Mountains have not always been a part of cycling. It was not until the introduction of the Col du Tourmalet in the Tour de France in 1910 that the public got a chance to witness the “baroudeurs” of the road scale these impossibly high mountain passes.
One of the great joys of cycling is the different experiences you can have on different bikes at different times of the year, on different terrain and different conditions.
It is hard to believe that it was in 2007 that the cycle sportive, the Etape Caledonia, first debuted under a cloud of controversy. It was, at that time, the first and only closed-road cycle event in the UK and that fact meant that it caused equal amounts of consternation and celebration amongst people living in the route’s vicinity.
There is barely a week passes without someone telling me they don’t like cyclists.
I’ve been lucky enough to spend part of January and most of February cycling in Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Both are fantastic venues for winter training as the weather is generally warm (although in 2018 we had snow) and the roads are mostly good.
A few weeks ago in this column I lamented the absence of a woman’s version of the Tour de France. I had just finished typing the piece, and no sooner had I pressed “send” with my copy winging its way to Courier HQ than I received a press release notification of a Women’s Tour of Scotland.
At the start of this century, Memphis USA was near the top of every negative chart index: obesity, violent crime, poverty and poor education. It was also voted as one of the country’s worst cities for cycling. Then in 2010, the 6.7 mile Greenline was opened.
The Bike Station, as its website declares, recycles donated bikes, sell them at affordable prices, and then use the proceeds to help people across Scotland get cycling. It is a commitment that suits Perth Bike Station manager, Mark Sinclair, down to the ground.
If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’ll know I’m a passionate advocate for getting young people active and involved in sporting competition. The reasons for this are obvious, but I also believe getting them involved in sport at an early age goes far beyond mere health benefits.
I love riding my bike with other people; there is a certain sense of shared adventure and camaraderie knowing that the people you are with just get it.