Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Eltham John's Gifts Guide Special

My Cycling Books

With Christmas fast approaching my wife and I have been doing the usual “big clean” around the house.

Well I’ll confess that I personally got as far as dusting the contents of our bookcase.     In fact there wasn’t much dusting done as the 
first thing I did was look to see how may cycling books I now have.  It turned out to be 43 and all of them seem to be dating from about 
the year 2000 or later.

Without doing too much research  I think that the first such I ever bought was “Cycling is my life” by Tommy Simpson, and was published in 
1966.    I believe it was written by Simpson (with the help of the cycling journalist David Saunders) and for me it highlights the problems 
that British cyclists had to overcome to get any sort of a toehold in the Continental Cycling scene.    

I would certainly think that any aspiring young rider with ambition could learn just how much Simpson did by blazing his spectacular trail 
in his 13 years as a Continental pro.

The original edition ends with Tommy talking about good and (prophetically) bad luck,   but there is a 2009 edition with an intro by David 
Miller and includes a chapter written in 1969 by David Saunders  which refers to Tommy’s sad end.