Rupert Smissen is not just an illustrator, he's also a pretty handy cyclist with a massive engine. I've spent a few sessions spinning around Regent's Park, locked on his wheel. He made his racing debut a few weeks ago and duly won his first race, initiating a 3 man break that would stay away until the end, on the Hog Hill circuit in Redbridge.
Smissen is a fine pen monkey, living, working and riding in London. His portrait work covers a diverse array of subjects, but it's his work in cycling that gets him written about here.
Smissen's latest personal project is cycling reportage, specifically capturing the post ride moments where cyclists gather, relax, and socialise.
The image above is a great example of Smissen's new theme. The image was drawn from a photo taken at Benugo in London's Regent's Park, the cafe where large groups of cyclists meet after their early morning training sessions. In this image, CC London riders are seen enjoying a well earned coffee and pastry, and the faux pas of leaving a helmet on the table is being completely ignored.
Smissen's latest image features your erstwhile writer. I was lucky to spend 5 days training in Tenerife and Rupert was on hand to document it. I am told that more images are on the way, so make sure you're locked into his instagram feed. That's me on the right, by the way. The other lad is Toby from Sydney. Again drawn from a photo, the illustration captures Toby and I sitting in the sun in Villaflor, after descending from the summit of Teide. Toby never made it to the cafe at the in the crater because he didn't realise it was there. We're still sledging him with "but you never made it to the top."
You can buy prints by Rupert Smissen here
I'll probably try and bring you an interview with him sometime soon.