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The Blue Book: Why 1989?

The Blue Book: Why 1989?

Our new book is the first in our latest Blue Series. It’s an enthralling deep dive into the history of cycling. The first year chosen was 1989, an important year in cycling and one that saw overwhelming changes going on around the world. A book of pure history, one that you won’t be able to put down.

Finding information for the 1989 book was not an easy process. Back then race results were jotted down within the margins of the commentators notes and not recorded for the world to see, so we can tell you now, the team had a lengthy, yet great time venturing around the world to get the information required.

Among the long trips, late nights, and countless visits to the library – a book was created, quite literally from blood, sweat and tears and copious amounts of coffee. 

The relevance of the 1989 season will always play a role in the memory of those outside of cycling as well, but we hope to bring more unity to both communities in time. After-all, world peace is what many people want and for many cyclists that will also start with being respected on the roads.

World events during 1989

9th November 1989 saw the pivotal event take place in world history and change the way we existed as humans; the Berlin wall fell. The gates were opened between East and West Germany, providing freedom of movement and peace between many people.

Berlin Wall | 1989 Blue Book

In 1989 the cycling industry saw the first cycling stage race of the Tour De Trump saga, it was intended to be a prestigious North American cycling event, much like the Tour de France. It was initially sponsored by Donald Trump and DuPont – which is where its latter name came from Tour DuPont.

Trump eventually withdrew his sponsorship due to financial troubles and that’s where DuPont took over, which later fell on troubled times, leading to the stage race ending its time in 1996.

April 1989 saw the Hillsborough catastrophic disaster, a day that went down in history as the most fatal human crush, not only to ever take place but also during a football match. This date will forever bring sorrow into those of the hearts with friends and family involved but also, the wider population and anyone involved in sport. It was unfortunately the shock football needed to bring stronger health and safety rules into play, one no-one should have lost their life for. 

The world also saw events such as: the first satellite of the global positioning system to be launched which is still serving us with progress now, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, sadly a catalyst for further conflict within the region. Conclusions from the Lockerbie Pan Am Flight 103 crash confirmed it was a bomb hidden in a cassette player, providing early evidence that airport security needed to up its game for the safety of everyone, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web for sharing information between computers – now, one of our best assets to this date and something many people within the world rely on for various reasons.

Another sad day was brought in when the IRA killed two Senior Royal Ulster Constabulary officers on the border, construction of the Channel Tunnel was delayed due to an employee strike for better pay and working conditions – surprisingly a cause that will likely never stop being peacefully protested for due to living costs forever increasing.

Motorola launched the world’s smallest phone – the start of the intellectual technology we currently have and continue to acquire. 250 people were arrested after travelling to Stonehenge to celebrate the summer solstice, Denmark became the first country to legalise same-sex unions and The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Dalai Lama.

Motorola 1989

These are a mere handful of historical events that took place throughout 1989, events that will be remembered through historical evidence. 

For those within the cycling industry we use bikes for various reasons, that often those outside of the community don’t understand. Cycling brings peace and equality within the community, something cyclists wish they could share with the rest of the world.

As they mount their steeds to smash a training session, or clear their head in the great outdoors, these disruptive and painful events within the world are occurring and bringing fury to anyone in the way. Something cyclists are all too aware of when training on the roads with little respect from other road users.

This was the year that was the beginning of the end of the cold war, even with the negative and devastating events that took place and will echo pain throughout, steps were taken in the right direction among some countries.

Comments on this post (1)

  • May 29, 2024

    I’ve just put my order in for a copy of the ‘Blue Book 1989’, and when I heard Ned talk about it on the Never Strays Far podcast, I have to admit to being more than a bit excited about it.
    1989 was my 4th year of racing with North Wirral Velo (always in the shadow of Scott O’Brien, and pretty much everyone else), but this was the year that I was first given the opportunity to take my bike to France in July to see the Tour, courtesy of Eurolinks, a Hoylake based company, that ferried our small group of cyclists around France that July. I was 18 then, and dreamed of one day making history on my bike, but then reality kicks in. And so now, I’m in my 50’s, with a larger waistline and receding hairline, I realise that although I never made history on my bike, I can be proud that I witnessed it firsthand; up close. I stood on the Col de Manse to see the riders pass one by one on the mountain time trial. I saw Fignon lose precious seconds to Lemond in the final kilometre on the road to Briancon. I witnessed Fignon’s attack on Lemond on the slopes of Alpe d’Huez (after grinding up it myself in a 42×21), standing about 3.5kms from the summit. And finally, I was there, on the Champs Elysee with crowds 10 deep to witness the impossible, as first Lemond, and then Fignon rode as if their lives depended on it, to create the greatest spectacle sport has ever produced.
    I’m content now, and it’s enough for me to say, that I was there.
    Thank you for producing the Blue Book. I’m looking forward to stepping back to 1989, and being 18 again.

    — Paul Humphreys

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