“A bicycle, certainly, but not the bicycle,” said he. “I am familiar with forty-two different impressions left by tyres. This, as you perceive, is a Dunlop, with a patch upon the outer cover.”*
Giro d’Italia 9 – 11 May 2014
The Giro d’Italia is one of the cycling world’s elite and iconic events; commanding a huge worldwide audience of 775 million. This year Northern Ireland has been chosen to hold the ‘Big Start’ – a four day celebration of elite professional cycling, with three competition stages, visiting Belfast, the Causeway Coast Coastal route and Armagh, before moving on to Dublin.
There are two adventures in the Canon in which cycling plays a significant role. Coincidently (?) one story followed the other one in publishing sequence (110 years ago). ‘The Solitary Cyclist’ was first published in The Strand Magazine in January 1904 (it had appeared in Collier’s Weekly magazine in the U.S.A. the previous month). ‘The Priory School’ appeared in The Strand Magazine in February 1904 (Collier’s Weekly magazine in the U.S.A. in January 1904).
What is perhaps of particular significance to those of here in Belfast is the strong local connection (we always like one of those!) to the Dunlop tyre mentioned in the latter story. There is an official Blue Plaque commemorating its inventor, John Boyd Dunlop, in May Street, Belfast. We’ll be investigating both these stories as part of our ongoing studies in The Return of Sherlock Holmes series later in 2014.
We’ve also noted a reference in ‘The Valley of Fear’ (Ted Baldwin’s machine was a Rudge-Whitworth) but were left wondering if there are nods to cycling in any of the other stories. ‘The Valley of Fear’ commenced serialisation in The Strand Magazine in September 1914. We will, of course, be marking the occasion of this publication centenary at our RSS in September 2014 (the first Sailing of the new Season).
For those who want to delve deeper into the background of ‘The Solitary Cyclist’, this article is worth reading.
Outside of the Canon, it has been suggested that a cyclist played a part in ensuring Sherlock’s survival in the finale of BBC Sherlock Series 2.
Gatiss confirms there’ll no more Sherlock for two years. Happy? Sad?
On 13 March 2014, CBS announced that they would be renewing Elementary for another season.
The following links include references to episodes not shown in the UK/Ireland yet so there will, inevitably, be spoilers.
“Ineffable twaddle” Spot
Could Conan Doyle sell his Sherlock Holmes today? Is this a sheer waste of words? Agree? Disagree?
Six of the Best?
We’re sorry to learn that The Ideal of Holmes: The Many Representations of Sherlock, a 5 week course which was due to start on 12 May at Queen’s University Belfast, has been withdrawn.
Talking of QUB, the Data Analytics Group there has embraced one of Holmes’ best known quotes.
BAFTA Audience Award 2014
Six candidates to choose from but no Sherlock in this year’s Awards. Voting closes on 15 March in the only BAFTA category in which the public can have a say. Vote here.
Viacom to buy Channel 5
Viacom, the US media company, whose interests include MTV, is buying Channel 5. Channel 5 premiered Sherlock: The First CSI in the UK (an edited version of a documentary which originally aired on the National Geographic channel) in February 2014.
And Not Forgetting