Another flying thing blog post

(After we doubled (or trebled?) up in this one.)

Drug-taking. It’s all the rage in France at the moment. A number of fairly famous drug-takers are cycling around the country in their annual tour, and weirdly, people still want to watch them doing it.

People can be odd.

Best way to watch EPO-fuelled bike riding? Helicopter.

Helicopter times 3, in fact. With drunk pilots.

OK, so clearly, those pilots aren’t drunk. That was a slur against them and their profession in exactly the same way that saying the cyclists are cheating wasn’t. Those circling manoeuvres, avoiding each other and any surrounding buildings and countryside are the perfect way to film the race.

Other not drunk people who have made pretty patterns in the sky more locally include a BA Captain and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden.

Slow puncture

My bike seems to have a slow puncture. (If you’re wondering about me and cycling, you need to read here.) I say that because a few days ago, my back tyre wasn’t flat, and now it is. This isn’t a huge issue, because, for the moment, I can ride on it and then I can pump it up before I ride on it next time. This will, however, get rather irritating and I can see that I will have to repair the puncture. For this, I will require a puncture repair kit. And therein lies the problem. Because that means going to a bike shop and buying one.

But I’m not an expert on cycling and the people in the shop are. Not a good situation, because here’s what will happen (but with cycling terminology, obviously):

Even The Molton Brown Boys – who, admittedly, are more into cycling than I am – regularly dazzle me at dinner with their chat on what CO2 bombs and patching compounds they are buying these days (apparently, these are things that help repair punctures while “on the go”). I don’t need such fancy, schmancy stuff though. I just want something firm under my bottom, simple as. 

Careful now.

So, yes, I’ll go through the rigmarole of asking for a puncture repair kit. And I’ll get laughed at because I’ll choose the wrong polymer or the incorrect hardening agent. Bleugh.

In the meantime, I’ll be taking the boy out for another long ride this afternoon.

Punctures permitting.

Norwegian cyclist video to inspire Chappies stunts?

We’ve had a pop at cyclists and their errant behaviour before here on 6000 miles…, but we’ve yet to see much that  could equal this for sheer bravery stupidity. Here’s Norwegian nutter Eskil Ronningsbakken – Scandinavian cycling’s answer to Jonny Knoxville – riding his bike down Trollsigen.


Did you see that car passing him at 1:08? He was never a metre away. Arrest that driver!

Because our local cyclists are ever so edgy and like to do dangerous things, like riding in the dark with no lights and whizzing through red robots, I reckon it’s only a matter of time before we see this sort of thing happening on Chapman’s Peak Drive, possibly with less success than Eskil.

I foresee a lucrative scrap metal business opening up on the east side of Hout Bay.

Music is Lindsay Stirling’s Elements. Nice.


Saturday 17th March 2012.

The day my boy learned to ride a bike. He’s been close for a while, today he got it and I am a very proud dad.

Here he is having cycled all the way from the far corner of Wynberg Boys’ School field.

The Pick n Pay Cycle Tour Coffee Table Book post

This all started with a comment on a post here a few weeks back. The comment was unrelated to the post in question and it had the commenter’s cellphone number on it, so I didn’t publish it. It was merely a means of making contact with me [you can do that by email here].
Here’s the comment, with the cellphone number removed:

Hello there. I am publishing a book on the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour,. I’d value chatting to you or communication via e mail if you have the inclination?


To which I politely responded:

Hi Richard,

Thanks for your comment on 6000 miles…
How may I be of assistance?


Bing! Incoming:


I am publishing a coffee table book on the history of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour. It’s the tour’s 35th anniversary next year. I would like to invite you to consider writing a piece for publication in the book that shares your reminiscences and experiences of the tour, together with a possible for photgraph/s for inclusion.

Let me know your thoughts?

Richard Webb

I had to read it twice just to make sure I’d read it right the first time. Then I had to go away, have some coffee, have some more coffee and read it again. I was unsure how to respond.

For new readers, who may not know my feelings on the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour (and cyclists in general), here are some few soundbites from this blog (all of which can be seen in context by clicking the links):

More cyclists on the road means more red lights and stop signs ignored, more 6-wide pelotons to avoid and more wobbling, weaving idiots more concerned with their chat than with their direction. [link]

Better not have a heart attack today if you live on the route. Getting an ambulance to you will probably take a bit too long. Anyway, it’s far more important that some poorly-prepared 55 year old from Bloemfontein gets to the local cardiac care unit first, because he has a bike and is wearing lycra. [link]

And all the parlance in all the local pubs is about “going sub-three” and stuff. (I was hugely disappointed when I found out that this was time to do the race and not metres underwater.) [link]

As hundreds of cyclists veered and wobbled all over the Main Road and ignored the traffic lights through St James and Kalk Bay this morning, as they do most Sunday mornings, I came up with a brilliant new Sunday morning drinking game. [link]

All of these are topped, however, by the annual hits-fest that is the Those Cape Argus Results In Full post, written for Argus Day 2009 and which is a MUST READ. Especially each Argus Day when it gets MUCH READ.

If only Richard had done that first.

I thought it was about time I did as Richard said and let him know my thoughts. To that end, herewith my response to him, post coffees and re-reading:

 Hi Richard,

I wish you well with your endeavours. However, I think you may have contacted the wrong person for this.
While I appreciate the business and publicity that the cycle tour brings to the Cape Town area, I loathe the disruption and inconvenience it causes and the arrogance and selfishness of the cyclists that it attracts to the Mother City.
I’d be happy to write something to this end for your publication, however, I feel that it might not be in keeping with the image of the cycle tour that you wish to portray.

All the best with your work,


But hey, what do I know? Maybe Richard’s book is actually an honest appraisal of the Cycle Tour – accepting that there are negatives with the positives, that there are tales of annoyance alongside the tales of achievement. Maybe this is going to be a watershed moment among the plethora of blinkered, sycophantic books about the wonders of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.

Or, er… not:

Thanks, 6k.

You are right, I probably don’t have the right guy.
All the best and thanks for communicating with me.


And so it ends.
My name will not be in print on coffee tables across the world.

On a serious note, if you feel that you may have something to contribute to Richard’s book, I am happy to put you in touch with him and him with you.
Just make sure your story has at least three superlatives per sentence, ok?