Posts Tagged ‘cycling’
July 9, 2012 | by Lorin Stein
My predecessor George Plimpton was known for cycling around New York before it was either cool or safe (before, some would say, it was sane). And nowadays, we at TPR are still devoted city bikers; our rides can be found chained up and down White Street. So in celebration of the Tour de France—and thanks to the generosity of Hudson Urban Bikes—we, along with Velojoy, are giving away one of Hudson Urban Bikes' Beater Bicycles Roadster. This classic city bike comes in a men’s and a women’s model, both of which may be seen in the diabolical and rather enigmatic illustration below.
October 21, 2011 | by Sadie Stein
To answer this one, I consulted our resident cyclist, Peter Conroy. And did he deliver! Says Peter:
With respect to the classics, the discussion has to start with Tim Krabbe’s The Rider, a fictionalized account of a one-day amateur race in 1978. Brutish and beautiful, this is required reading for anyone who’s ever wanted to go faster. Daniel Coyle’s Lance Armstrong’s War is a fascinating tour through the bizarre world of pro cycling in the aughts and a great portrait of the man who systematically dominated its hardest race from 1999 to 2005. More recently, Timm Kolln’s The Peloton is a stunning collection of photos and remarkably candid interviews with a generation of professional racers.
I feel I’m the lone standout in my book club of highly educated, highly literary, middle-aged ladies. I never took a literature class in college, and I like a good page-turner with a bit of plot and action. I also believe a good read doesn’t, by definition, leave its reader utterly depressed! So far, judging by the other members’ selections, it seems that I’m the only one who feels this way. It’s my turn to pick a book. Can you suggest something that will please us all?
The divide between “literary fiction” and “good reads” isn’t as stark as it sometimes seems—recent Booker controversies to the contrary! You have loads of options. After all, who doesn’t love a page-turner now and then? You don’t mention whether your book club is geared more toward new fiction or classics, but if you can take the latter route, you can’t go wrong with Dickens. Have you read Bleak House? A few newer titles that spring to mind: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Never Let Me Go, The Magician’s Assistant, and—while it may seem intimidating on the face of it—Infinite Jest. All a pleasure to read with plenty of fodder for discussion.
In this magazine, Gore Vidal once said, “The second person certainly holds few charms.” What is your opinion of second-person narration?
Have a question for the editors of The Paris Review? E-mail us.
July 1, 2011 | by Peter Conroy
In 2005, photographer Timm Kölln began an ambitious five-year project to document professional cycling through the voices, faces, and bodies of the athletes who define it, traveling to major races around Europe and shooting riders alone against a white backdrop moments after they stepped off the bike. The result, The Peloton: Portrait of a Generation, collects ninety-six photographs and interviews with professional cyclists—some superstars, some journeymen, others now-forgotten names of the sport. Kölln’s photographs capture the utter limits of physical experience in an athlete. His interviews (conducted by journalists from the magazine Rouleur) skip the familiar clichés of sports journalism to offer unvarnished and nuanced perspectives on what it means to spend a life on two wheels. Looking ahead to the start of the 2011 Tour de France tomorrow, I recently spoke to Timm from his home in Berlin.
For you, was it the cycling or the photography that came first?
Photography. I grew up in Spain, and when I was a kid my parents wouldn’t let me have a bike. They thought it was too dangerous to ride in Barcelona. But I always had this dream of having a racing bike. And when we moved back to Germany, the first thing I did—I think we’d been in Berlin for two days—was buy a bike, not a racing bike, but a bike.
I was always inspired by older sports photography, and that also influenced me in my approach to cycling. When thinking about how to do the portraits for The Peloton, I thought the only way to get as close as possible to the riders' states of mind and efforts on their bikes was to shoot them without helmets and without glasses, an image we rarely get in sports media.