21 Nights in July
The Physics and Metaphysics of Cycling
Dr. Ianto Ware
Ianto Ware claims to be a doctor, and for mine, doctors fix broken people. So with this is mind, what claim does the author have that relates to the book? Well… he cured my cycling literature virginity and cured my complete disinterest and ignorance of the Tour de France. I’ve been riding for a few years but hadn’t ever felt drawn to the tour, however since being ‘treated’ by Ianto, I’ve felt more of an appreciation for it. So while I wouldn’t say I was broken – I feel much better now. Thank you Doctor Ware.
The book is broken up into stages of the 2008 Tour de France and the musings of the author during that time. It’s stimulating, funny and a witty sideways glance at the event and its personalities. Additionally and in parallel, it’s a very personal and philosophical consideration of many issues facing cyclists and Ianto draws on the history of cycling and various ‘ologies’ to bring together a modern cyc-ology of a sort. I found it to be a pretty compelling read and Ianto, true to his background, retains the ‘zine’ feel without losing it’s way into fathomless introspection. It’s introspective, but this adds style and personality to the work, rather than becoming simply navel gazing.
Who’d like it?
Well I liked it alot, and would recommend it to anyone who I thought could read, and had more than a passing interest in bicycles. It’s not a light hearted or flippant book, but It’s not a serious and massive tome either. Some of it’s beauty is that is is broken up into short chapters that don’t follow a strong linear narrative, so you can simply pick it up from time to time and take a bite when you’re peckish – I read it all in one sitting. It probably wouldn’t suit someone after an historical reference guide to the tour, but they’d certainly appreciate the strong reference to the cultural event – apparently it’s more that simply a sporting occasion.
Books aren’t for everyone, but even if you’ve got short attention span this book is worth your time, even if it is only available in 17 minute intervals.
You can purchase the book here for $12