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Jacob kept talking to me about this legendary frame builder, explaining he was the number one in his field. When Dario moved his workshop to the area, the idea of doing an exhibition about the link between bicycles and art was born. Brooks supported the exhibition, and the result was thrilling — worthy of the largest contemporary museum! Sella, a tube-mounted saddle atop a semi-spherical base, is a piece from the s. It perfectly captures the fidgety optimism of the later part of that decade.

After the difficult post-war years, Italian design was beginning to come into its own. Each joint, each fillet, offers another opportunity to get it just right, or foul it up The fillet that needs just a touch with the abrasive cloth to get that seamless transition, the void- and blob-free lug shoreline, the bottle cage boss cleanly silver-soldered without a trace of excess; every time is immensely satisfying. The immediate challenges are those familiar to every skilled craft worker: achieving accuracy, consistency and a high level of finish.

Intrinsic to custom frame building, however, is the ability to create a bicycle that matches the wants and needs of the customer in a way that off-the-peg production may not be able to match. Ultimately, it is this interaction with the customer that makes frame building and, indeed, assembling a complete custom bicycle, so highly satisfying. So, too, is filing the edge of a lug to a crisp, curvaceous shoreline, or feathering to perfection the transition between rear stay and dropout.

I decided to learn to build frames so I could play around for myself with some technical aspects of road bike construction. To do so, I engaged as tutor an old friend and one of the legends of British frame building, Cliff Shrubb, who learned his trade at the old Claud Butler factory in London — and in retirement made a small number of frames each year in his lock-up garage.

Being in possession of the requisite frame building skills and equipment is like having a fast bike and fresh legs on a balmy, sunny day; you need somewhere to go, ideally via a demanding but inspiring route.

Bespoke bicycle customers have a knack of providing just such a route, or at least offering the builder the chance to plot one out. It was the desire to explore intriguing techniques that got me into frame building, but like all builders I enjoy the wider picture, from advising on aspects of the build such as frame geometry, tube specification and, if asked, component choice, through to putting the finishing touches to the complete cycle.

I also like taking a hacksaw to a lightweight, very expensive and very thin bicycle frame tube. The art lies in brazing up the main triangle in such as way that its seat and head tubes are dead in alignment as it cools — and that it comes out at the desired frame angles. The rear triangle, in turn, must be in line with the main triangle. In the age of the smartphone, as soon as we see it, we snap it. There is something that cries out within us to capture a piece of the moment, sometimes, oftentimes, to the detriment of our enjoyment of that very moment.

Is this a meaningful pursuit, or a meaningless interference? Companies should support people they see as creative — not influential — creativity will influence, through inspiration. Is it about the culture, the world and the environment, or just about yourself? Watson finds the latter particularly empty. For Leddin, the future lies in a greater diversification of those lead archivists, the ones to whom others look for inspiration.

The US has, of course, the biggest incidence of all of them, but, like local wines, every locale has its own flavour. We need to see more from other countries, not just America. Adam Leddin, founder of Cycle EXIF, a cataloguer of beautifully-made bicycles from around the world, says the rich, multifaceted landscape of cycling is at least partly responsible.

There are far too many stories that need to be told for the small number of voices that are speaking right now to get across. The world is getting smaller. Even when that was trying to cycle across continents. I remember telling him about the Transcontinental. In January my Dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at the age of I packed up my bike and a backpack full of clothes and left London for Canada where my family lived. In the weeks that followed his death, I wanted nothing more than to curl up in the foetal position and hide from the world. But I knew my dad would not have wanted that.

I had to force myself to keep going, and the only way I knew how to do that was on my bike. I discovered cycling almost five years ago now, and I immediately became obsessed. I loved everything about it, the culture, the camaraderie, the ability to explore and push my limits. The latter in particular became a fundamental part of my obsession with cycling. I wanted to know just how far beyond my perceived limits I was able to push myself.

It is a reminder to live in the present, to find joy in the simple things and to reconnect with a world that feels so foreign and strange to me without my dad. This year I had been planning on attempting to break a world record, as well as competing in the Transcontinental Race. But when I found out my dad was dying, suddenly all these events that I was preoccupied with seemed so trivial.

The record attempt date had come and gone, and I eventually pulled out of the Transcontinental as well. Despite the fact I was lucky enough to have six months with my father before he died, the resulting grief floored me. I was left in a world without my mentor, the person who always helped me make tough decisions, the person who had always encouraged me to follow my dreams….

The next day I would have to pull over, unable to see through my tears, rendering myself completely useless on my commute to work. The world flies by and — unlike in sitting meditation where the focus is on being still — you concentrate on the intensity of the movement. You feel everything. It is this state which is helping to bring a sense of calm and peace to my world again. Regardless, cycling is helping me to bring my physical, cognitive and emotional energy together in a way that is allowing me to try and make sense of the loss of my father.

I have spent hours out riding alone to the point of total exhaustion, challenging my emotional pain with physical pain. There has been more than one occasion, I have suddenly realised I have tears streaming down my face as I push myself along familiar lanes.

Lloyd Swanton – Ambon (Bugle Records)

While I work through my grief, I have become aware that cycling provides therapy for troubled times, no matter what shape or form that might be. Most of the time though, cycling allows me to reach an almost meditative state. As I approach a climb, I fall into a familiar rhythm, focusing on the pounding of my heart.

