It’s no secret that we love cycling books here at road.cc – you may remember our Christmas gift guide showcasing a dozen of the best – and next week sees the launch of what might just be the first book group devoted to two-wheeled literature, the London Cycling Bookclub.
The inaugural meeting takes place next Wednesday, 12 January at 7pm at The Fitzroy Tavern, Charlotte St, WC1, an appropriately literate venue given that it was once a regular haunt of writers such as George Orwell and Dylan Thomas, although we’re not sure whether the author of Under Milk Wood would have been in any fit state to ride home after a night out there, given the Welsh poet and playwright’s fondness for the booze.
Subsequent meetings will take place at intervals of between four and six weeks, but the first session gives you a chance to help decide what format the club will take and, importantly, which books will be discussed, with suggestions at the moment including Tim Krabbe’s The Rider, David Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries, Anne Mustoe’s A Bike Ride, Matt Seaton’s Thoughts from the bike lane and Tim Moore’s French Revolutions – Cycling the Tour de France.
As the club’s creator, Matthias, says on its website about the initial meeting: “Homework? No – no preparation needed. Just turn up, maybe bring a book about cycling along, and we take it from there. I will have a few books with me as well, and we can have a look which title we all want to read for the second meeting.”
As well as discussion of all things literary, the club, which you can follow on Twitter, is also designed to act as a forum for talking about cycling matters in general, with Matthias adding, “This should be an open forum for readers and riders in London who want to share their views and ideas about cycling and cycling literature.
“I think it will be nice to meet up in regular intervalls and discuss one or the other book from cyclists or for cyclists. This can be with a link to London, but doesn’t have to be. There are plenty other interesting books about the world seen from the saddle out there.”
We wish the venture the best of success, and if you’re based in London and do go along, let us know how it went – we’re pretty sure there’s plenty of other places in Britain where a similar initiative would help bring cyclists together to talk about the written word.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.