...is what they should have titled this one. It's not often that an author is able to slip a strange work about bicycling into the mainstream publishing pipeline. This book is full of loose ends, crazy thoughts and weird tangents. There are some bold pronouncements and suggestions for change but I don't think it's going to answer anything with finality. It is however an extremely quick read, during which you just might find yourself info-tained. Or traumatized. Info-traumatized!
The first thing I do when I pick up a book is look at the endnotes and the index. My aunt Karen, a brilliant political scientist, taught me that. What's at the end of a book tells us volumes about how the rest of the thing stacks up. In that spirit I turned to the index of The Cyclist's Manifesto when it arrived in the mail the other day, and saw immediately that we had a weird one on our hands.
I'm not quite sure how these things are prepared. Why didn't Keith Richards, Goya or Hasselhoff make the index, but Hieronymous Bosch did? A deliberate slight? Who knows. In any case, I am proud to present my top ten favorite entries from the index of my new book. And this isn't a belated April Fools' joke or anything, these are certified real:
10. "Bacon, Kevin, 71"
9. "camels, 24-25"
8. "Bosch, Hieronymous, 80"
7. "machine gun attachments, 54"
6. "Boers, 61"
5. "Mission: Impossible (television show), 8"
4. "smuggling, 56-57"
3. "Trigger (horse), 25"
2. "sex compared to bicycling, perceptions of, 134"
1. "Kim Jong Il, 26-27"
If the Boers don't suck you in then surely the prospect of reading about camels, Trigger the horse and Kim Jong Il all within three pages will be impossible to resist.