There’s no getting away from the fact that it is now autumn. If you are a weather forecaster, it started weeks ago on September 1st. If you stick to the ‘old rules’, the autumn equinox was this week and in the next month or so the leaves will start falling from the trees… It’s also over a year since I returned from my Tarifa to Nordkapp cycle and much of the last six months in my life has been spent writing the new book, Spain to Norway on a Bike Called Reggie. Unlike the first two books that were self-published, I’m now working with a publisher, Summersdale. This really means I need to up my game in terms of the quality of what I write but also in respecting the timings of the publishing process. My first major submission deadline is now only a few days away and I still have quite a few thousand words to bring it down to size. It will be a busy week.
That said, once the manuscript is submitted (and until the edits and rewrites begin to fill my time) I will be free to think of other things, for a few weeks at least.
So what will I do? Well… I’ve just been looking at the UCI calendar for the autumn / winter of 2016/17 and there’s no shortage of events taking place between now and next spring. Although things go quiet on the World Tour in what remains of 2016, there are still a whole host of events taking place on the regional continental tours. Here in Europe there’s the Tour de Vendée, Paris-Bourges and Paris – Tours, there are the road cycling World Championships in Qatar from the 9th-16th October and then the focus moves to warmer climes… In Asia there is the Tour of Borneo, the Tour of Hainan, the Japan Cup Cycle Road Race, the UAE Cup, the Tour of Okinawa (plus a few others!). In Africa there is the famous Tour du Rwanda in mid-November and in the Americas there are the Tobago Cycling Classic and the Vueltas of Guatemala and Costa Rico. In January, everything kicks off again with the Tour Down Under being the highlight of January. No excuses not to catch at least some cycling action.
Much of all this action can be seen on Eurosport of course but for some of the events you can also bet on live cycling matches at William Hill, notably the World Championships in October. Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel are favourites but some of the outsiders are probably worth a flutter. If you haven’t got access to Eurosport, the World Championships are also on BBC television here in the UK.
Once you’ve watched all that cycling, perhaps the new book will be in bookshops and that will fill your time before the summer season of the Tour de Yorkshire, Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana return to fill your cycling time when not out on your own bike of course. Enjoy!