Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Your Shopping Basket
Total number of items: 0
Sub total: £0.00
Go to Checkout
Our Birmingham Shop
Our Bristol Shop
Animators Survival Kit

It's not about the book

7th June 2011 - Tobias Revell

Yes, I work in a bookshop and write for our blog, but books are not my number one love as far as inanimate objects go, and I can't live the lie any longer. I could wheel out the old bit about 'curling up with a good book' as my favourite activity but it would be a big, fat, dirty lie. Books are just in the top five somewhere. For, you see, my number one love is bicycles.

Image of bike-related books and bicycle in window display at FoylesI have three at the moment and probably just as many in disembodied pieces scattered around my house amongst boxes and in piles of flashing chrome and oily steel. If you have a bike and you're near me, I'm only staring because I'm mentally undressing it. If my eyes have glazed over then just give me a minute alone with it. Every time I go past a bike shop the world recedes into a blur as I fall in love a thousand times again with gleaming anodised hubs, aero seatposts, gumwall tires, jockey wheels, bladed spokes, box rims and track drops.

I find absolute pleasure in cleaning and regreasing chains, perfecting wheel alignment and tightening bottom brackets. Just the other day, a friend asked me to come with him to a beginners polo session. Immediately, I dashed downstairs and banged about piecing together an armoured monstrosity built for the polo court using parts that were taking up space that a normal person might put things like cutlery in.

Any time I have the slightest, most meagre slice of disposable income I'll be eyeing up new grip tape, or imported frames. The cycle to the bike shop, with wallet in pocket is of course the most pleasurable cycle of the month, which makes the last Saturday of June, July, August and September pretty much holy days. I probably spend an hour or two a day on bike blogs and talking to bikey friends about bike stuff. Yesterday, I helped three separate friends with bike-related problems. I ride maybe 20 miles a day minimum and if it's pleasant, like at the moment, I take intentional detours to extend the amount of precious time my rides and I get in each other's company.

I talk to them too. A lot. More than my girlfriend thinks I should - but, then again, I talk to cups and cash machines and bits of paper as well. However, only my bicycles talk back to me. They tell me if they're upset with little groans, and squeak when they're in pain. They rattle and clink when they need a rest, and fall to pieces, dripping oil all over the living room carpet with a big splurgakakakat when they're depressed. When they're happy, they purr - and it's beautiful. They purr like a basket full of tiger kittens.

Anyway sometimes my worlds collide in a rather useful way, so here are some great books about bikes which are very good, and cheaper than bicycles too.

Comments via Facebook

Leave Comment

Related Items

Cyclopedia: It's All About the Bike
William Fotheringham

Currently out of stock

Bike Snob: Systematically and...
Eben Weiss
Custom Bicycles: A Passionate Pursuit
Christine Elliott; David Jablonka

Currently out of stock

I Love My Bike
Matthew Finkle; Brittain Sullivan

Currently out of stock

Latest Blog
Richard Aronowitz on the darkness lurking in his past and its connection to his role as a Nazi loot-hunter at the auction house, Sothebys

Richard talks about the darkness lurking in his past and its connection to his role as a Nazi loot-hunter at the auction house, Sothebys.

Finding Awe in the Extremes

Brian describes how his ambivalence at having served in the Iraq war, and the awe to be found in extremes, provided the basis for his novel.

On National Brothers Day, Stuart Heritage Reflects on his Relationship with his Brother, Pete

On National Brothers Day, Stuart Heritage reflects on fraternal dynamics, how he came to write about the 'whirlwind of aggressive single-mindedness' that is his brother Pete and how their relationship is reflected by that of brothers everywhere.

View all Blog Entries
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd