Latest Blog

La Bande Jaune

03
Aug

JLT Condor Mavic Jersey - 650 web lock

2015 saw JLT Condor team get a reboot in both kit and sponsor with French wheel manufacturer, Mavic taking over from Rapha. The team known for nine seasons as Rapha Condor became JLT Condor presented by Mavic. 

JLT Condor presented by Mavic are the first UCI level team to be dressed head to toe by the historic French brand, and as the flagship team for Mavic rider equipment and gear they will signal-in the change for the soft goods division of the brand. Mavic's updated logo and 'La Bande Jaune' (yellow band) debuts on the new team kit and will be included in their autumn/winter range.
The British team will remain in their statement black jerseys with the new kit featuring a digital fade pattern under the arms and stripe detailing on the sleeves.
The new kit design will carry into the 2016 season, with Mavic producing a range of supporter's level apparel, including jersey and bib shorts, as well as team t-shirt and hoody. The new supporter's jersey will be available for £50.00 and the team bib shorts for £80.00.

View all the  Mavic equipment used by JLT Condor professional cycling team. 

 

Frith Street's Finest

10
Jul

An icon of Soho, Bar Italia coffee shop was opened in 1949 by the Polledri family, who still own and operate the slice of Italian culture in the heart of London's west end.
Named Coffee Shop of the Year in 2010 by London Lifestyle Awards, Bar Italia on Frith Street counts actors Rupert Everett and cyclist Mark Cavendish as regulars. This Italian-Americano bar is a diner-style all-nighter with pavement tables and frenetic quick-fix service. 

You can't talk to the staff at Bar Italia without talking about cycling. In a mixture of English and Italian the staff joke about this year's action packed Tour de France while making espressos for customers who sit outside in the July heat. Original features include neon signs, chrome pedestal bar stools, mirrors and two-tone Formica striped with steel. Hams, strings of garlic, cycling shirts, signed Cavendish jerseys and pictures hang above the steaming espresso machine. The stainless steel counter top is stuffed with cannoli, bruttiboni and jars of amaretti biscuits while a giant framed poster of Italian-American boxing hero, Rocky Marciano, watches over the hustle and bustle.

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Condor has been making jerseys for the bar for several decades and the latest incarnation features the Bar Italia branding styled like their neon logo that famously features on the outside of the building. "This is maybe the fifth version of the jersey. I really like the 65th anniversary emblem on the jersey – they are nearly as old as Condor!" explains Grant Young. "We've had some really varied jersey designs over the years: a cappucino coloured jersey, which I still see around London today, a Giro inspired black and pink, and a classic Italian azzuri blue jersey. Bar Italia is one of those places that – day or night – it is a great bar to be in and full of culture. Anthony Polledri, son of Nino who started Bar Italia, really loves cycling. We spend too long talking about bikes whenever I pop in!"  

The jersey is available at in-store and online at Condor and Bar Italia.

 

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Alex Braybrooke second in Spain

06
Jul

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A strong season continues for the HMT Academy riders. Over the weekend, Alex Braybrooke sealed his place on the podium at the Junior Tour of the Basque Country. The Condor sponsored rider was racing the four stage event which finished on Sunday with a time trail around the medieval town of Gatika.

Braybrooke rode strongly on the 12km course securing 10th place on the stage in a time of 20:16, but he was beaten to the yellow jersey by Tomeu Gelabert who won the time trial.

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The second place capped a strong ride from the HMT Academy riders, with Alfie Moses picking up the white young riders jersey. Earlier in the week, Braybrooke's teammate, Karl Baillie successfully rode across to a seven man breakaway. The group of eight riders created a lead of just over 1 minute with 10km to go and the peloton chased hard to bring the leaders back. Sensing the danger of the race coming back together, Baillie attacked the group and held out to sprint for the victory on stage 2.

The race was an important learning curve for the Academy riders especially as the extreme heat added another dimension to the racing. "Rob Gray demonstrated everything that HMT Academy look for in a rider today, coming back to the team car several times to pick up SIS bars, gels and hydration to take back up to the rest of the team at the front of the peloton." explained team manager, Mark Barry.

