When lunch ride 'rhymes' with: a good cause!

Text: Ivan
Photos: Ivan & Vincent

What better way to start our lunch rides than with a good cause? That’s exactly what 9 of our tame association members did little more than a week go, but, Who? Why? How? When?… Mmm last one has maybe kind of been answered… keep reading to see the other answers!

_MG_7503 - Feb 2019 MC Bike2Work Charity Ride LR - Copyright Ivan Blanco Vilar.jpg
9 riders going uphill for a good cause

One of our members, Vincent, who is now based in a country with a very strong and passionate cycling culture, decided to put his Cote d’Azur cycling commute trainings to good use... Indeed he did and for a very good cause, being in the Netherlands, he joined the initiative Sporten voor Sophia (or cycling for Sophia) which gathered people around cycling home trainers to collect km and funds for the Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital, which supports children with chronic (long-term) diseases. This fundraiser will allow them to expand their scope, particularly to establish a new research program and measure the impact of sport and physical exercise on chronically-ill children.

20190215_185216 - Vincent MC Bike2Work - Sporten voor Sophia Feb 2019.jpg
46192134525_f5eddf13dd_o - Sporten voor Sophia Feb 2019.jpg

Therefore, to help in this endeavor, at MC Bike2Work we decided to organize a Charity ride and with all participants’ accumulated km, we decided to translate them into euros and make a donation of that amount by our association. 9 of our members came to the call and ditched easy sunbathing style lunch at the beach, for some suffering up to Eze first and following to the even higher La Turbie at almost 500m altitude. This coupled with a return loop to Monaco clocked in some 25 km each. Just do the maths… oh come on… ok ok, we do them for you… that made for some good 225 km all together! Therefore we raised 225€, this wouldn’t be possible without our members, so join us in giving big big kudos to Gaelle, Morgan, Clement, Jean-Baptiste, Karim, Tom, Charles, Matthieu and Ivan.

390€ individually and whopping 7217€!!!

This contributed to help Vincent raise up to 390€ individually and add up to his Team SBM Offshore, which reached a whopping 7217€! Congrats to everyone involved!

Thanks again to everyone who joined their forces and remember, pedal strong and pedal safe!

Who's our King of the Galette?

We’re back, after some long winter pause, we’ve cleaned and greased our bikes and are ready to hit the road for another exciting year.

What better way to do so than with our monthly cafe-croissant group commutes (info here) but with a twist… the French Galette des Rois!

1st MC Bike2Work Galette Group Commute - Copyright Ivan Blanco and MC Bike2Work.jpg

galette

noun ga·lette | \gə-ˈlet\

Definition of galette

1: a flat round cake of pastry often topped with fruit
2: a food prepared and served in the shape of a flat round cake a galette of potatoes

_MG_3902 - 1st MC Bike2Work Galette Group Commute - Copyright Ivan Blanco and MC Bike2Work.jpg

This traditional French dish, specifically the Galette des Rois, is not to be confused with the Breton and salty version which is round too but usually flat an garnished with eggs, emmental cheese and ham; don’t tell this to a Breton, but it’s like a salty crepe ;)

Another important difference is that it is usually only sold during the month of January, during the Epiphany and related to the three King’s day and it slightly extends the cosy Xmas vibe until the cold wintery February.

Similar to the its Spanish counterpart, Roscón de reyes (but sold only for the 3 Kings day), a small trinket, usually porcelain piece, is hidden somewhere within the cake. The finders keepers is usually also designated the King/Queen of the Galette and receives his/her crown; usually they should then also pay for the Galette the year after… but this remains subject to the memory capacity of the non winning co-Galette eaters and the remembering willingness of the King/Queen.

Long story short, after braving the cold morning hours typical of our wintery commutes, we finished our monthly group ride with one good warm Galette and hot hot coffee at our finish line the Cafes Delices at Monaco’s border.

_MG_4104 - 1st MC Bike2Work Galette Group Commute - Copyright Ivan Blanco and MC Bike2Work.jpg

With hands quickly emptying the Galette plate, and cautiously avoiding a visit to the dentist, our King of the Galette fell on our dear FloFlo who avoided breaking a tooth and was designated our King of the day. Even if Strava didn’t crown him, he was our King of the ride, coming along with his heavy mountain bike, so big big kudos to him.

