According to the website of The Velominati, the self-professed Keepers of the Cog, the optimal number of bikes owned is n + 1, where n is the number of bikes owned. But there's also an important corollary, s-1, where s is the number of bikes that will cause your wife or partner to leave you.' Into the Suffersphere: Cycling and the Art of Pain is a brilliantly witty account of one former racer's exploration of whether cycling is the one sport that pushes its participants to the very limits of human endurance, and delves painfully into the role that physical and mental suffering can play in this elite endurance sport. Drawing together sporting history and pro-cycling interviews, and investigating current medical, business and psychological theories, this is the story of the extraordinary lengths to which minds and bodies can be pushed. Peppered with recollections from the author's own racing experiences and offering a fascinating insight into the unique allure of pain in a sporting context, Into the Suffersphere explores a side of cycling that you would never have dreamed of - not even in your worst nightmare. An essential read for all MAMILs (middle-aged men in Lycra) and fans of sports writing and smart thinking.
Jon Malnick grew up in North London and relocated to New York in his mid-twenties. Over the past thirty years he's suffered considerably in road and mountain bike races across Europe, America, Africa and Asia. Now based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a pleasantly laid-back city surrounded by painfully steep mountains, John has recently made the startling discovery that cycling doesn't always have to hurt.