It’s a long weekend so two Sommets for the weekend. Both deserve their own stand alone piece but, just like the cycling calendar at this time of year, good things overlap. We are in the midst of La Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and the Flandrian Classics season.
So, in La Volta Ciclista corner; Volata. A Barcelona based Spanish language, global looking cycling culture magazine. I am biased as I am friends with the people behind it and many of the contributors, but it is superb. To simplify it, think Rouleur Magazine in Spanish. Not quite true, but it gives a reference point of sorts. Road, cross..cycling; each Volata has a very strong narrative, from Dan Martin to Francesco Moser, from Wiggo and London to the cycling and the Spanish Civil War. Fabulous images, illustrations and poetic, creative, incisive – always fabulous – writing.
If you aren’t blessed with the Spanish tongue, the images and illustrations are worthy on their own. For Spanish speakers, it’s superb. If you are learning Spanish, it’s great. Learning while reading about fascinating cycling related stories. All on high quality paper, coffee table stuff. If you are Stelvio (the cat) it’s apparently nice quality paper to chew…
And the Flandrian Classics corner is represented by; Flandrien by Stephan Vanfleteren. A beautiful little hard back book all about the Flandrien cycling culture and landscape. From the old ladies to the muddied Pro’s, the urban streets to the local clubs. The cobbles to Muurs and Bergs. The images are truly stunning. Peacefully powerful, no words are needed to explain the stories they tell and none are given. Every image could be worthy of a large print on any wall, I find myself lingering for longer than I expected each time I pick it up, dreaming of Flanders and wishing I could shoot so well. And it is put together as beautifully as the images and subject deserve. A timeless book which I was very lucky to receive as a 40th birthday gift.
Coffee, chocolate Easter eggs, La Volta, E3, Gent Wevelgem and these two bits of paper goodness. Hardly time to go for a ride in the Spring sunshine. Happy Easter all.