Watch the Video: Ride into the Unknown

Watch the Video: Ride into the Unknown

The Winter Bicycle Quarterly features the story of a remarkable adventure: Touring unknown mountain roads in the French Alps on an unrestored, 70-year-old René Herse. To bring you right into the action, we made a little video about the ride. Click on the image above to watch, before reading the full story in BQ 62 (available soon). Subscribe today to get your issue in time for the holidays.
Make sure to watch in full-screen mode. If the video does not display above, click here to watch it on YouTube.
Camera: Nicolas Joly.

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Comments (22)

  • George Rosselle

    What a tease. I hope we don’t have to wait too long for the magazine. The views remind me of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    December 1, 2017 at 2:22 am
  • Gunther

    Dans le Vercors?

    December 1, 2017 at 5:09 am
  • Brian

    That was awesome!

    December 1, 2017 at 5:47 am
  • Steven Krusemark

    It is nice to see that a quality ride can last the ages! We’re still riding our 35 year old, so far relatively unrestored Bill Boston Tandem with the last tour on Cape Breton Island. Now we are planning for the next 30,000 miles! It will need a bit of help to get there though. Could be a challenge.

    December 1, 2017 at 5:48 am
  • José Martínez Cámara

    I’ve recently bought a not so old french tandem (a Follis) and am planning to use it for touring after an overhaul. Even without reading the full story the video alone is sooooo inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

    December 1, 2017 at 6:31 am
  • Matthew J

    Thank you for the lovely video to start my day.
    I’ve never ridden a tandem. How much difference does having the heavier rider first or second make have on ride and handling?

    December 1, 2017 at 7:31 am
  • thebvo


    December 1, 2017 at 7:34 am
  • Theodor Rzad

    Can’t wait to learn more about this adventure! I am curious about the extent of tuning/refurbishment you undertook on the unrestored RH tandem to at least ensure safety.

    December 1, 2017 at 8:34 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      The previous owner, Ivan Souverain, thoroughly overhauled the tandem before we left. He put on new tires, brake pads, cables and chains and regreased the bearings.

      December 1, 2017 at 9:00 am
  • Wilfried531

    So great… some descents must be very technical in tandem… but Cycling in “massif du Vercors” is always a joice!! I really enjoy this video…

    December 1, 2017 at 1:11 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      It all depends on the tandem… As you can see from the video, the tandem handled superbly. It was really not much different from riding a single bike during the descents.

      December 1, 2017 at 1:23 pm
  • Ian

    at 0:28, get those elbows in

    December 1, 2017 at 4:08 pm
  • Davy

    Les gorges de la Bourne !

    December 1, 2017 at 10:22 pm
  • Rob

    The video shows clearly that Herse’s implementation of twin lateral reinforcement works well; the frame seems very stable both when you’re actually pedalling (about 10 seconds in) and downhill on the turns. It’s a beautiful and elegant design.

    December 2, 2017 at 9:13 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      Yes, it worked very well. Even when avoiding rocks in mid-turn in the third downhill section, the tandem was easy to control.

      December 2, 2017 at 9:20 pm
      • Mark

        The way the back end of the bike tucked into line on the corners was impressive—both the bike and your handling of it. Especially considering the load you were carrying. My tandem (and I suspect my riding!) is no where near as competent. What sort of speeds do you think you were doing? The acceleration on tandem descents can be thrilling (and scary if you’ve got questions about your brakes; I assume you didn’t have any).

        December 3, 2017 at 6:31 pm
        • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

          It’s mostly the tandem – this one really rides like a single bike. There is a companion article in the next Bicycle Quarterly that explain some of the secrets that makes old René Herse tandems handle so well. Speeds – I doubt we exceeded 80 km/h (50 mph) on this trip, and during the shooting of the video, we descended at 50-60 km/h (30-38 mph). The tandem was totally stable and easy to handle at those speeds…

          December 3, 2017 at 7:40 pm
  • Angstrom

    … and Mont Aiguille, in Trièves.
    Ride into the well known (by French riders) cyclotourisme’s paradise.

    December 2, 2017 at 12:36 pm
  • alderbanks

    Beautiful countryside. Looking forward to some details on the tandem as well as your adventure.

    December 2, 2017 at 5:50 pm
  • אופניים חשמליים

    beautiful, makes wanna take my Cellini for a ride!

    December 2, 2017 at 6:48 pm

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