
safety out on the roads hit the headlines once again last week when, out in South Africa,
the Quick-Step Floors duo of Laurens De Plus and Petr
Vakoc were hit by a truck while they were out training
with teammate Bob Jungels. – Yeah, Jungels was lucky
enough not to be hit. The Luxembourger explained that he was riding with the duo behind, heard a loud crash, and
glanced around and saw both Vakoc and Laurens
De Plus on the floor. Now De Plus and Vakoc were
both taken to hospital. De Plus was actually
treated just for scratches and abrasions, although
Vakoc wasn’t quite so lucky. He actually had an operation and surgery to try and repair a broken vertebrae. – Yeah, all of us here
at GCN wish both riders a very speedy recovery. – Sticking with issues of
safety for just a few moments, the government of Malta has just repealed it’s mandatory bicycle helmet law, which originally stated that
you couldn’t ride a bike without a helmet. – The reason was to get more people riding and commuting to work, because
research actually showed that the helmet law was dissuading people from getting on their bikes. – Wow. – That’s obviously a
very contentious subject, helmet versus no helmet, but
interesting stuff nonetheless. – Now dock less bikes have come in for some pretty bad
publicity over recent months with thousands of these particular bikes being abandoned, discarded,
or simply stolen. But a recent study has
shown that dock less bikes have had remarkably positive
impacts in some areas as well. – Yeah, this study showed
that dock less bikes accounts for 11.6% of all
transport miles in cities, a figure which has more than doubled since they were introduced. Now there are more than 16
million dock less bikes in China, each of which is ridden on
average about three times a day according to the Chinese
State Information Centre. – That’s some pretty impressive
stats there, Jon, indeed. Well, now it’s time for Chris Froome News. (lively music) – Is there actually any news this time? – We do have some news for you. Now, basically, Chris
Froome must’ve accounted for quite a large percentage of
some of the transport miles logged in South Africa recently. He’s continued to upload
his rides to Strava, and, get this, he rode a
right epic the other week. 272 kilometres, 3,000 metres of elevation, 45 kilometres an hour average speed. He must’ve had deep sections there. That’s ridiculous. – Well, unsurprisingly,
Matt, the ride was flagged. – Ah, well, there you go. – So we can probably safely assume that he was being motor based, i.e. Froome was there riding
on the back wheel of a moped. – Yeah, I mean you couldn’t
do that on a scooter, really. – No, no. – Even with super deep
section tyres in there. – No, exactly. – Now, the intensity, the
frequency, and the magnitude of the recent rides of Chris Froome has led quite a few people to speculate that he’s actually trying
to replicate the conditions of the three week tour,
the Vuelta a Espana, where, of course, he returned an adverse analytical
finding for salbutamol. – It will be interesting to see if that actually is the case, because we’re not really too
sure if he’s been testing or whether he actually just
trains this hard normally because he’s only been uploading his rides since the start of the year. It’s interesting stuff to say the least. – Time will tell. We’ve always wondered here at GCN how Wout van Aert, the
world cyclist champion, would get on if he were to ride
one of the cobbled classics, or all of the cobbled classics. So we’re talking Tour of
Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Well, we are about to
find out this season, because Crelan-Charles, the Pro
Conti team of Wout van Aert, has been given a wildcard
place to ride Paris-Roubaix. How cool is that? – [Jon] That is amazing news. – All we need now is Mathieu van der Poel’s
team to ride as well. – Yeah, I have to reckon he’d do, Matt, because he’s done pretty well in previous races like Schaal Sels. He’s won that in 2016, that
similar kind of dirt road race. – I think, you heard it
here first, quite possibly, in the next three or four years, Wout van Aert or Mathieu van der Poel will win Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. But I think in a couple
