Hill Climbs are Coming

Hill Climb season is nearly here. For those of you interested, you can read about the definitive history of the event in all its insane colour and agony.


Praise has been almost universal. Some people have questioned the intensely technical discussions of gear inches and shit like that, which I recognise as a valid comment, although it’s hard to avoid in a discussion of the sport. There was also a question raised by Jack Thurston regarding a tendency to over-denigrate the more materialistic elements of the sport (i’m forever railing against expensive bikes and expensive sportives) and I think this is a valid criticism; it’s not really needed in the book and is something best reserved for this blog. It’s a learning curve, and writing a book has been both a fantastic experience, but also completely nerve-wracking. I’m hoping my next book will be better. It has the working title

“King Alf: how one complicated and fascinating character took on the blazers and lost, and then won, and then lost again, then won”

I can stress that this is not going to be the final title. I’m currently wading through around 6 hours of transcripts and it’s throwing up gem after gem after gem.

Meanwhile; the other book:

“It takes considerable narrative skill to create a compulsive read out of eighteen chapters concerning a few minutes of ascendancy and jones has this ability in spades.”
Washing Machine Post

“The rest of the text is littered with occasional lines that cause you to pause: “The clock ticks audibly on the wall within the silence of reminiscence, the seconds so palpably less precious now, in conversation, than they ever were in the race.” Give Jones a smaller canvas than seventy years of hill climbing champions and I think he is capable of astounding the reader.”

Feargal Mackay, Podium Cafe

“Just read your book; it’s excellent!”

Chris Sidwells, Cycling Weekly

“There is obviously a nod to other writers, such as Tim Krabbe e.g. ‘The Ride’, but PJ writes in his own inimitable style – with a conviction of a potentially great cycling writer. It is certainly a unique, distinctive style – somehow quite in harmony with the British hill climb tradition.”

Tejvan Pettinger, Cycling Uphill

“A Corinthian Endeavour is a superb read and a must for anyone who loves bike racing and the history of the sport from the early days to the present day.”

Larry Hickmott, VeloUK.

“The beautiful use of description and imagery of the courses and landscape brings them to life. The comparison of the contour lines of an OS map becoming like a thumb print providing the arena for the race comes to mind. Just brilliant.”

Tom Hanlon


One thought on “Hill Climbs are Coming

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  1. Ooh, I think now would be an appropriate time to read this lovely book again.

    I would disagree with criticism about discussing gear inches, gearing is an important decision and it’s good to record for posterity the factors that can influence a result. It’s a book and a story not a 500-word precis.

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