MC Bike2Work January 2019 Galette

We wish to thank all participants and encourage everyone else to join us for our next rides, how? Follow us on Strava for direct rides notification and also on Facebook where we publish all our future events. You can also drop us an email and join our mailing list.

Layer up and pedal safe!


References via Wikipedia:
Epiphany / King’s Cake / Galette / Galette (definition Merrian Webster) / Roscón de reyes

Croissant Commutes!

Text: Ivan
Photos: Ivan

One of our most popular events is back, the MC Bike2Work Group (croissants) commutes!

Cyclin Commute Monaco 1st 2018 Group Ride MC Bike2Work HR © Ivan Blanco Vilar

Check below some instants from our first 2018 group ride and popular croissant + coffee ride.

For the new ones among you, we usually organize this rides around the last days of each month to both promote our transport choice as well as a way to share the road with our fellow commuters. Those who are members of our MC Bike2Work association receive a free croissant and coffee for their daily cycling efforts. Either member or not, you're free to ride with us, just join our Strava Club here and stay tuned to our group rides; obviously, free croissant + coffee are limited only to our members, if you want to be part, just drop us a word here and we'll get back to you ;)

Cycling Commute Monaco 1st 2018 Group Ride MC Bike2Work LR © Ivan Blanco Vilar

Safe riding and we'll see you on the road!

Disclaimer: we do not recommend eating croissants on a daily basis, despite the cycling, you may be at risk to become the Michelin man, consult your coach if in doubt but if croissants are just your thing, make 10 extra loops around Monaco before work and come share your croissanpassion with us once per month :)

May... a month of fighters!

Text: Ivan
Photos & quotes: Manu, Alex, Stéphane, Sandy, Mylène & Matthieu

When Friday evenings approach, most mortals think about the sun, some good barbecue, picnic or any indulging moment to relax from busy work days...

That’s of course not the case of our tame members who not only ride daily to work, but also use their free time to achieve racing goals and new achievements. For some it’s triathlons, for others cycling as many kms as possible and a few make themselves, literally, as strong as Ironmen/women!

May 2017 - MC Bike2Work

During May, and I would say, with the same bravery as their pro Giro counterparts, our riders took on several challenges in this pre-summer month. The Vencoise race, the Half Ironman Aix, Corsica, Italy and one very famous climb were some of the highlights some of our racers managed to conquer. But, let’s hear from the protagonists themselves!

Climbing the Col de l’Ecre with Pierre Olivier was a lot of fun, unfortunately Jean-Pierre did manage to follow us. On the other hand, I didn’t count with the Col de Catellares, so I wasn’t mentally ready but finally managed thanks to Jean-Pierre who caught up with me.

[...] I felt generally great during the 105 km race and it was all pleasure!
— Emmanuel

See Manu's ride here!

May 2017 - MC Bike2Work
Steady, ready… GO! It went off really hard and I tried to join the “good” pack to ride with… first Col de Vence, direction Cipières, climb to Gourdon, and climb again to Col de l’Ecre… so hard so hard, in the end the legs had lost me. [...] +2000m in just the first 58km... [of 150km]

The grupetto managed to get on and work together just until the Col de Blène where… we all just cracked and almost couldn’t go on.

Back in Vence we had food and we ended one amazing sportive!
— Alexandre

See Alex's ride here!

May 2017 - MC Bike2Work

As already said, it was also a month of strength in every form of the word, with our Iron rider Stephane who is already a long time Iron Man, he did the Ironman Nice back in 2016 and tackled this time around, the Half Ironman in Aix.

May 2017 - MC Bike2Work
May 2017 - MC Bike2Work

Last but not least, some of our members travelled a bit further to some exquisite cycling destinations not far from our already great Cote d’Azur. Some members went even more south than we already are… they went to the beautiful Corsica and judging from their photos, it was well worth it, bravo Mylène and Sandy for those beautiful rides and making us all jealous!

