Writing the Ride
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I have a question
Hi Julia, fire away
on here, then we can pick up in a bit?
This book sounds amazing; I am really excited.
Hello, if its okay, can the speakers share their book urls at the end? I’d love to read more about cycling culture 👍
Great idea! I'll make sure that we try to do that
Sounds good! Maybe Martin could collate a list.
Dr Marlon Moncrieffe
Here is my article written in August about a notion of anti-blackness in pro cycling
Dr Marlon Moncrieffe
Thanks Marlon - great to share that
Storysmith is my local bookshop and in these straightened times I'd like to give them a push!
and this is the super super niche one: https://storysmithbooks.com/product/corinthian-endeavour-the-story-of-the-national-hill-climb-championship-paul-m-jones/
Brilliant stuff Paul - thank you
Great article Marlon - thanks for sharing. I’m struck by the fact that, despite cycling giving one such a sense of freedom and possibility, and despite its fairly egalitarian and working class routes, at the World Tour level it continues to lack such diversity and teams have, for the most part, failed to use their platform to advance progressive social causes.
nail on the head there Phil - a paradox and a half
here's an article if people are interested I wrote about bike racing, the fight for gender parity and the unreal challenges of this season: https://traumfahrrad.com/2020/10/27/the-national-hill-climb-2020-streatley/
Thank you, Isabel! Was really looking forward to hear from you.
Dr Marlon Moncrieffe
Self-promotion! Details of my book are here: http://drianwalker.com/circles
Thanks Ian. I love the idea of cycling as meditative and heightening senses. It reminds me of a line in a poem about the joy of hiking to the effect that event the worst red wine tastes amazing from a chipped enamel mug when you’re sitting around a campfire.
Back in the Frame by Jools Walker is great and isn’t wo/man wins race 👍
Isabell, Did you notice a difference over the decades in how the women you studied got into cycling?
Hi, a question for all. While there is now so much fascinating non-fiction about cycling in all its forms, why is there so little powerful fiction inspired by the bike? What does that say about the culture?
Dr Marlon Moncrieffe
it is a privilege to compete
Randonneuring / audax would be the closest to non competitive timed events with no winners - completing on time is the success. I've ridden 150,000km of these events including 25 1200km plus events. It would be very difficult to write a book about this.
i think there is a good book in the audax world
Maybe it’s because there’s so much drama in cycling that there’s no need to fictionalise it!
I wonder if there are more fiction books about cycling originally written in Dutch... where riding a bike is more normalised...
although i thought the Ventoux book wasn't a good book
There are quite a few French novels on cycling. And a play
Question for Marlon and Isabel: When you’re doing research, how do you not become overwhelmed with organisation. framing, even the scope of it? It’s something I struggle with!
American flyers is the other film
(This question can be for all the authors! Didn’t mean to exclude, just heard Isabel and Marlon talk about their research earlier!)
Wanted to say - re: "man wins race" - i think my books are more "man and woman wins race, but a lot happens and the race becomes secondary to that" but you might have to take my word for that. the new book goes into stories from Petronella, Eileen Gray, Janet Tebbutt, their lives and background, it's about the journey more than anything else, the topography, place, people.
That is so helpful to hear, thanks Marlon.
Petronella is an amazing figure - if you're not familiar then google her, there are amazing pictures in the Warwick collection.
Any last questions?
My own answer to "man wins race" is twofold. First, I don't really agree with the premise - I first got interested ii cycling thanks to non-sporty books about exploration: Josie Dew, Dervla Murphy et al. That said, I do kind of understand why people are drawn to sport for narratives. The need to be the BEST at something sharpens things; it provides a clear and easy motivation that everybody can instantly understand. It's not surprising that people are keen to work within that sphere
with the proliferation of social media, the need for instant gratification, and the widespread availability of video, is it becoming more difficult to write about cycling, particularly in longer form? is the market growing or shrinking for cycling writing?
Ian, thank you!
