The Invisible Mile – David Conventry


The story of the 1928 Ravat-Wonder team from New Zealand and Australia who were the first English-speaking team to ride to Tour de France, with memories of WWI fresh in their minds.

➤ “The Invisible Mile was a hypnotic read; I was gently lulled into the rhythm of the race and slowly felt like I was beginning to suffer and triumph alongside the cyclists. From a factual perspective I loved learning more about the realities of racing close to 100 years ago, compared to the technology that cyclists are able to enjoy today.

“Unfortunately due to needing to read texts for work plus knowing I had several more ‘Ockhams’ to get through, the urgency of The Invisible Mile was not strong enough to pull me cleanly through to the end. This was more a reflection on me rather than a reflection on the novel! – Suzy

➤ “The Invisible Mile may begin with a lot of pedalling, but there is more to this book than a bike race. Certainly, there is a cycle race, with the first English-speaking competitors present, and sensory descriptions of the race’s brutality coming thick and fast. But the characters are racing away from more than the start line. Personal grievances, war memories and lost loved ones haunt them every step of the way, and it was these personal stories that grabbed my attention.

“The two stories parallel one another well, the pain, the loss, the hope prevalent in both and intensifying the desperation of the other. Every sentence is thick with substance. I could feel, smell and hear the French countryside and the array of characters who cycled the roadways and fought the wars. The New Zealand setting was not spared, with profound and life-changing events etching 1920s NZ on my mind.

“I must admit the extended cycling detail did cause my mind to wander. That is probably a harsh criticism which actually reflects my lack of interest in cycling more than anything else. But all in all, I did enjoy The Invisible Mile.” – Rachel


Published 2015
Victoria University Press
531 pages

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