We’re not sure whether Bob Dylan ever played Alexandra Palace – we suspect the closest he may have got to was when Alanis Morisette covered a couple of his songs there when the absent reedy-voiced one was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 – but one of those tunes, Subterranean Homesick Blues, provides the inspiration for a rather natty short film ahead of the Ally Pally hosting a round of Rapha’s Super Cross series later this month.
Fans of the artist born as Robert Allen Zimmerman will recognise the nod to the famous film clip in DA Pennebaker’s 1967 documentary, Don’t Look Back, which has inspired homages by everyone from pop parodist Weird Al Jankovic to director Richard Curtis in his film Love, Actually, and now Rapha, too.
Like the original clip, there’s also a cameo appearance too – although instead of beat poet Allen Ginsberg, in Rapha’s version it’s current British cyclocross champion Paul Oldham, while the words appearing on the cue cards reflect not only the racing, but also the party-style atmosphere that Rapha is hoping to encourage among spectators.
As for the credits – the words and pictures on the cards of the Rapha version were done by none other than Richard Mitchelson, best known for his t-shirts and mugs of some of cycling’s biggest legends, as seen in Rouleur. The video itself is directed by Andy Waterman, with Music by Frankie & The Cross-Tastics.
The Alexandra Palace round on Sunday 23rd October will be the third and final leg of the three-race series, with earlier rounds taking place at Windermere and Huddersfield. More details are on the Rapha website. Hopefully you’ll be able to make it along to one of the rounds, and if it’s the one in North London, you’ll have a chance to cheer on road.cc’s own Jo Burt.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.