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.