Can I ask to all ….do you think that writers and journalists have any duty to include and promote Women in cycling and Women’s equality ?
Hi All, Lucy here on Julian's pc. Q for Ian. Liked what you said about mediative aspect of the ultra distance. But just wondering if you made any notes - mental or otherwise - during or shortly after the events?
Julian: no, I didn't. When racing, I'd struggle to let muself take the time to do that! The nearest I got was in my last cross-European ride when I made video diaries during scheduled breaks
Replying to Rich - unambiguously, absolutely - I think our responsibility is to ask ourselves - am i marginalising a key element of this story?
(Those video diaries proved REALLY useful when I later came to write about the experrience)
and re: Ian - and the writing - i totally get that. i take a notebook and it ends up with about three sentences in it
like to hear from the others
ha .. sorry typed slow
Hey Martin- can we talk about Rich’s question? I’m keen to hear what the panel have to say too
Over to you next, Rich
Just about 10 minutes left everyone, so do please post your ideas and questions if you still have some to share
what’s the book you’ve not written yet that you’d love to write ✍️? if you’re allowed to say!
Why are cyclists seemingly afraid to speak out on issues, from drugs to BLM? Is it omertà, is it that the conformity of the peloton, is it the fact that so many major sponors (UAE, Bahrain, Ineos etc) are pretty regressive on issues like women’s rights and climate change?
Isabel, never apologise for talking too much!
Isn’t female participation in all forms of cycling lower in the UK not just sport?
I don't see mens events as the pinnacle. I'm more interested in events I could aspire to.
And does that lack of willingness to speak out make writing on these topics difficult?
In Ultra racing the women often beat the men (Sarah Hammond, Lael Wilcox, FIona Kolbinger)
Yes to less female participation in cycling. This year we had two months to complete a specific AUK challenge of four rides from 200km to 600km. 3 women completed, about 100 men did.
Great event btw. Are there plans for future online discussions which are similar......
Happy to put on more!
Martin, can we offer suggestions for other Authors to include too ?
More events please!!
Loved the event - made a great evening! Thanks to everyone.
Ian, Emily's "what goes around" got me into cycling...
Julia: interesting, especially as that one wasn't the sporty one
Julia - incredible performances but ultra racing is a different beast! back analysis of time trial data from the UK recently hasn’t yet turned up a women’s outright win in an open event- on average around 10% slower on time per position - hence why we desperately need and deserve coverage of the women’s field, events, results
"what goes around" is a book i give to people
There’s a great story about Audax riders or an event begging to be written....
I want to read that book Marion.
It's been a fun evening - thanks to Paul, Marlon, Ian and Isabel for getting underway and the rest of the group for taking up the challenge and being so enthusiastic!
thank you everyone!
How many of you write as your main job and source of income?
We're all going Paul's book just to see p. 4y6.
I’ve ordered A Corinthian Endeavour, just so Paul can pay the bills !
my children will be able to eat tonight!
Can authors recommend a book each I should read (not one of theirs !)
Question for Paul your mum says what would you like for christmas
Paul - book on rando / audax. Needs to be written by someone not the rider as the rider is usually too busy riding chasing crazy goals and hasn't got the perspective or insight. The two Beryl books are a good example of this.
Dr Marlon Moncrieffe
Ned B - On the road bike. good fun
I think that you won't have to wait too long for a rando book...
"bikes and Bloomers" by Kat Junknickel - on how cycling changed womens fashion
and liberated women...
thank you to everyone … very interesting. Thanks for your time. Paul, cant wait to see page 46 !
Thank you so much! I’m inspired!
it's been a joy!
Thanks so much all for a really insightful and entertaining evening.
great evening thank you
thank you so much
you’re an inspiring bunch of people!
Mum - just the usual M+S vouchers
Thanks - a great evening
can you include the panels social media accounts in the email please
Thank you so much to everyone involved in this event, absolutely fascinating!
Julia: @ianwalker on Twitter for me
Ian, I follow you already!