TCI Book Club – Tomorrow, We Ride – Jean Bobet
Recently, on The Paceline, we were talking about cycling books, and then we had a TCI Friday on the topic. Herewith, let me say a few words about the book that begat all that chit-chat, Tomorrow, We Ride by Jean Bobet. Jean was the brother of Tour de France winner Louison Bobet, the first person to win three consecutive Tours. Louison was one of the all-time greats and Jean was one of his domestiques, though he did win Paris-Nice in 1955.
Jean, it seems, was a real thinker, too. He spoke excellent English and fostered relationships with English riders, and that led to more of them crossing the Channel to compete on the continent. He had a keen eye, for the idiosyncrasies of the peloton he worked inside. There is a fantastic passage about wheel-suckers, aka “rats,” who do no work during a race and then pop out at the end to contest the sprint.
Tomorrow, We Ride is a series of vignettes from the pro peloton of the post-War era. Bobet’s writing has those insider details and a warm charm to it, and those things make it a page turner. You can tell he loved his brother, and he loved to race his bike, and he also loved his fellow competitors. Unlike many of them though, he read broadly and when he and his brother both retired, after a serious car accident in 1960, Jean went on to a long career in journalism.
Tomorrow, We Ride will kindle your nostalgia for an era of pro-cycling you never witnessed. It’s that kind of good. Get your copy for just $12 from Rouleur.
Read this book several years ago. It’s a really good book, and works on several levels. There’s cycling, both from a racing point of view and from a pastime point of view, the sibling relationship, the passage of time, the closing of chapters in life, and the opening of others. Excellent.
Sold out. Bummer.