Friday, 19 June 2015

The Weigh-In

I am currently dipping in and out of a book called The Tour de France - to the bitter end. I am also watching a lot of cycling, and doing a lot of cycling.

In the book, there is an interview with Sir Bradley Wiggins from 2009. He spoke of some of the difficulties he faced swapping track cycling for road racing and grand tours - weight loss, illness and team tactics among them.

When Chris Froome produced an exceptionally powerful performance in the final stage of the Criterium du Dauphine last week it brought Wiggins' words to mind. Such strength shown by so slender an athlete. It also brought me back to my biggest ride to date which was at the Tour de Yorkshire sportive. I appeared to lose an enormous amount of weight in one day, much to the concern of my family.

You can read my musings here >

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Goodbye to The Upright

Just before Christmas, I was invited to become the editor of a sports site called The Upright which was aiming to do something a little different.

The site featured a host of talented writers telling stories about sport. The idea was that there was to be no breaking news or transfer gossip - but also no word limits. No sport was excluded. Neither was fiction.

We took flights of fancy through Basketball, Cricket, Football, Gaelic Games, Cycling, Rugby - you name it. Sporting culture and science were discussed and book reviews offered.

Although long-form writing was preferred, we also trialled "flash features" - sporting moments described in 300 words or less. Later, "flash fiction" appeared on a similar basis. If it was sports-related, we considered featuring it.

The real quirk with The Upright, though, was its weekly publishing burst. We aimed to be part of your Sunday morning reading.

It was really rather good.

Sadly, all good things come to an end. What we believed were the site's stand-out points and strengths were also weaknesses. Without gossip and breaking news, and with a weekly publishing schedule it was difficult to gain traction.

I'd like to say thanks to all who contributed - it was a pleasure to read and edit your words.

Before it disappears, please do take a look.