Chapter Review: Cycling and Philosophical Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Steven D Hales, ‘Cycling and philosophical lessons learned the hard way’.  Chapter 16 in Cycling: Philosophy for everyone (2010) edited by Jesus Ilundain-Agurruza and Michael Austin, Chichester Wiley-Blackwell.

This is an interesting chapter in a book that I am otherwise not too sure about.  Hales offers us 6 principles gleaned from reflection on his early cycle rides.  They are:

  1. You have to train
  2. Get the right gear
  3. Keep fuel in the tank
  4. Quit whining and tough it out
  5. Expect the unexpected
  6. Know thyself and be self-reliant.
Good lessons, but extracting them from the text takes you through quite a lot of philosophical references of fairly strained relevance that did not add much in my view – unless you are as interested in philosophy as cycling.


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