We did the Première Manche - the first round - of A Travers riding across France from Dieppe to Marseille in the summer of 2009, and it was the original inspiration for this blog. The plan to put the 'band back together again' for another go in 2013 for the second installment fell on stoney ground, with life just getting in the way for too many of us, much to our disappointment. However, our enthusiasm for the bike remains undimmed, and so I'll keep posting my thoughts on the diverse and beautiful facets of the sport regardless. But there's bound to be another big 'adventure ride' coming soon - quite possibly in Italy - so potentially a name change too: Attraverso l'Italia in Bicicletta anyone?

Thursday, 21 June 2012

One To Treasure: Autographed Livre d'Or 1987

Even the man's signature shows his fun-loving side:

Right - Get that on eBay, pronto!!
I met Roche in Valloire in July 1996, in a blowing gale and single-digit temperatures as riders were ferried to an alternative start for the shortened stage to Sestrieres. His signature with the doodle of the bike was the same back then, and is a humourous indicator of how much he still loves cycling. You only have to chat with him for a moment to realise that he's not only a true professional who was one of the best in the world at his chosen sport, but that it was always so much more than just a job for him. His continued affection for cycling is obvious, and I'm delighted to report, highly contagious.