I have spent many pounds on many glossy cycling magazines in the last couple of years but I have to say that one of the best is the one that I receive for free by being a member of the CTC (OK, it’s not really free I know but it feels as though it is free as I don’t have to go down to WH Smith and hand over £5.99 for the pleasure). It’s a very practical magazine and I suppose as the T in CTC stands for “Touring”, it is skewed to this kind of cycling and away from the Lycra-clad racing end of the cycling spectrum. It’s the main benefit I get for handing over my £33 as I don’t take part in any of the activities that they organise although access to their online maps & routes was useful last year when preparing for the Pennine Cycleway cycle. The organisation has recently been trying to transform itself into a charity but again, the pros and cons of the arguments have passed me by and I didn’t vote.
Anyway, back to the magazine. A few snippets of interest from the magazine for June & July (as seen in the picture; Bradley Wiggins nowhere to be seen!);
– An article by Peter Gostelow who writes about cycling through Portugal en route for the south of Africa. Checking his website, I think he is currently in the Gambia.
– In the corner of an advert for the Ridgeback Panorama, a reference to the Bike Radar Live 2010 event which takes place at Brands Hatch the weekend before I set off to Italy. Should I? Bizarrely it is exactly 100 kms (according to Via Michelin’s “bike” option) and you can camp overnight. It is almost on my route to Dover! If only it was taking place the following weekend 😦
– And this little comparative chart (click on it to see the detail) which analyses the equipment used by World cyclists Mark Beaumont, James Bowthorpe (Cycling to the Ashes) & Julian Sayarer (who is the angry guy who is very anti charity cycle rides…). I may well refer back to this in the next few days. I’m particularly intrigued by the choice of a Brooks saddle by James and Julian. Mary Bryant (“Four Cheeks to the Wind”) also told me that she had used a Brooks saddle and had never had any problems with saddle sores…. One to reflect upon.