This is the first time the academy has attended the race in Spain which forms part of the UCI 1.1 World Junior Series. The riders will return to England for the Bath CC Junior Road Race who's previous winners include Bradley Wiggins and Tao Geoghegan Hart.
The next European race for the HMT Academy, supported by JLT and Condor is Ronde van Vlaanderen Juniores on 2nd August.

Final Standings:
1. Tomeu Gelabert, Team Fundacion Contador (Official Junuior team of Alberto Contador)
2. Alex Braybrooke, HMT Academy pb JLT Condor
3. Joan Bou, Team Funcacion Contador

10. Stuart Balfour, HMT Academy pb JLT Condor
15. Alfie Moses, HMT Academy pb JLT Condor

Learn more about the academy supported by JLT and Condor on the HMT Academy website follow the team on twitter www.twitter.com/hmt_rra

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9 delightful Tour de France phrases you need this summer

03
Jul

Here's 9 Tour de France words and phrases we dare you to drop into conversation over the next 3 weeks. How many do you know?

1.
 Auto-Bus 650cx

 

2. Gipiemme 650bpx

3.

full-gas 650cpx

4.

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5.

Venga 650cpx

6.

Triskelion650b

7.

Elefantino 650cpx

8.

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9.

Kiss-the-Brickb

   

Win with Condor Velogames Mini League

29
Jun

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Win Condor prizes and celebrate the Tour de France with us. We've got weekly and overall prizes to win in our Velogames Mini League.

It is FREE to enter, click here to sign up

Velogames is a fantasy cycling game. Unlike other Fantasy Tour de France competitions, Velogames takes a simpler approach, just select the best possible team of 9 riders, no need to worry about changing riders, transfer deadlines or number of substitutions left.

The better your team of 9 performs during the Tour de France, the more points they will accumulate.
You can make unlimited changes to your team up until the entry deadline. Once the deadline has passed there are no transfers or changes allowed

The deadline for entries is 4th July 2015 - 13:00 (British Summer Time). 

How to join the Condor Mini League

To win prizes you must set up a team in the game and then join the Condor Mini League.

  • Log in, make your selection and submit your team.
  • Click on 'Visit Team' link
  • Click 'Join New League' below your team roster
  • Enter the League Code: 29000243 or choose league from the drop-down menu

Prizes

Prizes

Overall Winner - Mavic CXR Shoes, Condor Since 1948 Jersey, Condor Gilet, cap, pro socks

2nd overall - Condor Since 1948 Jersey, Condor Gilet, pro socks, water bottle

3rd overall - Condor Since 1948 Jersey, pro socks

Top 3 each week will win

Condor water bottles, pro socks, cap

We'll annouce spot prizes and weekly winners on the Condor blog. Good luck!

   

Summer Workshops at Condor

11
Jun

Condor Workshops are a great way to understand the ins and outs of your bike and riding that can sometimes puzzle and mystify. Our workshops are short sessions that provide insider knowledge and quick work arounds so you spend less time fettling and more time cycling.

Upcoming Workshops

Each workshop is free but limited to a number of spaces click on the links below to find out about each workshop and to sign up to a session.

Location & Times

 11.30am-12.15am and 18.15pm-19.00pm

Condor Cycles, 49-53 Grays Inn Road, London, WC1X 8PP

  

 Pack a bike for travel  - 25th June & 30th June 2015 

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If you're going to transport your bike by air, then twenty minutes of packing will give your bike a flighting chance when at the mercy of the airline baggage handlers.
This workshop focuses on useful tricks to ensure your can be set up exactly once your arrives. Time saving fuss free bike packing advice.

Topics include:

  • Key areas to protect, using a bike bag and packing in a bike box
  • Accurately setting your bike up to your usual position upon arrival
  • Tools to pack in your bag/box

Click here to register for the day workshop on the 25th June (18.15pm-19.00pm)

Click here to register for the evening workshop on the 30th June (11.30am-12.15pm)

 

Art of Wrapping Handlebar Tape - 6th July & 9th July

Bar Tape Wrapping

Handlebar tape serves as a critical contact point on the bike, and as such, deserves a little extra attention. The natural movement of your hands will slowly unwind tape if it not fitted properly leading to unruly cork and a messy looking bike. 
Practise makes perfect and we'll provide each person with a handlebar and tape to practise on during the session. 

