Category History

How the Dutch Got Their Cycle Paths


Galibier – Who Are You?

From Rapha

Blank City

By Celine Danhier

Documentary – 94min

BLANK CITY tells the long-overdue tale of a disparate crew of renegade filmmakers who emerged from an economically bankrupt and dangerous moment in New York history. In the late 1970’s and mid 80’s, when the city was still a wasteland of cheap rent and cheap drugs, these directors crafted daring works that would go on to profoundly influence the development of independent film as we know it today.

Directed by French newcomer Céline Danhier, BLANK CITY weaves together an oral history of the “No Wave Cinema” and “Cinema of Transgression” movements through compelling interviews with the luminaries who began it all. Featured players include acclaimed directors Jim Jarmusch and John Waters, actor-writer-director Steve Buscemi, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Hip Hop legend Fab 5 Freddy, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, photographer Richard Kern as well as Amos Poe, James Nares, Eric Mitchell, Susan Seidelman, Beth B, Scott B, Charlie Ahearn and Nick Zedd. Fittingly, the soundtrack includes: Patti Smith, Television, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, The Contortions, The Bush Tetras, Sonic Youth and many more.

©2010 Pure Fragment Films

Maglia Rosa

Legends of Roubaix: Rik Van Looy

From the Rapha Blog, by Joe Hall

Known as Rik II, the Emperor of Herentals and the King of the Classics, Henri “Rik” Van Looy’s royal status came about because he was the first man to win all five major classics. This Belgian phenomenon of the post-war period is sometimes overlooked by his younger compatriots Merckx and De Vlaeminck. Yet this powerful rider from the Flandrian town of Herentals competed against riders such as Jacques Anquetil and Louison Bobet.

He took the Hell of the North spoils no less than three times in his career, a feat only bettered by one other man – De Vlaeminck, his rightful heir as the King of the Classics. A powerful rouleur but also a very good climber, in 1961, riding for Faema, he won Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege which saw him become the first rider to take all five Monuments, having also won Milan San-Remo, Giro di Lombardia and the Tour of Flanders. In 1962 Van Looy won Paris–Roubaix for a second time and in the same season also won the Tour of Flanders, another Gent–Wevelgem, and two stages of the Tour of Italy.

In 1965, Van Looy scored 42 race victories including his third Paris–Roubaix title. Although Van Looy’s dominance was challenged by new Belgian star Eddy Merckx as the 1960s progressed, he still managed to take second in the 1967 edition. Van Looy also rode to nine six day victories with Dutchman Peter Post.

One of the latest Rapha Club Jerseys honours Rik Van Looy, the King of the Classics.

Paris Underground

From NPR

Paris, City of Light, really is a tale of two cities. One of them is above ground, with its beloved Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. That’s the city the world sees. And then there’s the city very few us will ever see — an underground Paris, the ‘souterrain.’ NPR’s Jacki Lyden and National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez teamed up to see what lies below.

Photographs by Stephen Alvarez/National Geographic

Dorais and the Moon

Linotype: The Film

By Linotype the Film

“Linotype: The Film” is a documentary about Ottmar Mergenthaler’s amazing Linotype typecasting machine and the people who own and love these machines today.

Sculptures Confiscated by Nazis to be Displayed


A sculpture collection which was condemned by Hitler’s Nazis is set to go on display later at Berlin’s Neues Museum.

The 11 pieces of art, which date back from the early 20th Century, were discovered on a building site in the city centre last year.

They belonged to a collection of 15,000 works which Hitler’s regime dubbed “degenerate art”.

The statues were found during a dig to lay down a new underground train line.

The terracotta and bronze statues were criticised by Hitler’s regime for containing “deviant” sexual elements and anti-nationalistic themes.

Berlin’s Mayor Klaus Wowereit said that finding the sculptures is a “small miracle” that “shows a lot about the dark times of the city”.

Tour of Poland Honours Holocaust Victims

Via Cycling News; photos by Riccardo Scanferla

Riders visit Auschwitz before stage six start

Riders of the Tour of Poland had a solemn start to Friday’s sixth stage, with riders taking a stop at the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp to honour the victims of the holocaust.

Before riders departed for the 228.5km stage from Oswiecim to Terma Bukowina Tatrzanska, they took pause to observe a minute of silence at the site of the former Auschwitz II Birkenau concentration camp. One rider from each of the 34 countries represented at the Tour left a white rose at the barbed wire fence as symbol to remember the estimated 1.1 million holocaust victims who were killed at the site in World War II.

The riders also passed by the infamous “Arbeit macht frei” symbol of the Nazi regime. The 16-foot long metal sign was stolen from the camp in 2009 and cut into three pieces by the thieves before it was eventually recovered.

“Auschwitz was the theatre of one of the most tragic pages in the history of mankind,” said Tour of Poland director Czeslaw Lang. “With this commemoration we wanted to try and send a message of universal peace, equality, brotherhood and transnational solidarity. Those are fundamental values that are stronger than linguistic, ideological or religious barriers, and they are the basis of both sports as a whole and cycling. They are values that both sports and cycling can and must help spread worldwide.”

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