Cycling Central's Al Hinds reads a lot, but rarely reviews. On a whim, and despite an ever-mounting backlog of transcribing to do before Christmas, he decided to break the drought and and pen his thoughts on the latest book to grace his reading table, The Cycling Anthology.
In truth, I’ve been meaning to get my hands on an edition of The Cycling Anthology since the project was first announced late last year. I didn’t, but it was a limited release and I figured I’d see one sooner rather than later. Nearly a year on and finally the third edition found its way to chez Hinds. There’s been books in between, Charly Wegelius’s Domestique stands out, newspapers, magazines, life. Even with the best of intentions books that I genuinely want to read will gather dust in piles beside my bed, not for their quality, but for my lack of time.
Which is why The Cycling Anthology is a breath of fresh air. The third edition, which I’m told is much like the first two, brings together cycling writers from all over the world in one paperback publication, a rare platform for authors to sink their teeth into a subject, short of actually writing a book themselves. The stories range from three to 10 thousand words, which may sound long, but are more than digestible on your average commute, on a lazy weekend afternoon, or in the 30 minutes before drifting into Z-land.
It’s that time of year when reflection becomes de rigueur, every man and his dog will throw out an opinion on their best and worst moments of the cycling season past, and I’m not about to buck the trend, though I am going to focus on the positives here.
As the year grew longer I personally became pulled into the MTB scene after a far too long absence of interest.
I loved the MTB scene in the 90’s and early 2000’s while following the progress of Cadel Evans and Mary Grigson as they went from race to race. The vibe around the sport feels the same today as it did then. Big things are happening, particularly in Australia.
Steve Thomas made a trip to the epicentre of bicycle manufacturing, Taiwan.
Long ago, back in the days when a colour TV was considered a luxury item, the tiny little stickers on the back of cheap Christmas gifts that said “Made in Taiwan” used to be embarrassingly peeled off and abruptly trashed.
Anything with a “Made in China” badge wouldn’t even make the bottom shelf of a Sunday market stall, while “Made in Japan”, back then, was not far behind either with their famous “rot-box’ Datsun 5’s and ultra-cheap electrical gadgets that required a slap or two to get them started.
Having presumptuously picked a title before he’d penned a word (other than those in the title), Anthony Tan attempts to find his ten best moments of this calendar year.
On Monday, Cycling Central online editor Phil Gomes emailed his coterie of columnists and asked for an ‘EOY blog’ from each of us.
I didn’t know what EOY stood for and was too afraid to ask, not wishing to come across as an ignoramus in front of my peers. Thankfully, in the body of the RFB (that being ‘request for blog’), the man endowed with a fierce physiognomy (that being Phil) articulated his thoughts further, saying: “I’m looking for end of year blogs, your best moments or worst, could be a list or it could also be just one thing about the season past that you’d like to expand on. Anything which stood out for you.”
Steve Thomas traveled to Taiwan to tackle the Taiwan King of the Mountain challenge - an 85km climb. This is his story.
As the big white birds of Taipei Airport whirl around me I finally get five minutes to slow down and ease my wrenched back and rest the extra kilos that I’ve gained around my waistline during a two week trip to the island of Taiwan, a place of notoriety to anybody involved with the bike industry.
Strangely enough, considering that I’ve been involved with the bike industry for most of my life, this was my first visit to what must be considered as the epicentre of the bike manufacturing world. Yet I’d come along with a little more to my agenda than pure steel tube bending and mass production. I was here to see what lay outside of the commercial zones – to seek out the mountains, the roads and trails of the interior.