of years that extra 50K of a monument is basically
the big, big test. They need to mature a little bit more, but I think they’ll be there
or thereabouts, definitely. To wrap up this week’s cycling shorts, well, it’s not actually a piece of news, but over on Twitter I spotted this from Lotto-Soudal’s breakaway
superhero, Thomas De Gendt. And I thought I would share it with you ’cause it’s just an absolute cracker. – [Jon] Kebab Man. – I must admit, Jon, I do
like kebabs now and again. How about you? – Oh yeah, it’s a complete meal, isn’t it? Protein, carbs, salad. – Hashtag darn true advice. (techno music) – Now I’m not claiming to be cool, but apparently I can buy the
coolest helmets on earth. Literally. According to CoolHead, that is, and that’s a Kickstarter project. I’m not going to give it all away, though. You’re going to have to
tune in to the GCN Tech Show on Thursday to find out more. Where we’ll also be
discussing marginal gains. Do they really matter? Are they worth it? Find out. (upbeat music) – It’s been another busy week in the world of professional racing, and, of course, if you want
to find more detailed analysis of all the racing, you
can check out GCN’s new Racing News Show every Monday. – Indeed, now over in
Australia it was the first single-day world tour race of the year with the Cadel Evans
Great Ocean Road Race. Now the 164 kilometre event was run off in absolutely sweltering conditions, topping out at an astonishing 41 degrees. And the hilly challenging
finishing circuit whittled down the field
to two distinct groups which merged within the last 500 metres. – Yeah, and emerging
strongest from that melee was Bora-Hansgrohe’s Jay McCarthy for just the second win of his pro career. He beat out a fast finishing Elia Viviani and Tour Down Under winner
Daryl Impey in third. Over in the Women’s
event, it was a win for Ale-Cipollini’s Chloe Hosking
in a very close finish. – [Matt] And she got herself selected for the Commonwealth Games
for Australia as well on virtue of that win. – [Jon] Not bad. – Trek-Segafredo continued
their astonishing start to the season by taking
up three of the four races at the Mallorca Challenge last week. John Degenkolb using his
sprint to devastating effect to take round one and four, whilst new signing, Toms Skujins, soloed to victory in the Trofeo Lloseta. – Lotto Soudal’s Tim Wellens, stopped it from being a Trek route over in Mallorca by taking out the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana for the second year in
succession, in fact. But I must admit, Matt, it’s
great to see John Degenkolb back on form firing at
this time of the year. – Yeah, he did look absolutely delighted, and I must admit it’s been a difficult couple of years for him, but it’d be great to see him
back on song for the monuments, winning the classics Milan-San
Ramo and Paris-Roubaix. And didn’t he look absolutely delighted? What a way to celebrate his birthday. – Tell you what, Matt, he’s
definitely enjoying that more than that cappuccino you made him. – Is it the right temperature? – No. (laughing) – The UCI Cyclo-cross World
Cup wrapped up in Hoogerheide on Sunday, and, quite fittingly, both the overall winners took out the win in the final round, Sanne Cant taking the women’s and Mathieu van der Poel, the men’s. And this is, of course,
the last step before the short hop over to Valkenburg for the UCI World
Championships next weekend, which we are certainly looking forward to. – Quick, impromptu prediction. Who do you reckon for
the men’s and women’s? – I can’t see past van
der Poel for the men’s. – [Matt] Yeah, I’m going to
say van der Poel for the men’s. – [Jon] Yeah. – And the ladies? – I have a feeling about Katie Compton. – [Matt] Katie, yeah,
that’s a good outsider. – [Jon] I think she’ll
be a popular winner. – [Matt] I’m going to go for
Sanne Cant again, I’m afraid. – [Jon] Okay.
– [Matt] There we go. That’s the curse done, isn’t it? – [Jon] Yep. – Anyway, moving on to the road now. Organisers of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, ASO, have announced they’re
gonna change, from 2019, the finish of the race because, according to them and I tend to agree, Liege-Batogne-Liege has
