An extended meditation on cycling as a practice of life, the book recalls a country doctor who will not anesthetize the young Fournel after he impales himself on a downtube shifter, speculates about the difference between animals that would like to ride bikes (dogs, for instance) and those that would prefer to watch (cows, marmots), and reflects on the fundamental absurdity of turning over the pedals mile after excruciating mile. At the same time, Fournel captures the sound, smell, feel, and language of the reality and history of cycling, in the mountains, in the city, escaping the city, in groups, alone, suffering, exhausted, exhilarated.
In his attention to the pleasures of cycling, to the specific "grain" of different cycling experiences, and to the inscription of these experiences in the bodys cycling memory, Fournel portrays cycling as a descriptive universe, colorful, lyrical, inclusive, exclusive, complete.
An excellent book, it is well reason and it really touches on the reasons that riding a racing bicycle is so appealing to such a broad spectrum of people. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jacob Russell
a celebration of the magic of cycling. Paul Fourmel makes me wish I had grown up in the Loire Valley of France.Published 23 months ago by Brad Slade
A fantastic, fun, must-read for any cyclist or cycling enthusiast. Probably my favorite book related to cycling. Read morePublished on January 5, 2012 by RockyMtn Reviews
Unique book that struck me as more
philosophical than the usual ride
diary or " how to ". Easy to pick
up and put down with the very short
chapters. Read more
I have been bicycling for 30+ years. Not in France, unfortunately (in Hungary, Germany and in the USA), but every story in Paul Fournel's little book resonated with me. Read morePublished on April 2, 2008 by Akos Szilvasi
Pure pleasure. Fournel is a master of prose and a master cyclist. Translator Stoekl is no slouch either. Read morePublished on January 25, 2008 by Thomas H. Patterson