ONE FOR THE CY­CLING CU­RI­OUS

HIGHLY-AC­CLAIMED WRIT­ERS AND PHO­TOG­RA­PHERS BROUGHT TO­GETHER WITHIN THIS CEL­E­BRA­TORY TOME OF BROOKS

Urban Cyclist - - Agenda - The Brooks Com­pendium of Cy­cling Cul­ture is avail­able from Thames & Hud­son priced £29.95 www.thame­sand­hud­son.com

In 2016, leg­endary sad­dle man­u­fac­tur­ers Brooks cel­e­brated their 150th an­niver­sary with the Dash­ing Bikes project, which saw the Smeth­wick-based out­fit in­vite a se­lect num­ber of part­ners to cre­ate lim­ited-edi­tion bi­cy­cles in the theme of cop­per. Cue col­lab­o­ra­tions with Bromp­ton, Pe­goretti and Pe­lago.

Style and sub­stance echoed loudly, as did the price tag. But ever the democrats, Brooks have now re­leased a 192-page tome to con­tinue the birth­day cel­e­bra­tions into their 151st year at more af­ford­able £29.95.

As the name sug­gests, The Brooks Com­pendium of Cy­cling Cul­ture de­picts Brooks’ unique and idio­syn­cratic view of the wide-rang­ing im­pact that the hum­ble bi­cy­cle has had on the world. Though we’re given a brief back­ground to Brooks and their takeover in 2002 by Ital­ian steel be­he­moths Selle Royal, this is a col­lec­tion of sto­ries that stretches be­yond Birm­ing­ham. There can’t be many cy­cling books, for in­stance, that fea­ture a his­tor­i­cal tour of Pi­casso’s fa­mous Bull’s Head along­side rec­ol­lec­tions of when Fausto Coppi packed out the Al­bert Hall.

Beau­ti­ful il­lus­tra­tions by the likes of Joe McLaren com­ple­ment the pho­tog­ra­phy, which is a mix of por­traits, can­did black-and­white race pho­tog­ra­phy and the re­al­ist grit of the Brooks’ work­force. We’re big fans; in fact, so im­pressed are we that we fea­ture an ex­tended ex­tract on page 68.

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