France comes to Fulham

Tour de France comes to Fulham
Well that’s how it seemed on Sunday when the London - Surrey Cycle Classic (an Olympic test event) whirred it’s way down the Fulham Road, bring with it a breath of the Tour de France. I have always been a fan of cycle racing and as a boy dreamt of being a racer, but like a lot of childhood dreams it didn’t happen, nor did getting rich! Anyway being as how the riders were going to pass the end of my road I was up there at the barriers (8.50am) in plenty of time to see them sweep past. It’s a good job it’s largely a free event at the Olympics because my involvement lasted less than five minutes. And that included the team cars, the press and the police outriders! But the experience was worth it. One hundred and forty riders travelling close together at over thirty miles an hour. The only trouble was that nowhere, on my return home, could I find any kind of commentary on how the race was progressing. Surely a missed opportunity by the Olympic Committee and the broadcasters. This will be the first gold medal on offer at the 2012 Games. Anyway I was back up at the barriers at twelve in time to see the leaders flash by and later to learn the Britain’s Mark Cavendish had won.

I don’t know that much poetry has been written about cycling, let alone cycle racing, but there is a wonderful poem by Louis MacNeice called, The Cyclist about the joys of bike riding. Rather appropriate with more and more people taking to two wheels. Google it. One other little gem, a poem by Judith Nicholls that I came across called Biking.

“Fingers grip, toes curl; head down, wheels whirl.
Hair streams, fields race; ears sting, winds chase.
Breathe deep, troubles gone; just feel windsong.”