Monthly Archives: January 2013

Shooting Black & White

I have had a fondness for black-and-white photography right from the get-go, when I first began to study photography back in Albuquerque during the 1970s. I enjoyed every second I spent in the darkroom, loved the hands-on aspect of the art and the ability of black-and-white images to tell a story, richly and evocatively, using…

The Ride Journal

A couple of years ago when I was poking around in a flashy London bicycle shop, admiring the selection of rare and beautiful hand-built frames they had on offer and flipping through the pages of the shop-worn back issues of Rouleur that were laid out on a counter for browsers such as myself to look…

The Jungle

I am only too aware of my vulnerability when I go pedalling all alone though the darkened streets in town and along our desolate seafront promenade at unsociable hours in the morning, especially when I stop and set up my tripod to take self-timer photos. I keep a wary eye out and over the past…

Chapter 13 – To Ulm and the Danube

A few weeks before left on this trip I sat up late one evening reading Patrick Leigh Fermor’s travel classic A Time of Gifts. It was the story of a journey he had made, by foot, from England to Istanbul in 1933 when he was just eighteen. The book was written some forty years after…

It’s Not About The Book

You have to wonder what in the world Lance Armstrong was thinking when he decided to unburden himself the other day on Oprah Winfrey’s cable TV show. It is evident from reading the transcript that his volte face and mea culpa wasn’t prompted by a sudden spiritual awakening, desire to cleanse his soul and make…

Old Memories

I see that the Tour Down Under is taking place this week in South Australia, with tomorrow’s stage meandering through the Adelaide Hills and finishing in Tanunda, in the Barossa Valley. This is very near to where I used to live – in fact the course runs right up Murray Street in the small, quiet…

Around The World On A Pennyfarthing

What with snow and ice making the roads all slippery and the tonnes of drivetrain-destroying salt and grit that has been scattered by the council to try to remedy the effects of the latest big freeze, this has not been a great week for cycling, especially if, like me, you prefer to go for your…

Chapter 12 – Tubingen & The Swabian Alb

Tubingen is a mediaeval university town on the eastern fringes of the Black Forest, with lots of quaint storybook architecture and the Neckar River flowing through the heart of the old quarter. The river was broader here than it had been at Horb, but it still had a pleasing rustic quality to it that went…

Howies Base Layers

A while ago I heard from a man named Dan Marsh, who represents a clothing firm called Howies. They are based in Cardigan, South Wales. I had not heard of them before, but it turns out they produce a range of organic merino wool clothing, including a line of merino base layers. Having noticed my…

The Golden Age?

And so, the television host said to the former Tour de France champion, a man who had been lionised for years, feted as the greatest cyclist of his day, did you ever use drugs in the course of your career? “Yes,” came the reply. “Whenever it was necessary.” “And how often was that?” came the…