BOOK OF THEYEAR

The Hard­men

Bikes Etc - - AWARDS 2017 -

Subti­tled Leg­ends of the Cy­cling Gods, this was al­ways go­ing to be a shoo-in for our favourite bike-based book of the year. Writ­ten by those acer­bic chaps from The Velom­i­nati who gave us The Rules: The Way of the Cy­cling Dis­ci­ple,

this is an OTT cel­e­bra­tion of the hero­ics of those rid­ers who’ve done the most to forge cy­cling’s rep as one of the world’s tough­est sports. In many ways, The Hard­men is a com­pan­ion piece to The Rules, high­light­ing the rid­ers whom the writ­ers deem to have had the moxie, panache and what they de­scribe as ‘the per­fect amount of dumb’ to sup­port their idio­syn­cratic take on what makes cy­cling so spe­cial. Rather than of­fer bios of the se­lected rid­ers, how­ever, the book fo­cuses on what the au­thors con­sider to be the defin­ing moments in their sub­jects’ ca­reers. So rather than get­ting any in-depth anal­y­sis about what made Mer­ckx & Co tick, in­stead we’re treated to out­ra­geous anec­dotes that are in­tended to in­spire. Or as the book mis­chie­vously puts it: ‘To re­mind us that suf­fer­ing on a bike lib­er­ates us from our daily lives or in the words of Lance Arm­strong “pain is tem­po­rary, quit­ting lasts for­ever”. Which is proof that even ass­holes can be in­sight­ful.’ Amen to that! £13 / pro­file­books.com

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