Every cycling enthusiastic knows the Tour De France finishes on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Closer to home Ned Boulting’s Bikeology 2016 Tour made its own grand finish at the prestigious settings of The Grand, Clapham Junction last Wednesday, writes Ziad Chaudry.
For the last two months since beginning its own Le Grand Depart stage of Bury St Edmonds, Boulting’s unique cycling theatre show has peddled through thirteen cities and towns around the country before finally reaching the winner’s podium at The Grand which the highly-respected ITV Sport broadcaster light-heartily branded the audience at the South London venue as ‘The 600 members of the metropolitan liberal elite Bikeology Tour community’.
Throughout this highly-entertaining evening Lewisham-based Boulting, who is ITV’s main cycling commentator and darts/football roving-reporter, spoke all things cycling from its historic beginning to the present day happenings of the Tour De France in an informative and somewhat humoristic way.
Peddle-crazy Boulting was eager to take and share his cycling stories and knowledge to the theatre stage: “It’s just the time was right because stuff like this exists,” he said. “There are theatre shows which relates to football, rugby league and cricket.
“The feeling was that sooner or later someone would do a show about cycling and turn it into an evening like this and it might as well be me.
“So this time last year I was trying to write it which is quite a hard thing to do because you’ve got no idea what works and what doesn’t until you get up on stage.
“I am still, despite the fact I have been doing this for a long time, absolutely mad about it. And you can’t really do a show like that unless it is genuine. In kind of I feel genuine about it, I do really care about the sport and it comes quite easy to you first if that fundamental is in place and you’re not putting it on because it’s really what you believe, then the rest follows on that point I think I hope.”
And Boulting is delighted with success of his first tour and is looking forward to doing another Bikeology next year: “Three or four of the venues were completely sold out,” he continued. “Overall it was about 80% full so for a first tour I was really pleased with because as like I said in the beginning of the show no one has tried this before.
“It was a bit of a risk but it kind of paid off and I’m going to do it again next year. Hopefully I will come back bigger and better next year.”