May 2017 - MC Bike2Work
For me the best was the first route between Calvi and Galeria.
Each corner had a completely new scenery.
— Sandy
May 2017 - MC Bike2Work
The best moment for me was when we arrived to the Col de Palmarella, leaving the mountain behind us and in front of us,
the sea, an amazing sight!
— Mylène
May 2017 - MC Bike2Work

Both had visited Corsica already but cycling gave them a totally new perspective, we really recommend this tour to everyone!

Since May sets the starting point of the Grand Tours, myself I did a few "giros" in Italy and even had the chance to see the pros battling a climb at the same speed we do... flat roads...

Italy Copyright Ivan Blanco
Giro 100 2017 - Copyright Ivan Blanco Vilar

 

We also had Matthieu going for a climb made famous because Froome decided to start there a new running “career”...:  

With my in-laws living in Carpentras, at the foot of the Mont Ventoux, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to escape and climb this famous landmark.

On May 28, conditions were just perfect to challenge my MC Bike2Work mates by setting our association’s reference time on Strava.
— Matthieu

See his ride here and suffering face below :)

MC Bike2Work

With no need to emulate all these feats, we hope these stories inspired you to go out and ride your own challenges. Please let us hear about them in the comments and don’t forget, pedal hard and pedal safe!

 

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Like the Pros: MC Bike2Work at the Paris-Nice Challenge!

Words & photos: 
Ivan, Romain & William

Spring is here and the new cycling season is gearing up strongly!

With the Belgian classics approaching on the horizon, we were lucky to have already two major cycling events right at our feet, the Classicissima Milan-Sanremo with a nail-biting final sprint and the 75th edition of the Paris-Nice.

What else can a keen cyclist ask for? Well… ride like a pro!

Since last year, the sportive Paris-Nice Challenge is celebrated just one day before the final Stage of the Pros’ competition. The proposed parkour, short of just a few kms, is almost identical to the Pros’ one and gives the chance to passionate amateur riders to feel for a few hours, like Pro; same starting grid, Mavic neutral support, feeding stations, mechanics for quick bike fitting, photographers along the route and a finisher’s medal to jump-start your cycling weekend in the best way possible.

Some of our members took part in this exciting challenge, choosing all the 110 km option (a shorter 80 km was available too) and share here with us their impressions.

My first ever sportive, my first ever pelotons: it’s fast fast and elbows are needed!
— William

Victory! - William

I’ve found the parkour was amazing, even the highway RN202 where I’ve ridden for the first time ever in a Peloton!

In addition, we had the perfect sunny day… in fact, as we usually do.
— Romain

Thumbs up! - Romain

The Paris-Nice Challenge will always be a special sportive for me, they started organizing it last year and it was my first ever cycling race! Therefore, I couldn’t miss this opportunity to ride it again. Plus, now I knew how to attack my achilles heel: the Grave de Peille climb!
— Ivan
[The Challenge] also gave me the opportunity to discover Peille, which after 80 km, I’ve must admit, made me suffer. But still very enjoyable however. I did feel the same suffering again the next day, when I saw Contador climbing it out of the saddle in half of my time!!!
— Romain

Big 'thumbs up' to Will and Rom :)

This year I was lucky to have won my inscription thanks to Mavic, who gave us a cycling kit, opportunity to ride their bikes and share the race with their Ambassadors. However, with our association’s cycling kits, it was easy to spot my fellow commuters and I couldn’t miss the chance of a selfie! The sportive itself was very fast at the beginning on the flat and the first climb, descending… my favourites, were pretty fast too. Knowing about the terrible Grave de Peille, I managed to balance my strengths.
— Ivan

Yup, the one on the left is exPro Fränk Schleck!

The Nice-Monaco commutes are quite a good workout for any cycling race in Nice’s hinterland, the legs have managed to overcome the 110 km and 1775 m elevation gain. I’ve loved the descent via Peille’s canyons where I was almost on my own!
— William

What a challenge and what a pleasure to hear it from the actors themselves, if you want to give our brave members some appreciation, head over to their Strava accounts and give them some kudos for their effort: here’s Romain, here William and here Ivan.

 

Stay tuned for more stories and adventures!

Within our association’s goals, we are gathering our members around a cycling event or activity each month to both test our daily commute training for longer efforts and especially, to enjoy the one passion that we all share: cycling!

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See you soon and safe riding!