The Knowledge: Ben O’Connor on appreciating the details

Reading is a big part of my life. I am a massive Tolkien fan. The films not so much, but definitely all the books. Normally, I will talk a lot, but I enjoy my self time too, sitting in a meadow or wherever it may be. 

I grew up in Perth, where it is dry and hot, and we went to the UK on holidays when I was younger – my parents are from Liverpool. Go north to the Lake District, or south to the Cotswolds, and it is green and lush and beautiful.

Facts and figures fascinate me. A lot of people love drinking wine, but I look it up and do research too. And watches. Like this one, for instance. It’s a 1969 IWC, a beautiful watch. It’s not shouty, you wouldn’t notice it, but I do. It’s all in the little details.

I devour every page of the race road books. Every single stage, the profiles, what the descents look like, the finishes. I research like crazy. There is never an issue, ever. And I spend an awful lot of time on Google Maps. It is my favourite app by far.

This feature was first published in Rouleur 18.6

Further reading:

The remarkable rise of Ben O’Connor

On time: the parallel worlds of watches and two wheels

Paolo Bianchini: from champion cyclist to winning winemaker

A road cyclist’s guide to Girona

The Road Book: Ned Boulting’s 2018 season in review



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