Read French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France by Tim Moore Online


Not only is it the world's largest and most watched sporting event, but also the most fearsome physical challenge ever conceived by man, demanding every last ounce of will and strength, every last drop of blood, sweat, and tears. If ever there was an athletic exploit specifically not for the faint of heart and feeble of limb, this is it. So you might ask, what is Tim MooreNot only is it the world's largest and most watched sporting event, but also the most fearsome physical challenge ever conceived by man, demanding every last ounce of will and strength, every last drop of blood, sweat, and tears. If ever there was an athletic exploit specifically not for the faint of heart and feeble of limb, this is it. So you might ask, what is Tim Moore doing cycling it?An extremely good question. Ignoring the pleading dictates of reason and common sense, Moore determined to tackle the Tour de France, all 2,256 miles of it, in the weeks before the professionals entered the stage. This decision was one he would regret for nearly its entire length. But readers--those who now know Moore's name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Bill Bryson and Calvin Trillin--will feel otherwise. They are in for a side-splitting treat.French Revolutions gives us a hilariously unforgettable account of Moore's attempt to conquer the Tour de France. "Conquer" may not be quite the right word. He cheats when he can, pops the occasional hayfever pill for an ephedrine rush (a fine old Tour tradition), sips cheap wine from his water bottle, and occasionally weeps on the phone to his wife. But along the way he gives readers an account of the race's colorful history and greatest heroes: Eddy Merckx, Greg Lemond, Lance Armstrong, and even Firmin Lambot, aka the "Lucky Belgian," who won the race at the age of 36. Fans of the Tour de France will learn why the yellow jersey is yellow, and how cyclists learned to save precious seconds (a race that lasts for three weeks is all about split seconds) by relieving themselves en route. And if that isn't enough, his account of a rural France tarting itself up for its moment in the spotlight leaves popular quaint descriptions of small towns in Provence in the proverbial dust. If you either love or hate the French, or both, you'll want to travel along with Time Moore.French Revolutions is Tim Moore's funniest book to date. It is also one of the funniest sports books ever written....

Title : French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312316129
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France Reviews

  • Foxthyme
    2018-11-11 18:27

    I'm not quite sure how you prepare for biking 3000 km of the Tour de France route by running a couple of times and heading out on the new bike a couple of times. But somehow Moore pulled it off. And he doesn't pull any punches with the descriptions. Wanna know how you'd feel after biking just over 254 km in a day, arrive in the town of Troyes in the night only to find there's not a hotel room in the entire town, but your wife, calling to France from England for you found one in a city 13-22 km away, so off you go again on your bike, finding your feeble bike lights don't cut it in the rural landscape? He writes:"I was relieved to turn off the N19, but not for very long. The trees rose up about me and blocked off the moon; if the roads hadn't been almost dead straight I'd never have made it. I could barely make out the fingerposts at all and, when I did, the only way to read them was to shin up the pole and hold my flashing light an inch away from the lettering. An owl hooted. I ran over something pulpy. There were other sounds. I hadn't seen any signs of life for an eon. The suggestion that somewhere in this wooded wilderness lay a Holiday Inn was an outrage against logic. Wolves--certainly; vagrant lunatics--odds-on; a solitary cleated foot emerging from recently disturbed soil--well, the night was young."There's another great description of him sitting to a meal after a day of biking, muddied and worn, bits of dead wasps and dried skin falling off his face into his half eaten pasta that was a fantastic bit...Chapeau, Tim Moore, Chapeau, indeed!

  • Chris
    2018-11-06 23:37

    Honestly, if you are thinking of reading this book about one British man's attempt to do the 2000 Tour de France route, get the audio. It's so funny. Just kept laughing so hard. Hear about Mars bars, mountains, and ass cream!Listen in amazement as he recounts the struggle of putting the bike together.Shake your head as he tries to find drug aid!And there is a bunch of Tour de France history as well (Note, though, this was written before Armstrong's confession).

