Saturday, August 1, 2009

What Will You Do, Jim?

I picked this book up on a recent trip to Devon. It's been my pleasure, on such occasions, to visit a great little book shop on Station Road, Teignmouth.

The owners of the shop had, as their interests, both rock climbing and cycling. The cycling section of the shop was my destination, and however little I might think it able to offer me after previous visits, I'd inevitably leave at least £20 poorer, and several books richer.

It was at Teignmouth Books that I picked up William Fotheringham's "Put Me Back on my Bike", and Freddy Maertens' autobiography, for instance. (I also bought Lance Armstrong's two books, but I won't hold "Every Second Counts" aganst them). The shop is a treasure trove, full of interesting tomes, some devoted to subjects as specific as space-frame Moultons, and some as wide ranging as studies of the bicycle in "War, Love, Life and Literature" (S. McGonagle), some rare as hen's teeth, some as ubiquitous as "It's Not About the Bike". (Few people know that by law, there must be at least one copy of "It's Not About the Bike" in every book shop's "Cycling" shelf - shopkeepers found guilty of breaking this law are made to read the English translation of "A Tempered Passion", the Indurain biography. Cruel and unsual indeed).

Sadly, it seems, the shop is to close - despite my best efforts to empty their shelves, fill mine, and fill their coffers, it seems that they're unable to keep going in the present climate. The proprietor was kind enough to point me in the direction of the book whose cover adorns this post. I know nothing about it, or the author, but am a sucker for a striking cover, it must be said. A couple of touring books (one from the '60s, one from the early '90s), a Graham Watson coffee table book "Heroes of the Tour", a training guide from 1975, and the McGonagle book I mentioned completed my purchases.

If any of you are heading over Teignmouth way soon, you'll find that I've left some books there for you still. Have a browse, buy something interesting - if you've the money, that history of Spaceframe Moultons looked really interesting...

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