Tag Archives: ned boulting

SweetSpot Cycling Book of the Year Award 2013

A late-comer to the annual book of the year awards was announced earlier this week. The (long) shortlist has 12 books on it, so I’m taking a very quick peak inside of each to look at the index (or lack thereof) in each. Why am I bothering? Because, as a member of the Society of Indexers, I believe that every non-fiction book needs an index  – unless the book is likely to be read once and then discarded, an index is essential and a non-fiction book without an index causes its readers considerable frustration. So, sadly, some of the publishers of these books think they are as disposable as a tissue, which is a shame given the effort that must have gone into writing them.

On the Road Bike: The Search For a Nation’s Cycling Soul. Ned Boulting. Yellow Jersey. No look inside for the printed version available on Amazon, but I suspect it probably doesn’t have an index. Which is a shame. I have read this book on Kindle and it contains information about a wide range of unknown or forgotten people who have been the backbone of grassroots cycling in the UK.

Racing Hard, 20 Tumultuous Years in Cycling. William Fotheringham. Faber and Faber. Replete with index, lots of names and races mentioned, but suffers a bit from undifferentiated strings of locators for some of the key characters – Lance Armstrong, Dave Brailsford etc. who appear throughout the book.

Cycling Anthology II, Tour de France centenary edition. Lionel Birnie and Ellis Bacon. Peloton Publishing. Doesn’t have an index, which was a conscious decision on the part of the editors. You can take a look at my free index for volume III and see the kind of thing it is missing.

Easy Rider: My Life on a Bike. Rob Hayles. Bantam Press. No look inside for the printed version available on Amazon.

Domestique. The True life Ups and Downs of a Tour Pro. Charlie Wegelius. Ebury Press. No trace of an index. But was the eventual award winner, gaining the highest number of public votes http://www.tourseries.co.uk/news/9047.php

Hunger. Sean Kelly. Peloton Publishing. Not much sign of an index.

Mountain Higher: Europe’s Extreme, Undiscovered and Unforgettable Cycling Climbs. Daniel Friebe and Pete Goding. Quercus. No look inside for the printed version available on Amazon. However an earlier volume on the same topic did have an index, so just maybe there is an index.

Sean Yates: It’s All About the Bike. Sean Yates. Bantam Press. No look inside for the printed version available on Amazon. Other Bantam publications have indexes so maybe there is one.

The Race Against Time: Obree, Boardman and the Quest to be the Fastest Man on Two Wheels. Edward Pickering. Bantam Press. Got an index, with a lot of subheadings for each of Boardman and Obree, but some of the other people mentioned suffer from undifferentiated locators, i.e. the entries for Indurain and LeMond.

Project Rainbow: How British Cycling Reached the Top of the World. Rod Ellingworth. Faber and Faber. No look inside available for the printed version.

Mapping Le Tour de France. Ellis Bacon. Collins. Long index of entries covering each time a place was in the Tour de France with a separate subheading. However, lots of undifferentiated locators for the participants, so you can’t cross reference by using the index to find out for example, when a particular rider went through a particular place. That might have made the index a lot longer but chapeau to whoever compiled it anyway.

Land of Second Chances: The Impossible Rise of Rwanda’s Cycling Team. Tim Lewis. Yellow Jersey. No index in this book I’m afraid.

The public voted for Domestique, so congratulations to Charlie, but shame it didn’t have an index.

If you’ve writing a book about cycling and you’d like to talk about including an index, please get in touch by using the contact tab above.

Prudential Ride London 100 mile and indexing cycling books

Getting this weeks’ blog out a bit early as I’ll be cycling my legs off on Sunday 4th August doing the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 mile route. That’ll teach me for thinking I never win in lucky dips! I had a 1:4 chance of getting a place and lo and behold got one on the first try. So I have spent the last few months training away, when I’ve not being doing my indexing course, working and trying to squeeze in all the things a human being does. (I don’t sleep a lot!).

If you tune in to the BBC coverage during the day. starting at 11:30 on BBC1 and continuing at 4:30 also on BBC1, you might spot me in my Simon’s Cat cycling jersey hurtling along the roads or maybe walking up Leith Hill and Box Hill with a sympathetic voice-over saying something like “… and here are the older competitors who should have known better…”


I like watching the professional cyclists competing in the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and La Vuelta a España. mostly because they are fit young chaps and it is all a bit bonkers to spend that much time and effort just cycling about. And there’s the books of course. If you watch the ITV coverage you’ll be familiar with Ned Boulting and his interviews and coverage of the different race stages. He’s written some books on the subject, and the first, How I Won the Yellow Jumper, is laugh out loud funny in some places as you cringe with Ned’s memories of the gaffs he made as he was learning the ropes on the Tour. It includes lots of names of riders, teams, places – on the routes, the hotels, the detours, and themes such as results, points, prizes, training, drugs, bikes and even the promotional men who give away stuff to the crowds at the finish points. The kind of things that fans of Ned, newly-minted cycling fans and more established ardent cycling fans are likely to go looking for in a book about the Tour de France. All good stuff for the indexer’s mill, but unfortunately Yellow Jersey Press chose not to get an index compiled for this or for the subsequent book On the Road Bike. So another couple of books that are a bit poorer for the omission of indexes. Ned might be a little shy of what he knows and the stories he tells, but it would be much better for all of us if these books were indexed.