Friday, 5 May 2017

Eltham John's local Excitement

The Library - Cycling Section

Once again my local library has come up trumps (not Donald, thankfully).  On my last visit I found a very good book by Michael Hutchison "RE-CYCLIST" - 200 years on two wheels.

It is a history of the bicycle,  cycling and cyclists. The history of the bike has been written many times but this book manages to find a few new and quirky facts on the machines development and as in all aspects of the book gets to present the facts with a good sprinkling of humour.

What I personally found most interesting was the cycling politics of the 1930's to 1950's.  As my own cycling started in 1951 I can associate myself with the Union and League rivalry which is referred to with honesty and sympathy. My own club was a conservative Union club of 'died in the wool' time trialists and this section of the book gave me a feeling of nostalgia. As a youngster, I remember accepting the views of my betters and seniors that Time Trialing was the only true British way of racing, but secretly I wanted to be one of the brightly attired League Boys and take part in the more "racey" massed start events on the open road.   

This book appealed to me on several levels and I did in fact read it twice before returning is to Kent's most exciting venue - the library.  I think I may well end up buying it (the book, not the library).