A view from the top.
21 Days of Cycling Art at the Tour de France was an idea I had a few years ago and I was finally able to make it happen in 2017 and 2018. Both years have been a tremendous success for me personally and professionally.
From the very start I knew the idea was a winner. I’d never heard of any other artist doing it, going to every stage and drawing live from the side of the road, that was just crazy. In the beginning I had grandiose visions of getting great sponsors to pay the way as I bestowed great works of art on them as I chased the peloton. The reality was a wee bit less than that. Me, my driver Keith and a Dutchie named Harm Job drinking and driving our way across France in a Motorhome, no sponsors, no agenda but my own — what a glorious time we had. In 2017 we touched 20 of the 21 Stages. I was exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. We saw so much, did so much and surely drank so much. But I sold almost every drawing, bumped up my social and had a Tour de France victory under my belt.
In 2018 I took a different tact. Just me and my friend Bender as a driver. But this time we took our bikes with us. So along with getting to 17 of 21 stages we rode 500 miles in July, in France. With 31,000 feet of climbing that included Alpe d’Huez, The Col du Tourmalet and two sectors of cobbles in Roubaix, and the Velodrome. Along with drawing every day and selling work Gary and I were dialed in and having a blast. I’m no longer a rookie, I’m a Tour veteran.
They say every Tour de France is different, it certainly was for me and I’ll never forget the experiences. But now what, where do I go from here?
Coming off the mountain.
Anyone that travels for business understands the re-entry process when they get home. How do you just fall back into the routine of daily work and life after a big trip. Especially after four weeks in France at the Tour. Four weeks of intense, focused work and hard play in the land of amazing foods and sights. Let me say it isn’t easy.
For a flat lander like me, going up the mountain is hard, coming down is even more difficult. So as I descend the mountain called The Tour de France I’m on my brakes all the way. I’m back in the daily routine of life, going to the gym, riding, drawing and selling my work. It’s not as fast paced as France, it’s not as glamorous. But it is certainly sustainable and an amazing way to go through life. I’m a very fortunate person connecting my passions and earning a living along the way.
Will there be another Tour de France in my future?
Who knows. Maybe the Tour of California. Maybe the Tour of Yorkshire or a week at the Spring Classics. Never say never. I do know this, the experience of being on the ground during the greatest bicycle race on earth can not be duplicated anywhere. And going to live events will continue to be in my plans you can count on that. There is no replacement for the experience of bearing witness as history is made.
My bike can take me everywhere. But my pen can take me anywhere.
Thank you for following and for your support. M