  • Michael Mcclelland
    2018-11-15 22:33

    Thank goodness I read this book. Many years ago I circum-cycled Tasmania and, on completion, thought about what my next challenge would be. Unsurprisingly (due to what must have been lactic acid-affected cognition) I also hit upon the idea of cycling the Tour de France route. And though I subsequently recognised it as a silly idea (or rather, far too hard), now I really, really don't have to do it 'cause this author has done it for me.Containing some fascinating anecdotes of Tour history, and providing a great comparison between elite and recreational sportsman, Tim Moore (barely in the latter category) pilots his way, as best he can, through the French, Swiss and German countryside (mostly) atop his bicycle. Along the way he manically, obstinately and hilariously butts heads against those who cross his path - but reserves his worst words for himself. Funny as the journey may be - for the reader at least - he arguably doesn't achieve his goal. In one regard though, he does have his name on par, for a moment, with the supermen who make the Tour their living.Chapeau!

  • Mary
    2018-11-09 01:42

    A rank amateur rides the route of the Tour de France, with painful and hilarious results. Very funny, lots of Tour history. Think Bill Bryson with a bicycle.

  • MisterFweem
    2018-10-17 18:24

    Travel writing is ubiquitous, but good travel writing is hard to come by. Fortunately, Tim Moore's "French Revolutions" fits in the latter category.Moore is a crazy Brit who decides he's going to cycle the Tour de France route in 2000 about a month before the tour and discovers that, at the end of all things, he was indeed mad to undertake such an adventure. He fails in some of his goals, triumphing in others. He meets genuinely good people and a bunch of pratts. His encounters with "official" France and the "paysan" France mirror the encounters I had while I lived in the country for nearly two years: Officials are very official and the paysans are, for the most part, pretty decent.But back to the book. Moore follows the best tenet I've ever observed of travel writing: It's about the travel, not the author. Yes, the author has to insert himself or herself into the book as the narrator, but there are some authors who can't resist putting themselves in as characters so often they get in the way of the writing. John Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley" comes to mind in this category. Moore, on the other hand, manages to keep the narrative going without inserting his writerly self in at every little hairpin turn in the road.The book brought back a lot of memories. Not that I've ever cycled the Tour de France route, but I have done plenty of cycling in the French countryside and, for two days, was trapped in my apartment because not only was the city I was living in at the time a "ville d'etape," but also the neighborhood where I lived was also the epicenter of the race's arrival and departure. I have an audio recording of the event somewhere. I'm going to have to dig it out now and listen to it again.

  • Myrthe
    2018-11-06 19:45

    The book started off great. It was funny and the main character seems a little dumb for trying a challenge like this. Unfortunately, this is the funniest part of the book. Only very rarely are there any other funny pays in the book. Quite a disappointment as the cover of the book is filled with blurbs about how hilarious the book is. There is a sort of self-deprecating 'humor' going on throughout the rest of the book though. However it's constantly used and becomes tiring because of this. Something else that bothered me, was that the writer was trying to show of his knowledge of big words. At least, so it seemed. There are quite a few of these used throughout the book, so many in fact that at some point it started to annoy me and I started wondering if regular words were beneath the writer. Some of the flashbacks seem to have no clear purpose except for confusion, or filling space. Many were unnecessary. There are a few things however that I did like about the book. It was very recognizable, whether you're big on sports or not. It's easy to realize what's happening and why, which leads to the next pro of the book: the struggles the main character goes through are very well described. It seems to be quite accurate and is detailed as well. There were some pretty gross scenes in the book as well, mostly to do with bodily functions/fluids. If you're very squeamish, you might want to avoid those scenes. All in all, I didn't really enjoy the book. I had to force myself to keep reading. Maybe the type of humor used want really my thing. Whatever it was, it did not make me laugh out loud as promised.