  • Wrapping tape with logos ensuring consistency 
  • Figure of eight around the levers
  • Finishing tape ideas

Click here to register for the evening workshop on the 6th July - (18.15pm-19.00pm) POSTPONED

Click here to register for the day workshop on the 9th July - (11.30am-12.15am)

This workshop is support by Fizik.

General Maintenance Workshop - 12th July & 16th July

Cleaning a Bike

This workshop focuses on keeping your rolling in tip top condition and how to recognise when you may need to carry out additional maintenance work to your bike. 

This session is for new cyclists and cyclists who would like a refresh on general maintenance.

Topics include:

  • Fitting and adjusting new brake pads
  • Refitting a slipped chain without getting messy hands
  • The quick clean - don't labour away 
  • Beating drive train gunk
  • Using the barrel adjustor to make quick adjustments to slipping gears

Click here to register for the day workshop on the 13th July - (11.30pm-12.15pm)

Click here to register for the evening workshop on the 16th July - (18.15pm-19.00pm)

This workshop is support by Muc-Off.

 

   

Weekend with the Fratello

18
May

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"After one of those frustrating days changing tube stations, squeezing myself into non-existent spaces, I get home and know I'll relish taking the Fratello to work rather than taking public transport."
–Nick, Fratello owner since 2011

The way people ride their Fratellos varies from one to the next. Some choose it for its ultimate reliability as a daily commuting work horse. Others take to theirs to tour around the world. We've even found some throw their leg over and hit the racing circuit. 

"It is really good for getting out of the city quickly, covering lots of miles and getting into the lanes. Then you've got the versatility to veer off onto a track or path. I often nip into Epping Forest for 'off-the-beaten track' rides."
–Julene, Fratello rider since 2014

"For whatever reason a member of my club dragged me to an Audax under the pretence of riding a sportive type thing. I quickly found myself hooked to the audaxing scene, super long days (and sometimes nights!) in the saddle, but everyone is so friendly. Comfort is my top priority for audax events, so I plumbed for the Fratello after seeing so many out on events over the autumn."
–Russ, Fratello rider since 2014

For 2015, our updated Fratello has been given a partial face-lift. We now offer this iconic frameset in a disc-ready flavour, ready to adapt to a multitude of riding disciplines. It's this unrivalled versatility that lends itself to the modern rider; a true do-it-all in the most earnest sense. Our Fratello will see you through a whole weekend of riding.

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Friday is bookended with an early evening commute to the suburbs. An escape from the shackles of the rat race as our rider glides effortlessly through the city along the Embankment. A nimble handling bike despite its load weaves through the rush hour traffic of London. Adorned with a full rack and panniers, work clothes are stashed unassumingly, and an iPad and work journals neatly tucked in an internal pocket. The ultimate statement of practicality, panniers alleviate that restrictive feeling of an overloaded backpack, freeing the rider to enjoy the journey.

Saturday morning arrives and summertime sunrays bathe the lanes as we head to the North Downs way, a mere sixteen miles out of central London. No need for the panniers today, but the full mudguard coverage comes in handy during those traditional surprise showers. The North Downs is an extensive trail path opened in 1978. It runs for a mammoth 173 miles, snaking along the ridge of the chalky North Down hills. The National Cycle Network travels along parts of the path and warns that some of the route may be unsuitable for road bikes. However, it may be suggested that they never encountered the disc-equipped Fratello before. Its large clearances and 28c tyres make negotiating the dried mud and potholes on Godstone Hill child's play. This is a bike that begs to be tested on rocky ground and gravel tracks, seemingly unwavering in its unparalleled comfort levels. After heading along the ridge overlooking Kent's vineyards we swing right at Reigate and head north towards London to return home, but not before a quick visit to Fanny's Farm Shop for a well earned tea and fresh scone.

