Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bookstore Ride ... With Video!

Take an ordinary errand, and make it something special -- that's what a bicycle does so perfectly, especially when that errand is to visit a wonderful bookstore.

Here's a video I created of my ride to from Cambridge to Newtonville Books in Newton, Massachusetts.  I shot the video with my GoPro camera and iPhone7, and then I edited it in GoPro Studio.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

2017 Tour de France Stage 11 & 12 Watercolors

For an overview of my Tour de France watercolor project, click here.

Sunflowers!  I wait for them every year, and then there they are!  Whole fields of them, like in lovely Stage 11 from Eymet to Pau, as the race made its way toward the Pyrenees.


By the time the Tour reached the last 100 kilometers of Stage 12, we were high into the Pyrenean Mountains, with heavy fog enveloping the riders.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

2017 Tour de France Stage 9 & 10 Watercolors

For an overview of my Tour de France watercolor project, click here.

My Stage 9 watercolor was inspired by the mountains and vineyards of the Jura region.


From there, the Tour took a rest day as it traveled west to Perigueux to begin one of the most magical stages of the tour.  Commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen said that this route through the Dordogne passed by 52 castles!  The scenery was nothing short of spectacular.  Here's my Stage 10 watercolor:

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

2017 Tour de France Stage 7 & 8 Watercolors

For an overview of my Tour de France watercolor project, click here.

Choosing a castle as a Tour de France watercolor subject is simply a question of "which one"!  There are so many beautiful chateaux in the French countryside.  Here, in my Stage 7 painting (my only watercolor with no cyclists included) I chose a beautiful very old hilltop castle ruin.


My Stage 8 watercolor is at the top of the Cote de la Combe de Laisia Les Moilunes, where French rider Lilian Calmejane rode away from the peloton for a solo thrilling finish.


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Sunday, August 6, 2017

2017 Tour de France Stage 5 & 6 Watercolors

For an overview of my Tour de France watercolor project, click here.

My stage 5 watercolor was inspired by the start of the La Planche des Belles Filles climb.  I always love seeing the polka-dot banners that announce each climb's start.  We celebrate the summits of Tour de France climbs for all the excitement they bring.  But every great climb also has a beginning.  More often than not, that beginning is just an ordinary spot on the road, made extraordinary by the Tour.


My Stage 6 watercolor is of one of the many lovely stone bridges the Tour crosses every year.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

2017 Tour de France Stage 3 & 4 Watercolors

For an overview of my 2017 Tour de France watercolor project, go here.

The Tour entered France for the first time on Stage 3, passing through the beautiful villages of Belgium and Luxembourg along the way.  Here's my watercolor:


And then there was Stage 4.  I suppose in retrospect all other stories of this beautiful stage were overshadowed by Peter Sagan's eventual ejection from the Tour.  But my watercolor depicts Guillaume Van Keirsbulck's unintentional lone breakaway, when he took off at the start of the race and -- to his surprise -- no one went with him!  Seeing that happen, some riders would have simply fallen back into the peloton.  But not Van Keirsbulck!  He just kept going.  After establishing a 13 minute advantage, the numbers on the yellow chalkboard started getting smaller and smaller as the seconds between him and the peloton decreased.  Van Keirsbulck was caught 16.5 km before the finish line, but he survived out front for 191 kilometers, was given the red number award for being the most aggressive rider of the day, and he had plenty of TV time in front of happy sponsors, friends, and family.  Totally worth it, I'd say.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

2017 Tour de France Stage 1 & 2 Watercolors

For an overview of my Tour de France watercolor project, check out this post.

Here is my Stage 1 watercolor, full of the rain that filled the skies during the opening time trial in Dusseldorf, Germany:


Here's my Stage 2 watercolor, showing the beautiful fields between Dusseldorf, Germany and Liege, Belgium: