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Goggles & Dust

$17.00

A hundred and one images from the Brett Horton Collection provide a fascinating glimpse of road racing during the 1920s and 1930s. In those days, the stages were long, and support was limited. Each page of this small-format book displays a single photo with a one-sentence caption that lists the name(s) of the rider(s), the event and what we see. By avoiding the distraction of lengthy explanations, we focus on the images, and really look at them. What we see is fascinating.

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There is Eugène Christophe in the 1925 Tour de France, riding next to a car. He is wearing a cap and goggles to protect his eyes from stones thrown up by other riders on the gravel road. A musette bag and two spare tubular tires are slung over his shoulders, one deflated and unused, the other with some air and perhaps ripped off the rim after a puncture. Another tubular is strapped under his seat. His randonneur-style handlebars are tilted upward and have a very shallow drop. His stem-mounted double bottle cages hold only one bottle. Christophe is outfitted like a warrior, yet his face expresses the confidence and serenity of a champion.

Studying the photos shows how much racing has changed in the last 80 years. In the 1920s, randonneur handlebars were popular among the long-distance racers. Riders today are much more groomed than the old, gritty heroes of the open road. However, it’s also surprising how little has changed in the basics of riding bikes at speed. The riding positions of the old heroes is very similar to that of today’s riders, and the facial expressions show that the human aspect of racing is timeless.

  • Publisher: VeloPress
  • Year: 2014
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Pages: 120 pages
  • Dimensions: 8″ x 7″

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