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French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France - Softcover

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9780224060950: French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France
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Battling it out with the old men on butchers' bikes across the plains of Aquitaine and pursued by cattle over Europe's second highest road, Moore soon finds himself resorting to narcotic assistance, systematic overeating and waxed legs before summoning a support vehicle staffed by cruelly sceptical family and friends. Accounts of his suffering and chicanery, and those encountered in the race's epic history, are interwoven through a look at rural France busy tarting itself up for those 15 seconds of fame as the Tour careers through at 50kph. An heroic depiction of an inadequate man's attempt to achieve the unachievable, Moore's Tour is a tale of calorific excess, ludicrous clothing and intimate discomfort.

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Review:
Comic writer Tim Moore trades his ailing Rolls Royce for a bicycle, a map and a water bottle in French Revolutions. This is a quest to pedal the route of the Tour de France, no mean feat for the fit, let alone a self-described suburban slouch. The resulting 2,256-haphazard-mile journey transforms Moore into an incredibly fit and passionately proud cyclist. Initially, Moore takes the "I will do it and it probably will kill me" approach. His normal perspective, as a stooge to life's misfortunes, plays well as he prepares to ride the route of the 2000 Tour de France. Moore is the everyman who pedalled in youth and now wouldn't ride a bike to the corner store. But unlike a traveller by car, train or plane, Moore has to navigate France under his own steam. Somewhere around the Ventoux, the world's windiest place, Moore starts to change. He becomes enraptured by the feat itself as mile by mile he realises he is no longer an accidental cyclist but a lean, mean cycling machine. Gradually, the narrative turns from travel to a personal quest. Along the route, Moore's details of the heroes of the Tour make an excellent primer on this gruelling race and helps the uninitiated understand the frenzy that grips France each July as the races meanders through incidental villages, over mountains and, finally, into Paris. It is worth reading for that alone. Having survived mountains of pain, a disgusting diet and motels of dubious value, a new, muscular Moore concludes that "I might never leave my mark on the Tour, but that didn't matter. It has left its mark on me". To follow Moore's path of perspiration is certainly not a vacation. Yet, this curmudgeonly clever and inspirational book makes one want to do just that. "Old Father Time was catching up with Old Father Tim. If I didn't do it this year, I wouldn't because maybe next year I couldn't," he says before starting out. And that, as Tim Moore so surely points out, is what pushes any true traveller out the door. --Kathleen Buckley
Review:
"A combination of slapstick, absurd simile and a healthy suspicion of French civilisation' oh and 'One of the funniest books about sport ever written" (Sunday Times)

"Something to laugh at on every page" (Daily Telegraph)

"Embarrassingly laugh-out-loud" (Daily Express)

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  • PublisherYellow Jersey
  • Publication date2001
  • ISBN 10 0224060953
  • ISBN 13 9780224060950
  • BindingPaperback
  • Edition number1
  • Number of pages288
  • Rating
    3.83 avg rating
    ( 2,956 ratings by Goodreads )
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