become just a little bit predictable in the last few kilometres. Now we haven’t got full details, but what we do know is that
the finish is going to be flat, and probably based near Ans. – I have to say, Matt,
that’s a pretty good move. Not only because it allows the climbers to attack a bit earlier. They won’t want to wait for a sprint. And it might entice a
different sort of rider to Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Maybe even Mr. Peter Sagan. – [Matt] That’d be cool, wouldn’t it? (drill runs) – It’s time now, Jon, for hack
forward slash, got it right, bodge of the week. First up is this from Lynden Brown. “I’m sick of pulling bees
and beetles out of my hair “when I take my helmet off
after a ride in the country.” “Tie one knot in a five
pound pair of tights, “$5 pair of tights, and sort it.” Good job. – [Jon] Yeah, it’s simple,
effective, does the job. – [Matt] Probably aerodynamic
as well, I’d imagine. – [Jon] Yeah. You could save at least
two watts there, I reckon. – [Matt] Good estimation there. – [Jon] Give it a hack. – [Matt] Johnny science here. – Now we’ve got Jake Musser. “Three strips of skateboard
grip tape placed on sole of shoe “helps secure a fussy cleat
that wouldn’t stay in place.” And you can see there,
just behind the cleat. – [Matt] You see a lot of the pros using, or the pro mechanics using
grip tape on the pro bikes to keep things firmly in place, so a neat little trick there. – [Jon] Yep, hack. – Definitely. Next up we have this from Jurajozimy, hopefully I got that
right, over on Instagram. “Hey Global Cycle
Network, what do you think “about my custom built
table/work bench/bike display?” “Shelves accommodate all
my bike repair tools, “lights are WiFi controlled.” How cool is that? “From my phone and can change
colours and intensity.” Look at that. It’s like a showroom, isn’t it? – [Jon] That is an A plus
for aesthetic, but is it, you said it’s a work stand as well? – [Matt] Does he need a step ladder to use the work stand? – [Jon] He might need to step up to. – [Matt] The potential’s there. – [Jon] Though, I mean, you
can’t fault that, though. That looks beautiful. – [Matt] It’s a stunning display. – [Jon] Give it a hack. – [Matt] It’s the first I’ve
seen of its kind, as well. – Yeah, we’ve got this from Grosmorisse. Now it looks like something
you might have ridden in the 80s, Matt. – [Matt] What are you saying? (laughter) Actually, I’m not being funny with you. I have been on one of those
in the 1980s in the gym, but I’ll let you continue. – [Jon] (laughs) This is actually a ghetto indoor training rig, featuring drop bars,
3D printed faux hoods. – [Matt] Whoa. – [Jon] Repurposed mountain bike shifter resistance adjustment. The cranks have been re threaded. I mean, he’s proper gone to town on that, and presumably it works. And presumably it gets him very fit. – [Matt] And it cost him only 40 bucks. – [Jon] $40. – [Matt] That is something to behold. I particularly like the
3D printed lever hoods. – [Jon] Yeah. – [Matt] Very nice indeed. – [Jon] I mean, you could
get something much more expensive, but that is a
good bodge I would say. – [Matt] I think that’s
definitely a bodge. – [Jon] But good nonetheless. – [Matt] Definitely. Next up is this one from Geoff.chin, again over on Instagram. “Pipe-fitting barrings
cycling hack or bodge?” Oh my gosh. – [Jon] Crikey. – [Matt] So basically, it’s a copper pipe clamped by the stem, of course, and then. Hold on a minute. So the barrings are kind of
u-bends, are plumbing u-bends. I’ve never seen anything like it. – [Jon] Interesting to look
at, but it’s got to be a bodge. There’s got to be better ways. – [Matt] There has got to be better ways. Couldn’t you have found some old barrings? But I think for ingenuity it’s a bodge. 10 out of 10 for ingenuity. And I’m loving, as well, look
at the little finger brakes on the front there. – [Jon] Oh yeah. Didn’t even notice that. Obviously the u-bends, they threw me. – [Matt] And also it looks
like he cut up a recorder or something or some sort
of woodwind instrument and slotted them over the bars as well for added whistle effect. – [Jon] That’s Incredible. – [Matt] But all in all, bodge? – Yeah, bodge. (electronic spring) That ends a very eclectic
