Bella Bathurst - The Bicycle Book

This article is from 2011

Bella Bathurst - The Bicycle Book

New literary vehicle for Lighthouse Stevensons author

Bella Bathurst’s The Bicycle Book navigates the past and present of two-wheeled travel. From the suffragettes who recognised it as a ‘freedom machine’ to the huge rise in cycling’s popularity in Britain since the millennium, it features a cast of cycling devotees, among them the woman who water-cycled across the Channel and several of today’s top riders.

What was the best part of writing and researching this paean to bikes? ‘Rides,’ says Bathurst. ‘With friends, with people I met because of the book, rides for the sheer pleasure of riding.’ And building her own frame with Lincolnshire bike-builder Dave Yates: ‘it’s always a pleasure to watch an alchemist at work, and because I adored learning how to turn what looked like a bunch of curtain poles into a bicycle.’

Since her first appearance at the Book Festival audience some years ago, presenting The Lighthouse Stevensons to an audience of engineering and Stevenson experts, ‘the fear has gone, but the respect for the erudition of Edinburgh audiences has not.’ Here is a book for cyclists and non-cyclists, for people who enjoy a good story well told. Bella Bathurst is hugely looking forward to ‘coming home’ and bringing her passion for two wheels to Charlotte Square Gardens. Be there with bells on.

22 Aug, 2.30pm, £10 (£8).

Bella Bathurst

Has anyone made a greater claim for cycling than the American suffragette Susan B Anthony? 'I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world,' she stated in 1896. Bella Bathurst builds on that sentiment in The Bicycle Book, her paean to the vehicle. She has spoken to mountain bikers and racers…

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