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