I’ve been a bit busy of late. It’s quite tricky to juggle the race to publication with a full-time job and the imminent arrival of a new family member.
Last week saw the launch event for the book. It took place at Roll For The Soul. There was standing room only and the talk was warmly received. Several people now have a copy of the book in their possession. The only thing that remains is seeing what people think of it. This is the tricky bit; up until now it’s been my book exclusively. I’ve written and rewritten it and shaped it over the past few years. Now it’s done and sealed and bound, it’s no longer my book. It belongs to each person who reads it to make of it what they will. It’s a nervewracking time.
I had some worries – I think that this is inevitable given the realities of writing about people. It’s a subjective process, no matter how objective you aspire to be, and there is an inherent risk that some of those represented will question some of the assertions. Thus far, it’s been OK. I’ve had some incredibly kind words form some people.
“To tell you the truth, I was a bit overwhelmed. It’s beautifully put together and I had tears in my eyes when I read it”. Peter Graham, National Hill Climb Champion, 1958, 1961 and 1962. Commentator on the National most years.
“You’ve encapsulated everything and it really struck a chord. It’s an emotional read, you have a unique writing style and should be very proud of this aptly named book”. Gareth Armitage, Champion in 1975 and 1978.
“The book is amazing, I loved your description in the presentation of your encounter with Peter Graham who commentates on the Rake, he’s a legend & I always think how perfectly the Rake has been designed for hill climbs, with the driveway on the right of the steep part for the commentator to park in! Also the graveyard at the top on the left in case anyone dies! Its also nice that you mention Terry Smith, the Horseshoe Pass HC founder, I’m sure that his Fibrax Wrexham friends will be very proud of that, Its nice that he too will be remembered in history. I think that I’m more proud of the National HC than anything else I’ve achieved in my life & its really great that you’ve captured it all, I will treasure that book until I’m an old man!” James Dobbin, Champion in 2006 and 2007.
“Very pleased to receive a copy this morning – thanks very much. An excellent read, especially looking back over the years that I rode the Championship. Lots of comments and views of riders who specialised in the anti-gravity game as well as thoughts on the various climbs. Includes chats with riders such as Gareth Armitage, Darryl Webster from the eigthies and more recently Tejvan Pettinger. All hill-climbers should buy a copy, rather than borrow one!”. Phil Hurt, aptly named hillclimber and organiser of this year’s championship on Jackson Bridge.
So far, so good. It’s available on Amazon or other more law-abiding retailers, from tomorrow. Feel free to add comments to this page.