Most of the time, I only pay attention to the world of cycling in July, and then only for the duration of the Tour de France. When the race has reached Paris, or, usually, after the final mountain stage, I stop paying attention until the next Tour comes around the following year, as it always does.
Something different is going on this year. Not only have I been keeping half an eye on the two Olympic road race events yesterday and today, but I’ve also begun reading books about professional cycling, which I’ve never done before. I mentioned Matt Rendell’s Significant Other a bit earlier; I’ve just finished William Fotheringham’s splendid book about the death of Tom Simpson in 1967 on the Ventoux, Put Me Back on My Bike; and I’ve got two more lined up on my recently-acquired-books shelf: Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s history of the Tour, and Rendell’s earlier book about the history and politics of Colombian cycling.
So I’ll be a much better-educated cycling fan by the time the 2005 Tour kicks off in the Vendï¿½e.
(Other recommendations of quality cycling lit more than more than welcome.)