Has watching the Tour de France inspired you to try some of the iconic climbs that the pros race up almost effortlessly? Maybe you've already attempted some of the better known ascents such as Alpe d'Huez and the Tourmalet? Tomorrow sees the publication of The Cyclist's Bucket List - A Road Bike Journal - a beautifully illustrated notebook with ideas to inspire you - from the Etape du Tour to climbing the Col de Aubisque - and challenges such as taking part in a bunch sprint.
If you're a keen road cyclist, you can't help but adore this faux leather journal which contains 30 illustrations by Ride Velo's favourite artist, Eliza Southwood. The book also has 115 blank pages for cycling notes and a tick list at the back for marking off the challenges as they're achieved. The only trouble is, it's almost too aesthetically pleasing to spoil by writing in!
There are several whole page images which are simply stunning, such as for the Tour of Flanders sportive and Mont Ventoux. They are actually worthy of removing from the book entirely and framing as it seems a shame to keep them hidden away between the covers. But then that would spoil the little print cartoons on the remaining pages - from the elegant velodrome rider to the humorous "owned more wheels than was strictly necessary" page.
We like the subtle humour hidden in the pages of this volume: "have you ever... concealed cycling expenditure from your partner?" It's also good to see female cyclists depicted on these pages - the Road Bike Journal is not only for MAMILS!
Eliza Southwood herself is a keen cyclist and owns several different types of bikes. She and her husband love watching pro cycling and her passion for, and understanding of the sport, really shine through as you turn the pages. She specialises in silk screen printing but also works in mixed media, watercolour and acrylic. The simplicity of her illustrations also reveal her craft and skill at depicting bicycles and their riders - anyone who has ever tried to draw someone riding a bike will know how difficult it is!
The Cyclist's Bucket List is published by Laurence King priced at £12.95 and would make a fantastic gift for any road cyclist.