Re:Cyclists: 200 Years on Two Wheels

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Mar 23, 2017 - Sports & Recreation - 352 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

A Man Walks into a Bar
1
The Big Bang
11
Parisian Perversions and the Worlds First Bicycle Race
33
Chapter 3 The Dignity of the Victorian Clubmen
57
American Cycling and the Genius of Colonel Albert Pope
83
The Honourable Ion KeithFalconer
95
MileaMinute Murphy and the Lions Den
111
The Great Society Cycling Craze
135
The Tourists
197
The British League of Racing Cyclists
216
Most of Our People Have Never Had it so Good
248
An Ugley Situation
261
The Life of Lottery
278
Chapter 15 Towards a Cycling Tomorrow
308
Endnotes
321
Acknowledgements
336

Chapter 8 TwentiethCentury Racing and the Loneliness of the Time Triallists
160
Cycling and Moting
174

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About the author (2017)

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

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