Road Cycling

Chris Boardman and Ray Mears Among Star-Studded Cycling and Adventure Line Up at Edinburgh Book Festival

Mark Beaumont and David Millar are also set for the festival later this month...

Photo: Cyclist Mark Beaumont, who will speak about riding solo around Africa at the Ed Book Fest

Chris Boardman and Mark Beaumont are among the sterling selection of cyclists and adventurers speaking at the Edinburgh Book Festival in the next month.

The famous book festival sees a programme of over 700 events run through the month of August, and as well as Boardman and Beaumont, the likes of Olympian David Millar and survival expert Ray Mears will also be appearing.

Further cycling events come in the form of talks with David Coventry, author of historical tour de France novel ‘The Invisible Mile’ and Tim Moore, author of ‘French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France’, the true story of how Tim rode the Tour course… with the help of cheating and drugs.

Photo: The cover image for David Coventry’s ‘The Invisible Mile’

We recently spoke to Coventry about ‘The Invisible Mile’, an intense, intelligent read which takes you back to 1929 and puts you right in the middle of the peloton, when riders powered through the night and risked tumbling off mountains. Check out our David Coventry interview here.

He’ll be speaking at the book festival on Tuesday 23rd August at 8.30pm alongside Anthony Cartwright.

Tim Moore meanwhile has been dubbed ‘Bill Bryson on two wheels’ and will be talking on Wednesday 24th August at 8.45pm.

Photo: The cover for Ray Mears and Lars Falt’s new release ‘Out on the Land’

Ray Mears is a legend in the field of adventure, recognised around for his work and experience in bushcraft and survival. He’s become a household name through numerous TV series, and along with Lars Falt has now released ‘Out on the Land’, an exploration of the circumpolar Boreal forest of the North, it’s landscape, people , culture and skills and beauty.

The book covers everything from the clothes, kit, skills and cooking tips you’ll need to survive to the age-old traditions of the area and the wilderness it embodies. Ray Mears will be speaking at the Book Festival on Monday 29th August at 6.45pm.

Chris Boardman is of course renowned for triggering a British cycling revolution after winning a gold medal in the individual pursuit in the 1992 Barcelona Games. It was Britain’s first Olympic gold in track cycling for 72 years and transformed Chris from a woodworker from Wirral to an elite cycling sensation in the blink of an eye.

Boardman in action in Barcelona. His bike, designed by his friend Mike Burrows, was made by car manufacturer Lotus who allowed Burrows to test prototypes in their wind tunnel. Photo: Boardman Bikes

The change in the funding and general program set up at British Cycling in the years that followed was unparalleled, and many say responsible for the gold-haul that followed. Chris will be speaking at the Edinburgh book festival on Friday 26 August from 10am, discussing his memoir Triumphs & Turbulence.

Mark Beaumont is one of the great adventurers in cycling. He had cycled the length of Scotland by the time he was 12 and taken on Britain on the bike by 15.

Photo: Mark Beaumont

The Scottish-born rider would go on to conquer the world, cycling 18,292 miles around the globe in 194 days to beat the record of the time for a round-the-world cycle by a massive 80 days.

Since then he’s rowed through the Canadian arctic, cycled across the Americas and ran a BBC series He’s also ridden across Africa and then written a book about it, and it’s on ‘Africa Solo’ which Mark Beaumont will be speaking at the book festival on Friday 26, from 6.45pm.

David Millar is returning to the book festival after a memorable appearance in 2011 where he talked calorie counting, doping and camaraderie on the pro cycling circuit. Since then he’s competed in the Olympics and written ‘The Racer: The Inside Story of Life on the Road’, which he’ll be talking about at the Edinburgh book festival on Friday 19th August at 3.15pm.

For more on the Edinburgh International Book Festival program, head to their official site and check out the programme:

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