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The Professional Cyclist Book Club

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One of the more interesting parts of running Manual for Speed is that we receive emails like this (presented without alteration):


From: alexander howes <*********>
Date: Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Subject: The PCBC




The founders of the PCBC have taken a vote and decided to open the doors to new members. Music to your ears I’m sure. Wait, you don’t know what the PCBC is??? The Pro Cyclist’s Book Club is a book club dedicated to the pursuit of the intellectual, cultural and spiritual growth of the professional cyclist. Too often holed up in budget hotels in far away lands, buried under race bibles and twitter vomit, today’s modern day cyclist lives in a world of disconnection, abbreviation, and repetition. We at the PCBC aim to give these cyclists a community where they can share ideas, read great titles, and not feel bad about drinking mid season. Mostly the first two but definitely the last one. Now, I understand that many receiving this questionnaire are not pro cyclists. Do not worry, there is the reason for this. We need you. We need people to help us open our eyes, broaden our horizons, get us out of the budget hotels, and tell us why we are wrong. Or right, because we are usually right. In addition, we fully understand that our members are scattered all over the globe. Fear not, for with the technology at hand, it is entirely possible to submit ideas from afar via means outlined below.


Now, the rules of the PCBC-


  1. One book per month with a meeting and discussion at the end of each month.
  2. If a PCBC member is unable to attend, they must provide the club with a summery of their thoughts and opinions on the reading up for discussion. E-mail, snail mail, Skype, or a PCBC approved representative are all appropriate methods of communication.
  3. Each round a different PCBC member chooses a new book.
  4. There is a 400 page limit. Read the Quran on your own time.
  5. No bike books, no Lance bull shit, no tween lit.
  6. A majority vote by the founding members or a vote of over 66.6% of all members is required to gain entry into the PCBC.
  7. Founding members of the PCBC can not be voted out of the club.
  8. All other members can be voted out by 2/3s majority vote.
  9. Beverages are required at each PCBC rendezvous..
  10. The questionnaire is there for a reason. No one gets in with out submitting a completed questionnaire.


You get the idea…


And now, the questionnaire.


All questions must be answered in full to the best of your ability. We have no way of timing you but keep in mind that in our line of work, speed is top priority. When completed, please send to any founding member. 3…2…1… Go!


  1. Do you read Books? If yes, please answer questions 6 and 9. If no, please disregard questions 6 and 9.
  2. Do you live in or in close proximity to Girona? If no, please provide your location and leave question number 8 blank.
  3. Do you become more interesting and or interested while drinking beverages at or above 5% alcohol content? If this is so, please provide examples and or witnesses. If no, please leave the rest of the document blank unless you answered yes to question number two. In which case please answer question number 8 in full detail.
  4. Have you any knowledge on the defenestration of cats in New York City? If yes, please use the, “Essay and Comments” section provided at the end to elaborate.
  5. Would you be interested in joining a book club? If yes, please answer question number 11.
  6. What was the last book you read and why did you choose to read it?
  7. Do you prefer cake or pie?
  8. Do you own a car? If yes, please answer questions number 12 and 13. If no, leave number 12 and 13 blank.
  9. What do you hope to gain or lose by reading books?
  10. Are you a spy? If yes, please answer question number 14. If no, cool.
  11. What would you hope to gain or lose by beign a member of a book club?
  12. After subtracting the drivers seat, how many seats does your car have?
  13. On a scale of one to ten, one being very good and ten being very bad, how does your car smell?
  14. For what group/organization/team/nation do you spy for and to whom do you report?
  15. Are you a pro cyclist?
  16. If you could have lunch with anyone past or present, who would you choose?
  17. Do you have a twitter account? If yes, please provide.
  18. What is your beverage of choice?
  19. What is your mailing address?


Essay and Comments (write-in)







Oh, and who are these founding members? Jacob L. Rathe, David Millar, Alexander D. Howes.


With the love of nonsense,


Alexander D. Howes
President of The P.C.B.C.
Pro Cyclists Book Club

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