A moment of sporting greatness and I can say “I know, because I was there”

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Yesterday the Dutch cyclist Annemiek Van Vleuten completed a 104km solo breakaway to win the Women’s World Cycling Championship here in Harrogate, Yorkshire. As far as any of the commentators could tell this was the longest solo breakaway to win … Continue reading

Tour de France on the doorstep

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Are the French coming? A watchful crowd looks south across the rolling fields of Wallonia, just before the road to Brussels enters Waterloo. An invasion is expected soon. It is 18th June 1815 and the French army is about to … Continue reading

A bicycling magic carpet ride – with added lumps and bumps.

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For me a bike ride is almost always a transport of delight. But when I am privileged to ride for kilometre after kilometre on deserted, almost car free roads then a bike ride becomes a magic carpet ride. A special … Continue reading

Great rides: Rio de Janeiro’s spectacular 2016 Olympic Cycle Road Race course

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This blog post is about the unexpected discovery of a stunning bike ride that will live long in my memory. When I planned my trip to Rio de Janeiro for the Velo-city 2018 cycling conference my expectations were based on … Continue reading

Tour de France 2018 – our dusty day in hell

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The sun is glaring down, baking the land in Belgium and Northern France. The landscape is fluffy clouds and blue skies above golden fields which have begun to be harvested early because of the heatwave. But across one set of … Continue reading

Easter in Flanders – a cycling pilgrimage

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Time for a quick gallery of photos from Tour of Flanders weekend! It is the first weekend in April and there is only one place to be for cycling fan in Belgium. Once again I had the best excuse to … Continue reading

2017 – a gallery. Thanks to all readers and followers of Idonotdespair.com, have a great 2018

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Trying to find a way to summarise 2017 I reminded myself that this year almost every blog post has a unique header photo – some interesting shots, but only used once. So for my personal journey down memory lane, here … Continue reading

Why do you want to ride up that hill? The lure of famous cycling hill-climbs

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While we were on holiday in the South of France recently I told our host that one of the rides I wanted to do was up a climb called Col d’Eze. “Why do you want to ride up that one?” … Continue reading

Cycling the eastern Cevennes – hidden gem of cycle touring

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For our holiday in the Cevennes we are staying just away from the main tourist hot spots of the Ardeche and the Tarn Gorges so the area seems to be little discovered by cycle tourists. When I searched on line … Continue reading

Of all the cycling bars in all the towns, in all the world, I had to walk into this one

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In my previous post I congratulated myself on finding a cheap apartment in a fantastic location in Milan (for that was the city in the images). However I was not there by accident. I chose it because it was near … Continue reading

Five years of “I do not despair” – revisiting our favourite posts

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On January 1st 2012 I published the first, tentative post on Idonotdespair.com To celebrate my fifth anniversary I have gathered together a small collection of favourite posts. Firstly your top 5 – the posts that have gathered the most visitors,some … Continue reading

My Ghent Six Day 2016.  If this was the Wiggins finale then “thanks for the ride, Sir Bradley”

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A couple of weeks ago I went to the Ghent Six Day cycle race with my Dad for my second immersion in this Flemish temple of cycling, cycle sport turned into pure entertainment. And once again I was captured by … Continue reading

Late summer Saturday in Belgium – any excuse for a bike ride will do, but it helps to have several

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On Saturday I was just back from a hectic week at Eurobike – which means an awful lot of talking about cycling and not a lot of doing, followed by 7 hours on the train home from Germany. And I … Continue reading