There are warriors who transcend toughness and resilience, cutting a fine line between the brave and the reckless. In search of that perfect moment, when piston thighs and calves strung like a bow whistle in the wind. The symbiotic mechanics of body and machine sing a harmony of sweat and oil. Every calorie capturing cell in their bodies ignites in a wave, leaving a cloak of fatigue in their wake. And yet they continue on, as a whipped horse to the cruel master of their spirit's livid determination.
Saucer-eyed devotees fog the roadside to catch a slim sliver of silver chrome as their idols dart pass. They conquer Dartmoor like spartans yet sustain a humble reverence for the ruthless brutality she chooses to withhold.
Words by Johnny Rowden
Artists Notes: Riders back then were pretty tough machines, their bikes weighing about 30kg, enduring many injuries, their water bottles filled with whiskey and methanephetamines to power them over mountain passes through snow. Nearly all cyclists back then died young of heart attack. The prize purses weren't very big and it was expensive to enter the races - it was all for glory.
These 2 riders are actually from the Italian team of the 1940's and probably would have never raced in England. The English would have only just started a national race back in the 1940's - called 'The Milk Race'. The leg over Haytor wouldn't have existed then either - this is a new edition only in recent years. Gino Bartali (yellow jumper who has the build of a boxer than a cyclist) and Fausto Coppi (nic-named the Stalk) were the dominant international cyclist of the years each side of the Second World War. They were thinking about quitting before the war, but were talked into hanging in there. Turns out that they were actually hero's - smuggling the identity paper of Jews inside the frames of their bikes over boarders during races and training.
Collections: Travel Posters
Type: Printed Artwork