I’d forgotten that Gleebooks have regular book launch and author speaking events, but Bobbie was perusing the latest catalogue and noticed that Cadel Evans was booked in so I made an effort to reserve a seat. He’s written a book that’s launched in time for the Christmas present season and he’s been doing the rounds of bookstores around the country.
He was being interviewed – “in conversation with” – Tracey Holmes and spent about 40 minutes talking about his life as a cyclist – rather than Olympian, TdF winner, Australian etc., he says he identifies as a cyclist. I think that everyone already knows that he’s not the most polished public speaker, but the more casual setting format suited him and he has many interesting anecdotes about sharing the road with the Schlecks etc.
We got about 15 minutes for questions and I asked about his reaction to Emma Johansson’s retirement interview where she talked about being known as “Silver Emma” and realising as she matured that it wasn’t always about obsessing over winning, but rather being the “world’s best Emma”. Cadel agreed with that philosophy, stating that sometimes way too much pressure is put onto juniors to perform in excess of their ability and that leads to issues like drugs and burnouts. He’s always had an “passionate obsession” but he thinks he’s always had a reasonable idea of his limitation and how far you can push yourself above and beyond without overdoing it.
I stood in line with the rest of the audience at the end and got my copy of his book signed and we sort of bonded over his comment that he loves getting out on the bike for long rides where he can just get away from things and spend time relaxing and thinking. Afterwards I went down to Badde Mannors for dinner where I started reading the book – he’s a better cyclist than author (no surprise, and he’s also in good company), but it’s an enjoyable read and so far I’ve found that he’s had an interesting childhood. I’m looking forward to the rest of it.