Climbs and Punishment – Felix Lowe

Blazin’ Saddles, if you don’t know, is a blogger/sports journalist with a particular focus on cycling. The Blazin’ Saddles blog has developed a massive following over the years with its humorous take on events in the world of pro-cycling. Now under the alter ego “Felix Lowe”, a preposterous name that is surely made up, the blogger has written his first book.

As it turns out however, the die hard cycling fan is not a die hard cyclist, very far from it. So, after being approached to write a column in a cycling magazine, the author lands upon the idea of doing something huge to go from couch to 1,000K.

The book follows a cycling journey on the path followed by Hannibal on his way to attack Rome. However, rather than just being a travel book about a cycling through some stunning scenery, there are three stories being told here; that of the historical journey by Hannibal, the journey of the author and his companions and stories of major events in the history of the three Grand Tours as he tackles famous climbs from these races.

Speaking of the companions, what a bunch of well drawn characters and, it has to be said, good sports – the stories related about each are not always that complimentary. Throughout the book is a good dollop of humour, which in some cases is quite self-deprecatory (and requires a strong stomach).

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the only downside I can think of is that it ended. I’m hoping (and hinting) for a sequel.


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