When I hit the crest of the climb and my legs suddenly stop screaming at me, there is a split second of relief, when every fibre of my body feels at peace again. At the moment cycling for me is no longer about seeing how far I can go or trying to break records. For now, cycling is providing me with a way to heal, to grow strong again, and to help me get through the hard days which still come far too often.

I am still trying to learn what life looks like going forward, but what I do know is it involves a lot of time on my bike. It is a philosophy, an approach to the sport which is unique to all but some of its greatest champions — an effortlessness that belies a constant struggle, an ease that hides pain and suffering, and the ultimate expression of the beauty of cycling, of man and machine in complete harmony.

After all, Eddy Merckx — off the bike handsome, suave and impeccably tailored — pounded the pedals into submission with brute force, while Fausto Coppi was the complete opposite — an ungainly bird on land his nickname was il Airone, the heron , he would glide up climbs, a picture of lightness and grace. The famous Texan, who, as has been well publicised, did not care much for the way in which he won, and far less for the romantic traditions of the sport, rode with a choppy, muscular aggression, but his lack of souplesse damaged little else than his popularity with the French.

Although attempting to find an English translation for such an abstract concept as souplesse would be to miss the point, many, in the search of more perfect pedalling, have tried. But souplesse is not something that can be easily understood, let alone taught. Certainly, you could train yourself to pedal with a balanced, circular motion — legs powerful but fluid, ankles light and supple, and the upper body, in perfect contrast, unmoving, the hips and back steady, the head resolute — but souplesse, at its core, is.

Perhaps the best proponent of souplesse, Jacques Anquetil — the first of the illustrious five-time Tour winners — certainly made a career out of his beautiful style on the. Fans would flock to the side of the road, not for the competition, but to see the artist at work in races such as the Grand Prix des Nations, the time trial he won nine times.

He simply turns pale. There, they will thrash about to cool down, to chill the intensity of the rut.

Elk - Rocky Mountain National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

At the edge of the wallow, it's not unusual to see small, hapless trees thrashed to bits, or places where the bull has run his antlers into the mud and then tossed chunks of sod high into the air. The rutting bull elk is at once somewhat vulgar he frequently urinates upon himself and majestic.

A cow elk reaches breeding age during the third breeding season after it was born-at about two and a half years old. Young bull elk apparently become sexually active a little earlier, at just over a year in age, but unless they are very fortunate and are able to slip past the watchful eye of the harem master, they generally don't have a chance to breed until they are more mature, tougher, and better at wooing and herding cows. Battles among bull elk in the throes of the rut are not uncommon. Usually, the battles are minor, with the clash of antler on antler, and the subordinate bull runs off into the timber.

But sometimes, the fights are more intense, and result in injury or death. Bull elk can weigh up to one thousand pounds and two bulls this size can cause a lot of damage to each other as they throw themselves antler to antler.

Bugler in the Mountains - Better Than a Known Way Series (Paperback)

It's a shoving match with deadly head gear, a tussle that can end up in bloody damage. As the rut draws to a close, the bulls will move back into a solitary existence to re-charge and re-fuel. Because the rut is in September and the worst of the Rocky Mountain winter doesn't hit until later, bulls often have a chance to rebuild fat reserves after the rut. But occasionally, winter comes early to the Rockies and during these times, bull elk-weakened from the rut-succumb to the elements, or are more easily taken by predators like wolves. In the spring, cow elk begin to separate from the herd in search of a quiet place for birthing around May 15, some eight to eight and a half months after they were bred.


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The cow almost always has a single calf, but there are reports of the rare set of twins. Twins are much more common in mule deer and antelope than in elk. Calf elk are at first very wobbly and unsure of their footing, but they quickly grow into their legs. As with all animals that are preyed upon by predators, elk depend upon their ability to run to avoid becoming dinner. Elk calves, while very vulnerable and defenseless at first, become more and more adept at avoiding danger as they grow up.

They are excellent at using cover like sagebrush and aspen groves to avoid detection and predators that aren't aware of their presence have been known to walk right past a hidden, stationary calf. Thus begins the cycle that starts all over again each September with the moving song of the Yellowstone-the elk. Before the reintroduction of wolves, elk predators included coyotes, black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions and man.

Wolves mean fewer elk and fewer elk hunters. How wolves in Yellowstone have impacted their environment is an evolving story. What's happened regarding ungulate populations, hunter harvest, domestic livestock, and land use. Take a sleigh ride and see more than 5, elk when they migrate to this lower elevation during the winter near Grand Teton National Park. About moose inhabit the southern part of Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park and surrounding national forests. Now wolves help control Elk population. If capturing a glimpse of wobbling baby elk and furry baby black bears is on your bucket list, plan to head to Yellowstone National Park between April and June.

When Yellowstone National Park visitors behave appropriately around roadside bears it's a positive experience for both bears and people. Recently, my family embarked on a 1-day private tour with the Yellowstone Association Institute. Read about our adventure. The Park. National Park Maps. Places in Yellowstone. Weather and Seasons. History and Culture. Road Trips.

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