Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Slip Seine

Short of half way through year, yet at point of no return, should also mention some newly published bicycling books. Whether you attend or ignore, culture continues to simmer into Summer and slip through your permeable net. Labann hears, sees and smells supporting evidence everywhere, often right after issuing a post about the very same thing. “It’s in the air,” they say. Curiously, riding alone it simply occurs with no tangible input from existing but unread books. Can ideas exist without humans to think them? Are books even necessary? Rather catch answers or fish than flak or questions.

Tour de France 2013 champion Chris Froome has out an inevitable autobiography, The Climb (Viking, 2014, 448 pp.) for those who follow pelaton hijinks, a word derived from an 18th Century drinking game, akin to truth-or-dare, which forced loser of dice throws to consume more or do something undignified. These days cycling's more about PEDs than persistence.

Bruce Weber’s Life Is a Wheel (Scribner, 2014, 336 pp.) takes you on a Transamerica 2-wheeled tour. Sounds like 4,100 grueling miles of hell in 14 weeks, but Weber exposes the majesty of a great yet welcoming expanse that so many have accepted as an earnest challenge.

From cycling mad Seattle, Frank Strack, et al., together known as The Velominati, or Keepers of the Cog, set forth in humorous fashion The Rules (W. W. Norton & Company, 2014, 304 pages) based on their blog, Velominati.com. Any culture must have its elite, jesters, police and snobs. Check out samples for a laugh at Amazon.

Shirley Hughes offers historical fictional in Hero on a Bicycle (Candlewick Press, 2013, 213 pp.) set in 1944 Nazi occupied Florence, Italy. Eager to get on with life’s adventures, 13-year-old Paolo sneaks out each night to ride his bike along darkened streets thrilled by the risks. Partisan resistance soon maneuvers him and his family into an impossible situation. Does Paolo have what it takes to truly be a hero? Morality tales seem to produce more slaves and victims than winners.

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