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Sunday arrives and with it the traditional weekly local club run, and it's a pacey blast to Windsor on the cards. A fast and relatively flat affair, the ride is conducted at an unforgiving velocity as the well-drilled paceline neatly eats up the mileage. Whilst the Fratello isn't a seemingly natural choice for such a ride, with fellow club riders sat atop predominantly carbon machines, the updated Fratello tubeset is crafted from custom Columbus Spirit, lighter than previous incarnations of tubing. Bikes Etc magazine concluded in their 'Weighting Game' feature of issue two by saying that frame weight is decidedly harder to notice on undulating roads found on our fair British shores compared with the alpine moonscape of Ventoux. After an early evening refuel in the shape of a welcome roast dinner, the Fratello is grabbed without thought for a last minute dash to the supermarket for a bottle of vino, the perfect cargo carrying machine making light work of the popcorn and Belgian beers also picked up!

Versatility has always been at the heart of the Fratello, and now with its new disc-equipped option the possibilities are almost endless. Its direct and crisp ride, coupled with the unrivalled comfort provided by the exceptional steel tubing are at the heart of a bike that's begging to be tested on gravel track descents as much as it yearns to retain comfort for the cyclist riding through the night in a 400km audax. Pick the new Fratello frameset and never compromise on ride disciplines again!

Create your Fratello Disc on the Condor Bike Builder

View and download our mixed terrain Kent loop

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PEdAL ED - the Japanese brand you need to know

20
Mar

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There are times when a country or city punches above all others, and others try to replicate, but in the end the city will always remain the benchmark. For most of the 20th and 21st century the Japanese and specificially the Tokyokkos (the residents of Tokyo) are renowned for their focus on advancing the technical world, inventions, attention to detail and - above all - products with an unquestionable build quality. Just look at brands like Shimano (the first to make clipless pedals) and Sony's revolutionary Walkman.

With 35.8 million people inhabiting the capital, Tokyo is the world's most populated metropolitan area, yet arguably the most tranquil. Yes, the chaotic neon signs are overhwelming at first but the city has created spaces and activities for its population to sit back quietly contemplate. More Westernised than the West but incredibly respectful of heritage, the foundations are in place for the Tokyokkos to continue to invent products that ehhance and help add calm to our lives.

Tokyo native, Hideto Suzuki, the founder of PEdAL ED clothing, embodies that Japanese way of thinking. A traditional craftman, he spent 15 years working as a fashion designer using a mix of heritage and technical materials, from corduroy and tweed to Gore-Tex and Windstopper fabrics. He has a lifelong passion for outdoor pursuits and in 2007 he launched cycle brand PEdAL ED in Japan. His street wear creations soon became established as being as wearable in the city as they are in much harsher environments. “I believe that the aesthetics and functionality of cycling apparel can greatly increase the pleasure of riding."

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What does your typical day look like?
My studio is 15 minutes away from my home by bike. When I arrive I play music, make myself a coffee and tidy up. I run a company, so I do administration work in the morning and I also study English. After lunch I’m usually at the studio designing.

Where do you go for inspiration?
The space which is between the sun and the bicycle is enough.
Any place is good as long as I can ride my bicycle under the sun.

Can you sum up Tokyo style in a few words?
Change, flexibility, balance. Tokyo is a city that changes every day.
Flexibility is a key word for me, being able to balance the old and new is what we do.

Condor Essentials Breaker

   

Get your kicks MuleBar event

11
Mar

The talented team behind MuleBar will be heading to our Gray's Inn Road store on Friday 13th. Their saddle bags will be stashed with tasty free samples like their new savoury bars and salted caramel gels.

British brand MuleBar is unique because it is one of the few brands who use completely natural ingredients to make their products. The high energy bars and gels use certified organic and Fairtrade ingredients, while wrappers are completely compostable. Luckily if one does slip from your jersey pocket at least it won't end up polluting the beautiful countryside. 

MuleBar aren't afraid to mix up the flavours either. The range includes great flavour combinations that Heston Blumenthal would be proud of, inlcuding Mango & Cashew and Eastern Express - a spicy mix with pistachio and salted caramel.

Come in and get tasting this Friday!

