My name is Jon Hunter and in 2010 I bought an Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op Revolution Pathfinder over the internet after wanting to get back into cycling. The last time I rode a bicycle, I used it for delivering newspapers as a child! I rode the bike for quite a while until the pressures of family, young children and work reluctantly saw me put the bike in the shed to be ridden at a later date. I didn’t realise how later that date would be.
(This is Ecotricity’s first ever TV ad. I’ve been a happy customer for 15 years…)
I’ve never entered a cycling sportive in my life… but I’m a sucker for a good poster and these posters from the people who organise the Eroica events have featured several times in the past on CyclingEurope.org. They’ve just sent through the complete set for 2021 – yes, it appears that they are starting again… – and the first of their cycles is actually today in South Africa.
As a linguist and a cyclist, the language of cycling has always been of interest. If you know even a little French or Italian or Spanish – the main languages of the Grand Tours – it certainly helps when trying to understand what’s going on. Indeed such is the influence of these languages that the Tour de Yorkshire – my local race here in northern England, a legacy event following the visit of the Tour de France to the region in 2014 – not only includes the ‘de’ in its name but continues to refer to its more significant climbs using the French word ‘côte’ or ‘hill’ in honour of Le Tour itself. They can sound quite comical – the Côte de Goose Eye or the Côte de Otley Chevin for example – and it must drive the Brexit voters mad that their ‘pure’ English is being ‘corrupted’ by the French. But let’s face it, that all started way back in 1066 (and long may it continue).
Since purchasing the drone about a month ago, I’ve been continuing to take small steps towards making a film that involves some cycling. Although not quite there yet, this new film does tell the story of my 72 km ride yesterday along the Calder Valley and back with friend Craig. Hopefully the next film will involve some drone footage of a cyclist actually cycling. The cyclists featured here are all static; admiring the view, operating said drone or pumping up a tyre. It was a glorious day for a bike ride with barely any wind; it’s amazing to note how little wind is required to keep those turbines rotating. One day I’ll return up there with the drone and try to fly it through the turbines as they spin. Perhaps…
It’s only April but in the last four months there have been six episodes of The Cycling Europe Podcast and we are now recognised as in the top 5% of podcasts worldwide! The guests in 2021 have been many and varied; if you are into your cycling, travel or adventure, you are certain to find something that sparks your interest. We have had the please to welcome Cycling UK’s new CEO, Sarah Mitchell, Suzanne Forup who is an active campaigner for cycling in Scotland, the academic and ultra-long-diistance cyclist Dr Iann Walker, travel writer and TV presenter Simon Parker, world bikepacker Markus Stitz, the ‘Tandem WOW’ team of Rachel Marsden and Catherine Dixon, round-the-world penny-farthing cyclist Joff Summerfield, Tahverlee Anglen of WarmShowers, the YHA’s Simon Ainley, Simon Kershaw from one the UK’s newest cycle-friendly hotels, Bike & Boot and the wild camper extraordinaire Tim Millikin. Quite an eclectic bunch!