A beautifully written exploration of the links between cycling, creativity and the landscape.
In this deeply personal and lyrical exploration of what it means to ride a bicycle, Paul Maunder explores how our memories have a dialogue with landscape and how cycling and creativity are connected. Taking a journey through the places that have shaped him, we ride across wild moorland, through suburbia and city streets, into quintessentially English pastoral scenes. We see too some of the darker parts of the British countryside, sites of great secrecy that intrigue the imagination. This is a book about how landscape can sustain us, and how even an hour's escape can inspire our creative sides. The bicycle allows us to explore and dream, and return in time for dinner.
“Paul Maunder's exceptional meditation on his cycling life is immensely more rewarding than his sporting focus might suggest. He writes wonderfully about the world on two wheels, that's for sure, and how the physical effort involved enhances creativity just as much as it raises the pulse – but the view from his saddle also encompasses the joys, pains and disappointments of the wannabe novelist and the family man, the solaces of traffic, solitude and hills, and that yearning we all share to both belong and be unbound.” —Jim Crace, award-winning novelist and writer
“A meandering, pleasant memoir that takes in the landscape as he [Maunder] experiences it, with anecdotes and references along the way.” —FT Weekend
“In a two-wheeled response to much great current writing about man and landscape, Paul Maunder's engaging memoir argues that cycling, because of its innate connection with civilisation, is a perfect cipher for our feelings about the natural world…it does make you want to get on your bike.” —The Observer