   

Training Camps: Haunts of the stars

03
Mar

Training camp season is upon us in the northern hemisphere and whether you choose to escape to the sun to hone your winter speed, cram in some panic training or quite simply you no longer have an ounce of patience for cold, wind and the wet, a training is great way to start the season.
This spring don't tread the same beaten paths as years gone by, do you really need to join the hordes of riders trudging a path up to Sir Chris Hoy's favourite climb, Sa Colobra?
Forget Tenerife, the home of Team Sky, everyone knows that the demoralizingly bleak climb up Mount Tiede is their second home, and no doubt there will be plenty out hunting a selfie with Froomey.

Check out these hidden pro-team destinations for those who are looking for some serious riding and deep sense of wanderlust.

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 Pistoia, Tuscany

Ten kilometres from Quarrata, training base and home to fast-man Mark Cavendish, is the picturesque district of Pistoia. Sitting snugly at the foot of the Apennines, it undoubtedly warrants more attention than it recieves currently.
Pistoia is a town that has grown well beyond its medieval ramparts, its centro storico remains a well preserved icon of tranquility today.
Ride a few kilometres north and you'll have access to the Passo della Porretta, a popular climb used in the 2009 Giro d'Italia. It is beautiful yet not overwhelmingly long and arduous. The Apennines offer a myriad of snaking ascents north that can be looped west toward Lago di Bilancino a large lake near the Giro start town of Barberino di Mugello.
Pistoia's position is key; it is not nestled deep in the high mountains making flat recovery days to Pisa easy, access back to base can be via a final big climb or a manageable roll back into town if you are looking to get the miles in.

Made famous by? Mapei, Mark Cavendish
What to eat? Be sure to try some traditional Cantucci biscotti, a true Tuscan classic.
These twice baked crunchy treats originating from Prato are actually able to be keep fresh for weeks on end. Dip them in a hot beverage at a café stop.
What to pack?

 

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Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, USA

This is a land of Stetsons and spurs, where cowboy ballads are sung around the campfire under starry, black-velvet skies and thick steaks sizzle on the grill. Anchored by the bustling college-town of Tucson, it's a vast region, where long, dusty highways slide past rolling vistas and pointy mountain ranges.
Tucson sits 728m above sea-level, lofty enough to gain some advantages from altitude but not so high that the height makes any kind of activity almost impossible.
When Lance Armstrong made his return to the pro peloton in 2009, he and his teammates headed to Southern Arizona, basing themselves at the foot of Lemmon and using the climb as part of their training.

Made famous by? Lance Armstrong 2009 comeback season and Team Radioshack
What to eat? Why not reward yourself after a hard day in the legs with a much deserved craft beer from one of Tucsons many microbrewerys. Dragoon Brewing Co comes highly recommended. And why not soak some of that sweet brewed nectar up with a Sopapilla? This crispy Mexican deep fried flatbread. A perfect way to carb load for those extended efforts in the heat.
What to ride? The Catalina Highway also called the Mount Lemmon Highway. The road runs up from the east side of Tucson to the top of Mt. Lemmon some 2,792m up.

What to pack

 

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Sierra Nevada, Spain

Sierra Nevada is the name of a ski station (where Dani Moreno won a stage of the Vuelta in 2011) and a National Park home to the highest peak of the Iberian Peninsula - Mulhacén, 3,478 metres above sea level.
A popular destination for professional cyclists alike, most riders base themselves on the northern side of the park near Granada. The picturesque Andalusian ranges offer big days of climbing or you can detour around one of the many bodies of water and take on several short climbs. Indulge in a recovery day and pay a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alhambra, enjoying its rich medieval history.

Made famous by? Bauke Mollema, Blanco / Belkin Pro Cycling

What to eat? The village of Trevélez, one of the highest villages in Spain at 1476m is renowned for its delicious cured ham.
Local specialities at any of Trevélez´s many bars or cafes will see this mouth-watering ham served with broad beans (habas con jamón) or trout (trucha con jamón).

What to ride? Alto Hazallanas is a truly unforgettable 17km ascent that featured in the 2013 Vuelta a Espana. After passing through the gateway village of Güéjar Sierra after 10km of steady climbing, the final 7 kilometres unleash pitches of upto 20% in places. Grind out this testing finale and prepare to be richly rewarded with a breath-taking vista atop the Alto Hazallanas.

