Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Kindness of Strangers

And now for something completely different. Well, not completely different. I’d like to invite all of you, warmly and persuasively, to come to an event I’m speaking at in London on the 30th of September, to raise money (and collect winter clothing) for the refugees at Calais. Of all the talks I’ll give this year, […]

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Transcontinental: Night on bald mountain

Ventoux needs little introduction, but in case you’re one of the few non-cyclists who read this blog, you should know that it’s one of the most iconic climbs of European cycling, notorious for claiming the life of British Tour de France rider Tom Simpson in 1967 (though alcohol and amphetamines also played a part); feared for its unrelenting gradient and […]

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Transcontinental: Until it hurts

Have to pee, holding it as long as possible. Last two toilet breaks had me in tears. Oh the terrible burning of saddle sores. #TCR2015 It appeared Juliana, now a long way ahead of me, was having a tough time of it. During my sporadic Macdonalds breaks (probably a lot less sporadic than hers) I […]

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Transcontinental: On the right track

For the first twelve hours of the ride (race, it’s a race, Chappell), I barely stopped smiling. Because, after all, cycling along quiet roads through the cool night air, with no human company beyond some occasional twinkling red lights ahead of me, is one of the things I love most in the world. Excellent photograph by Schollaert Xavier […]

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Transcontinental: The Start Line

Let’s start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start. And it was a very good start. I had been slightly mournful, I think, that I hadn’t got my act together to enter this race in one of the years it set off from London. It would have been surreal, and rather magical, […]

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