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Cycling - Philosophy for Everyone: A Philosophical Tour de Force

Fritz Allhoff (Series Editor), Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza (Editor), Michael W. Austin (Editor), Lennard Zinn (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-3027-4
288 pages
August 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Cycling - Philosophy for Everyone: A Philosophical Tour de Force (1444330276) cover image
Covering interesting and varied philosophical terrain, Cycling - Philosophy for Everyone explores in a fun but critical way the rich philosophical, cultural, and existential experiences that arise when two wheels are propelled by human energy.
  • Incorporates or reflects the views of high-profile and notable past-professional cyclists and insiders   such as Lennard Zinn, Scott Tinley, and Lance Armstrong
  • Features contributions from the areas of cultural studies, kinesiology, literature, and political science as well as from philosophers
  • Includes enlightening essays on the varieties of the cycling experience, ranging from the ethical issues of success, women and cycling, environmental issues of commuting and the transformative potential of cycling for personal growth
  • Shows how bicycling and philosophy create the perfect tandem
  • Includes a foreword by Lennard Zinn, author and owner of Zinn Cycles Inc.
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Foreword (Lennard Zinn).

Acknowledgments (Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza and Michael W. Austin).

Getting in Gear: An Introduction to Cycling – Philosophy for Everyone (Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza and Michael W. Austin).

STAGE 1 THE VARIETIES OF CYCLING EXPERIENCE.

1 Warm Up: A Surreal Ride (Patrick Vala-Haynes).

2 Learning to Ride a Bike (Peter M. Hopsicker).

3 Becoming a Cyclist: Phenomenological Reflections on Cycling (Steen Nepper Larsen).

4 Unleash the Beast: Technology and the Time Trial (Bryce T. J. Dyer).

STAGE 2 VELO VIRTUES.

5 Warm Up: A Test of One's Mettle (Patrick Vala-Haynes).

6 Lance Armstrong and True Success (Gregory Bassham and Chris Krall).

7 LeMond, Armstrong, and the Never-Ending Wheel of Fortune (Scott Tinley).

8 Riding Like a Girl (Catherine A. Womack and Pata Suyemoto).

9 Bicycling and the Simple Life (Russell Arben Fox).

STAGE 3 RE-CYCLING.

10 Warm Up: When Two Wheels Meet Four (Patrick Vala-Haynes).

11 Philosophical Lessons from Cycling in Town and Country (Robert H. Haraldsson).

12 The Commutist Manifesto (John Richard Harris).

13 Critical Mass Rides Against Car Culture (Zack Furness).

STAGE 4 SPINNING WISDOM.

14 Warm Up: Are You Real? Tony Meets Bishop Berkeley (Patrick Vala-Haynes).

15 My Life as a Two-Wheeled Philosopher (Heather L. Reid).

16 Cycling and Philosophical Lessons Learned the Hard Way (Steven D. Hales).

17 From Shoes to Saddle (Michael W. Austin).

STAGE 5 FAIR PLAY ON TWO WHEELS.

18 Warm Up: Pushing the Envelope (Patrick Vala-Haynes).

19 What To Do Once They’re Caught (John Gleaves).

20 Out of Control: The Pirate and Performance-Enhancing Drugs (Raymond Angelo Belliotti).

21 Is the Cannibal a Good Sport? (Andreas de Block and Yannick Joye).

STAGE 6 PEDALING CIRCLES.

22 Warm Up: Riding into Awe (Patrick Vala-Haynes).

23 Taking the Gita for an Awesome Spin (Seth Tichenor).

24 Stretched Elastics, the Tour de France, and a Meaningful Life (Tim Elcombe and Jill Tracey).

25 Life Cycles and the Stages of a Cycling Life (Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza and Mike McNamee).

Notes on Contributors: The Cycling – Philosophy for Everyone Peloton.

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Editors
Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, and Allen and Pat Kelley Faculty Scholar at Linfield College, Oregon. He has published in the journals Sports, Ethics, and Philosophy and Proteus. He is a category 2 racer.

Michael W. Austin is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Kentucky University, where he works primarily in ethics.  He has published Conceptions of Parenthood: Ethics and the Family (2007), Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), and Football and Philosophy: Going Deep (2008).

Series Editor
Fritz Allhoff is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at Western Michigan University, as well as a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian National University’s Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics.  In addition to editing the Philosophy for Everyone series, Allhoff is the volume editor or co-editor for several titles, including Wine & Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), Whiskey & Philosophy (with Marcus P. Adams, Wiley, 2009), and Food & Philosophy (with Dave Monroe, Wiley-Blackwell, 2007).