What to pack?

 

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Southern Alps, Nice, France

Nice combines the cosmopolitan French Riviera with stunning cycling and, like Girona, is home to plenty of professional cyclists.
Neighbour to the opulent Monaco, where Team Sky headed for 2014 pre-tour build up, the region is known as the Alpes-Martitimes . There are plenty of climbs for 'col hunters' to tick off including the Col de la Madone, a favourite of disgraced cycling coach Dr. Ferrari. Make sure you end you day with a ride along the legendary Promenade des Anglais for an epic sunset.

Made famous by? Richie Porte, David Millar, Motorola, Team Sky

What to eat? Eating options are some of the best you'll find in France.
From pastry to steak, the options after a hard day in the saddle are endless.

What to ride? The Col d'Eze is Nice's calling card. The Paris-Nice race finished with a time trial on the climb every year between 1968 and 1995 (except 1977).

What to pack?

 

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Five ultimate bucket list rides

10
Feb

If you are looking for awe-inspiring landscapes or you're in the market for some serious soul searching, you've come to the right place. 

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Touring, backpacking, roadtrip, adventure - the names may be different but the experience is the same. Take a trip around Patagonia, ride across Scottish highlands, experience the great Fjord's of Norway and feed your curosity, inspire your senses, give your instagram followers a break from burnt food, cat selfies and make them jealous by riding one of the routes on our list.

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Iceland

An under-populated island marooned near the top of the globe, Iceland is literally a country in the making. It's a vast volcanic laboratory where mighty forces shape the earth: geysers gush, mudpots gloop, ice-covered volcanoes rumble and glaciers grind great pathways through the mountains. Thanks to Iceland's friendly approach to cycling, navigating its epic landscapes is easy. There is a dedicated cycle network, easy to use maps showing different types of terrain, plenty of cycle-friendly hotels and public transport connections that carry bikes.

This 800 kilometre loop around the south west of the island takes 10-14 days to complete. The network of country roads provides an excellent framework placing few demands on navigation. Beginning from the world's most northerly capital Reykjavík, travel south east towards the coastal town of Skogar, this gives you access to some of the most impressive places in the south of the island including the infamous Eyafjallajokull Volcano and the thundering Skogarfoss Waterfall. At Vik, you'll swing north and climb into Fjallbak Nature Reserve, home to the colourful mountains of Landmannalaugar.

After circumnavigating the reserve, head north west to the Snæfellsnes peninsula and little Grundarfjörður. Set on a dramatic bay, the town is backed by waterfalls and ice-capped peaks. The Puffin Tour from Grundarfjörður goes to wonderful basalt island, Melrakkaey where you'll see colonies of puffins, kittiwakes, the odd whale and super views of Kirkjufell mountain.

What to eat
Iceland boasts an unbelievably wide variety of fresh fish and menus offering everything including shark. Try Harðfiskur, a sort of Icelandic fish jerky, which is dried out in the cold air. There are lots of hot dog shacks along the roads, order a plysa hot dog, they contain lamb and are served with an unusual sauce giving it a unique flavour.

When to go
June – August. Despite being just south of the Arctic Circle the gulf stream ensures Iceland enjoys relatively mild temperatures all year round and there is nearly 24 hours of sunlight at the peak of the summer.

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touring plus
GARMIN TOURING PLUS
Find you way on and off road
CONDOR-2015-Heritage-43032
CONDOR HERITAGE 
Signature touring machine with Columbus tubing

 

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In Chile, adventure is what happens on the way to having an adventure. Pedal the chunky gravel of the Carretera Austral and end up sharing ferries with SUVs and oxcarts, wrong turns along the way reveal heaven in anonymous orchards.
The Carretera Austral, Chile's Southern Highway stretches a total of 1200 kilometers from Puerto Montt to Villa O'Higgins passing through forests, rivers, and waterfalls in the depths of rural Patagonia.
When you hear the term 'Southern Highway', you might imagine an orderly, well-paved route through the wilderness. You'd be wrong. This is one of the most challenging trips by bike, not for its length but for the potholes, gravel and dirt that throw you about and rattle your teeth.