mix of hacks and bodges. And don’t forget that you can
submit your hacks and bodges using the hashtag gcnhack on social media. – What he said. (electronic music) – Caption of the week now,
and you know the deal. We give you a photo, you caption it, and you could be in
with a chance of winning a GCN Camelback water bottle. Here is last week’s, it’s Manuele Boaro with a Koala in his helmet. – Yeah, and the winner is Eddie Dutton. “This is a highly koala-ty helmet.” (laughter) So that actually, that did
make me smile in real life. That’s not a fake smile, that’s real. So you do desrve your Camelback smoked, possibly, water bottle. Depends what one we choose for you. I suppose we better give
him a smoked one to be real. Well, how about trying to caption this. It’s the Bora-Hansgrohe team,
I think, at the Tour San Juan. Can I start you off? – Go on then, Matt. Give it a go. ♪ Whoa, the hokey cokey ♪ ♪ Whoa, the hokey cokey ♪ ♪ Whoa, the hokey cokey ♪ ♪ In, out, in, out, you
shake it all about. ♪ – There we go. That was the Hokey
Cokey, or the Hokey Pokey as it’s sometimes known
in other countries. – I don’t think that’s going to be beaten. I really don’t. – It’s shaky, but, you
know, it’ll do for starters. If you can beat Matt’s
very musical caption, then you can leave your captions in the comment section down below. A GCN water bottle could be yours. (electronic music) Before we tell you what’s
coming up next on GCN this week, we thought we’d pick
out a couple of comments from last week’s videos. And we’ve got a couple
of crackers for you here. – We have. These are from Undoing Training
Myths with Louis Passfield over there when he, in fact, was a genie. – I give you five myth busting questions. – It’s professor Louis Passfield. He’s a genie. – Matt, do I really
have to wear this beard. – [Matt] You can swap it for the lab coat. – Deal. – The first of which is from Paul Zed. “Simon, my gran wants her
sunglasses back, thanks.” (laughing) – [Jon] Louis turns up as
a genie and everybody’s on about Si’s sunglasses. (laughs) – [Matt] Yeah, yeah,
they were a bit suspect. – Anyway, Andrew Langshanks says, “All I can see I hot chocolate fudge cake, “2.95 with single cream.” Mmmmmm. That does sound good. – Especially with cream. Should I have a look at what’s
on the channel next week? – Alright, yeah. – Okay.
– Let’s get back on it. – On Thursday we take a look at the top 10 possible
protagonists for the forthcoming World Cyclo-cross
Championships in Valkenburg. On Saturday, we’re bake in the kitchen for a vegan post-ride meal. – Talking about food again. – I know. – Alright, on Sunday we get to check out what Simon and Dan have
been up to in Gran Canaria, aside from drinking hot
chocolate and sunning themselves. Not that we’re jealous. – Not at all. – On Monday we’ve got the latest edition of the GCN racing news show. We’ve got Etoile de Besseges. We’ve got the Tour of Valencia. – And the Cyclo-cross Worlds, too. – And the Cyclo-cross Worlds, of course. – Who could forget? – And on Tuesday we’re
back here on the GCN Show. – Number two, six, five. (electric guitar riff) Last, but by no means least, Jon, it’s time for Extreme
Corner. What have we got? – We’ve got U.S. under 23
National champion in Cyclo-cross, Christopher Blevins, versus some steps. (rock music) – [Cameraman] Hey. – Wow, that is a lot of steps. – Oh god, I don’t know
how many steps there were. I lost count. I was so overawed and excited. – (laughs) I thought he was
just going to keep going. – Oh my god, that was impressive stuff. Now I hope you liked this week’s GCN show. If you did, please do give it a thumbs up. Now, for another pretty cool video that I particularly liked filming, it was the Ask GCN Special
that I did the other day with Emma Pooley, the former world time trial champion, no less. You can find that video by
clicking just down here. – Very interesting stuff. And if you like mine and Matt’s jumpers, you can buy these and
many other bits of apparel over at, and there’s also a link somewhere
on the screen right now. – That’s mine. I need that back after the show. – Oh, sorry. – Unbelievable. Stop nicking my tops. – Bit warm in here.

