Books on the beauty of cycling?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Samuel D
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Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby Samuel D » 19 Sep 2015, 1:34am

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote a book called Night Flight that describes in memorable language the sensations of flying an open-cockpit mail plane through a stormy night.

In a similar way to flying, cycling has a magical allure that lends itself to poetry. It’s intensely pleasurable to balance on two wheels and roll swiftly over great distances by your own power. Even children feel this, but few people can put those feelings into words. And yet I’m sure someone has put feelings like that, and other more complex and subtle feelings, into very beautiful words.

So tell me: what books have you read that heightened your appreciation of cycling or just crystallised some of your own half-formed thoughts about it?

I’m interested in good writing about any sort of cycling.

pal
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby pal » 19 Sep 2015, 7:43am

Paul Fournel's *Need for the bike* is a collection of short essays about cycling and bicycles which (I think) meets your criteria: review here -- http://www.podiumcafe.com/2011/8/10/235 ... r-The-Bike (Rouleur have also published a collection of his essays, in a slightly more coffee-table-book-ish format; there's some, but not complete, overlap in the content of the two books: http://rouleur.cc/shop/books/v%C3%A9lo-save-50 )

In a different genre, but touching on some similar themes, I also enjoyed Jean Bobet's memoir, *Tomorrow, We Ride*: http://www.mousehold-press.co.uk/detail ... e-ride.cfm

reohn2
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 19 Sep 2015, 1:10pm

pal wrote:Paul Fournel's *Need for the bike* is a collection of short essays about cycling and bicycles which (I think) meets your criteria ...


+1 an inspiring read,and one which a dip into in uninspired moments
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Samuel D
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby Samuel D » 24 Sep 2015, 3:57pm

pal wrote:Paul Fournel's *Need for the bike* is a collection of short essays about cycling and bicycles which (I think) meets your criteria

Bought on your recommendation. It’s exactly the sort of thing I had in mind, so thanks very much!

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hujev
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby hujev » 27 Oct 2015, 10:50pm

Two of my favorites are:
Tim Hughes' 'Wheels of choice', which perfectly captures everything I like about touring in photos with captions, and
Diana Armstrong's 'Bicycle camping', which does so with a bit more text, but just the right topics and photos.

Samuel D
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby Samuel D » 28 Oct 2015, 6:18pm

Duly noted, hujev. I have put those on my buying list (though the Tim Hughes one is kind of pricey). However, I make a point of not acquiring books quicker than I can read them, so it may be a little while before I get these.

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pedalsheep
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby pedalsheep » 28 Oct 2015, 7:00pm

Thanks for the recommendation hujev. As 'Bicycle Camping' was available for 1p on Amazon I've just bought it! I already have 'Wheels of Choice' which is indeed a lovely book to look through. I've got quite an extensive collection of bike books - I could really do with another bookcase. :roll:
'Why cycling for joy is not the most popular pastime on earth is still a mystery to me.'
Frank J Urry, Salute to Cycling, 1956.

Samuel D
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby Samuel D » 28 Oct 2015, 7:23pm

Pedalsheep: based on your intriguing signature and a brief Google search of who Frank J Urry was, I looked rather hard for ‘Salute to Cycling’ (this was last winter). I never found it. Where did you find it?

delilah
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby delilah » 28 Oct 2015, 7:37pm

The Wheels of Chance by H.G. Wells, cycling in the mid 1890's a classic

reohn2
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 28 Oct 2015, 8:10pm

delilah wrote:The Wheels of Chance by H.G. Wells, cycling in the mid 1890's a classic


Why,why,why?......
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brumster
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby brumster » 28 Oct 2015, 8:21pm

Nick Cranes 'Great Bicycle Adventures' - Out of print as far as I am aware, but full of many of Nicks travels by bike, quite humorous too - such as the story of building "Terrance the tandem" in a small bedsit in London... having finished building the tandem he discovered it was too long/big to get out of the room ! There is also a lovely photo of a touring cyclist on a sunlit morning with the title " In the heat of the handlebars the cyclist grasps summer" Wonderful / inspiring read throughout.

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pedalsheep
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby pedalsheep » 29 Oct 2015, 9:46am

SamuelD wrote
Pedalsheep: based on your intriguing signature and a brief Google search of who Frank J Urry was, I looked rather hard for ‘Salute to Cycling’ (this was last winter). I never found it. Where did you find it?


Its only a small booklet but with some lovely illustrations by Reg Gammon. The cover has a beautiful watercolour of cyclists crossing a bridge in Snowdonia. I think it was originally a bit of an advertising promo for Phillips bikes as there are a few pages at the back advertising their latest models. There is also a second volume 'Wheeling Adventure'. They come up on Ebay occasionally usually somewhere between 99p and £4.99, if you put Frank J Urry or Salute to Cycling in as a saved search one will turn up eventually.
'Why cycling for joy is not the most popular pastime on earth is still a mystery to me.'
Frank J Urry, Salute to Cycling, 1956.

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pedalsheep
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby pedalsheep » 29 Oct 2015, 9:50am

Other 1950s books which are worth a read are those by Ragged Staff (Rex Coley) - 'Cycling is Such Fun', 'Joyous Cycling' and 'Laughter on 2 Wheels'. Try Amazon, Abe or Ebay.
'Why cycling for joy is not the most popular pastime on earth is still a mystery to me.'
Frank J Urry, Salute to Cycling, 1956.

delilah
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby delilah » 30 Oct 2015, 4:20pm

reohn2 wrote:
delilah wrote:The Wheels of Chance by H.G. Wells, cycling in the mid 1890's a classic


Why,why,why?......

It evokes the spirt of cycling from a bygone age

reohn2
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Re: Books on the beauty of cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 30 Oct 2015, 4:28pm

delilah wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
delilah wrote:The Wheels of Chance by H.G. Wells, cycling in the mid 1890's a classic


Why,why,why?......

It evokes the spirt of cycling from a bygone age

No
Why,why,why Delilah







Tom Jones :wink:
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