NEWS on PopPhoto.com…
Whatever next? Check out this article, in which a campervan is being used to teach photography!
As many of you will know by now, the book is an adaptation of the Campervan Capers blog entries from 2011, which I wanted to publish for free in a handy eBook format.
Now, I know the word ‘eBook’ will send shivers down the spine of a few folk who still haven’t got an eReader (ironically, you can count me in!), so it might come as a surprise to know that my publisher, Smashwords, offers all my work in formats not only for eReaders – like the Kindle & iPad – but also in formats for home printing – eg PDF – and reading on your computer screen.
Why release the Campervan Capers blog entries in book format? you may be wondering. Well, although the blog is free to read for anyone with a computer or other internet-enabled device, publishing as an eBook will open our travel stories up to a-whole-nother audience. In fact, since the publication date, only a few days ago, I’m amazed to see that the new book has already been downloaded 32 times!
For those who are new to this blog, it’s worth mentioning here that there’s also an original Campervan Capers book and, as with the blog/sequel, the stories follow me & my partner, Steve, as we embark on various mini adventures in our campervan. My aim is to write in a style which is both light-hearted and practical, so as to entertain as well as pass on tips we’ve picked up along the way.
Now, I hope you’ll all forgive me for publishing Campervan Capers 2 slightly later than anticipated – my excuse being that I’ve been putting together more photos of our travels on Flickr and short videos for the Campervan Capers books on my new YouTube channel.
WHAT TO DO NEXT?
Well, why not visit my Smashwords Author page direct, where all my published works are listed. Some, like Campervan Capers 2 and The Welsh Leek Conspiracy (adapted from the original Campervan Capers book), are free. And you can sample 20-30% of the rest for free, too.
Alternatively, you can go to my Foley’s Forum website, where there’s information on all my books as well as a whole load of other free-to-view stuff such as short stories, articles, poetry & photography.
Did you read the recent blog about the Smashwords Summer Sale? If not, just click the link to find out how to get discounts on all my books for the entire month of July!
Steve’s still doing a fair bit of cycle training at this time of year, but I haven’t given up hope of pinning him down at some point to write something for the next Steve’s Cycle Shorts. Once I do that, you can rest assured you’ll be reading about our latest trip up north in ‘Old Bessie’ (as Steve calls our campervan)…
In the meantime, if you missed the last Tour of Flanders blog, along with a ‘words & pictures’ video treat, then why not click the link to check it out?
As ever, I remind readers that, if you’d like to be kept informed of the latest news & offers, why not subscribe to the blog to automatically receive an email whenever new posts appear – thus saving you the hassle of checking for updates?
Hope you enjoy reading!
Back in March, you’ll remember that we went Bimblin’ Round Belgium in our campervan for a few weeks. After visiting the French-speaking south of the country, we ventured on up to the Flemish-speaking north to check out the Tour of Flanders – and, of course, a trip to the national cycling museum in Roeselare was a must.
The Wielermuseum‘s displays opened with the evolution of the bike, so we started off feeling as though we were walking through time, seeing the amazing changes in cycle innovations which have come & gone – and all within the short space of only about a century. Most of the information was displayed in English as well as French & Flemish (in essence, Dutch) and everything was set out in a professional yet delightfully-simple way.
The first bicycle, the Loopfiets (aka ‘hobby horse’ or ‘running machine’) had rock solid wheels, as did all the earlier bikes. These might not have been quite as hard as the kind you’d find on The Flintstones, but I’m sure riders must have breathed a sigh of relief when the rubber and pneumatic tyres finally came in.
The Macmillan had a treadle-type setup to power you along. Whilst it looked good, the design wasn’t the best, since your pedalling feet were likely to get caught in the front wheel when it was turned. To me, the highlights were the four-seater ‘tandem’, the bike with a shaft-drive, and a two-seater contraption where riders sat side by side. Try keeping your balance on that!
Still, you can’t beat actually experiencing what it must have been like riding one of these old bikes, so hopping onto the museum’s fixed Penny Farthing (no safety harness provided!) was a treat. Press a button and your photo is taken as you pedal, then it’s posted online for you to view later (click here to see mine if you want a laugh).
At the back of the building was an impressive bicycle workshop, the contents of which were donated to the museum by the Hallaert family, famous for Belgian frame- and saddle-building.
Moving along, there were many inspiring exhibits of past Belgian cycling champions – including, of course, Eddy Merckx. There was old footage of famous rides, cycling magazines, trophies; and many champions had also donated their winners’ jerseys and old bikes (probably would’ve ended up in landfill otherwise anyway).
Jean-Pierre Monséré (affectionately nicknamed Jempi), the famous Belgian rider who died in a head-on collision with a car, had a whole section dedicated to his life, and bits of his shattered bike were even on display.
The finale of the tour was a jukebox with music linked to cycling (eg Tour de France by Kraftwerk). We discovered that several of the past Belgian cyclists have clubbed together to release their own brand of cycling songs. And as we went to have lunch back at the camper, parked only a stone’s throw from the museum, we were regaled with more Flemish cycling tunes booming from a speaker at the museum. They reminded us a bit of bloky British football songs. I’m sure they were meant to be inspiring, but if you ask me, I reckon the guys would be better off sticking to their cycling – ‘cos they sure ain’t gonna win any medals at singing!
WHEELY GOOD VALUE
My trusty Cycling Widow, Alannah, accompanied me around the exhibits and was surprised that the three hours we spent there had gone so quickly. She hadn’t got bored once (at least that’s what she told me) – so it just goes to prove you don’t have to be a complete cycling nut to appreciate what’s on offer. The staff at the Wielermuseum were most helpful (and spoke better English than we did Dutch) and, at a mere five euros, we thought the entrance fee was excellent value.
The following day was the Tour of Flanders race, and you can look forward to my next blog where I tell you all about our escapades there… So tune in next time, or sign up to the blog to receive it automatically via email.
And there’s more…
If you’ve been following Steve’s Cycle Shorts for a while, you’ll probably already know that Alannah has written a book called Cycling Widows, but did you know she’s now released her Campervan Capers book? It’s a light-hearted yet practical travel tale about our first year in the campervan.
All downloads are in a wide range of formats – for eReaders, screen reading or home printing.
Campervan Capers 2 will shortly be on its way to the publication mill, too. This will be an adaptation of the Campervan Capers blog entries in 2011 and will be available as a handy, free eBook, also in various formats. So whether you have an eReader or prefer to print stuff off to read, there’ll be a format for you!
As always, all info about Alannah’s writing & photography are on the Foley’s Forum website, where there’s plenty of stuff that’s free to view.
And if you’d like us to keep you posted about more news & offers, or to hear when new blogs come out, feel free to sign up to the blog (in the panel on the right).
Are you one of those folk who’ve enjoyed the photos on the Campervan Capers blog?
Since starting the blog last year, I’ve had several comments from readers saying they’ve enjoyed the photos that accompany our stories…
So I’ve decided to put together a brand new section with a selection of our travel photos, presented as collages. Click the link to see the new Photo Tab on the blog.
If the collages leave you wanting more, then you can always check out the Campervan Capers photos on Flickr. These illustrate the stories in the Campervan Capers blog as well as my recently-published Campervan Capers book, and more will be added as time goes on.
In addition, I’ve released The Welsh Leek Conspiracy, a light-hearted travel tale adapted from the book, as a free download.
All my work is available on Smashwords in a variety of digital formats – for eReaders, home printing or computer screen reading. For more info, visit my Smashwords Author Page or the Foley’s Forum website.
HOPE YOU ENJOY THE PHOTOS!