Cycling - Philosophy for Everyone: A Philosophical Tour de Force
August 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
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Cycling—Philosophy for Everyone: A Philosophical Tour de Force
Cycling is a form of exercise, an eco-friendly form of transportation, and for many children, a first love. It is also a way of life, and its meditative and adventurous traits can be an inexhaustible source of philosophical insight. The essays in Cycling: A Philosophical Tour de Force (August 2010 North America; September UK/Rest of World) show that philosophy and cycling work well in tandem. As readers climb the challenging terrain of life’s more complicated questions, they will soon feel the wind in their hair as the questions lead way into answers, and answers into effortless enlightenment.
Building off of the life stories and philosophies of notable figures in the cycling world such as Lance Armstrong, Lennard Zinn (custom bike company Zinn Cycles, Inc.), and Pedro Delgado, as well as the founding principles of philosophy, from Aristotle, to Aquinas, to Socrates, to Tom Morris, Cycling: A Philosophical Tour de Force is the first book to cover the philosophical territory of the cyclist lifestyle.
As editors Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza and Mike Austin write in the acknowledgements, “Cycling is a team sport.” The contributors fully embrace this idea of camaraderie in the volume, each hailing from the diverse fields of cultural studies, kinesiology, literature, political science, and mechanics. They use humor, their passion for cycling, and their deep knowledge of contemporary issues, to illuminate us on the ethical issues related to success, women and cycling, and the environment.
The introduction, “Getting in Gear,” stretches our philosophical muscles to ready us for the journey ahead. The book is broken up into six tours: The Varieties of the Cycling Experiences (including “Becoming a Cyclist” by Danish 6’ 7” ft. tall cyclist Steen Nepper Larsen); Velo Virtues (“Lance Armstrong and True Success”); Re-Cycling (“Critical Mass Rides Against Car Culture”); Spinning Wisdom (“My Life as a Two-Wheeled Philosopher”); Fair Play on Two Wheels (“Out of Control: The Pirate and Performance Enhancing Drugs”); and Pedaling Circles (“Taking the Gita for an Awesome Spin”).
The essays both celebrate, innovate, and explore the rich philosophical, cultural, and existential underpinnings of cycling that are revealed when two wheels are propelled by human force.