Meet the boys…
Adam Katz Sinding
Marketing Coordinator, Pas Normal Studios
Founder, Pas Normal Studios
Head of Menswear Buying, Browns
Co-Owner, The Service Course Oslo
Who introduced you to cycling?
Joe: My friend Sam, he had a proper hipster-sled that I was totally in awe of. I’d never seen a bike with so much personality and riding around the city on a track bike was way easier a transition into cycling than jumping into Lycra and shaving my legs!
Karl: I was born into a typical family of cyclists - my father rode really well and my brother was on the Danish national team in the 80s.
Ashleigh: My father built a steel race bike for me when I was 14 and it inspired me to join a local cycling club.
When did you start cycling regularly?
Adam: I didn’t get my first road bike until I was 22 and at university. My roommate came home with a brand new Specialized Allez, which I thought looked stupid next to my full suspension mountain bike, I'd never been on anything like it. He told me to try it out and I rode it 200 metres down an alley behind my house…the short story is that I sold my mountain bike within a few days and bought a Specialized Allez too. I was hooked.
Dean: I would cycle to go and play football when I was younger but really got into it about 20 years ago when I started doing triathlon.
Best thing about cycling?
Ashleigh: The cycling community, long summer rides and, of course, the coffee stops on the way, they are essential!
Adam: Descending a hill, imagine being in your underwear at 70kph flying down a mountain, it’s pretty terrifying and very fun.
Worst thing about cycling?
Joe: The elitism, the gear obsession and the inclusive nature of some clubs/groups.
Jonas: Where I’m from in Norway, it’s the cold weather - it’s very hard to keep your hands and feet warm during a ride.
What do you say to yourself when you feel like giving up?
Karl: The other cyclists that you’re with are feeling the pain too.
Adam: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” - Yoda
Jonas: It’s about never giving up.
How do you handle the frustrations of not always achieving your goals when cycling?
Jonas: It’s never about goals, it’s just about being on the bike.
Ashleigh: I used to race when I was younger and now that I’m getting older, and therefore slower, I have had come to terms with the fact that I will never be that fast as I was but that doesn’t stop me from still trying though!
What’s your top tip to help with bruises and messed up ankles?
Joe: Spin to win!
Dean: An ice bath and compression.
Do you have a go-to story that you always share with other cyclists?
Karl: "I’m really in bad shape, I haven’t trained, I’m semi-injured and something is wrong with my gearing," bike riders are always making excuses before going out for a ride.
Dean: I was working for Jil Sander and in Milan for the sales campaign at the time when the Giro d’Italia finished in the city with a time trial. I went to watch it, standing there for six hours at the finishing line and after it was over, I walked back to my hotel as Alberto Contador pulled up in his car with his trophy from the race and his pink bike, we got in the lift together and I got him to sign my programme of the day.
Is there anything about the sport that would a shock a non-cyclist?
Adam: Imagine the endorphins you get from running 5km, then 10km and then from running a marathon. Okay, now get on your bike and ride for 10 hours and see how you feel in your head. It’s an instant cure for any depression and it lasts a lot longer than going for a run or hitting the gym, it's like a drug.
Ashleigh: The sheer speed of a pro-cyclist compared to an amateur and the amount of training involved. Oh, and the amount of gear that is required!
What cycling injuries have set you back and how have you embraced that struggle?
Joe: When I broke my arm I was out of action for just over two weeks, usually my busy travel schedule sets me back more than that. You just have to make the most of the time you have on the bike and accept that you can’t be your fastest all year round.
Jonas: Broken bones always set you back but it’s all part of the game, you have to jump back on the hometrainer and keep at it.
Is there anything that always goes round your head whilst you’re on your bike?
Dean: Yes, it’s asking myself why I didn’t cycle as my number one sport growing up.
Adam: Silence…or "fuck, look how beautiful this planet is,” repeatedly.
Ashleigh: I try not to let too many thoughts enter my mind, allowing myself to enjoy the ride or the chat between friends if I’m with a group.
What’s your dream cycle route?
Karl: I’ve ridden a route over the Alps a couple of times where you climb Col du Glandon, Telegraphe, Galibier and finally Alpe d´Huez. I loved it.
Joe: Is Route 66 still clichéd if it's by bicycle?
What part of this route over the Ardennes did you find the hardest?
Dean: The entire ride was nothing like I imagined it would be and if I was told about it beforehand I wouldn’t have believed you. The Ardennes is by far the most difficult cycling I have ever done because there are no flat areas, everything is up and down even through the streets and little towns.
Adam: On day two, the three walls that Ashleigh navigated us over after doing a 140 kilometre stretch. I thought that I was going to die, my legs were empty but you just have to get on with it.
Where had the most beautiful scenery on the Ardennes route?
Adam: The whole route from our front door was exceptional, but I think the thing that made me happiest was seeing the castle we were staying in at the end, it meant we were finished!
Karl: The history of the landscape through which we travelled got me more than anything. Thinking about how many battles were fought in that area throughout WWI and WWII, how many wins and how big the losses were, it still gives me the goosebumps just thinking about it.
Favourite place to train?
Joe: My grandma’s hometown in the south of France, every road is beautiful and the climbs are unreal around Ventoux.
Jonas: I love Girona, Spain.
Ashleigh: North of Lucca, Italy.
Who is your favourite old-school cyclist?
Karl: Fausto Coppi, I got his face tattooed on my arm almost 20 years ago.
Joe: Il Pirata, Marco Pantani, his style on and off the bike is legendary. I always get a buzz when I see his bandana graffitied on the streets of Ventoux.
Adam: Eddy Merckx, everyone is going to say that though! Wait no, perhaps I should say Cippolini! 100% Cippolini. That dude is an icon, I saw him at Pitti one year and I freaked out.
What three things make you carry on cycling?
Karl: For me, it’s like therapy, it’s crucial for my body and mind, I’m addicted.
Ashleigh: Community, solitude and the intense passion for the sport that I always carry with me.
What do you say to any car drivers grumbling about cyclists on roads?
Karl: I smile, laugh and wave.
Ashleigh: Generally road culture is degrading and so many dangerous situations occur everyday, I wish people were more patient, cyclists included.
Do you have a favourite colour palette for your cycling kit?
Dean: Red jerseys, white socks and white shoes.
Adam: Before I discovered Pas Normal Studios, I would only wear black but I’ve realised that navy and dark green suit me best. I wish I could wear the dusty rose colourways that PNS make but I think with my build, I'd look like an uncooked steak squeezed into a sausage skin.
A casquette - yay or nay?
Dean: In winter only, to keep the rain off my glasses.
Adam: Yay! 100%!
What would you say to a complete novice who wants to start biking?
Jonas: Enjoy every ride and never be scared to go out with people that you think are better than you, they have so much to teach you.
Dean: Join a club, buy the best kit that you can and smile.
Have you had any mid-session epiphanies?
Joe: Most of my thinking/planning/scheming is done on whilst I’m on my bike.
Karl: Yes, all the time.
Jonas: That fashion and cycling go hand in hand.
Riders: Dean Cook, Adam Katz Sinding, Karl Oskar Olsen,
Joe Harper, Ashleigh Jones, Jonas Strømberg
Photographer: Henry Gorse
Videographer: Alex Duffill
Photographic Assistant: Eamonn Frighil
Social Media Manager: Amy Hanrahan
Social Media Executive: Stefania Karamantoula