Journal

More Bicycles in The Movies – Almira Gulch

    Again on the subject of bicycles in the movies – have you ever noticed that with one notable exception, Almira Gulch in The Wizard of Oz, cyclists are nearly always portrayed in a positive light? We’re almost never the bad guys. Sure, Butch Cassidy might have been a bank robber, but we forget…

Bicycles in the Movies

I watched Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid the other day on my iPad and on this occasion gave a little more thought to the endearing scene where Butch is giving Etta Place a ride on the bicycle – and then amusing her with some trick riding until a humourless longhorn bull breaks up the…

Zen and The Art – Robert Pirsig

On the subject of maintenance, I note this week the passing of Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. As usual, being a step or two or three or four behind the rest of the world I was a late comer to Pirsig’s masterpiece. I didn’t read it until I was…

Tooling Up

My brother and his family have taken up cycling recently and in an exchange of emails over the weekend I was advising him on the sorts of tools and gear it was wise to carry on outings – or at least the sort of stuff I usually carry when I go out for a ride.…

Fickle Fates

Hard on the heels of my post about the death of Mike Hall comes word that Giro d’Italia winner Michele Scarponi was killed on training ride near his home in Italy. Apparently, from what I have read, the driver of a van failed to give way at an intersection, failed to see Scarponi coming along…

A New Beginning

A lonely highway stretches to the horizon in outback Queensland. Photography by Roff Smith

At the risk of sounding – and indeed, being – a bit like Star Wars’ George Lucas, who waited some thirty-odd years before getting back to the continuation of his Jedi Sci-Fi series, I am at last relaunching my suspended cycling blog, although with considerably less fanfare than that generated by Mr Lucas.

Crossing Lines

It never fails to astound me how many wheezing sickly asthmatics there are in the world of elite sport. And how many champions have overcome chronic obscure cardiovascular ailments whose names and symptoms take several pages of fine print to describe and which can be treated only with powerful doses of drugs of the sort…

Inspector of Sunrises

I have often thought of myself as the inspector of sunrises and moon sets, to borrow a turn of phrase from Henry David Thoreau, but seldom has that early morning habit of mine, of being out and about on my bicycle, inspecting the dawn, been put to better use than this morning. I had planned…

Indian Summer

Promenade at Hastings, East Sussex, England on a hot summer day

I have been rather enjoying these days of Indian Summer, either strolling along the seafront, mid afternoon, in blazing sunshine, with my cameras on my back, or pedalling down the darkened street in my short sleeve shirt with the sultry night air circulating around me. It’s funny though, how perceptions can change. As I was…

Penny (Eye) Candy

There aren’t many things you can buy with a penny these days. Indeed, if I were to go down to one of the old-fashioned English sweet shops on the seafront, with their sticks of rock and jars of so-called ‘penny candy’  I would be surprised if I could buy so much as a single mint…