The challenge makes the route all the more endearing, with chances to recuperate mid trip in the hot springs of Ventisquero Sound and take a break from the bike in the mist-shrouded Parque Nacional Queulat. Wedged between craggy mountains, a short distance off the road, there is a lookout that takes in the Ventisquero Colgante, the park's hanging glacier.
The cute mountain town of Futalenfu, offers world class white-water rafting sites and in the regional capital of Coyhaique, you can take your pick of several decent restaurants and get lost in the spiderweb of streets that radiate from the pentagonal main plaza.

The approach to Villa O'Higgins is nothing short of spectacular; narrow, hairpin bends, bumpy washboard road that's the bane of hard-core Carretera Austral cyclists, and a sheer drop to one side that promises an untimely demise for any driver showing less than constant vigilance, coupled with glimpses of untamed rivers and virgin forest-clad mountains.
Carretera Austral can be completed easily enough in two weeks or two months depending on how many times you want to stop and explore, either way the route unveils the wonders of South America and sets the stage for incredible adventures.

What to eat
Try Patagonian lamb spread-eagled on the barbecue at Entre Patagones. Wash it down with a Chilean pisco sour – a local version of the famous South American cocktail.

When to go
Between October and April, where longer days and warmer temperatures are the norm.

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Giro Alpine Dura MTB
GIRO ALPINEDURO MTB SHOE
Waterproof cycling shoe with hiking-boot styling
Brooks Cambium
BROOKS CAMBIUM C17 SADDLE
Vulcanised rubber and a sturdy cotton canvas


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carretera Austral

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Russia

The Trans-Siberian highway, Russia's ribbon road, winds from the very east of the vast country to the west. Mention Siberia and there are immediate thoughts of unrelenting cold and an unforgiving landscape. This ride is rich in beautiful contradiction to the stereotype. You can ride the full length of the highway; our route mixes the famous Tans-Siberian railway and its newly asphalted highway.

Vladivostok is Russia's San Francisco – a real stunner, with pointed mountains springing up above a network of bays, most strikingly the crooked dock-lined Golden Horn Bay (named for its likeness to Istanbul's).
Located 600 kilometres from Vladivostok and bordering with China is Khabarovsk. Join the railway and cover 1,250 miles to Chita via the Shilka and Amur rivers. From Chita disembark and join the highway again to Irkutsk. The next leg of the journey is through breathtaking scenic landscape including the 100 kilometre section beside Lake Baikal. The Banana-shaped lake is 640 kilometres from north to south and is one of the oldest and largest in the world, its clear water populated by hundreds of species found nowhere else.

Upon arriving in Irkutsk, known as the "Paris of Siberia", take a look at the neo-classical wooden buildings, some of them decorated with fantastically ornate fretwork. Use the town as a stopover then join the railway to cover the next 1000 miles to the modern Soviet city of Novosibirsk, or stay on board to Yekaterinburg. Marking the border between Europe and Asia, Yekaterinburg is a good base camp for exploring the Ural Mountains, it is also home of a church built on the site of the murder of Tsar Nicholas II, the last head of the Russian royal family.

The final 1000 miles from Yekaterinburg to Moscow is a stint best done by bike. The landscape has changed from remote fastnesses to bustling Russian cities. Break the journey with a stopover in the picturesque city of Kazan. Here you can walk around the only surviving Tatar fortress in Russia – the Kazan Kremlin, which has been designated a World Heritage Site on account of the many historic buildings erected between the 16th and the 19th century within its 2km-long white walls.

What to eat
Lake Baikal's smoked Omul, is a whitefish found only to inhabit the lake.
Eat at café Sholle, part of a chain across Russia, Sholle specialises in savoury and sweet pierogi and delicious leavened pastry filled with fruits.

