Eddy Merckx, Books, Weights and Measures

“I am living the most difficult day of my life. I can no longer prepare myself for the Tour de France, which I wanted to ride for a final time as a farewell. After consulting my doctors, I’ve decided to stop racing.”
Eddy Merckx Speaks About His Last Day as a Professional.

One upon a time there was Goat. The Heroes do not recommend using the word ginormous but in this case we can think of no better word to describe the monumental book about Muhammad Ali published by Taschen in 2004. A good trivia question to ask your friends, especially those blighted with incurable bibliophilia is how much it weighs. For the record it hits the scales around 75lbs. Pelé, published by Gloria Books LTD, weights substantially less but the green cover and gilded fore edge states its intent as a grand book. Between the covers, 720 pages and 320,000 words are dedicated to the graceful feet and genuine smile of football’s greatest legend. While in Belgium we got to spend some time with the cycling’s own version of the monumental book form, the Eddy Merckx Kunstbox. Like Goat, where the special edition comes with some inflatable accessories courtesy of the artist Jeff Koons, the Eddy Merckx Kunstbox by publishers, Kannibaal, has what can only be described as holy relics of cycling’s storied terrain; we especially like the broken samples of cobbles from Roubaix and some stones from Ventoux. However, what really sets this book apart are the incredible photographic reproductions of Eddy’s career. Fine ink and finer paper reveal some of the most remarkable sports photography of any sport. We got to meet some of the fellows responsible for printing these pages and we give a hearty chapeau! On a side note as we sit at Die Keure working on our own projects we wonder how many copies made their way out of Belgium. The one thing we know is that No. 9 is in Brugge and we were glad to see it if only for an afternoon.