Paul Fournel’s book Need For The Bike has perhaps the worst cover ever to grace a book on cycling. This nearly pocket-sized tome has some absolutely fantastic writing from the “avant-garde writer” (who also makes regular contributions in Rouleur magazine). One can only lament that the University of Nebraska Press, who published the book in 2003, did not see fit to update or redesign the cover to something more modern. Rouleur – or someone – should immediately acquire the publishing rights, or commission a new translation, and turn this essential read into a true pocket book with a bit of, need it be said, savoir-faire. The style of the Penguin paperback, mentioned here, would be a good place to start.
The subject of gearing for climbing has already been recently discussed here. At the 1996 Tour de France, Fournel approached one of the racers to ascertain what gearing he was using for a particular mountains stage. One might keep the reply in mind when selecting one’s gears. “I just use race gearing. If the race is in a big gear, so am I. If it’s in a small one, I’m in one too. Ask the race what gear it’ll be in on the climbs, and I’ll be in it.” Quite.
You may have noticed, dear reader, the loss of the Gazzetta dello Sport pink hue to this blog [since restored...]. Your author’s endeavours to restore the functionality of the categories and tags remains fruitless. Perhaps all will be ‘fixed’ in due course, but this may prove not to be the case. Your patience is, as always, much appreciated.