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Put Me Back On My Bike: In Search of Tom Simpson
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Put Me Back On My Bike: In Search of Tom Simpson

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  359 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Tom Simpson was an Olympic medallist, world champion and the first Briton to wear the fabled yellow jersey of the Tour de France. He died a tragic early death on the barren moonscape of the Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour. A man of contradictions, Simpson was one of the first cyclists to admit to using banned drugs, and was accused of fixing races, yet the dapper 'Major ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published December 31st 2012 by Vintage Digital (first published June 20th 2002)
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Martin Roberts
May 30, 2016 Martin Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating, well crafter, thoughtful and often moving -- but never sentimental -- book.
I think its focus is skewed, because it revolves around the circumstances of Simpson's untimely death and his legacy, to the point where childhood traits are seen as presaging his end, and indeed the entire final chapter is devoted to describing the Mont Ventoux. This is all very well when it comes to dispelling myths which have grown up, but it does often read like a long post mortem rather than the story
...more
Akin
Aug 01, 2011 Akin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
Fotheringham is an excellent sports journalist, and his knowledge of the arcane world of professional cycling is evident in this book. Two quibbles: in tackling the question of drug use in cycling, he never quite manages to evoke the corps de espirit amongst the cycling fraternity which undoubtedly is at the heart of the chronic doping problem - the sense of a world where certain rules apply differently, an understanding that "what happens in the Peleton stays in the Peleton."

My other problem wi
...more
Kimberly
Dec 09, 2010 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really admired Fotheringham's balanced approach to his subject. It's sometimes too easy to give in and be defensive when you genuinely like the person you're writing about, and Simpson clearly was a likeable man.

Fotheringham kept enough distance to write about where Simpson went wrong, and how Simpson's death was a tragedy brought on not only by the amphetamines in his system, but by his determination to ride himself into oblivion, which cost him his life a short distance from the summit of Mo
...more
russell barnes
Sep 30, 2013 russell barnes rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to russell by: pete
Shelves: sport, biog, cycling
Even with the updated afterward and chapters, this is essentially a very big story struggling to get out of a thin book about a man cycling up a mountain and dying at the top.

Where it gets interesting are the vignettes from Simpson's life that Fotheringham unearths, each one fleshing out the man who for most of us only exists as a memorial stone on Mount Ventoux, and few grainy photos.

What emerges is a hugely appealing personality, whose drive and ambition, tragically combined with the treadmill
...more
Dan Cohen
Aug 03, 2014 Dan Cohen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport

Good biography of Tom Simpson and well worth a read. As with a number of books on similar subjects recently, it's almost as much about the author's journey in finding out about his subject as it is about the subject himself. If truth be told I'm getting a bit bored with this approach, although I do understand the temptation.
Fiona
Aug 27, 2015 Fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is excellent. You don't need to be knowledgable on cycling or medicine as it breaks everything down into layman's terms. If you don't follow the Tour de France every July, I suggest you find some footage of a stage that involves mont ventoux so you can see exactly what a beast it is.

There were a few minor irritations from the writing. Words are spelt differently (with a hyphen here, without there). Events raised in an early chapter and then in a subsequent chapter were not referenced t
...more
Adam Cave
May 20, 2014 Adam Cave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating recount of a fascinating, quirky and talented character. Pioneer of British cycling, inspirational. The underlying theme of drug use shows how deep and rooted the issues in cycling are.
Gene
Apr 17, 2016 Gene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, but more than a bit depressing, it gives a little insight into Lance Armstrong. Makes me glad I'm not a racer, but gives an excellent peep into the mind of one.
Kate
Feb 09, 2015 Kate marked it as to-buy  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by Rob Penn
Dorothy Ross
Dec 01, 2015 Dorothy Ross rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of ancedotes and social history as well as insight into a driven man
Colin Lowndes
May 14, 2013 Colin Lowndes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly excellent read! Extremely well balanced account of a man who wold have split the cycling world if he were alive today! This covers the triumphs as a track pursuit cyclist and a road racer as well as the substance abuse Simpson went through to be the best and sadly led to his death on Mont Vetoux during the 1967 Tour de France. An excellent read about Britain's fist wearer of the Maillot Jaune!
Luka
May 15, 2016 Luka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Combines surgical precision when it comes to detail and at the same time it is so poetic in its admiration of Simpson and Mont Ventoux that the reader questions him/herself how is this even possible. That Mr Fotheringam achieves that in this book is no mean feat and it makes him a great journalist and author. Quite easily the best cycling book I've read so far. A classic.
Simon Curtis
Feb 24, 2010 Simon Curtis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cycling
A fascinating account of the life of Tommy Simpson - whose memorial on Mt Ventoux I have stood next to on over a dozen occasions - from his early life to his tragic death. Intensely driven, a desire for money overcoming any health fears, it ultimately led to a death on a lunar landscape in heat of 40degrees.
ChristinaJL
Jul 07, 2011 ChristinaJL rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ChristinaJL by: Dave Harmon
Shelves: cycling
Very insightful account of Tom Simpson's career and pro cycling in the sixties. It gives you a good idea of just how tough these cyclists are but also how hard some are prepared to push their limits in pursuit of success.
Charlie Durell
A most interesting insight to professional cycling in the 1960's. A well written book that captures the level of expectation in the profession and competitive nature of the sport.
Kathryn
Jul 02, 2012 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was interesting, giving a good insight into the foreign world of cycling in the 1960s. It focused a little too much on the drugs but was otherwise brilliant.
Barry Bridges
Oct 13, 2015 Barry Bridges rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio, cycling
Not strictly a full biography, more an in depth analysis of the mind of Tom Simpson and the factors that contributed to his sad demise on Mont Ventoux.
Brian Lavis
Disappointing really. Doesn't really live up to being a great read, but it is an interesting insight into the man Tom Simpson.
Gary Morris
Sep 30, 2014 Gary Morris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cycling
Well written account. Interesting overview of the man and the tragedy
David
Jul 28, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books of its kind that I have read.
Stephen Boddie
Oct 08, 2012 Stephen Boddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a superb book. read it
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Jul 26, 2016
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