Want up to the second coverage of the Tour of Britain? Join the Twitter feed of @RockRacing. This is produced by Rock Racing’s PR man Sean Weide, pictured above.
He lined me up a one-on-one interview with Tyler Hamilton before the start of today’s start of the Tour of Britain in London.
I won’t be embedded with the whole race but it’ll be fun on stage six – that from Darlington to Newcastle-Gateshead – because I’ll be with 20 school-kids, members of the school cycling club which I coach.
One of these kids is Josh, my ten year old son. He was with me in London today. He took a cracking headshot of Tyler:
In fact, there are four of Josh’s shots on this flickr set. The above is my favourite because of Tyler’s bokeh hand.
Some of the first ToB pix are below and there’s a recording of my interview with Tyler. This might have ended in disaster (many people no doubt wish it had, Tyler is hated by many, although precious few of these haters will have read Christopher Campbell’s dissent in the USADA vs Hamilton blood doping case) as my digital tape recorder died the death on me, seconds before I was to start the interview.
I improvised, grabbing my small video camera instead, and filmed Tyler’s chest as I grabbed some audio. The quality isn’t perfect (a generator on a team bus kicked in as I pressed record) but audio can be found here as an MP3 direct-listen or on iTunes. The US champion talked about the special Tour of Britain team kit, and his recent US Championships win, a Phelpsian skin-of-a-pudding kind of victory.
Above, plenty of people were watching the fast and furious finish of the first stage. Petacchi, in his first race after suspension, won by a country mile.
Josh with gold medallist Bradley Wiggins.
Cartoonist Jo Burt with the new British Cycling mascot, drawn by the Mint Sauce creator and seen here much larger than life.
The Rock Racing team – the so-called ‘bad boys’ of the pro peleton – had London-specific kit today, promoting the brand’s appearance in Harrods. For the rest of the Tour the team with sport ToB-specific strips.
‘Fast’ Freddy Rodriguez seen getting on the Tour of Britain specific Fuji machine. This will be available as special edition bike in the bike store concession in Harrods. The team will be in store at the end of the Tour.
That’s the message in this TV advert from State Farm, a US insurance company:
“To save money due to the rising cost of gasoline, a businessman rides his bicycle to work.”
Jim: “Oh, man I’m dead.”
Thanks to Spinopsys who got it from Streetsblog, which has this take on the ad:
The idea flickers across your medial prefrontal cortext, that part of the brain the neuromarketers are always trying to get to, Hey, maybe I could get fit and healthy by biking to work like Jim. For $369 a year and whatever gas money I’d save by not driving I could buy a really nice bike. Until this State Farm ad interrupted the ballgame I was watching on TV, it never even occurred to me that I could bike to the office park.
“Start saving your way.” And thus idea is implanted: I’m going to start saving by biking to work every once in a while. Thanks, State Farm.
Not all ad agencies are anti-bike, pay them and they’ll promote anything. Sometimes they come up with decent, pro-bike ads for their mainstream clients, such as:
I’ve joked about not joining Twitter with David at the Fredcast but I’ve now been worn down.
I shall twitter away using the username ‘carltonreid’.
I’ll likely add links to breaking news on there, stuff from BikeBiz.com and maybe info that I can’t use on any of the sites I edit, but which are still interesting, like US-specific news, which I often shelve.
These two blog posts – twitter-is-your-AP-newswire and twitter-is-paying-my-rent – seem to be the most linked-to articles on why microblogging is in. They’re mentioned in this excellent, how-to-Twitter article that contains tons of further reading links.