A friend of mine bought me one of Joe Parkin’s books for my birthday, but alas, I already owned and had read both of them. So, when I returned it, I wanted to honor the spirit of his gift with another bicycle-related book. Thusly,  I relied on Amazon’s “Other Readers Who Bought This Also Bought…” feature. That led me to this wonderful little gem by William Fotheringham, Put Me Back On My Bike: In Search Of Tom Simpson.

Read what I thought of it after the jump…

(Just for clarity-sake, I did get the Fully Revised And Updated version that is pictured. And can we all agree the Fotheringham is a rad last name? Good.)

My reading time consists mostly of the time I spend on the train during my commute, so I read it 25 minutes at a time, in between rides. This is an EXCELLENT time to read a book on cycling, because you’ve pumped yourself up with a little riding, then you read about all this cycling epic-ness, then you ride again. Brilliant!

It was remarkable to me how easy this book was to read, how well it flowed and kept my attention, given the amount of information is contained. It’s not just a typical biography of, “…and the he did this and then he did that.” Fotheringham not only tells you Simpson’s story, but also looks at the factors surrounding Simpson’s life and decisions, and the immediate and lasting impact those decisions had. I felt that he tried to see Simpson’s life from more than a few angles, to give him the benefit of a few doubts, so to speak.

I was born 11 years, 1 month, 20 days after Simpson passed, and to me he was always just a statue that riders paused at, until I read this book. It is a must read for any cycling fan.


What do you think?