Re:cyclists: 200 Years on Two Wheels

Re:cyclists: 200 Years on Two Wheels

by Michael Hutchinson

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Overview

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 it—in 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 again—a 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 Details

ISBN-13: 9781472925602
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 815,777
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.

@Doctor_Hutch

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

Endnotes 321

Acknowledgements 336

Index 338

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