Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Inspiring stuff from up North....

Gary, Dave the Damp and Paul from over the road all took part in last weekend's 'Tour de Leicestershire' - a 70+ miles circular romp through the fine countryside in this part of the world. I didn't do it. My back problem has made long distances just too much of a chore - I can't manage more than 30 or 40 miles at the moment - I've decided to ease off now and hope for some improvement into next year. I haven't seen Gaz since the ride - but I got a text 'I'm f**ked' was the leading line. As I remember it is a particularly hilly route.

I managed a short ride around the lanes last weekend - in fact two, one was 15 miles the other 25 - that'll do me at the moment. But if I can't ride my bike I still like watching the racing on TV or reading books and magazines. So I have two things worthy of mention from the past week. Firstly La Vuelta - I watched each stage this year - it was utterly compelling - after Chris Froome crashed out with a broken foot I thought my interest would wane - but no - the drama, the spectacle - those horrendous climbs! This years Tour de France was one of the best in recent years - but maybe La Vuelta pipped it? - When a three week stage race is undecided until the penultimate stage you know its been a great event. Congratulations to Fabio Aru but many commiserations to Tom Dumolin, the young Dutch rider who, from nowhere, catapulted himself into the big time. I suspect we'll be hearing more about him in the next few years.

As I said - I do like a good cycling magazine - and I subscribe to Rouleur which is the pinnacle, not only of cycling journalism but also of design and photography. But what really caught my eye recently was a story they ran on Martin Procter who rides with a local club in North Yorkshire. Every time he goes out, either solo or on a club run, he records the event with a beautifully hand written and illustrated entry in a sketch book - he's been doing it for some years now and has built up quite an archive. His design and illustrative skills are suberb - so much so that Rouleur commissioned him to design a front cover for the magazine and also some tee shirts for merchandising.

I've pasted a few examples below - quite inspiring for me - I might have a go myself!

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