  • Sean O'Hare
    2018-10-27 18:31

    Yeah, it is about the Tour de France. Let's just get that out there. It's also about France and cycling and traveling and a mad person doing a mad thing. It's a really funny story (true) about a guy who decided that he probably didn't have traditional athletic skills but figured he could ride a bike so why not ride one around France in the month before the Tour de France and write about it. That's it, so if the idea of an out of shape Englishman hopping on a bike and trying to ride the course of the most grueling athletic event of the year doesn't appeal to you, then this is not for you. Of course, I can't understand why someone wouldn't be into that...

  • Mel
    2018-11-11 23:26

    This book ought to have easily won me over as it is a travelogue and about long distance cycling and about France -all of which I love. A review on the cover promises "hilarious self-deprecation", but to be honest, he wasn't self-deprecating enough, and when he was it was in the way a swotty student says insincerely "I'm going to fail" only to achieve an A*. I found his vainglorious, narcissistic boasting grating after a while, and grew to the point that by the end of the book, I had grown an irrational dislike of the author. With almost no prior training, supposedly, he manages to do 16 km at an average speed of 27.7 k.p.h. -all the while dismissing his lack of fitness. To do that on a fully laden bike with no training. As someone who considers 16-20 k.p.h. a pretty decent cycling pace, I found this galling, but then again, I am not into competitive cycling; in a word, the pursuit of high speeds is all about inflated EGO. My early suspicion that the author was a man who needed to massage his own ego as much as his legs, actually far more than that, was confirmed in many glaring and cringeworthy examples, which were echoed also in his pretentious use of language, for example, why use "bidon" when "water bottle" is what they are known as online and in shops, and most of all, by cyclists? (I couldn't help but think that had he used the less high faluting word, he might have avoided the build up of bacteria in his bidons due to sugary drinks.) It was strange that he chose k as his abbreviation for kilometres, for no obvious reason, especially when km is the norm, and it reminded me of parents who give their children's names unique spellings. Apart from these excesses, the writing was good and the command of English was top drawer. He seemed to fish for compliments about how great he was in every encounter. He couldn't share the road with another cyclist without being taken over by an inordinate desire to pass them out, especially if they were elderly. Here are some examples I found just nauseating to read. "I withdrew my odometer[his cycling computer to you and me], which I'd unclipped from ZR [his bike!] in order to gloat over."About a group of club cyclists, "offered the first suggestions that the malaise blighting French cycling may be traced to the neglect of competitive training in favour of poncing about in new-season jerseys..." Personally, cycling should be about poncing about the bike, if that means enjoying cycling at a pace that suits you. "It was beginning to look as if I might be becoming rather great.""...then set off to cover those 15 waterside kilometres for the third time in little over an hour." - rub it in my face why don't you; I'd be happy to do one lap of 15 km in an hour. "Our whole cycling relationship had been founded on the unspoken assumption that I was much better than he was." Ego much?"...and with my average speed down at a risible 22.9..." - risible? I was thinking: Stop fishing for compliments, hold out your net and I will throw you five flatteries and a praise. "Feeble Sunday-morning amateurs.""Despite myself I got up on the pedals and gave him a bit of a show." "If I wanted to be taken seriously by my masseur, the hair would have to go." - the Ego would be a far more apt extraction. "Feeling smug and splendid and world-famous."p.262 - pass me the bucket."they (three teenage girls) even plotted my weary passage through their lives with glum envy." - humility is something, isn't it?It was such a shame that Moore lived up to the ego-driven stereotype of racing cyclists because the book is humorously written and contains many gems from cycling history. I remember being told smugly by a passing cyclist - a similar obsessive about speed - "you need a smaller pump!" The book had that flavour about it. Why can't people just go and enjoy a cycle without worrying if they are the best? Anyway, without giving too much away it was no surprise that the EGO was finally transfigured, assumed or ascended in the end.

