Book review: Srampagmano Tales

Srampagmano Tales 
Scarlett Parker 

Scarlett Parker’s Srampagmano Tales is written in the style of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, with the same rhyme and structure. However, while the medieval pilgrims set off from Southwark’s Tabard Inn, Parker’s 21st-century peloton sets off from Look Mum No Hands on Old Street, heading for Brighton. 

Each of the diverse riders tells a cycling tale to while away the time on this freeform trip to the sea. The Srampagmano Tales is a lyrical compendium of the various ‘types’ of cyclist and their technical preoccupations and foibles. The verse deftly combines information, character and setting.

Chaucer would surely give a nod of approval at its self-effacing wit and the rhyme of ‘echelon’ with ‘pressure on’.

The slim volume is a whimsical, light-hearted and useful handbook on who’s who and what’s what in cycling circles. Most of all it is full of the joy, freedom and camaraderie of cycling and cyclists. What’s worn and what’s ridden doesn’t matter. Whether you are a Trackie or Tester, Grimpeur or Courier is unimportant. At their heart every cyclist shares a common philosophy, summed up in the closing line:  'You turn the cranks and start a revolution'. 

Review by: Alice Beneyto (LCC member)