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“It’s the first time I’ve read in a while. Very captivating subject matter for someone like myself. I need to hit the road.”  (Conscious Being, 16 July 2013)

“Cycling – Philosophy for Everyone explores in a fun but critical way the rich philosophical, cultural, and existential experiences that arise when two wheels are propelled by human energy.”  (Outdoor Zone, 31 December 2012)

"The chapters are generally well written and although there are 19 of them there are few repetitions of content ... The book's good chapters are all characterised by the fact that the author, in the process of cycling and becoming a cyclist have discovered several things about him or herself and the world s/he inhabits, and have been able to transform those discoveries into insightful ideas and recognitions." (Idrottsforum.org, 25 January 2012)

"Includes enlightening essays on the varieties of the cycling experience, ranging from the ethical issues of success, women and cycling, environmental issues of commuting and the transformative potential of cycling for personal growth." (Kansas City.info, 20 August 2010)

"This book and the others in this reasonably priced series would be useful in interdisciplinary studies programs as examples for students on how scholars from various disciplines can broach the same topic. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty/professionals; general readers." (Choice, 1 March 2011)

"There is a good deal stimulate the brain, should the brain require it." (Cycling World, January 2011)

"Whether you use the bicycle to make your living, to take you to your living, or to take you on an escape from your living, there is a great deal in Cycling: Philosophy for Everyone." (Athelon, 1 January 2011)

"If you are interested in reading something that questions how you think about yourself and your cycling and its impact on the world, then have a read." (Cog and Coffee, December 2010)

"As the title suggests, there's something for everyone from the casual rider to the seasoned pro to take away from this attempt at applying the nuances of cycling culture to contemporary issues of camaraderie, health and the environment." (Bike Culture, 28 September 2010)

"If you are a fan of bicycles or bicycle racing and have ever had an interest in philosophy, the essays in Cycling: A Philosophical Tour de Force show that philosophy and cycling work well in tandem." (Bike World News, October 2010)

"Thanks to the new book Cycling-Philosophy for Everyone, I now have a term to describe the state of mind I achieve on my daily bicycle commute. Almost any type of literary-minded cyclist will find something to latch onto in the book-food for thought during your next Zwischenzeit." (UTNE Reader, September 02, 2010)

"OBRA's own Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza has co-authored a book about the philosophical territory of the cyclist lifestyle. Michael Weiss, Chair of the Tour of Missouri writes "This is a wonderful book that captures the breadth and depth of the sport and experience of cycling. A great tour of the mental, physical, cultural and historical paths a bicycle can travel." Tom Zoumaras, a former National Champion writes "Cycling - Philosophy for Everyone reminds its readers of the joy, freedom, and accomplishment one feels when riding a bicycle, whether that entails encountering Manhattan traffic on the way to the Central Park bandit race, cresting Mount Tamalpais to the unmatched views of redwoods and San Francisco, or punching through gale force winds on an isolated Midwest farm road far from everyone and everything." (Oregon Biccyle Racing Association newsletter, September 2010)

"Building off of the life stories and philosophies of notable figures in the cycling world such as Lance Armstrong, Lennard Zinn and former road racer Pedro Delgado, and philosophers like Aristotle, Aquinas and Socrates, "Cycling: A Philosophical Tour de Force" covers the philosophical territory of the cycling lifestyle." (Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, July 2010)

"This is a wonderful book that captures the breadth and depth of the sport and experience of cycling. A great tour of the mental, physical, cultural and historical paths a bicycle can travel"
Michael Weiss, Chair, Tour of Missouri Professional Bicycle Race; Owner, Big Shark Bicycle Company

"Cycling – Philosophy for Everyonereminds its readers of the joy, freedom, and accomplishment one feels when riding a bicycle, whether that entails encountering Manhattan traffic on the way to the Central Park bandit race, cresting Mount Tamalpais to the unmatched views of redwoods and San Francisco, or punching through gale force winds on an isolated Midwest farm road far from everyone and everything.

I found myself fondly recalling the new bike I received for Christmas that first provided freedom from my parents' oversight and produced a liberating sensation that I was the master of my domain as I explored Chicago as a 10-year-old.

You too will reconnect to bicycling in ways you never expected long before you reach the last page."
Tom Zoumaras, Former Masters National Champion (1997 and 1998); Professor of History, Truman State University

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August 02, 2010
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.

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