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Bikie: A Love Affair with the Racing Bicycle Paperback – 4 Jun 2001
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"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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.