Monthly Archives: August 2013

‘Taking the plunge!’ and indexing cycling photos

Chronologically speaking, ‘Taking the plunge!’ comes first …

The Society of Indexers runs a number of optional CPD courses throughout the year. Often they are suitable for anyone who is taking the training course or already a qualified and working indexer. However, during July I participated in the ‘Taking the Plunge!’ workshop, which is targeted at indexers towards the end of the course. As I’d already taken the Practical Indexing Assignment I was the most well-qualified student there. And I wrote the report of the session which has recently appeared on the Society’s website here. Now I just need to get on with some more marketing work and find some paid work as an indexer to make it worth having worked so hard to complete the course.

In other news …. The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 cycle ride was a total blast from start to finish, and it took me just over 7 hours to do the course, which was faster than Boris Johnson, and much faster than I’d anticipated in the run up. However, it was one of those things that I really didn’t want to be over and wished it could have carried on and never stopped. So much so that I’ve entered the ballot for next year’s event, and maybe I’ll take it slower next year. Of course, if the weather had been hotter, windier or wetter I wouldn’t have had such a nice time this year, so if I get in again I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for good weather again next time.

I don’t think I managed to get onto the TV coverage but you can find me pedalling away in still and video content if you look for me on the official photo website here. Which got me thinking about indexing photos, and how big a task that must have been – nearly 20,000 participants, if they all had about 30 photos is 600,000 entries. Some photos have more than one person in, I seem to have been teamed with a big chap in an orange top in a couple of mine, which reduces the overall number of pictures but increases the complexity of indexing more than one person per picture. We all had numbers on our bikes and on our helmets, so as long as they can see the number you get the right photos, and there’s a selection available of those that they couldn’t get the numbers clearly in. But they are very quick, they get all of that done in a couple of days. Big job, well done, Marathon Photos!

Prudential Ride London 100 mile and indexing cycling books

Getting this weeks’ blog out a bit early as I’ll be cycling my legs off on Sunday 4th August doing the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 mile route. That’ll teach me for thinking I never win in lucky dips! I had a 1:4 chance of getting a place and lo and behold got one on the first try. So I have spent the last few months training away, when I’ve not being doing my indexing course, working and trying to squeeze in all the things a human being does. (I don’t sleep a lot!).

If you tune in to the BBC coverage during the day. starting at 11:30 on BBC1 and continuing at 4:30 also on BBC1, you might spot me in my Simon’s Cat cycling jersey hurtling along the roads or maybe walking up Leith Hill and Box Hill with a sympathetic voice-over saying something like “… and here are the older competitors who should have known better…”


I like watching the professional cyclists competing in the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and La Vuelta a España. mostly because they are fit young chaps and it is all a bit bonkers to spend that much time and effort just cycling about. And there’s the books of course. If you watch the ITV coverage you’ll be familiar with Ned Boulting and his interviews and coverage of the different race stages. He’s written some books on the subject, and the first, How I Won the Yellow Jumper, is laugh out loud funny in some places as you cringe with Ned’s memories of the gaffs he made as he was learning the ropes on the Tour. It includes lots of names of riders, teams, places – on the routes, the hotels, the detours, and themes such as results, points, prizes, training, drugs, bikes and even the promotional men who give away stuff to the crowds at the finish points. The kind of things that fans of Ned, newly-minted cycling fans and more established ardent cycling fans are likely to go looking for in a book about the Tour de France. All good stuff for the indexer’s mill, but unfortunately Yellow Jersey Press chose not to get an index compiled for this or for the subsequent book On the Road Bike. So another couple of books that are a bit poorer for the omission of indexes. Ned might be a little shy of what he knows and the stories he tells, but it would be much better for all of us if these books were indexed.