Despite the headlines on today’s newspapers that are screaming that we will be able to travel out of the UK this summer, I suspect that for the majority of us, it’s more likely to be another year of staycationing. So the arrival of a new map of Britain on my doorstep yesterday was welcome. But it’s not just any old map… MarvellousMaps.com make a series of these detailed themed maps of the country…
In this episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast we cycle across the World via Britain, Spain, Macedonia, Italy, the west coast of America, the length of Africa and Sierra Leone (plus a few other destinations thrown in for good measure). It’s all courtesy of a new book from DK Eyewitness called Ride: Cycle The World. The podcast brought together its editor, Rachel Laidler, and two of its contributors, Chris Scaife and Tom Owen, to chew over the books one hundred suggested rides. We also hear the first of our podcast monologues, recorded by tandem cyclist Laura Massey-Pugh.
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).