I watched the final stage of the 2011 Tour de France at look mum no hands!, the cycling cafe in central London.The reaction as Mark Cavendish won on the Champs Élysées – for the third year in succession – was fantastic. The picture was taken over my shoulder as I punched the air – I think it captures the excitement of the moment, though.
Click on an image to enlarge
As regular readers of this blog will know, I was hit by a car while cycling to work last week. Apart from a rather bruised and tender leg, I’m ok, but my faithful Condor Pista took a very nasty knock. I assumed the Condor was dead and wrote a touching epitaph, which proved remarkably popular – so much so, that lot’s of people have been asking after the bike and wondering whether she could be saved. Being a steel bike, it’s a possibility. So here’s an update. Continue reading
Thursday morning, 8.30am. I pedal smoothly along Villiers Road – brisk, but unhurried. It’s bright for a September morning and the schoolchildren flit by me like shadows on the pavement; Continue reading
You are gone, beautiful Condor, fallen in the battle with the morning traffic. You were fine and elegant, the best of bikes with your stylish mauve and white paint scheme, your single gear and lean steel frame, with your shades of retro coyly masking your modernity. More fool the would-be racers who thought otherwise. Continue reading
There’s been an explosion of interest in cycling history in the UK recently. This is fuelled in part by greater coverage of the sport and, I suspect, by the Rapha phenomenon; but it’s mainly, I think, down to the influence of two very fine biographers who have proved there is a ready market for books about Coppi or Pantani or even the astonishing Jose Beyaert. Matt Rendell and William Fotheringham are each compiling a formidable body of work. Continue reading
I’m injured, again. My sporting career, such as it is, has really been a long catalogue of physical breakdowns punctuated by occasional bouts of running around. Then it’s back to the treatment table. Continue reading