Every Course Constructed
is imbued with a purpose by its creator. My purpose is to elevate my riders. To take them where they want to go.
I achieve my purpose by being relentless and unwavering, and I am good at what I do.
I am untiring. I do not succumb. I am never-ending and never defeated, for I am always ready for another lap.
As I was in the past, I am now and ever shall be; I am a route without end.
A man once said that nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, or difficulty.
He was a bear of a man, a rough rider of sorts. He was not unlike the men and women who rode wheeled steeds upon me, on the 19th of July in the year of the virus.
One hundred and ninety-three volunteered to fight me that year. 2020 it was numbered.
They were of mix of humanity, on a mix of conveyances. Each with his or her own reason to ride.
They looked upon me as a challenge. They called me brutal and humbling. A beautiful sufferfest. And I welcomed them.
It was a wonderful day. Cooler than years past, and more equal because of it.
Legs and mind against grade and distance. Them against me. Under the sun, but not warped by its rays.
They brought their FORZA and their endurance. And despite their fatigue, their pistons of muscle and sinew kept turning the pedals.
Watts and torque moved grams and stone. Each revolution both grievous and rewarding. A rictus of satisfaction upon many a face. Legs driven to continue by pride, determination, hope and desire.
That man I spoke of, the rough rider, he said another thing of relevance to me.
He lavished credit and praise upon the combatants who take to the arena, who mar their faces with dust and sweat and blood; who strive valiantly, daring greatly.
This is right and just.
But without the arena, those who dream to dare, cannot. The arena lavishes the credit upon the combatants.
Without me, July 19, 2020, would’ve been an altogether different day.
I felt that mix of humanity — athletes all — gliding over me. I tasted their salt. I listened to their exertions. And I smiled, as I witnessed them ascend.
Each rider took the best I had and turned it into accomplishment and achievement.
Three thousand. Six thousand. Nine thousand feet. I lifted them all.
Nay! They rose up!
No matter how many times I’ve been ridden, I am a challenge.
I will never give an inch. I will always sow doubt where I can and introduce discomfort freely.
I will dare my riders to be great, for I am as great as all who ride upon me.
To heights both new and familiar.
It was glorious!
Do You Have What it Takes to Go Five Laps With Me?
Let's Find Out! Andiamo! Let's Go!
"As far as I'm concerned, the 719 Ride is the ultimate event around."
Al Marshall, 4x I Cinque Giri finisher
If you do decide to tackle the course that cannot be defeated
The next blog post at the pointy end is...
Amazing Strength: A Cycling Hymn
“Amazing Strength” is a cycling hymn with words written by The Course That Cannot Be Defeated, a relentless, unwavering route without end.
Pedal the Springs Podcast + 719 Ride
What is the 719 Ride about? How did the 719 ride come to be? How was the 719 Ride route chosen? What is the appeal of the 719 Ride? What might the future may hold for the 719 Ride.
1911 Tour de France
The 1911 Tour de France was the ninth edition of the race. It consisted of 15 stages and included the race’s first foray into the high Alps.
The Tour is a fun, fast, and entertaining tale celebrating cycling and the Tour de France while acknowledging a sad part of cycling’s past. It’s Jan Ullrich finishing second in the doping marred 1998 Tour de France.
The Race harnesses the sensations of the best ride of your life and the thrill of the most electrifying race you’ve ever watched. It’s not a novel about cycling. It IS cycling!
A Race for Madmen
A Race for Madmen gives context and color to the legendary stories that have made it into our collective cycling consciousness. It’s like a well-executed team time trial — graceful, fluid and a beautiful thing to experience.
It’s All About the Bike
A devotional to one of humankind’s greatest inventions, It’s All About the Bike celebrates the tradition, lore and beauty of bicycles. It delivers a mature winning performance that can be appreciated for its simplicity, elegance and manner.
Pedalare! Pedalare! is light on tales of racing, heavy on the analysis of Italian society, generous with introductions to notable Italian cyclists and absorbed with The Golden Age of Italian Cycling. It performs well, deserves respect and is worth a read.
Alpe d’Huez is a rewarding and animated feast of the defining and signature Tour de France moments and the stories behind them. It is a smart, imaginative, and engaging profile of “the cathedral of climbs.”