Intoart Bicycle Tour 2013
Liverpool – Liege – Lille – London
‘L of a bike ride – Solo 1000 mile charity cycle ride across Europe
Ian Ritchie will be cycling 1000 miles solo, across Europe in June – July 2013 to raise money for Intoart artists to travel and research in Europe. Intoart is a small artist-led visual arts organisation working with adults and young people with learning disabilities.
Enthused by the cycling boom that has swept the UK in recent years, Ian will be pedaling a 1000-mile route inspired by cycling prowess and artistic achievement.
‘Intoart is such a fantastic charity, I am always struck by the quality of the artwork made in the Intoart studio and how hard the artists work; these are tough times for small charities so I wanted to show my support by doing something which reflects the endeavor and drive of the artists.
Cycling across Europe will enable me to do this as well as fulfilling some boyhood ambitions.’ Ian Ritchie
Beginning on the same day as the Tour de France, Saturday 29 June 2013, at the iconic Tate Liverpool on the banks of the Mersey, Ian will take in the Marc Chagall exhibition before making his way through Eccleston, the home of Sir Bradley Wiggins – Tour de France and Olympic Gold medal winner 2012. He will then continue on to pick up the Way of the Roses route to York before travelling by ferry from Hull to Belgium and follow the Flanders Cycle Route heading for Ghent, the cycling capital of Europe.
Whilst in Belgium, Ian will visit MADmusée in Liege, a gallery Intoart has a strong relationship with. It was here in 2011 that Intoart artists exhibited internationally as a group for the first time.
In 2012, MADmusée commissioned Intoart artist, Doreen McPherson, to create a portrait of British cycling star, Mark Cavendish for an exhibition that ran alongside the Tour de France.
Other highlights of the trip include: a visit to the LaM Museum in Lille to see Madge Gill works from the L’Aracine collection; stopping off for a beer in Leuven, home of the world’s largest brewing company; and cycling the route of the Paris- Roubaix one-day classic cycle race, in reverse.
Ian will be arriving in Paris with enough time to visit Brancusi’s Studio at the Centre Pompidou before seeing the Tour de France finish on Sunday 21 July in the French capital.
From Paris, Ian will follow the Avenue Verte cycling route to Dieppe and take the ferry to Newhaven. He will then take in Box Hill, part of the Olympic Road Race route, and onwards to London.
Ian will finish his epic 1000 mile ride at the Intoart Studio in Clapham, South London on Saturday 27 of July 2013 where he will share his adventures with the Intoart artists and enjoy a well deserved cup of tea.
It seemed a good idea to ride from Liege to London as a charity event. Since Ian lives near Liverpool and is now retired, it seemed a better idea to just get on his bike and ride from Liverpool via Liege and Lille to London – ‘L of a Bike Ride.
Clifton Wright (Intoart artist) met with Ian to find out more about the ride and you can read the full interview at: www.intoart.org.uk/studio/weblogs/studio/Blog.html.
Text: INTO13 £5 (or your amount) to 70070 (UK only)
While the wind and rain are lashing the UK we are preparing to switch our collective attention away from our sinking Noah’s Ark to mainland Europe for the greatest cycling race in the world…. with the pavé of the Champs Elyse looming in the distance. Some riders will just hope to make it round the last few bone shaking kilometres in one piece while a hardy few who suffered at the back through the mountains will be licking their lips with relish at attempting to take the glorious final stage at an astonishing pace (one particular Manxman springs to mind).
…But lets not get ahead of ourselves, before the cobbles comes an array of stages from the pan flat to the ridiculously steep and impossible mountains that us mere mortals get breathless just gawping at before we attempt to slowly plod up. Most wouldn’t even consider clipping their feet to a bike frame for a pain filled single effort to the cloud covered peaks.
I’m getting prepared to immerse myself in the epic vistas that will appear before my eyes. I’ve treated myself to the new limited edition howies KOM T-Shirt and placed an order for the rest of the set so I can celebrate each stage profile in style. I’m resigned to the fact that I’m never going to win my own yellow, spotty or green jersey… it’s ok really, I’m over it. ;D
So I feel it would be wrong to buy a replica jersey to wear, I’m not keen on being one of those people that buys their favourite teams statically charged ill fitting replica shirt, at least my T-shirt won’t look odd when I’m out and about, it can be worn any time of the year… And as you may have noticed the shopaholic in me is justifying the purchase, my partner would normally respond to such a justification… “I’m sure it was a bargain too!”. I’m comfortable just celebrating the greatness of the tour with my new t-shirt (which was a bargain!), turbo trainer and friends. I like to get some miles in while I’m glued to the action (when time allows), I don’t like the idea of just slobbing while watching TV, I never have, it seems so wrong particularly during a bike race. I get restless legs. I have to ride, and since I’m still not sure if I’ll make it over for some of this years stages I thought I’d get organised, fingers crossed I will be there, I have my bag ready! For some of the weekend stages we’ll gather the gang together for a Tour celebration of food and festivities.
Us Brits are feeling nervously excited as this year could be Wiggo’s, there are so many variables in the Tour de France and I wouldn’t want to jinx it for him but we are quietly confident that he can step on to the podium and hopefully take the top step. We have great pride in Cav’s Rainbow Jersey too which he’ll be sporting in this years Tour, it’s been 46 years since a British rider has done this so it’s turning out to be a fabulous few years for GB riders. It’s been a long time in the making though with a huge amount of blood sweat and tears from the guys. They seem to have adapted well from the huge success of their track days and some of that training and discipline seems to have been brought into their road training.
Obviously we all have our favourite riders and teams from around the world but in the true cycling spirit I get behind all the riders. Friends of mine who don’t watch or take part in cycling really don’t understand this but it’s the way the cycling community is. So good luck all!
Back to my tour preparations… what are your plans this tour?
Le Tour will be available to view on terrestrial TV in the UK on ITV4 daily with Ned Boulting, Chris Boardman, Phil Liggett & Paul Sherwen: www.itv.com/Sport/tourdefrance/
Keep an eye out on iTunes for the ITV4 Tour de France Podcast presented by Matt Rendell, Ned Boulting & Chris Boardman and guests.
For more information on Le Tour visit the official website: www.letour.com/
BBC Radio 5Live for audio coverage: www.bbc.co.uk/5live
I will add more online viewing options and other TV stations from around the world when I stumble across them.