This Island Race – a great cycling book for Christmas
I love a play on words. This book is about cycling on the island of Great Britain and the author Les Woodland is a master at telling a story. It is great book about a great sport in a great country and although there is sometimes a tinge of sadness that cycling in Britain isn’t as well respected as it is in many other European countries I find it wonderful that someone has taken the time and made the effort to document so well the facts of how cycling has become the sport it is in this country.
“Les Woodland never managed to trouble the judges as a racer, other than by making them hang about in the cold when they wanted to go home. But he has spent a lifetime in cycling as an organiser, coach and writer – in Britain, in Flanders and now in France. That, and a passion for the history of the sport, have given him an unusual insight into the dusty corners of British and world cycling. His books have been published across the world and in numerous languages.”
If you’re looking for a good Christmas present for your cycling friend or just a good read during the colder days of Christmas in front of the fire then this is it. Only 204 pages but full of facts about the NCU, the BCF, the BLRC, RTTC, UCI, FSGT and the A-Z of cycle racing up and down the country.
Did you know George Holland? He was the first Briton to ride in the Tour de France. Did you know about Ray Booty who brok the 4 hour 100 mile record – he did the first sub 4-hour 100mile ride ever and did it in the same year as Roger Bannister. Or did you know that the first man to break the hour record for 25 miles was an Irishman called Alo Donegan something I’m proud of as a fellow Irishman. I bet that like me in my naivety you also didn’t know about such things as Neovite colostrum to keep the body healthy nor about safe hydration from Zym ! I only learned about those things after I started my charity endurance events. Ho hum.
So get yourself a good read this Christmas and learn what made and what didn’t make the British cycle scene so great, or as Les Woodland might say, not so great. Despite it all the scene today is one where British cycling is heading upwards and has winners both male and female that inspire youngsters to get cycling and get racing.
Enjoy the ride