Thursday, December 5, 2013

Kings Of The Mountains, How Colombia's Cycling Heroes Changed Their Nation's History. Back in stock.

Because of the number of emails I get asking where and how it's possible to find a semi-affordable copy of Kings Of The Mountains by Matt Rendell, I'm constantly on the lookout for copies of the book. I go into every bookstore and library sale, and from time to time manage to score a copy or two here and there. 

If you've been looking for a copy of this book, you probably know that it usually sells for $100 or much, much more. So believe me when I tell you that the copies I've bought are usually not cheap either. As such, it's unlikely that selling these books will get me that condo in Boca Raton that I've had my eye on any sooner.

Kings of the Mountains: How Colombia's Cycling Heroes Changed Their Nation's History
Matt Rendell
Aurum Press Ltd, June 2003
256 pages

$75 paperback (plus shipping). $95 hardcover (plus shipping)
Shipping: $5 in the US, $15 Internationally

To Order
Payment should be made via PayPal to: cyclinginquisition - at symbol here -

All copies of the book are used, and range in condition from good to excellent. All have strong bindings, no missing pages. A couple of the books come from libraries, and may include stickers on the spine, stamps in front pages, or a clear book cover. There may be creases in pages, or lightly dinged up corners.

The extras
Each book comes with a handmade booklet (a "zine" in punk rock parlance) of my interview with Matt Rendell, which gives a great deal of background regarding his interest in Colombian cycling, and how this book came about. It's 28 pages long, and roughly the same size as the book.

As with other Cycling Inquisition offerings, this one comes with a few small culinary treats. In this case, your copy of the book will come with coffee-flavored candy, made by the oldest sweets manufacturer in Colombia.

Please note that the cover of the "zine" that comes with your book may look slightly different to the one pictured above, and the same is true for the candy. These pictures were taken a while back, when I first sold copies of the book. 

Reviews of the book:
Meticulous, elegant and sensitive, Kings of the Mountains works both as a panegyric to the sporting heroes of a troubled land and as a more general meditation on motifs key to sport and to nationalism: politics, religion, pride, pain and glory.
The Times.

Thrilling reading... cleanly written, meticulously researched... This book unearths a fascinating national sporting history.
Times Literary Supplement.

A fascinating work of admirable scope and depth.
Cycle Sport.

Some story, worthy of the magical realism of Gabriel García Márques or Mario Vargas Llosa in its intricate layering of sport, social history and the vagaries of human nature.
Cycling Plus.

Though not from an established publication, my favorite review of the book comes in the form of the personalized note that was written in Spanish for the original owner of my personal copy of the book. It says: "This book brought me to tears, I'm sure it will do the same for you."

Lastly, as a proponent of South American cycling in general, I thought I'd share this video with you, from the Brazilian clothing company Kirschner, whose proprietor I interviewed for the blog a while back

DEDICADA AO CICLISMO/2 from Kirschner Brasil on Vimeo.


  1. Totally worth it. I loved this book. As a Latin American Studies major (B.A. 2005 UC Berkeley) I have to say the cultural and historical commentaries in the book are spot-on, and the way he uses them to give context for the development of the sport is outstanding. Thanks for doing this. Now, how about some cycling jerseys!?

  2. I own the hardcover edition... and Amazon keeps asking me from time to time if I don't want to sell it.

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