I’d have liked to have left him something more significant, something that dated back to when I first fell in love with cycling and heard his name. Sadly, time and repeated house moves have got rid of practically everything cycling-related I owned in that period. Even if it hadn’t, I’m not sure Tom Simpson was ever quite as tasteless as I was when I was a teenager, and probably wouldn’t have been impressed by a pair of metallic purple, crochet-backed riding gloves.
Still, bringing a bit of the summit down to meet him seems like such an obvious ploy that I expect everyone does it. I hope scientists don’t soon start reporting that Mont Ventoux is getting shorter and fatter. It might end up like Chesil Beach, where removing the stones is now an offence.