It's Only a Bike Race -

How Hard Can It Be?

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Winner of New Book Awards Prize!


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"It's Only A Bike Race: How Hard Can It Be?" is now available for purchase in paperback and Kindle!

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The Awards Judge Organization proudly announces the

Winners of the First Annual 2015-16


Los Angeles, CA—The Awards Judge Organization has announced the Winners of the First Annual NEW BOOK AWARDS.   The New Book Awards were created to boost recognition for outstanding literary achievement filtered out of a wide spectrum of America’s diverse literary community.  One purpose of the awards is to bring attention to independent and self-published works that might otherwise go unnoticed.  The New Book Award winners range from well-known and established writers to aspiring authors and first works. There are no quotas for diversity; the winners list simply reflects the quality chosen through a natural selection process.

The Awards Judge Organization (AJO) is a national independent product review & ratings commission.

The full text of the press release announcing the list of award winners including "It's Only A Bike Race" can be found at

Le Tour de France - A Vacation On Wheels?

Riding a bicycle around France during July sounds like an idyllic way to spend a few weeks during the summer. Visiting different regions of the country while on a leisurely ride through vineyards and sunflower fields seems like a fun pastime in which all French gentlemen should aspire to partake at least once during their lifetime. Just to add a little adventure and interest to the two-wheeled vacation, there would be a small prize for the first man to return to Paris. …. This was the ill-informed overall impression of the Tour de France that the author had gained during five years of studying French at high school on the other side of the world.

Some twenty years later when he was able to make his long-awaited first trip to France, he began to discover that his pre-conceived notions of the event were removed from reality by a large distance - over 3,000 kilometers to be exact. Having realized the extent of his original misperceptions about the Tour de France, the author was eager to discover whether it was still possible to enjoy the Tour de France in the way he had visualized it as a youngster. Substituting a campervan for a bicycle, he decided to follow the Tour de France for three weeks with the aim of enjoying the race while simultaneously taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of France. This book tells the story of his quest.

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Some Things Special About France

Sometimes a Sandwich is More Than a Sandwich

It rained all day again today but nothing could diminish the beauty of the countryside we drove through on the way to watch Le Tour. One may think to explain the unexpected attractiveness by saying that this particular part of France is different because it has agricultural areas close to the large towns, but the more I see of the country the more I realize that fields of dairy cattle, sheep, wheat, corn, potatoes, cabbage and onions can be seen in any space where the available land allows. This in turn is evidence of the French connection to food and the freshness of the produce that forms the basis of the national diet. As a small example of how this concept is carried through to everyday life, and with apologies to Freud, one might stop at a regular gas station on the side of the road with the thought of picking up a sandwich for lunch while driving to one's next appointment. Instead of finding a label on the wrapping that shows that the sandwich should be eaten on or before a date 3 days from now, in France one would find that the expiry is expressed as a time in minutes and hours later on that very same day of purchase. In other words there is no reason not to munch on a fresh sandwich while waiting for the weather or traffic to clear, and the range of available ingredients ensures that even a blindfolded selection will never disappoint.

Luckily we spectators were able to sit in the warmth and comfort of our vehicles today and eat our sandwiches while the riders dealt with the rain and mud that awaited them along the way. Many riders crashed, and the British champion Chris Froome who won the event last year also crashed and has now withdrawn from the event. Now that I've explained what happened today, please read the following that I hope will help you understand what I'm on about and why I find Le Tour so fascinating.

What is the Tour de France and why all the fuss?

The cycling race now known as the Tour de France started in 1903 when the motoring newspaper L’Auto launched the event as a means to create publicity and boost circulation. The route of the first Tour followed the perimeter of the country and included riding at night – a practice that was stopped two years later after riders cheated while the judges could not see them in the dark. The Tour has taken place every year since then except for during the two world wars. For the 101st edition in 2014 the Tour will consist of 21 point-to-point rides known as “stages” for a total distance travelled of 3,700km (2,300 miles). Each stage covers between 125km and 240km (90-150 miles) and takes between 3 and 4 hours. The route of each of the stages changes every year, but the final stage always ends in Paris and the common theme is that over the course of the Tour the riders will have faced a number of climbs and descents on mountain roads as well as some stages that are fairly flat. The locations of the stages are chosen such that the riders will visit a number of different regions of the country during the course of the Tour, which also allows the nation to showcase the beauty and diversity of its landscape and scenery. The time taken by each rider to complete each stage is recorded, and the winner of the General Classification of the Tour is the rider who has completed the entire series of stages with the lowest cumulative time. Daily prizes are also awarded for the winner of each stage. Given the variety of terrain that riders must traverse throughout the three week period of the Tour, the event is an enormous test of athleticism and endurance.

To put things into perspective, the riders travel almost the distance from New York to Phoenix (or Sydney to Perth) over the space of 21 days interspersed with only two rest days. If that is not the measure of an athlete, I don’t know what is!

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