Column by Graham Chalmers
The Banff Mountain Film Festival is always the most exciting cinematic experience of the year in my book.
This year’s show in the Royal Hall last week saw 900 people gather to watch incredibly-filmed movies of incredible real-life adventures from around the globe.
There I sat feeling less than rugged watching short films about walkers and climbers and runners and skiers and bikers and fliers doing the sort of dangerous things I would never dream of attempting.
Looking around, I got the feeling that most of the audience felt the same way, even the ones brave enough to attend the screening in their cycling shorts.
The evening certainly opened my eyes to what is possible with a bit of skill, a lot of determination and the occasional piece of death-defying luck.
I left feeling emotional, uplifted, inspired, even, then went straight home, turned on the television and stretched out on the couch.
Is it possible for lightning to strike twice was the thought going round my head as I enjoyed a coffee earlier this week with one of the borough council officers behind the forthcoming Big Bike Bash.
This bid in late June to recapture the spirit of last year’s Grand Depart will enable keen cyclists to ride on part of the same route which saw Mark Cavendish’s hopes of glory crash and burn last year.
As for those not so keen on the cycling, the council officer kindly showed me the spot on West Park where a new version of the popular Fan Park will be sited with food and drink stalls, a giant screen and live music.
I suppose I should have expressed some skepticism. Afterall, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish aren’t actually coming this year.
Then I remembered the last two events he’d been involved in organising: the Olympic Torch procession and the Grand Depart.