This blog has become a little more generalist of late with me discussing a varied range of topics from trips to France with groups of school children to how the re-decoration of my flat over the last couple of weeks has been progressing. I need to get things back to cycling (although in fairness, my going ‘off topic’ doesn’t seem to have done any harm whatsoever to my cycling blog ranking; up to number 11 in the UK in August compared to number 16 in July!). So here goes. Guaranteed, exclusively cycling content coming up.
A couple of purchases first of all to push me back into cycling thinking; the August copy of Cycling Plus which I never quite manage to read from cover to cover on the occasions that I buy it but I will try my best over the next couple of weeks. I notice that at the bottom of the front page under the ‘Essential Riding Advice‘ banner it promises an article entitled ‘Drink Booze, Ride Better‘. I wonder if they have lifted one of the online chapters to my forthcoming book where I managed to cycle along the Eurovelo 5 with far too regular pauses for beer and wine. Incidentally, I am still at the editing stage; I haven’t touched the original manuscript for about two weeks but I aim to have this done over the course of the coming week. Still not convinced by the title (see the top of the column to your left). Rick Stein interviewed Chris Stewart, author of Driving Over Lemons, an account of his life in Andalucia, during his trip around Spain this week on the TV (well worth a watch) and Chris said that by far the most important thing in selling a book is the title and the cover because although we all like to think that we don’t, we really do judge a book by its cover. His title is fantastic and immediately conjures up a hot corner of Europe. As it stands, mine says nothing about the contents of the book although at least the cover speaks volumes.
On the subject of books, my second purchase is Mark Beaumont’s new book; The Man Who Cycled The Americas. After his previous book called The Man Who Cycled The World, he really could go on for a long time writing books about ‘the man who cycled…’. That said, his current expedition is rowing in the Canadian Arctic so I suppose his next volume would have to be The Man Who Rowed The Canadian Arctic. Anyway, back to his previous cycling trip; the Americas book details his cycling journey from Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina taking in North & South America’s highest peaks en route; Mounts McKinley & Aconcagua which happen to be at each end of the respective continents. I shall no doubt blog some comments as I read over the next few weeks.
My own past and future adventures harvested a few interesting contacts in the past week or so. I have already mentioned Kate Belcheva in a previous post. She is planning on cycling from her home in Bulgaria to London in time for the Olympics next summer and will use the Eurovelo 5 from Switzerland north. Someone else who is ‘musing about something similar‘ in his words is @TheJT on Twitter (no name). He describes himself as a ‘City-hopping wordsmith; pen for hire and brain to let‘ but more than just that, is an ex-pupil of the school where I teach – Gillotts in Henley-on-Thames. From his picture, I suspect his attendance at the place was well before my time but it is good to know that I am enthusing students of Gillotts School, albeit ones of long ago, to do something cycling wise. I’ve asked for more details of what his musings might lead him to do, whether it be the Eurovelo 5 or some other cycling adventure and I’ll let you know when he reports back. And the future? Well, that is hopefully going to be the Eurovelo 8 in 2013, but Rachel Golden from the USA will have beaten me to it. She commented the following; ‘I’m hoping to bike-camp the Eurovelo8 route in 2012. I have 4 months off work. When do you recommend is best? April-July? I’m an avid bike-tourer, but have never done it outside of the U.S. Any advice would be great!‘. I advised April – June to avoid the heat of the summer and the crowds but I think by the time she has completed the route next year, the advice will be coming in the opposite direction. She has subscribed to the blog (you can too – just click here) so may become a familiar name that you recognise on here over the months to come. I hope so.
And finally (as they say in all the best news bulletins), the Trek was indeed sold. For £100 he was pedaled down the road next to the flats where I live rather unsteadily by his new owner earlier this week. I wish both of them happy cycling. Reggie now has the hall to himself!