i've just had a wee scrabble through the archivepost page where it tells me and allows you to read every washingmachinepost that i've had the nerve to place on the server. and, surprisingly to me, because i don't tend to check this very often, the first online post was in november 1987. for those of you with as little ability in the mental arithmetic department as myself, that's over five years ago. and yet only a couple of weeks ago, the comic launched its own website at www.cyclingweekly.co.uk and while i wouldn't even begin to compare the standard of the post with that of the comic's web offering (you can't sign up for a weekly newsletter on the post - don't even think of mentioning it) and you can't take part in any online surveys. actually, neither can i, since every time i click the relevant button, their cgi server returns an error. still, it's probably running on a windows server.
but enough of the tech talk, what i'd like to know is why it has taken the uk's premier weekly cycling magazine so cotton pickin' long to get themselves a website. and likewise, cycle sport magazine which emanates from the same publishing people at ipc. heck, when procycling launched about two years or so ago, they had a website before they actually had a magazine. plus, procycling had a sign up for a daily newsletter which still wends its way through my pop server and keeps me up to date with what cipollini has or hasn't said since yesterday.
but the cream of cycling websites has to be cyclingnews.com, which is everything you ever wanted and then some. this site gives results and reports on races most of us have never heard of along with diaries by top riders, reviews and photos of top pro bikes as well as book reviews, gear reviews, team presentations, transfer news - heck everything. in fact it's just like thewashingmachinepost - well, sort of.
anyway, since cycling has become far more of an international commodity, both due to lance's seeming invincibility during three weeks of the year, and the necessity for sponsors to access new markets. and because all these races are going on all over the world (langkawi at the moment, as well as the etoile de besseges) and over a variety of time zones, it becomes more difficult for the regular printed press to keep up.
as far as i know, the print deadline for the comic is on a tuesday, so anything that happens after that deadline has to wait until the following week or issue. who can wait that long? fortunately we have cyclingnews.com, but that means that the comic has taken its eye off the derailleur for perhaps too long. if you can read reports and results along with some excellent photography (and remember, there's no limit to the number of pics you can put on a website, as opposed to the number that can be crammed into a page) on a daily basis, isn't there the chance that you might find it excessive to fork out a couple of pounds every week for a magazine as well as the unbelievable fortune i spend on the monthlies. and just by way of a minor digression, both procycling and cycle sport sport 'exclusive' interviews with jan ullrich. i like to read interviews with top riders, and i'm not even bothered that both magazines interview the same guy, but why is it necessary to slump to the tabloid level of announcing the interview as exclusive? ullrich held a press day and a queue of journalists lined up to interview. surely the guys from cycle sport must recognise the guys from procycling, in which case they would have known it wasn't exclusive - or am i just being bitchy?
anyway, for those of you out in the wide world who have never experienced the joy of every thursday, walking very quickly (not so as to alert the civilians - non-cyclists - in the village) down to the newsagents eager to find this week's copy of the comic safely huddled inside the guardian, you can now log on to cyclingweekly.co.uk and grab at least a taste of what us lucky blighters in the uk can have. ok, so it doesn't have the eminently perusable classified ads at the back (colnago 50th anniversary with 24ct gold plated campag record groupset and hyperon wheels. never ridden. cost 6500 - 750 for quick sale - ok, i made that one up, but i've read enough ads similar to this one to make we wonder why it is that someone would by a frighteningly expensive bike, never even ride it, then sell it for half the price they bought it for. or am i missing something?)
there is an article in the history section that does what it says on the hyperlink - tells you the history of cycling weekly, but if they want to keep their future bright, they will have to develop the site very quickly to remain in the big picture. i don't think i could survive a week without the comic, but i hope the site develops to the point where it becomes an equal complement to the printed word.
and already i have downloaded a wallpaper picture for the powerbook that allows me to watch the peloton climbing the col du lauteret in last year's tour while typing this week's post. can't say fairer than that.
this website got its name because scotland's graeme obree built his championship winning 'old faithful' using bits from a defunct washing machine.
on a slightly different note, my regular reader will have noted the addition of a 'colnago c40' rollover to the left. this contains a reprint of a recent article featured in cycle sport magazine, which they were very kind to let me present here (because i'm a colnago geek) i have also found an excellent review of the colnago c40hp here
i have been asked to add the following link to the post by wheelygoodcause. they're a cycling club dedicated to arranging epic rides for charity and do not charge charities for the pleasure. They ride because they want to. here's the link.
Remember, you can still read the review of 'the dancing chain' the utterly excellent book on the history of the derailleur bicycle by clicking here
any of the books reviewed on the washing machine post can probably be purchased from amazon.co.uk or amazon.com
as always, if you have any comments on this nonsense, please feel free to e-mail and thanks for reading.
this column almost never appears in the dead tree version of the ileach but appears, regular as clockwork on this website every two weeks. (ok so i lied) sometimes there are bits added in between times, but it all adds to the excitement.
on a completely unrelated topic, ie nothing to do with bicycles, every aspect of the washing machine post was created on apple macintosh powerbook g4, and imac computers, using adobe golive cs and adobe photoshop cs. needless to say it is also best viewed on an apple macintosh computer.