The Tour de France is a sprawling pandemonium of bike racing, product launches, and roadside parties. But the sport’s biggest event, the Tour itself, has largely left women riders out of the festivities. This year, they’ll participate for just two days, in a race called La Course, which runs ahead of the men’s race.
Why is there no Tour de France for women? Ask 12-time World Champion Marianne Vos, and she’ll laugh and say in her distinctive, Dutch-inflected English, “Well, that’s going to be a very long answer.” — Read the story A Chronicle of Persistance over at Bicycling.
Posts tagged ‘cycling’
The Tour de France is winding through France’s flat farmlands, as it does every year around this time. Want some reasons it’s cool? I contributed to a list thingy for Bicycling.
I also wrote a story about sprinter Mark Cavendish, which was pretty ruthlessly overtaken by events. Thanks to some quick work with my editor, we managed to salvage it, but it was a close run thing. Honestly, I just needed the guy to finish a safe fourth. I feel like that should not have been too much to ask. But it’s the Tour, so you know, you rarely get what you ask for.
If you read fiction at all — and really, you should all read fiction of some kind of another, because it’s fun. It’s the most fun you can have with words, on the whole. Except maybe poetry? Poetry is pretty fun with words, too.
Grab yourself a copy of David Conventry’s novel, The Invisible Mile, about a Tour de France during the 1920’s. It is way more interesting and beautifully written than that description suggests. Way more. The writer has the ability to describe racing and riding a bike in ways I’ve never thought of — and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to explain racing and riding bikes. It’s true in the way that the best fiction is.
The ghostbike dedicated to Salvador Barragan leans locked to a palm tree in Oxnard, California. Unbroken lines of cars stream down the four-lane road past the stripped-down, white-painted bike. A faded tag on the wall recalls a turf war, likely long forgotten by now. The wall, built of pale pink cinder blocks, is a typical sight in California, dividing backyards from roadways, preserving the illusion of tranquility against the rush of suburban life. Barragan died after he was hit by a driver making a u-turn.
Ghostbikes are fleeting, ephemeral memorials to cyclists killed by cars while riding their bikes. The bikes, their parts removed, are painted white and placed on the roadside. Most ghostbikes are removed very soon after they’re placed. Maybe it’s easier that way. On rare occasions, a ghostbike may stand for many months, a stark reminder of a last ride and a life cut short.
A while back, I did a photo essay for Bicycling on ghostbikes and it’s now live. The first ghostbikes were placed in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003 and they’ve since become a near-universal symbol for a downed cyclist. I interviewed a pair of activists in Southern California and photographed a series of memorials for the project. Head to Bicycling.com to see the story.
Of course, there were way more photos than we eventually ran, because that’s how it always works out. If you’d like to see the rest of the images, I put a ghostbikes gallery over on my photo site.
In 1972, cyclist Rebecca Rusch’s father’s plane was shot from the sky over Laos. Steve Rusch was flying a mission for the US Air Force during the final years of the American war in Vietnam. Rusch has few, if any memories of her father.
But in March 2015, she went in search of his ghost, and herself. Together with Vietnamese rider Huyen Nguyen, Rusch retracing the 1,200-mile Ho Chi Minh Trail, an historic secret network through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos that Northern Vietnamese once used to supply battleground forces to the south. From her bicycle, Rusch planned to read in the contours of Vietnam’s terrain the entwined stories of the war and her family. — Read the rest at Bicycling.
I’m working in my kit again. I thought I could escape, but then my phone started nagging me. So I sat down to answer it and to reply to that other thing, and to edit that one thing and to make that other thing. Sitting still is hard. I just want to go ride. The internet is such a dick sometimes. …
Read the rest over at The Toast.