CyclingEdinburgh.info

Be Part of Cycling History for £25

Posted by chdot on January 10, 2010

Edinburgh born cycling historian and writer, Andrew Ritchie, is planning to self-publish his next book.

And he’s looking for 100 people to pledge to buy it.

Of course the book’s subtitle may put people off – “Bicycle Racing: Sport, Technology and Modernity, 1867 – 1903”

The title may not appeal either “Quest for Speed“. The knowledge that it is a “substantially revised version of my doctoral dissertation, ‘Bicycle Racing and Recreation: Sport, Technology and Modernity, 1867 – 1903′”, may convince you to keep your pledge in your pocket.

But wait: This is an extract from the abstract (FULL version and details of all chapters) –

Quest for Speed provides a chronological, developmental, historical account of the emergence of bicycle racing and bicycle technology between 1867 and 1903, focusing to a large extent on Britain, but also investigating France and the United States as the two other major players. As a social and cultural history, it gives an outline of the social and institutional organization of cycling and the wider cultural, economic and technological context of the sport. In doing so, it tackles themes of class, nationality, industry and commerce, the press, speed, and the physical capacities of the human body, and also the nature and definition of ‘modernity’.

Even that might sound a bit dry, but the book will be well illustrated – Andrew is an accomplished cycling image researcher. (He fell out with a prospective publisher who balked at the number of proposed illustrations.)

His first book King of the Road has the following on the back cover –

“Andrew Ritchie, himself a passionate cyclist, has widely researched little know collections of pictures, and has found many fascinating books, articles and documents on the early days of the bicycle and its changing design and social importance. Ultimately, he argues, the history of the bicycle has only just begun and it could provide an answer to many of today’s crucial transportation problems.”

That was written 35 years ago.

Maybe it’s beginning to come true…

You can be part of cycling history by promising to buy this book – the first 100 people will have their names in the first (limited edition) print run.

Send an e-mail to jabritchie@hotmail.com and contain your excitement for a few months. Your coffee table will have to wait too.

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