The Highway Cello

Highway Cello
The Full Story

Here is the full Highway Cello Blog, from the beginning.  So if you want you can read every post – forwards or backwards.  And you can search for places, or keywords, or just make a list of all the mistakes that can be made by a cellist on a bicycle.

And if you think there might be a book to be made out of all this, well, yes, I hope there might be.  Then you can say you read it here first. Thanks for reading it!

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Blog Timeline

July 28, 2022
One of the great things about being home is that you can get back to proper practice – lots of scales – which I wasn’t…
July 28, 2022
July 16, 2022
According to the screen we are travelling at 249kph, which I calculate is 155mph, about twelve times as fast as I would normally go on…
July 16, 2022
July 9, 2022
“Is this the first time you play at the Pantheon?”  The question was aggressive.  The questioner wasn’t wearing a uniform, but he had a large…
July 9, 2022
July 5, 2022
It’s 27 miles to Rome.  If the weather had been different – which I think it sometimes must be, unless all these roadsigns warning of…
July 5, 2022
July 4, 2022
I smell like the Devil.  Literally.  It’s nothing to do with the heat – though more of that later.  It’s a real and strong smell…
July 4, 2022
July 3, 2022
There’s a Conservatory of Music in Siena, along with all the better-known things like Duomos and Palazzos.  The young men studying my performance with critical…
July 3, 2022
July 2, 2022
This is what I imagined Italy would be like – turn up in a beautiful square, play for a while, and earn enough for lunch,…
July 2, 2022
June 30, 2022
Luca the rugby player was as good as his word.  A couple of hours later he returned.  He brought a present with him – a…
June 30, 2022
June 29, 2022
I’m a short way down the hill from Norma and Marco’s lovely house in the hills above Genova, when someone calls my name.  It’s such…
June 29, 2022
June 28, 2022
I’m sitting in the shade of a prolific climber, on one side of a beautiful square in Asti.  Yes, where the Spumanti comes from. It’s…
June 28, 2022
June 27, 2022
Another day, another col.  The Col Mont Cenis is not such a big one, but none of these cols can be treated like a walk…
June 27, 2022
June 25, 2022
Yesterday was the first day Libre, my wonderful black beautiful carbon-fibre cello, didn’t come out of her case.  She didn’t like Val d’Isere any more…
June 25, 2022
June 24, 2022
I feel in remarkably good shape after yesterday’s 6000ft of climbing, and two hours of music.  I think the day of rest before it must…
June 24, 2022
June 23, 2022
I didn’t sleep very well.  I was worried about the day’s climbing, which I calculated to be 6000ft. You need a strategy.  I know, of…
June 23, 2022
June 22, 2022
There’s the exhaustion of two days’ hot and hilly riding ( I’ve climbed 8000ft altogether over the last two days).  And there’s the accumulated exhaustion…
June 22, 2022
June 22, 2022
Serge sent me off early with a very good breakfast.  There’s a long way to go, and a couple of big hills early on.   The…
June 22, 2022
June 20, 2022
Given a choice between a 40mph headwind and a long slog uphill, I’m going to choose the hill.  Every time. So after yesterday’s wind, today…
June 20, 2022
June 20, 2022
Yesterday (I’m writing this in the morning, having gone straight to bed last night) was a day to forget. Hot and strong from the south,…
June 20, 2022
June 17, 2022
I misled you yesterday, when I wrote about the Marne Canal.  I left that behind the day before – yesterday’s canal was the descriptively named…
June 17, 2022
June 17, 2022
Today is a real holiday.  I’m cycling slowly along the canal which goes nearly all the way from Chaumont to Langres, counting the herons, and…
June 17, 2022
June 14, 2022
I’m not in Aix, obviously, that’s way down south, and I’m only just entering Champagne country.  But I think that may be where this wind…
June 14, 2022
June 14, 2022
French pronunciation can be tricky.  It’s sixty miles to Reims if you go straight, and I’ve nowhere to stay when I get there, so today…
June 14, 2022
June 13, 2022
It’s warm in the sun, and cool in the shade.  The Roman road goes straight and true, through fields of potatoes, maize, beet, and oats,…
June 13, 2022
June 11, 2022
I had to prove my bona fides as a pilgrim today.  We’re talking the Roman Catholic Church here, so there’s no harm in a bit…
June 11, 2022
June 8, 2022
From here there’s a proper pilgrim route to Rome, the Via Francigena.  So everyone understands the concept of an arduous journey South to the Mother…
June 8, 2022
June 7, 2022
You can guage the age of an oak tree, by measuring its girth.  The Woodland Trust has a handy table on its website.  That’s how…
June 7, 2022
June 4, 2022
Next to Her Majesty I had to get up early after the Jubilee Madeira.  Rutherfords Punting had heard about my river adventure, and wanted to…
June 4, 2022
June 3, 2022
There are ups and downs on this journey – though not of course on the roads and paths here in Cambridge, where the biggest hill…
June 3, 2022
May 31, 2022
So this is what a Roman road looks like?  “What have the Romans ever done for us?” seems like a very reasonable question just now. …
May 31, 2022
May 31, 2022
I was brought up not to wear a hat in church, so wheeling a bicycle across the beautifully tiled floor of All Saints Gainsborough felt…
May 31, 2022
May 28, 2022
Blown away Literally.  I was blown off the bike.  Over the top of the Yorkshire Dales the wind was – I’m guessing – 60mph.  Later,…
May 28, 2022
May 19, 2022
Meet my friend Steve.  I met him at the very beginning of this adventure, and he has an adventure of his own to tell. When I…
May 19, 2022
May 7, 2022
Last Monday was Mayday bank holiday, and it didn’t snow, or even rain.  I thought I’d better do a full day of cycling, since I’m…
May 7, 2022
April 30, 2022
Cyclists are interested in numbers – every bit as much as accountants are. The numbers, of course, don’t lie. How many miles have you ridden…
April 30, 2022
April 22, 2022
I’ve been writing poetry, instead of getting on with the serious business of fitness training. Maybe it’s a kind of displacement activity, but I’ve been…
April 22, 2022
February 13, 2022
3½ months since this mad venture assaulted my mind.  3½ months until I have to pack my cello onto the little trailer, and set off. …
February 13, 2022
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