Somewhere in a German forest 200 years ago, during the darkest, wettest summer for centuries, the story of cycling began. The calls to ban it were more or less immediate.
Re:Cyclists is the tale of the following two centuries. It tells how cycling became a kinky vaudeville act for Parisians, how it was the basis of an American business empire to rival Henry Ford's, and how it found a unique home in the British Isles.
The Victorian love of cycling started with penny-farthing riders, who explored lonely roads that had been left abandoned by the coming of the railways. Then high-society took to itin the 1980s the glittering parties of the London Season featured bicycles dancing in the ballroom, and every member of the House of Lords rode a bike.
Twentieth-century cycling was very different, and even more popular. It became the sport and the pastime of millions of ordinary people who wanted to escape the city smog, or to experience the excitement of a weekend's racing. Cycling offered adventure and independence in the good times, and consolation during the war years and the Great Depression.
Re:Cyclists tells the story of cycling's glories and also of its despairs, of how it only just avoided extinction in the motoring boom of the 1960s. And finally, at the dawn of the 21st century, it celebrates how cycling rose againa little different, a lot more fashionable, but still about the same simple pleasures that it always has been: the wind in your face and the thrill of two-wheeled freedom.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Michael Hutchinson is a writer, a journalist, and a former professional cyclist. He has won multiple national titles in both Britain and Ireland, and has raced at the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. He is Cycling Weekly's principle columnist, and is a regular broadcaster on cycling. Re:Cyclists is the follow-up to his critically acclaimed book Faster: The Obsession, Science and Luck behind the World's Fastest Cyclists and the award-winning The Hour: Sporting Immortality the Hard Way. He lives with far too many bicycles in Cambridgeshire and London.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Man Walks into a Bar 1
1 1817: The Big Bang 11
2 The 1860s: Parisian Perversions and the World's First Bicycle Race 33
3 The Dignity of the Victorian Clubmen 57
4 1870-1900: American Cycling and the Genius of Colonel Albert Pope 83
5 1874: The Honourable Ion Keith-Falconer 93
6 Safety Bicycles and Extreme Danger: Mile-a-Minute Murphy and the Lion's Den 111
7 The 1890s: The Great Society Cycling Craze 135
8 Twentieth-Century Racing and the Loneliness of the Time Triallists 160
9 1900-1920: Cycling and Moting 174
10 1920-1958: The Tourists 197
11 1942-1959: The British League of Racing Cyclists 216
12 1957: 'Most of Our People Have Never Had it so Good' 248
13 1960-1990: An Ugley Situation 261
14 1992-2016: The Life of Lottery 278
15 Towards a Cycling Tomorrow 308