100 comments on “What Makes The Ultimate Bike Ride? | The GCN Show Ep. 264

  1. Interesting estimates of Chris Froome's power from his Strava rides:

  2. One factor that would be part of my ultimate bike ride (one that you did not mention) is "having the right companion(s)", that is, riding with a like-minded friend (or two or three…). Riding with friends of similar riding style/ability/intent makes all the difference in the world. The right group on the right route is the right equation!!!

  3. the pipe handlebar made my spit out my coffee in laughter. anything that ridiculous deserves a hack, and a kudos on the Lemond frame!

  4. Ultimate ride? Rain, sun, hot, cold, flat, hilly, long, short, fast, slow, group, solo or any other combination as long as it involves riding I love em all.

  5. If you are living in the moment then the Ultimate bike ride is always the ride you are on. If you are living in the past or an imagined future it’s anyone guess. For me every ride is The Ultimate (until the next one). Love your show!

  6. Ultimate ride has to be Paris Roubaix 2 years ago..topped off by meeting the GCN lads (filming) in the Velodrome at the very end!

  7. Ultimate SOLO ride =  absence of cars -> frontal winds  -> and dogs,  but contains smooth roads, a variety of terrain,  a few white puffy clouds, good music selection on my iPod AND at the end of it all – nice cold pint, & a pretty woman w/ a obsessional need to give long deep massages.  😉

  8. The ultimate bike ride in terms of scenery, road variety and conditions, climbs, flats (through valleys) and even courteous drivers is hands down the three summits of Nufenen, Saint Gotthard and Furka pass in Switzerland. A 100 kilometer loop starting and finishing in the village of Ulrichen with just over 3000m climbing, all happening in the most stunning Alpine scenery in the world. Perfect Swiss cheese smooth roads, mind blowing climbs followed by insane descents, climbing the famous pave on Saint Gotthard, and finishing with a long steady climb over the majestic Furka Pass before screaming back down the pitch perfect road to where you started.. Share the roads on any sunny Sunday in summer with cycling respecting drivers in Ferrari's, Lamborghini's, Porsche's, Audi R8's and just about any other exotique sports car you can think of. This should be on every riders bucket list – it will not disappoint. Oh, and you gotta love the endless free water pouring out of the Swiss fountains all along the way! Only thing that could make it better is if it was beer!

  9. For me ,after 30 yrs of cycling, it's gotta be something different. Me and the Mrs just got back from Thailand, I persuaded Anna that taking my bike would be a good idea. I know what you're thinking. Thailand! Are you mad. Most people with this view have never been to Thailand and their only perception of the place is TV programs based in Bangkok, with motorbikes and tuk tuks flying around in every direction. We went to a place called Khao Lak ,80kms north of Phuket. It's fantastic, the coast road is fairly busy, granted, however there is a whole lane for two (and sometimes three) wheeled traffic. 99% of drivers are much more courteous than the average British driver. I got cut up once in 450 miles. Once off the coast road there is hardly any traffic ,the scenery is stunning jungle covered mountains , the road surfaces are silky smooth (think new surfaces in this country……before they chip them) . The people are fantastic ,so friendly and helpful ( surprising how far you can get with knowing Thai for hello, thank you and some good 'hand talking'). There are some beautiful rides you can do to the mountainous Koh Sok national park, just outstanding, and the weather is good if you go at the right time of yr. If you want to do a feature , I'll be your guide Matt .

  10. the best ride is when you feel the most pleased and satisfied, not only by the end of the ride, but also in the duration of the ride.

  11. Went out with a group to watch the tour last year. Was the day after Tour of the Reservoir so had to drive from Northumberland to Dover not stopping for food. Got over to France and we set off straight away on the bikes. Ended up on a 'short cut' and getting lost through a field, 5 punctures and a lot of mud clogging bikes. Then a lunch stop where lunch didn't arrive for half of us. Off again towards the finish, tried to bypass police closing the roads by going through a woodland. That turned into a sheer drop down some nettles followed by a trek up the other side of the equally sheer climb. Ended up with a branch whacking me in the face so a massive nose bleed while in a white jersey. Saw the tour and Sagan winning, rode back and by 8pm in the evening collapsed in an all you eat (and drink, beer/wine included) Chinese restaurant having not eaten for over a day, not slept since 2 nights ago and ridden 6.5 hours. That was the ultimate bike ride, at least to look back on

  12. Dare you Simon and Dan to ride in Colombia. Fits some requirements for a bucket list ride: different from your ride in the UK, altitude training (challenge) you wont forget ( memorable), iconic (colombian cycling history) and bliss ( Colombian coffee)

  13. What groupset (bar the the brakes…cantilevers) can I put on my Specialized Crux Elite 2011, the same one as Si's in his 'setting up cantilever brakes' video?

  14. Bucket list rides could be flat like the Hotter N Hell 100 in hot August in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA

  15. a study done by the GCN viewers shows it is equally as dangerous to ride your bike and make youtube videos on the road, as it is to ride your bike with headphones in

  16. Guys, love GCN. But… this video is a prime example of how you need to do something about the audio when Matt is talking. pin on a microphone? And use compression on his audio feed. Thanks!

