A rip-roaring narrative celebration of the 21st century’s great transport success story: the bicycle. Millions of us now cycle, some obsessively, and this glorious concoction of history, anecdote, adventure and lycra-clad pedalling is the perfect read for two-wheelers of all kinds. ‘At last – a bicycle book for the rest of us…. A book for the sort of cyclist who likes cycling and reading and stories.’ Guardian Two wheels. A frame. Two pedals. What could be simpler than a bicycle? And yet the bike continues to inspire a passionate following. Since the millennium its use in Britain has doubled, and then doubled again. Thousands now cycle to work, with more and more taking it up every day. Acclaimed author Bella Bathurst takes us on a journey through cycling’s best stories and strangest incarnations, from the bicycle as a weapon of warfare to the secret life of couriers and the alchemy of framebuilding. With a cast of characters including the woman who watercycled across the Channel, the man who raced India’s Deccan Queen train and several of today’s top cyclists, she offers us a brilliantly engaging portrait of cycling’s past, present and world-conquering future.
‘At last – a bicycle book for the rest of us… a book for the sort of cyclist who likes cycling and reading and stories…’ Guardian “As this beautifully written and gently erudite work easily proves, cycling is ideal for many things, and will doubtless draw more converts to agree that ‘there’s no lovelier form of transport’.” Sunday Times ‘Four wheels not bad, two wheels much better…’ Bella Bathurst is a devoted two-wheeler through urban and country landscapes. This is a lovely, lively, anecdotal anthology of good stories about cycling for the millions more who have taken it up for sport, fun, health and wealth since the turn of the century. Favourites here must be the free-wheeling interviews with bicycle couriers, feral cycling and – for those unable to walk on water – the art of water cycling.’ The Times ‘[Bella’s] joyful freewheel through the world of bicycles and the people who ride them not only affirms her as an elegant chronicler of quirky subjects, but fills a gap in a pantheon of cycling literature… The Bicycle Book is unique in appealing to both cycling nuts and those of us who mean to dust off the flat-tyred two-wheeler’ Economist A Sunday Times Must Read – ‘Everything you ever wanted to know about the bike, its history and uses’ The bicycle is the most popular form of transport on the planet… With The Bicycle Book, Bathurst adds her voice to the call that we are now at the dawn of a new golden age of this versatile machine.’ Observer ‘The freewheeling exhilaration of this jaunty compendium of adventures for cycling obsessives will convert any irreverence for ancient bicycles into respect for modern pedal-power.’ SAGA Magazine
Bella Bathurst is a freelance journalist whose portfolio includes work for the ‘Observer’, ‘Telegraph’, ‘Sunday Telegraph’, ‘Independent on Sunday’, ‘Guardian’, ‘Scotsman’ and ‘Scotland on Sunday.’