  • Greg
    2018-11-01 23:17

    Picked this up a few weeks ago from the used bookstore after recognizing it from the Book Lust “Bicycling” list. This is the first season I’ve paid even the least bit of attention to road racing (after watching A Sunday in Hell and other classic-era race footage), making it a perfect read for the early season.This is the true story of Tim Moore, a British humorist / travel writer / journalist, who - despite not owning a bike or ever having much success riding them - makes the resolution to ride the route of the 2000 Tour de France over his 35th birthday. His journey is one marked with failure and defeat (opting to skip a few of the early HC’s before getting his legs); experiments with drunkenness and over-the-counter doping (a half liter of wine with every lunch; attempts at using ephedrine and caffeine pills to make a tough climb); tired and misdirected rudeness (at one point making a lewd comment to a smug young “couple” he later realizes must be brother and sister); and countless adventures through foreign languages (asking most of France how the feel about “the tower”).The humor is pretty straight forward (read: occasionally corny or predictable), but I found myself laughing at loud at least once every several pages . As a result of a recent biking mishap of my own, it actually had me laughing until I bled, as it contorted and tore at too-fresh face wounds. The book also offers a great look back at some of the historic moments of the tour - the first on-the-saddle urination; Tom Simpson’s fatal climb of Ventoux (“put me back on the bloody bike!”) - as well as providing an overview of the riders, history and strategies of road racing, and a travel-by-bike look at the towns along the route.Definitely worth the read for those that like ride, or have an interest in le Tour. Maybe not for serious cyclists or race fans.

  • Paul
    2018-10-23 18:39

    Let's be absolutely clear – this is not a "travel book". It is not full of lush descriptions of pretty towns and villages. There are very few romantic musings on the French way of life. And it is most definitely not an affectionate tribute to France or its people. Indeed the nicest things the author has to say about anyone or anything during his replica "Tour" is that Carcassonne (a world heritage site) is a "pop up medieval horizon" and "Germany did its best to comfort me." So then, this is a book for cyclists and Tour enthusiasts, not travellers. It's well written, descriptive, and funny, and it's clearly written by someone who has much affection for the race and its histoire. But if you're after something that's not quite as well written but combines a recreation of "Le Tour" with more affection for the country, try "One Day Ahead" by Richard Grady.

  • Russell
    2018-10-21 18:29

    A good story about a self-proclaimed non-cyclist (I think he said that he writes for a cycling magazine so I'm not so sure?) who cycled the Tour de France route 6 weeks before the real thing. It's certainly not all about the cycling; there are many humourous observations about people and places too.Overall, a book I enjoyed and would recommend, especially if you're getting in to long distance cycling as it's mildly inspirational.

  • Amalasuntha
    2018-11-04 18:26

    If I could give this book no stars I would. Funny for the first half chapter and after that cringe making. Moore spends most of the book whinging and complaining, and when he's not doing that he critising. His behaviour is appalling. The worst kind of tourist, and why anyone would want to read about this I don't know. I only persisted with this book because I thought it couldn't all be like this. But it is. Be warned.

  • Gene
    2018-11-14 18:21

    Really enjoyable read. Would have been even better if I had understood the French language bits, and there are more than a few anglocentric jokes and references, but if you are a cyclists and have ever contemplated doing something crazy on your bike, this is the book to either convince you to go for it - or to totally discourage from doing so. And I have to say, I loved the ending!

  • Cyanide Bunny
    2018-11-08 01:32

    tim moore isn't for everyone and i know he hams it up a bit, but l like his disorganized and poorly prepared approach to everything he does. He is often compared to Bill Bryson, but i find him a lot less twee. Perhaps a foul mouthed Bill Bryson would be more accurate.

  • Shelli
    2018-11-12 18:37

    Laugh-out-loud funny, in the vein of Christopher Moore (no relation), but while accounting true events rather than fantastical yarns.

  • Nodes
    2018-11-09 20:17

    Really fun look at the ideas and passions of cycling around France in 'Le Tour'. Tim Moore is a funny guy and he tells the story in a enjoyable way. Good fun read.