When to go
Anytime from June to mid-September

Post Ride
Take a chance to soothe your sore muscles in the Lake Baikal hot springs.

ride essentials-banner

son deluxe
SON DELUXE DYNAMO HUB
Highest quality lightweight powerful hub

IceBreaker EverydayCrewe
ICEBREAKER EVERYDAY CREWE 
Ethically treated and sourced merino

 

siberian trainThe Trans-Siberian Highway

russia-baikal-lakeLake Baikal in summer

Kazan church edit1The Kazan Kremlin

mountain divider

Bolivia

The world's largest salt flat sits at a lofty 3653m (11,985ft) above sea level and blankets an amazing 12,000 sq km (4633 sq mi). It was part of a prehistoric salt lake, Lago Minchín, which once covered most of southwest Bolivia. When it dried up, it left a couple of seasonal puddles and several salt pans, including the Salar de Uyuni. The savage beauty of this vast salt desert makes it one of South America's most awe-inspiring spectacles.

There is no specific road across the desert, you can reach the salt flat from any direction. We recommend starting from the town of Uyuni in Boliva or San Pedro de Atacama across the border in Chile. Travelling from Uyuni keep the Volan Thunupa, a huge dormant volano, on your right and point your bike towards the centre of the flats. After 80km, Isla Incahuasi will appear like a mirage, the old coral island is an ideal overnight spot. After a night on the salt flats ride south to the village of Chuvica and experience the accommodation of a salt hotel.

From strange islands in a sea of blindingly bright salt to delicately coloured mineral lakes in the Andean mountains, this is an unforgettable Bolivian landscape.

What to eat
Mongo's café on the coral island of Isla Incashuasi serves vegetarian burgers and meals to quench your hunger.
Try a salteñas - juicy, spicy and oh-so-tasty, these savory pastries are served between 7am and noon in most food eateries in Bolivia

When to go
September – November

ride essentials-banner

classic-sock
DEFEET CLASSICO SOCK
Lightweight all wool anti-odour sock

carradice super c
CARRADICE SUPER C PANNIER
Huge capacity luggage, made in Lancashire


salt flatsCyclists on the salt flat

isla-incahuasi-salar-de-uyuni-boliviaCoral island of Isla Incashuasi

mountain divider

Scotland

Despite its small size, Scotland has many treasures crammed into its compact territory – big skies, lonely landscapes, spectacular wildlife, superb seafood and hospitable, down-to-earth people.

Our ride begins in enchanting Arran, the island is a jewel in Scotland's scenic crown. A visual feast, it boasts culinary delights, its own brewery and distillery and stacks of accommodation options. The variations in Scotland's dramatic landscape can all be experienced on this one island, best explored by pulling on the hiking boots or jumping on a bicycle. After a lap of the island, hop across the water and join the cycle paths of the Kintyre peninsula. The route travels north through peninsula's narrow isthmus at Tarbet and providing spectacular views of Jura Island.

Continuing north, into the heartland of Argyll, the magical glen of Kilmartin offers the biggest concentration of prehistoric sites in Scotland including standing stones, hill forts, stone markings and is an ideal place for an overnight stay. There are no shortages of Loch's en-route to the town of Oban; the gateway to many of the Hebridean islands. This is a peaceful waterfront town on a delightful bay with sweeping views to Kerrera and Mull. The final destination of this 200 kilometre Scottish adventure is the 30 kilometre leg to Fort William. Basking on the shores of Loch Linnhe, the town wraps itself around the southern flanks of Ben Nevis – Britain's highest mountain and if you fancy a hike to end the trip, you've finished in the right place.

What to eat
Oban's brilliant seafood restaurants are marvellous places to be as the sun sets over the bay.
Try accompanying your meal with one of the local single-malt whiskies; there's enough variety that you'll be able to match any flavour.

When to go
June - September. The British summer is unpredictable but should be warmer than the other seasons

ride essentials-banner

CONDOR 2015 Fratello NAVY-43034
CONDOR FRATELLO DISC
Lightweight tourer now with disc brakes
OrtliebBackRoller
ORTLIEB BACK ROLLER PANNIERS
Fully waterproof and air tight bags

Condor Rides Scotland (3)
The view from the Island of Arran

Condor Rides Scotland (1)
Deer graze by the road

Condor Rides Scotland (2)
The view from Loch Linnhe

   

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