The Hour by Michael Hutchinson
The Hour. It's the only cycling record that matters: one man and his bike against the clock in a quest for pure speed. No teammates, no rivals, no tactics, no gears, no brakes. Just one simple question - in sixty minutes, how far can you go? Michael Hutchinson had a plan. He was going to add his name to the list of record-holders, cycling's supermen. But how does a man who became a professional athlete by accident achieve sporting immortality? It didn't sound too hard. All he needed was a couple of hand-tooled bike frames, the most expensive wheels money could buy, a support team of crack professionals, a small pot of glue, and a credit card wired to someone else's bank account. Still, getting the glue wasn't a problem...
About Michael Hutchinson
Michael Hutchinson (or "Hutch") is a British racing cyclist and writer who has represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland at events including the Commonwealth Games. His speciality is the individual time trial, but he has also won important races on the track. In 2003 he briefly held the national record for the 100 mile Time Trial; he covered the distance in 3 hours and 23 minutes. He also currently holds the 50 mile and 10 mile national records.He has made two unsuccessful attempts at the hour record, the first of which forms the basis of his 2006 book The Hour. This won him the award for Best New Writer at the 2007 British Sports Book Awards.
I don't know anything about the world of cycling as a sport, but this book intrigued me as I like to read about people striving to be the best showing commitment and endurance, and for me, this book ticked all of the right boxes. An hour cycling at full pelt around a velodrome needs the courage to face the extreme level of pain and to be able to continue no matter what. This was exactly the right sort of non-fiction book that I like, escapism in a world that is completely unknown to me. A five star read for sure.