WIN! A signed copy of the cycling memoir ‘Rides of Passage’

'Rides of Passage' by Matt & Arthur Lamy

'Rides of Passage' by Matt & Arthur Lamy - Credit: Archant

Enter our competition to win a signed copy of ‘Rides of Passage’ by Matt & Arthur Lamy

It’s not often that you meet a pair of amateur cyclists who’ve had the guts to take on France in its entirety – and even less so a pair who’ve done it twice. Father and son duo Arthur and Matt Lamy first rode through the country from St-Malo to Sète in 1994, Matt just 15 years old and neither of them with more than Jersey’s 45 square miles in saddle experience. This first trip had them using payphones to call home, sleeping in campsites found en route and having close shaves with articulated lorries, skidding ambulances and aggressive dogs, but after a week and a half they arrived in one piece.Then just last year, 21 years later and hungry for a new adventure, the pair decided to retrace their wheel prints and relive the 600-mile journey from coast to coast. Rides of Passage is the resulting memoir, not only of the second ride but a constant comparison with the first through diary entries recorded along the way on both trips. Each day’s most recent experiences are preceded by the corresponding day’s experiences from 1994 – and there are a few amusingly captioned photos included too.But over and above the trials, tribulations and thrills of both rides, what is most engaging and heartwarming is the life experience that has bridged the gap between them and somehow knits them together. Journalist Matt has grown from a boy to a husband and father; meanwhile Arthur, a former cycle shop owner and award-winning photographer, has upgraded from father to grandfather and (very sprightly) bus-pass holder. The memoir is touching in its treatment of the passage of time and a special father-son bond, as well as in its delicious descriptions of France as seen from the saddle.

We have five signed copies of Rides of Passage to give away. Click here to enter the competition.

Rides of Passage, Matt & Arthur Lamy, RRP £12.99, Thirty-Six Books, ISBN 978-0993587405