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Vélo book launch at Look Mum No Hands

Second edition of photobook to be launched this weekend

The second edition of Vélo – Adventures of the Peloton, a book by the photographic artist Andrew G Smith, will be launched at Look Mum No Hands bike shop/café this weekend.

The book is really unusual, featuring photography of TV coverage of the Tour de France along with quotations taken mainly from Tim Krabbé’s famous 1978 novel The Rider. The revised second edition is casebound and features an introductory essay by US writer Bill Strickland.

To give you an idea of the work, here’s a passage from the publicity material:

“On my bike, and in my head, the words of Tim Krabbé on imperfect recall, they won't leave. The miles roll on by. I selfishly construct the ideal of my ideal cycling photobook. I'm thinking of how the race is delivered to the majority of it's audience, how it's perceived. Also of the mythology and lexicon, the qualities of the landscape, the human effort.

“Cycling can be such an inscrutable sport, but it's enjoyed by so many. I thought also of the significance of the bicycle in Beckett. The bicycle as one of the few physical possessions that may yield progress, hope, salvation, but is also essentially a vice to the point of fetishism.”

This isn’t to be confused with the recently published book by Paul Fournel, also called Vélo, by the way. The Fournel book contains illustrations by contributor Jo Burt.

The launch takes place at Look Mum No Hands in Old Street, London on Saturday 13 October at 7pm. Ten large prings from the book will be on display for the next couple of weeks.

Music on the night will be by Vélocity, described as “a vintage-jazz-minimal-electro-sepia-toned-French-movie-soundtrack hazily reproduced on accordion, piano and clarinet.”

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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