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The Training Diaries

May 2006

Lately I get these little apparently random flash-backs to a seemingly insignificant stretch of road or a virtual chill of a long ago cloudy Scottish evening; a bunch of guys in bright tight clothes and the whirr of the wheels. And I’m here in Holland in a different life, different language, different culture, different landscape and decades later, but these images just pop up for a few seconds, like unexpected emails from the past.

I’ve come to quite enjoy these moments in a bizarre way and they make me realize how lucky I was to be part of this crazy sport of cycling and the hundreds of characters and adventures and friendships associated with it. I realize that there is no sport quite like it, and I realize that there in the late 1980s it was perhaps the end of a very special era, one with a freedom, time and space that has somehow gone amiss since, with increasing road traffic, increasing demands on people’s time and increasing parental fears for their kids. I’m glad to have been part of that time and space and I’m glad to have shared all this with such a great bunch of folk. Though it is little compared to what I received through the sport, I dedicate this work, this collection of random fleeting memories to all the cyclists and their families that I met and knew over the last twenty years. I thank you all for some glorious times and I look forward to another twenty years. What a brilliant sport!

I hope you enjoy sifting through this collection of anecdotes. Please feel free to send comments, photos or supply your own stories.

Nick Kopp, Delft, The Netherlands

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