To the Stade de France to watch France play the All Blacks at rugby.

Stade de France All Blacks vs FranceI love watching sport in big settings. Feeling the restiveness of the crowd, letting the anticipation build. And when you go to one of the sporting cathedrals, old or new, you are soaking up all the feats that took place before.

Now I am living in continental Europe I have the chance to add a few more special events and venues to my collection.

Stade de France

Stade de France is like a spaceship that has landed in the Paris suburbs. And like many of the modern stadiums it has a great bowl effect that not only gives great sight lines but it magnifies the sound. ”La Marseillaise”, now there is a national anthem to blow your socks off when sung by a passionate French crowd.

I was watching with some New Zealanders but I have to say I was cheering for France. I have been following rugby for about 35 years and for the whole time those big black bullies have loomed over us so I always back any Northern hemisphere side playing against the ABs, even if they are the team of my in-laws.

All Black Haka

An excellent evening, although the bullies won again. Must be the Haka.

Not cycling – need some inspiration

Oreti Beach, Invercargill, New ZealandBeen a bit unwell, not riding my bike much except to the station.

Weather grey and horrible.

Maybe a bit of inspiration on line? No, the twittersphere and blog world are full of Lance Armstrong and his forthcoming appearance on Oprah.

I just need a couple of memories to cheer me up.

Number one above is for the bucket list I am slowly compiling. Something everyone must do is ride your bike on a remote beach. Even better let it be Oreti Beach near Invercargill, New Zealand. Ride some of the singletrack trails on nearby Sandy Point (world’s most southerly singletrack?) and then roll onto the hardpacked beach when there is a wind whipping up the whitecaps from the Southern Ocean.

Number 2 – mountain biking in Spain. Just because I love this photo and remember being there.

Near Amer, Girona, Spain