Thursday, June 26, 2008
A Major Book Review
READ IT. This ranks as one of the most interesting books I've ever read about cycling. The author Todd Balf, not only tells the story of Major Taylor, he lays out the history of the beginnings of bicycle racing. The story focuses on the rival between Major and Floyd "the Human Engine" McFarland. He gets us there by giving the background into Taylors family, Floyd's family, Taylor's mentor Birdie Munger and the explosion of the bicycle and racing into popular culture in the late 1800's early 1900's. What's interesting is that the quest for the title of "World's Fastest Human Being", was actually that. At the time the bicycle was faster than any other mode of transportation barring trains. Reading about the brutality of 6-days the speed record attempts and all of the tracks that existed in that era was very enlightening. If done correctly this could become a cinematic masterpiece. This book was just published in May of 2008 so it is brand new. I found it in the Roseville Library and was the first to check it out. I advise anyone who is interested in cycling to read this, you won't regret it.