Tag: Japan

The Hardest Word In Long-Distance Cycling (Is Not ‘Japan’)

Thirteen years ago this weekend I was sitting on my sofa at the start of the school holidays. It was 2008 and the Beijing Olympics had just started. Just outside the Chinese capital it was wet. Very wet. Nicole Cooke, the British cyclist was sodden, rain dripping from every square centimetre of her body. I watched, bleary-eyed (perhaps I was still recovering from the end-of-academic-year festivities) as she cycled under the fortifications of the Great Wall and then, as she approached the finish line, raised her fist and punched the damp air to celebrate her victory. She had just become the Olympic cycling road race champion. It was to become a pivotal moment in my middle-aged life. There and then I resolved to set off on an exotic cycling adventure…

Eroica 2021

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.

The Roads To Sata By Alan Booth

I don’t think this is a spoiler but in the final lines of Alan Booth’s The Roads to Sata (that I have just this afternoon finished reading) he recounts a conversation he’d had with an old man towards the start of his walking journey through Japan that started at the northern extremity of Hokkaido, Cape Soya. The old man explains that you can’t understand Japan by looking at it, walking through it or talking to its people. Booth asks him how, then, do you understand Japan to which the old man answers ‘You can’t understand Japan’. It’s the final line of the book.

BREAKING NEWS: There’s No Breaking News…

It’s foggy and cold outside, CNN is on the TV (as with much of the world, I’m sitting here waiting and hoping for that 253 to change soon) and it’s the first Saturday of Lockdown 2.0. Not a great deal to do other than ponder over the future… That could be a real Pandora’s box but let’s keep things focussed on cycling.