  • Ann
    2018-10-28 22:35

    Bill Bryson on a bike. Good Tour history and laugh-out-loud stories about how physically challenging the route is for a normal human being.

  • Nathan Albright
    2018-10-19 02:29

    If you are familiar with this author, others like him, there is a familiar sense about this book.  A middle-aged sportswriter decides on some loony challenge and manages to secure a publishing advance and enough help to engage upon his challenge, which simultaneously proves some sort of heroism while maintaining the air of irony that is necessary to relate to contemporary readers.  I am by no means unfamiliar with this sort of writing, nor do I dislike it [1].  I feel this style of writing is more a commentary on our times and the way that heroism must be portrayed as mock heroism rather than frankly and honestly appreciated than it is on the writer themselves, whose achievements are certainly admirable.  If you like this sort of literature, you know what is coming, a lot of witty banter from a self-effacing and falsely modest English sportswriter who has a great love of books about travel and/or cycling that mixes "you are there" reportage with a somewhat cock-eyed look at history.  There is a lot to like here.  This book is familiar in the sense a witty and somewhat irreverent dinner partner is familiar, and that is familiar in the best way.In this volume, the author takes a trip along the 2000 Tour de France, capturing the sights and smells of the route and giving a colorful and somewhat unpleasant picture of what it is like to be a clueless and mostly monolingual British tourist attempting to do crazy tasks overseas.  Here we see the author working on getting an up-to-date bike, doing stretch exercises and trying to take care of himself, and then try to manage life in mostly rural France.  The author experiments with the sort of cheating that is regularly undertaken by riders, from hitching a ride with drivers to cutting corners on routes to taking hay fever medicine and indulging in a large amount of drinking to get a competitive edge in the brutal riding.  As one might expect, the author gets more fit as the ride goes along, and manages to find quite a few interesting people.  He says some rude things about the Germans--he appears to have a particular animus against gay German motorcyclists, who he comments on repeatedly.  Even if one finds the author to be more than a little bit profane at times--and he is no question an earthy person who loves talking about scatological matters, this almost 300 page book has a lot to offer.So, what does one learn about the Tour de France from this author?  Well, the author indicates that there is an air of secrecy behind much of how the Tour de France operates and that they are perhaps not the friendliest to gonzo journalists like him.  Additionally, there has been a consistent air of commercialism as well as cheating throughout the history of the tour.  The author states where he does not imply that only someone who is less than completely sane would undertake a task such as cycling for over 2000 miles over the course of three weeks.  I happen to agree with the author on this, and also find that the author makes some sound points on the connection between widespread apathy about cycling among young French people and the loss of French dominance in their national race, a subject about which they seem to be a bit sensitive.  Is this author a bit less than a good guy sometimes?  Absolutely.  Is he somewhat unreliable as a narrator and likely prone to exaggerate or underexaggerate matters depending on what makes for a more compelling story?  Yes.  Is this still an enjoyable book to read?  Without question.[1] See, for example:

  • Tony Zale
    2018-11-11 02:20

    The Tour de France: a grueling 2000+ mile long bike race around France, up and down the Alps and Pyrenees, stretching on for 3 weeks. A race that professionals regularly fail to complete. What happens when an amateur that hasn’t biked in years attempts to take on the course? Tim Moore decides to find out, taking the reader through the often off-color history of the tour: cheating riders, abuse of performance-enhancing drugs, and the antics of crazed superfans. Moore oscillates between cursing terrible meals eaten along the way, reveling in the comraderie of locals impressed by his undertaking, and moaning the destruction of small towns by creeping globalization. He fails spectacularly at boosting his performance through the abuse of over-the-counter amphetamines. Most of his misadventures are more mundane; he humorously bemoans his difficulties climbing mountains and the odd mechanical noises produced by his bicycle.French Revolutions has many similarities to A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, a book I enjoyed last year. Each covers the adventures of an ambitious self-powered traveler attempting a journey for which they are completely ill-equipped. Both have a heavy dose of comedy and sarcasm, poking fun at people they cross paths with and cursing treacherous terrain, but ultimately saving the most ridicule for themselves during the depths of their ineptitude. Both immediately plot and execute shortcuts to cheat days off their trips. The strength of Bryson’s book is its buddy comedy -- Bryson somehow found and convinced an out-of-shape old friend to join him for the journey. Moore’s journey is solo and leans heavier on the historic backbone both books use to build interest around the respective journeys.Overall, French Revolutions entertains and encourages the reader to think about taking on their own adventure.

