David Millar Takes the Proust Questionnaire
From Issue 80 • Introduction by James Startt, Illustration by Matthew Burton.
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Admitted doper, committed anti-doper, yellow jersey wearer and founder of the CHPT 3 brand, British cyclist David Millar has forged a singular path during his lifetime in the sport. And throughout the many highs and lows he has always provided a unique voice. In addition, during his 18-year professional racing career, Millar earned a reputation as one of the sport’s great stylistes—a term coined by French cycling aficionados for a rider who embodies both strength and elegance on the bike. Since retiring in 2014, Millar has launched his CHPT3 line of cycling apparel, bikes, accessories, books and art. And it comes as no surprise that, like the cyclist, the brand embodies elegant looks with a classic racing spirit. Millar admittedly rides less since he stopped racing but he savors having more time to spend with his family or enjoy other favored pastimes, such as reading a good book. And he was only too happy to tackle the Proust questionnaire for this special issue of PELOTON.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Gardening with my children at home.
What is your greatest fear? Something bad happening to my children.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My borderline madness.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Unkindness.
Which living person do you most admire? Bill Gates.
What is your greatest extravagance? Lunch on my own.
What is your current state of mind? Ambitious.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Forgiveness.
On what occasion do you lie? To not hurt somebody.
What do you most dislike about your appearance? My [6-foot-4] height can be inconvenient.
Which living person do you most despise? I don’t do. That would mean I care about them.
What is the quality you most like in a man? Courage.
What is the quality you most like in a woman? Courage.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? So….
What or who is the greatest love of your life? My wife and my sister.
When and where were you happiest? On a hammock when I was 11 or 12 in our garden in England.
Which talent would you most like to have? Dance.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d be calmer.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? My family.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A book.
Where would you most like to live? I already live here.
What is your most treasured possession? My books.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Self pity.
What is your favorite occupation? Racing.
What is your most marked characteristic? Intensity.
What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty.
Who are your favorite writers? Arthur C. Clarke, Somerset Maugham and Cormac McCarthy.
Who is your hero of fiction? Ender Wiggin [from “Ender’s Game,” by Orson Scott Card].
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Genuinely don’t know.
Who are your heroes in real life? Those who help those who need it.
What are your favorite names? Archibald, Harvey and Maxine [the names of my three children].
What is it that you most dislike? Wasted time.
What is your greatest regret? I have a few….
How would you like to die? When I’m ready.
What is your motto? Dum spiro persevero. [“While I breathe, I hope.”]