The brilliantly told story of the cycling world champion and one of the sport's best-loved and most colourful characters
The son of a wrestler turned cycling coach called Killer Kowalski, Rob Hayles was soon winning races himself and realizing that he didn't really want to work for a living. The world of amateur club cycling in the 1990s was a long way from the millionaire sport of today though. When Rob first rode for Great Britain, it was with his own bike, one spare tyre, and a hand-me-down jersey.
Yet Rob became an integral part of the amazing success story of British cycling, and has been at the centre of the sport for the past two decades. With Bradley Wiggins, he was a member of the first GB team to become world champions at the team pursuit, the most demanding and thrilling discipline on the track. With teammate David Millar, he witnessed first-hand the drug-strewn, often demeaning life of the professional road cyclist. And as Mark Cavendish's training partner, Rob has been the experienced influence at the side of the fastest man on two wheels.
Easy Rider is an unforgettable journey through revolutionary times. Sharp, down-to-earth, packed with anecdotes and just plain fun, it takes you from the humblest of beginnings through a golden era in British cycling.
“Hayles is held in great affection and is renowned for his laid back and affable charm - both of which are evident throughout his humorous and engaging memoir.”
Wheelsuckers' 2013 Christmas Books Guide
“An excellent book, written in a compelling manner and a fitting tribute to one of the all but unsung heroes of British cycling. I think it fair to say that if Rob Hayles didn't exist, we'd need to invent him... Not only readable, but enticingly so.”
The Washing Machine Post
“Compelling... Hayles never gives the air of arrogance about his achievement - the surprise is how ignorant he is of his place in the vanguard of British cycling; every sport needs trailblazers who capture the imagination of the many and the respect of his peers.”
Next to the Aisle
“An impressive collection of tales, the story of many two-wheeled greats as well as his own.”
“A great autobiography and a history lesson on the early days of the British Cycling Academy... he doesn't have the aloofness that befits some other riders and the story is more humbling. If I was Rob I would be bloody proud of what he has done! It is well written and has a nice easy pace (a bit like Rob himself?) A damn good story of a British lad who loved racing bicycles.”
“The success of track cycling began to take off after British success at the Athens 2004 Olympics, eventually to be translated into success on the road too. Rob Hayles was one of the pioneers of that breakthrough and provides a fascinating account of the reasons why British cycling became, and remains, such a success story.”
Mark Perryman, Philosophy Football autumn sports books review