Book: “Goggles & Dust”

From the Horton Collection comes a 120-page hardcover book celebrating cycling’s glory days, when cycling was the world’s most popular sport and racers wore spare tires criss-crossed over their chests like Mexican Revolutionary General Pancho Villa wearing two bandoliers.

Maurice DeWaele fixing a flat during the 1929 Tour de France; no neutral support back then!

Maurice DeWaele fixing a flat during the 1929 Tour de France; no neutral support back then!

The 8” x 7” book was produced using original silver gelatin prints, restored and published for the first time since their original publication in newspapers and magazines of the day. Images of racers hunched over their steel machines turning their single gear (this was during the pre derailleur days; Tullio Campagnolo hadn’t conceived his new mechanism yet) with wool jerseys, cotton caps and aviator looking goggles abound in this collection. The wear and tear on the racer’s body took its toll; in many images the men look a couple decades older than reality, with cratered faces and tree-trunk legs popping out from page. You can see the pain etched on the faces of Victor Fontan, Eugène Christophe and Leon Scieur throughout.

Antonin Magne attacking the 1934 Grand Prix des Nations time trial.

Antonin Magne attacking the 1934 Grand Prix des Nations time trial.

For as much that is made about modern cycling technology and our ‘newfound’ love of gravel, check out “Goggles & Dust” to see how real men raced bikes, and how they were revered for their exploits. You might be inspired to get out and ride in conditions you normally deemed too extreme.

A happy Lucien Buysse celebrating with a toast in Paris after winning the 1926 Tour de France.

A happy Lucien Buysse celebrating with a toast in Paris after winning the 1926 Tour de France.

An ideal holiday gift, found where better books about cycling are sold. Well worth the $16.95 asking price.

 

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