New book explores philosophy of cycling

A new book by competitive racer and philosophy Professor Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza takes readers on a philosophical tour of biking.

The collection of essays in Cycling—Philosophy for Everyone: A Philosophical Tour de Force, co-edited by Linfield College professor Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza, is meant to stretch the off-road mental muscles of cyclists.

The book wheels its way through the terrain of life’s more complicated philosophical questions, with essayists covering everyone from Lance Armstrong to Socrates, and discussing cycling’s identity crisis, ethical issues related to success, women bikers, critical mass rides and the environment.

We read about bicycling and the simple life, and hear from a biker who commutes year-round — in Iceland. One writer examines “My Life as a Two-Wheeled Philosopher” while another offers “Lessons from the Saddle.”

Throughout, Ilundáin-Agurruza muses about how a bicycle, basically a “triangle on two circles, as Pythagoras might conceive it,” might help us live flourishing lives.

“No doubt about it, life is a trip,” Ilundáin-Agurruza writes. It’s often a tiring trip, he says, “But less so on a bicycle.”

Ilundáin-Agurruza teaches philosophy at Linfield College. He researches and publishes in the area of the philosophy of sport, competes as a category 2 racer, and hopes — now that his book is finished, to “get more racing action.” Philosophy professor Michael Austin, from Eastern Kentucky University, co-edited the book.

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the human race.   — H. G. Wells

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