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Bikie: A Love Affair with the Racing Bicycle Paperback – 4 Jun 2001

3.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (4 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840184221
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840184228
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,597,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Bikie is not just a poignant and very funny autobiography, it is also a beautifully written piece of social history" (The Times Literary Supplement) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Charlie Woods works as a librarian at Shepherd's Bush Public Library and also lives in Shepherd's Bush. He has written articles for several cycling magazines including Cycling Weekly and Cycle News. He also used to write a column for Cyclist Monthly.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Don't be fooled by the subject,this is a cracking read. It's one of those rare sports books,which is totally readable to someone who is not a dyed in the wool enthusiast, just as Lance Armstrongs' 'Not about the bike' is far beyond bike racing. 'Bikie' is about life, passion and the obsessions that drive us.
One thing it is clearly not is a bike racers monologue of 'then I rode my next race....' Don't expect a rehash of old racers and cycling days gone by tinted with cosy nostalgia. Charlie Woods always shows us the reality,the cold, the tiredness, the human frailty. He takes us on the ride of his life from cycle-besotted youth gaping at an exotic foreign racing bike to a weary middle aged man with a body that cannot keep up with his spirit.
Just as Joe Simpson allowed the reader into the closed, secret world of climbing, Charlie Woods opens the door on the ritualised, punishing existence of the cycle racer and the complicated motivations behind it.
Cycling changes and shifts to mirror the real world , a move from innocence and insularity as a boy in Fifties Britain , a nation of amateurish individuals to todays Corporate dominated fast society of uncertain national identity.
His commentary on this change allows him some direct hits on illusions old and modern and it's all carried off with likeable wit. Woods is passionate about his subject, he is immersed in it, he understands every nuance, each characterstic, and its failings are a personal hurt to him. He also loves words and ideas and this makes for an easy rewarding style as he explores cyclings relationships to heroes and villains, mythology, spiritualism, art, foreign films , erotica and literature.
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By A Customer on 19 Oct. 2004
Format: Paperback
My brother lent me this book, and frankly it is a damned good read. One or two (only) of the chapters can be quite dry (hence 4 stars rather than 5), but even if you are not an cyclist you will enjoy it. At times it is a memoir of a golden era, at other times it is an insight into the mind of an enthusiast and their informed observations, which can't help but excite you with the same passion. I know I'm not doing it justice here, but I would not only definitely recommend it but personally I would re-read it, how many books can you say that about?
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Format: Paperback
I wanted to like the book. I myself am having a love affair with bikes, but I just couldnt read the passion in this book that I expected.

For me the book meanders too much. The writers life story takes him far from the bike at times and you just dont see the desire to get back to it.

For me there is better books that show properly how a cyclist feels about the passion of his sport, namely The rider by Tim Krabbe or any book by Lance Armstrong.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Boring and hardly a good read - the writer should stick to cycling and leave literature to other who are more accomplished.
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