I’d blagged my way to a free ticket, presumably on the basis that I’d bring my camera. That was the day I fully appreciated just how hard it is to take photographs of bicycle racing. These little bastards are fast.
Fabio Close wears number 55, and the scars from a crash the previous day.
Stepping outside to walk the dog this morning, I noticed it was more than a bit chilly. Being a bit of a cyclist, my thoughts turned instantly to winter training camps, half-arsed doping allegations thrown at Team Sky for sensibly buggering off to Tenerife instead of stupidly staying in the freezing weather Europe has to offer, and what to wear when I go out on my bike later.
Then it dawned on me. It’s all Superman’s fault.
In the 1978 documentary Superman, the so-called ‘Man of Steel’ got all upset and stuff because the girl he fancied had met an unfortunate end before he’d even shagged her. Being a resourceful chap, he did what any superhuman being from Krypton would do, and reversed the rotation of the planet, turning back time, rescuing Lois (for that was her name), and returning the Earth to it’s previously held rotation and setting time off again*. Well, he didn’t. Superman cocked it up.
“Arrgggghhhhhhh!” said Superman in 1978.
He didn’t get the spin right. He cocked it up and got it all ever so slightly wonky. This is why the weather is fucked. It’s all Superman’s fault. Take your science, your research into chloroflourocarbons, fridges and cow farts, and shove it up your arse. It’s his fault, and I know it. Prove it’s not.
*Not necessarily in that order, but it’s been a while since I’ve watched it. I’m sure some pedant will pipe up at this point, telling me I’ve got the order wrong. So what?
Tightening the toe-straps. 1986 Tour de France
The 1989 Tour de France was the first cycle race I ever took notice of. Spending hours in the Rose & Green Dental Practice, with up-to-date copies of the once-great Cycling Weekly on the waiting room coffee table available to all those that could block out the sounds of drilling from behind the door, I became fascinated by the sport, the Tour, and became a Greg LeMond fan.
I didn’t warm to Laurent Fignon then. That took years. I’m not sure I ever truly liked Fignon as much as LeMond.
November. The summer jerseys are packed away for another year. The days are shorter, and the weather colder. Riders huddle together for warmth while they wait for stragglers at the top of the climb.
Surrey hills, November 2011
Photo: Dan Thornton 2011 (aka FatManonaBike)