Urban views and Alpine views

This blog is supposed to be about cycling from Berkshire to Puglia in August 2010 and about my steps towards that goal. The last couple of posts have appeared more like therapy on a confessional blog. Today’s is back on the point – cycling.

The views are both pretty although the urban one is less spectacular and everything in it is man-made (see the picture). It is the view I see as I type this at my window in Reading. The background hum of urban life – quite pleasent as I don’t live on a main road – will, at some point be interrupted rudely by the noise from the flat just below and to the right. They are into the habit of hanging a speaker out of their window and playing Euro pop to the whole development. It hasn’t happened yet…

So what’s the Alpine view referring to? Berkshire is a pretty place but has nothing to rival the great alps of this world. The hilliest it gets is probably the bit that I climb every morning en route to work from the River Thames heading north for Oxfordshire and The Chilterns. The Alpine view I mention was on the TV. Today was the first stage of the Tour de France – see my professional blog – for the official video showing the route. They all started in Monaco and did a time trial. Just a nice warm up in the south of France really before they head for Brignoles tomorrow. I only caught a short bit of the day’s events later this afternoon on ITV4 but the bit that I did see had some noce shots of cyclists in the Alps. I am a sucker for a beautiful view, a blue sky and a bit of strenuous activity. And there it was on the TV. I’ll really have to make an effort to catch more of the mountain stages of the Tour when they arrive in the Alps. The whole thing – allegedly the largest annual sporting event in the World – a claim to fame which perhaps has one too many qualifying superlatives to be really knocked over by – continues for three weeks iver 3,500 gruelling kilometres. Now, my Puglia trip is how many? I need to go and check. OK. Just checked (via a few Internet diversions and Google Earth playing – has anything yet been invented which people spend an inordinately greater amount of time on than they actually planned than Google Earth?). My trip will be of the order of around 1,700 miles. That’s about 2,500 kilometres. Perhaps a few more. Mine will take me twice as long as the Lycra guys of the Tour. So I need to be half as fit as them. Does that work?

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