  • thereadytraveller
    2018-11-07 18:24

    Despite claiming not to be cyclist, the author decides to cycle the 3,630km Tour de France route that is due to take place in a month’s time. Whilst a few shortcuts occur on the way, his efforts are rather remarkable, most especially given the number of “watering” stops that he takes along the way in order to refuel in the appropriate French fashion. Whilst the writing is at times witty, be aware that the focus is very much on the riders and history of the Tour de France and less on the surrounding countryside and towns that he passes through. As such, this will appeal more to cycling aficionados and most especially to Tour de France nuts than someone who might be looking for a travelogue through France. For me, I punctured at 44% finished and had to retire from the race.

  • Carl
    2018-11-11 01:27

    After enjoying Gironimo, the author’s attempt to re-create the 1914 Giro d’Italia, I went back in time to read his account of riding the 2000 Tour de France route 2 months before the event. Plenty of humor, lots of one liners. Tour officials are reluctant to give him route info. He runs into cold, inclement weather in the mountains. He almost overlaps with the Giro in the Alps. And of course he’s not exactly a racer. Again, I find him very much in the vein of Bill Bryson, which is a compliment IMO. If you’re a fan of cycling, the Tour, or the French countryside, or Bryson style travelogues, you should enjoy this.

  • Zachary Olsen
    2018-11-05 19:44

    I was a little disappointed with this one. From the comparisons to Bill Bryson I suppose I should have known what I was in for, but I expected just a little bit more about the actual TdF and its history. Instead Moore spent much of the 200 odd pages lightheartedly complaining about the French and giving detailed accounts of how much booze he drank each day at lunch. Very little of the book was actually devoted to cycling, and I would have liked just a bit more in a book that purports to be about, well, cycling.

  • Judith Bienvenu
    2018-10-19 22:19

    So, this is the journal of a guy who decides he's going to ride the Tour de France route. And he's not a cyclist, he's just some out of shape dude. If you're a Tour fan, you've certainly wondered what it would be like. Read this book. It's hilarious, serious, enlightening, and hilarious. Highly recommended to Tour fans, or anyone who has ridden a bike.

  • Nam
    2018-11-15 20:25

    TM's preparation for the trip was really funny to read as I also often find myself underprepared for many sportive ventures. The part I liked the most was his support vehicle. What's better than when you're in low morale, tired, and depressed somehow your wife and kids show up the next day to cheer you up!

  • Steve
    2018-10-22 19:37

    Humorous account of the author's attempt to follow the Tour de France route.

  • Jirka Sikyta
    2018-11-06 18:40

    Great audio!

  • MJ Channon
    2018-10-28 18:38

    Excellent.The Tour baffles me and it still does but that's of no consequence as Moore takes us on an I'll conceived journey of achievement and humour.A top read.

  • Peter
    2018-10-27 22:43

    I don't normally review book I fail to finish but this book is so bad I feel compelled to do so. The author combines poor quality writing with attempts at schoolboy humour which simply don't work. Not for me, I gave up, however, it may amuse other readers. Oddly enough, checking back on my records, I read this book in 2007 all the way to the end! Maybe my tolerance has decreased or my standards increased since then, who knows?

  • Craig Booty
    2018-11-09 21:15

    Inspiring and made me laugh

  • Stuart Threlfall
    2018-10-21 20:45

    A nice account of the author's attempt to follow the route of the Tour de France.