Cycling Books. Reviews and Other Lit Crit.

When we're not doing it we like to read about it. Find ye here: book reviews and extracts from our favourite cycling writers.

An Intimate Portrait of the Tour de France

An Intimate Portrait of the Tour de France

A review of Philippe Brunei's book by SIMON LEVERMORE

 
1904 The Tour de France which was to be the Last

1904 The Tour de France which was to be the Last

ARTHUR CLUNE reviews a book by Jacques Seray, which gives a fascinating insight into the history and intrigue of cycling’s greatest race.

 
Canada: "What d'ya wanna drive a bike for?"

Canada: "What d'ya wanna drive a bike for?"

Intrepid pedaller JOSIE DEW enjoyed the car-(and cyclist-) free roads of Nova Scotia. The scenery was stunning and the locals incredulous but welcoming

 
UK, Scotland: My Particular Paradise

UK, Scotland: My Particular Paradise

From BETTINA SELBY'S book of the Outer Hebrides, entitled The Fragile Islands.

 
Ever the Spectator: The cycling passions of Toulouse-Lautrec

Ever the Spectator: The cycling passions of Toulouse-Lautrec

In a not-so-recently published book on the life of Toulouse-Lautrec, JULIA FREY relates how, although his physical disabilities barred him from riding a bike they were unable diminish his passion for cyclesport.

 
 

My Life and Times

The writer COMPTON MACKENZIE was fourteen years old when the great bicycle boom swept through the British middle classes. In this extract from his book, My Life and Times, he describes the excitement which cycling brought to his life.

 

Materials and processes.

Steel and aluminium are the most commonly used cycle frame materials. In this extract from his book MIKE BURROWS explains what the numbers mean and how the tubes are joined together.

 
Beyond the Diamond. Composite monocoques.

Beyond the Diamond. Composite monocoques.

The shape of cycle frames, constrained by the characteristics of available materials, has hardly changed in over 100 years. In this extract from his book MIKE BURROWS considers how developments in materials technology will shape the future.

 
Rover’s Return

Rover’s Return

How do world travellers settle down again to their own beds? Or do they ever? LYNNE CURRY went to meet Anne Mustoe

 

Gears without Tears

Having lots of gears is very fashionable, but they add weight and complexity. In this extract from his book MIKE BURROWS asks: do we really need them?

 

The Wheel

In this extract from his book MIKE BURROWS asks; How much of wheel lore is science and how much myth? Do spoking patterns make a difference? And do disc wheels give a hard ride?

 

Graceful riding

By improving your pedalling technique you can ride further and faster with less effort. Here, in an extract from his book, 'Cycling for Fitness', JOHN SCHUBERT explains how it can be done

 

Lubrication

In this extract from his book, Bicycle Design, MIKE BURROWS looks at how we lubricate our bikes

 

Cracking Books

DOUGLAS MARCHANT, had a library of over two thousand cycling books and pamphlets, we asked him to recall some of his favourite pieces.

 

The Great Escape by Bicycle

“Boldness Be My Friend” is the thrilling true-life account of WW2 POW escapee RICHARD PAPE’s attempts to evade re-capture and keep ahead of his German pursuers across Northern Europe. Illustration by DAVID ECCLES

 

Catch me if you can

Brakes played no great role in the cycling exploits of LAURIE LEE's mother. In his famous book, ‘Cider with Rosie’ he describes some of her alternative techniques:

 

Chasing Rickshaws

Written by TONY WHEELER with photographs by RICHARD L'ANSON.

 

The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills

An extract from WILLIAM SAROYAN'S book

 

Standing on one Leg

Cantilevered wheels may look odd, but they make sense for many bikes. In an extract from his book, Bicycle Design, MIKE BURROWS examines the monoblade alternative.

 

Cutting your car use

'A practical guide for people who want to reduce their car use by making simple changes to their travel habits, or by sharing or giving up their car'. By ANNA SEMLYEN. Reviewed by MICK ALLAN.

 
Women off the leash

Women off the leash

MARTINA SCHWAGER reviews Dörte Blechmann’s book‚ Wehe wenn sie losgelassen (Once you let them off the leash…), which charts the early days of women’s cycling in Germany.