  17. As a Brit currently living in California, I’m not exactly struggling to find amazing places to ride… but the General Sherman highway in Sequoia National Park is something else. Granted that it is suited to more to those who prefer vertical gain over massive miles (first 15 miles will get you 5000ft of vertical gain), it really has to be ridden to be believed. Ride it during the week to avoid tourists driving like tourists and you’ll be rewarded with mile after mile of silky smooth tarmac, giant sequoias (you’ll ride past the largest tree in the world) and endless views of spectacular mountains. Oh and 99% of the time it’s cloudless blue skies. Add it to your list.

  18. Its got to just be fun, something almost completely different. My favorite ride was through a state park with 100 other riders. It was the best ride I’ve ever done!

  19. There's a section near top of Gran Canaria mountain where the surface is terrible – then crosswinds – really dangerous if you descend that way!!

  20. I think that some rain could actually make it an epic and ultimate ride. One of my favorite rides of all time was riding back in a spring downpour and being soaked to the core. But I was laughing all the way. It did help that it wasn't cold

  21. Caption: “Mom, you’re em-BORA-ssing me in front of my friends you said we only had to pose for one picture!!”

  22. Who you are with is the most important part of a ride. I’ve had better rides with friends than solo through the Blue Ridge Parkway which is gorgeous

  23. The most important part of the ultimate ride is the absolute epicness. There has to be at least one EPIC segment, or its not the ultimate ride. (For more info, watch GCN's epic ride vid)

  24. Caption. (To the tune of 'You can't hurry love') No you can't hurry Cav, you'll just have to wait, Sagan will sprint quickly, it's a game of give and take'. (With apologies to Miss Ross and co!)

  25. Am Team SKY fan since forever, but feel sweet and sour about froome, but wonder why now in 2018 he starts to share Strava rides, why not to share it since 2015 2016 o last year… am just saying ¿What is the point? am pro fromme in the peloton but there si quite some things does not fit before and after the dope incident, and there and allways will be an after and before dope incident froomy, and am sad about froomy and the sport for it.

  26. Well, ultimate ride should be the ride to remember. If so, rain is essential in Flanders or Paris-Roubaix cobbles. As you said-challenge.

  27. Ultimate ride,  at an exotic location listening to a bunch of girls and guys  pre-ride chatter as the sun is peeking over the distant mountains before rolling out in
    perfect formation as an amazing vista of vineyards, valleys pass by as you ride towards an epic climb in the distance which both terrifies and excites you at the same time,
    giving your mates a bit of curry on the climb here and there but keeping it together as a group  before that awesome decent into a small village for the best coffee and strawberry tart you’ve ever
    had……..then reliving the ride that night with everyone having a different versions of the sprints, climbs, scenery over a few pints, epic times with epic friends……

  28. Definitely needs some out-of-the-ordinary… Dolomiti, Alps, Sonoma County / Pacific Ocean.. but most important – 🍻 at the finish with your riding buddies.

  29. I'm not a teenager but I still use headphones when riding, I think if you're like me and are always looking at your surroundings it doesn't make a difference. I also feel stronger when having music.

  30. now, I am NOT saying I didn't like the content, because I did…however, the first seven minutes just felt like I was watching a GCN (topic) video inside of the normal "GCN Show". ?? Stretching for content, boys? I think Dan & Si could've (& sounds like still will) have a video specifically on that; & I don't think I read anywhere in the "Unwritten Cycling Rules" that the GCN Show must be at least 24 minutes long. Maybe I just missed a chapter or two 😀
    Cheers, mates; overall another good vid – nice job John & Matt

  31. For me, ultimate rides (or wind-surf sessions) can be so for just the joy they leave in my memory. Why? That might be for any reason. Even riding in the rain can be stunningly beautiful. I've thoroughly enjoyed discovering my own completely flat country on bike, and do so as well in the black forest were I live now.

  32. For me using headphones, I always were more busy with the people surrounding me or the other traffic because of the reason I can't hear them. Nowadays I mostly use only 1 ear for music and 1 for the surrounding.

  33. Either smooth or deliberately rugged, eg Flanders cobbles. That rules out any routes in the UK, which has just about the worst road maintenance in the developed world.

  34. My best one-day ride was from Penzance to Exeter on a hybrid bike with panniers. Varied terrain and weather made it more of an adventure than a normal ride. Probably most enjoyable though because it was the toughest ride I've done. I did it solo without using a phone/garmin, any spare tyres/inner tubes or repair kit.

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