How I Watch The Tour de France

Tour De France 2007
The 2007 Tour… in Maidstone, Kent

Despite being a keen follower of pro-cycling, I try not to mention it too much on this blog. The Grimpeur Heureux is for recreational road cyclists that want to put their rump on the saddle, not the sofa. Other blogs cover the pro-cycling scene in far more depth (and far more coherently) than I ever could.

But with less than 48 hours to this year’s grand depart, it seems remiss not to at least mention the Tour de France.

Rather than talk about the route, the riders and the hotly-anticipated Promenade des Anglais*, I thought I would summarise the ‘resources’** I use to maximise my enjoyment of the event, some of which you might find interesting.

* Note 1: This is a very sophisticated, multi-level bon mot that I have stolen unashamedly from inrng.com.

** Note 2: ‘Resources’ being websites and twitter feeds, rather than le dopage.

Read moreHow I Watch The Tour de France

Bucket Lists for Cyclists: What Do You Have On Yours?

Bucket list
What’s on your bucket list?

Whether it’s scaling the 21 switchbacks of Alpe D’Huez or building your own bike frame, we all have our own cycling ambitions.

For some, these desires remain hidden – unvoiced within the depths of our brains. Others delight in listing their objectives, for their own amusement or to share with others.

That’s where a bucket list comes in.

Read moreBucket Lists for Cyclists: What Do You Have On Yours?

If you only read one cycling post today: my top 6 beautiful bike-related websites

Cycling is a many varied and wonderful thing. Today’s post aims to introduce you to some of the great bike-related blogs and websites that I peruse on a regular basis.

I know. Some of you read my cycling blog because you know me and you want to find out what I’m up to. You may only have a passing interest in cycling or perhaps no interest at all. This post is for you as well.

Maybe you are more interested in design or photography or beautiful clothing. If you are, then take a look below.

Perhaps you want to be persuaded as to the fitness and weight-loss benefits of consistent cycling. Or to learn how to repair a puncture. Or what it’s like to ride up Alpe d’Huez.

So whatever your cycling (or non-cycling) bag (musette?), here are my Friday follows:

Vulpine

Vulpine is a London-based cycle clothing business, which aims to produce garments that work and look stylish on and off the bike. I can only vouch for the winter storm cap, which I purchased and gave as a Christmas present (and have received glowing reports back). But just looking at the photos and following owner Nick’s descent into madness on Twitter, it is clear that attention to detail is at the top of the company’s priority list.

Cyclelove

A crisp, design-focused blog on cycle culture and style in its many forms. The photography is glorious. Cyclelove looks wonderful on an iPad retina screen (and most other computer screens as well).

Inner Ring

Inner Ring is my number one source for information and comment on professional road cycling. The posts go into real depth and, since it is a personal blog written under a pseudonym, the site is not afraid to dig into sensitive issues that team access- and advertising-reliant publications tend to avoid. The recent series looking at famous road climbs (Mont Ventoux, the Stelvio etc) has made for great reading.

London Cyclist

I like cycling and I live in London (at least for the moment) and thus I like reading this blog. If you like cycling and you live in London, then I heartily recommend LondonCyclist.co.uk. Even if you don’t live in London, I still recommend you read it.

It is particularly good for those looking for advice, clothing and equipment to help you commute by bike. With the addition of a new writer, we’re going to see more content on sportives, a booming area right now and one which I’m keen to read about.

MadeGood.org

This website is just plain awesome. MadeGood.org contains clear and detailed video tutorials on how to repair and maintain pretty much every aspect of your road bike. Whenever I mention here any mechanical task undertaken on my bike, you can be pretty sure I’ll have watched a video about it on this site first.

Velopixie

And finally, something quite inspirational. In this personal blog, the eponymous Velopixie describes his training voyage that will culminate with completing the 2013 Etape du Tour, a gruelling 130km loop around the mountains of Annecy. In the process, and over the course of the last 12 months, Velopixie has lost a massive 6 stones.

Here concludes my whistlestop tour around the best the cycling world has to offer. If I’ve missed anyone out, make sure to let me know in the comments section below.

In the meantime, happy cycling!