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23 September 2011 No comments
Will Self at the IQ² Cycling Festival .Events Monthly highlights
Will Self at the IQ² Dispatch Box Readers will recall last month how we mentioned our planned involvement with Intelligence Squared on their 'Cycling Festival' project at the Royal Geographical Society. The night of September 8th passed off beautifully, we are happy to report, and those lucky enough to have found tickets for the event were recipients of both ample and entertaining food for thought from a host of stars united in their enthusiasm for both the notion and activity of humanly powering two wheels. A recent bestseller. Bella Bathurst spoke at the Brooks-IQ² event. Brooks was on board with IQ² for the evening, and delighted to learn over the course of the 'Festival' the degree of esteem and affection in which Will Self, for example, holds our saddles. As well as Mr. Self, Bella Bathurst, Patrick Field, Geoff Dyer, Graeme Obree and Vin Cox all spoke individually (click on any name to see their respective contributions). Mr. Dyer examined the thesis that the bicycle is a vehicle of spiritual, social and even politiical freedom with recourse to famous bicycling photography from the past 80 years or so. Patrick Field expanded on this political theme, but with his famously light touch. There was a warm reception for Graeme Obree, who, with a biography that could well be an encyclopaedic definition of excellence and innovation, was there to talk about the bike as a tool for drawing the best out of oneself. As a group they then took questions from the floor, and spoke engagingly and honestly on such various subjects as the ethics of stopping at red lights, motorist aggression and the best cycling apparel, so obviously the Criterion was alluded to. Dragonesque Will Self exhales polysyllabic fire across the room. Whether it was Vin Cox explaining to his audience how it is to cycle through a 'weather bomb', Will Self rhapsodizing on the "...intrinsic, childlike joy to the cycling experience" or Bella Bathurst investigating claims that cycling expands, or at least expanded, the gene pool, the Festival of Cycling was proof again of Intelligence Squared's deserved reputation as one of the world's premiere forums for the smart discussion of contemporary themes important to thoughtful people.