Les Woodland has his own unique writing style, which takes a bit of getting used towhen you do..he s sat right there with you, like some old acquaintance, regaling you with anecdote and fable All Bumps is a great primer and also very insightful into the early history of the race.You really can taste the grit between your teeth and the heroic effort of Roubaix ridersbrilliant Les. The Paris Roubaix Bicycle Race, Nicknamed The Hell Of The North, Is Famous For Sending Riders Over Brutal Cobblestone Roads Only The Strong, Brave And Lucky Survive The Hours Of Bone Shaking Racing Without Suffering Some Mishap Or Catastrophe It Is So Difficult No One Wins It By Accident, And Winning Paris Roubaix Automatically Puts A Rider Among The Immortals Of The Sport How Did That Come To Be At One Time Roads Everywhere Were Paved With Cobbles Why Did Paris Roubaix Emerge To Be Such A Special Race Les Woodland Tells The Inside Story Of How One Of Cycling S Classics Grew From Several Th Century Businessmen S Plan To Bring Cycling To The Mill Town Of Roubaix It Wasn T A Sure Thing, And Several Times It Seemed The Race Might Die It S A Fascinating Tale, So Fasten Your Seat Belts, Les Is Going To Take You On A Bumpy Ride A good and interesting summary though possibly a little scant and a bit simplistic A good beginners guide to the Paris Roubaix nevertheless. As a cycling fan I had some knowledge of the background to the Paris Roubaix but after reading Les Woodland s book I now have a far better understanding Some of the stories are quite bizarre and the book held my interest throughout I did find the some of the chapters leapt around a bit in time but this was never a major problem. I didn t really enjoy this book but I think that this is because it focuses on the early years of the Paris Roubaix, but this is down to my own taste The book itself is well written and descriptive setting the scene of the early years It appears throughly researched and conveys the difficulty of riding such a ride.If you like historical cycling books then this is likely to appeal to you. Fascinating insight into what must be rated as one of the most exciting one day races in the entire cycling year.If you like to know a bit of background history to the sport that you enjoy watching then this is a book that is a must.Easy to read, packed full of info. I ve got another of Les Woodland s books, Cycling Heroes,, and I really like his style of writing There is a clarity but also and a great affection and a poignancy when describing the cycling world of old, and there s no better race to illustrate that than the brutal Paris Roubaix I thoroughly recommend this book as a way of immersing yourself in the history and the culture of the race. Another great little book from Les Woodland One could argue it is a bit lightweight, but overall it s a great insight into one of the toughest one day races on the cycling calender, with some interesting facts about the inception of the race The part about Fausto Coppi s brother s win in 1949 is particularly interesting, and shows the machinations of cycling from that time I still think, that the best comment ever about the race is the one given by the Dutch cyclist, Theo de Rooy to a CBS reporter after he abandoned the 1985 edition It sums up the race beautifully.