Great Cycling books

by skitza   June 8, 2013  

Fiction/non fiction/training whatever! big up a good one i've just read Slaying The Badger (hinault-Lemond) great read

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+1 to "It's all about the Bike" by Robert Penn
+1 "How I won the Yellow Jumper" by Ned Boulting

posted by d_jp [121 posts]
12th June 2013 - 12:51

5 Likes

"The Hour" - Michael Hutchinson

A very interesting book about his attempt on the hour record. Well written and humorous.

"In search of Robert Millar" - Robert Moore

Really good autobiography about Millar with lots of background on cycling in the 80s.

"The Flying Scotsman" - Graeme Obree

Deeply personal and well written account about his career and pretty unflinching about his mental health problems.

And +1 to all of the above especially Rob Penn and Dave BArter.
Don't dismiss the Cavendish autobiography "Boy Racer", it was much better than I'd thought it would be and he's a more complex man that I'd appreciated.

posted by Pisiform [52 posts]
12th June 2013 - 13:59

4 Likes

'The Rider', by Tim Krabbe.
Oh, and +1 for 'The Hour'- I really enjoyed that.

posted by Chuck [472 posts]
12th June 2013 - 14:17

4 Likes

Seven Deadly Sins is a great read too.

Did anyone mention Half Man Half Bike? That's a good history book.

posted by bashthebox [762 posts]
12th June 2013 - 14:43

6 Likes

Actually - I should postscript that recommendation with the fact that Merckx's performances are never questioned - the author accepts wholly the explanation for Merckx's failed doping tests.

....

And in Seven Deadly Sins, the author casually mentions that Merckx introduced Armstrong to Michele Ferrari. So.

posted by bashthebox [762 posts]
12th June 2013 - 14:49

6 Likes

Another vote for "Flying Scotsman" by Graeme Obree. Deeply personal and riveting!

posted by Jaltham [67 posts]
12th June 2013 - 16:54

4 Likes

bashthebox wrote:
Actually - I should postscript that recommendation with the fact that Merckx's performances are never questioned - the author accepts wholly the explanation for Merckx's failed doping tests.

....

And in Seven Deadly Sins, the author casually mentions that Merckx introduced Armstrong to Michele Ferrari. So.

I've just finished Seven Deadly Sins, a fascinating read but ultimately depressing. I'm particularly disillusioned about the Merckx revelation as he is (was) my all time sporting hero.

Not a great book, but an insight into the life of a good,
but not quite world beating, rider is Inside The Peleton by Nicolas Roche. He writes, in 2010, that Contador should have been banned for life - now he rides for Saxo Tinkoff!

Crosshouses's picture

posted by Crosshouses [256 posts]
13th June 2013 - 10:20

5 Likes

You wonder how Roche's thoughts on doping square with his Dad, too?

Thing with Merckx being a potential doper - they didn't have much available to them, did they? Just a shit load of speed, and they were all taking it as we know. You can get similar(ish) effects to amphetamines by taking a load of caffeine, which a lot of riders do today.

posted by bashthebox [762 posts]
13th June 2013 - 11:20

4 Likes

bashthebox wrote:
You wonder how Roche's thoughts on doping square with his Dad, too?

Thing with Merckx being a potential doper - they didn't have much available to them, did they? Just a shit load of speed, and they were all taking it as we know. You can get similar(ish) effects to amphetamines by taking a load of caffeine, which a lot of riders do today.

My disillusion with Merckx is not the amphetamine use, given the conditions riders operated in in his day it's understandable, but the revelation that he sent his son to Dr Ferrari and his support for Armstrong.

Crosshouses's picture

posted by Crosshouses [256 posts]
13th June 2013 - 11:27

4 Likes

Yeah, it's fucked isn't it? The greatest of all time, happy to promote cheating - when he vocally railed against it during his career.

posted by bashthebox [762 posts]
13th June 2013 - 12:24

3 Likes

Bit of a leftfield one here in that it's not racing, it's touring.

Moods of Future Joys and the sequel, Thunder and Sunshine.

It's the story of Alistair Humphreys 5 year round-the-world ride. Funny, moving, fascinating and never involving doping or lies like most of the road racing books seem to!

posted by crazy-legs [632 posts]
13th June 2013 - 13:02

5 Likes

+1 Tim Krabbe - The Rider
+1 William Fotheringham - 'Fallen Angel' [Coppi] / 'Put Me Back On The Bike' [Tom Simpson]

+1 Anne Mustoe - A Bike Ride: One of the best (series of) cycle touring books I've read.

As Simon E says, she quit her job as a headmistress as a posh girls school after seeing a guy cycling whilst on holiday in Rajastan, India and thought 'I want to do that', despite not having ridden a bike for over 30 years.

She spent 18 months following various historic paths (Roman roads, the campaigns of Alexander the Great, the Silk Road route, pioneers crossing the US to the west coast) and she writes with incredible depth and passion. She continued to cycle and write until her death 18 years later in Syria.

Ones on the reading list:

Charles Wegelius - Domestique
Rob Hayles - Easy Rider
Ned Boulting - How I Won The Yellow Jumper

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [679 posts]
13th June 2013 - 13:12

4 Likes

Slaying the Badger - great read
Got for my 'jollies' -
Marco Pantani (the death of)
The Secret Race
Also thinking of getting 'Inside the Peleton' Nerd

posted by Adey [98 posts]
14th June 2013 - 20:15

4 Likes

Noobie here

Racing through the dark by David Millar was a painfully honest and fascinating book.

I'd second obsessive cycling disorder and throw in free country by george mahood for a bit of light reading

posted by arfa [625 posts]
15th June 2013 - 8:56

6 Likes

ta for the reccs folks loads of new ones for me to find ,
currently sitting on my 'to read' shelf are:
Merkyz-half man half bike
A race for madmen
Nicholas Roche-inside the peleton
Field of Fire
Wide eyed and legless

ill report back when ive read em

posted by skitza [16 posts]
15th June 2013 - 10:01

7 Likes

I thought people on this thread might be interested in this offer: http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/qs_product_tbp?...

3 William Fotheringham books - Merkx Half Man Half Bike, Fallen Angel & Roule Britannia for £6.99. The same site also has the Le Tour 100 book at a reduced price.

posted by NeilG83 [281 posts]
18th June 2013 - 12:33

5 Likes

Here are a couple or three stunning crackers:

Dancing Uphill: The Cycling adventures of Charles Holland, the first English rider in the Tour De France by Frances Holland and Nina Holland -

The story of the first English guy - EVER - to tackle the TdF - No backup, no mates, no manager, no support crew, no sponsorship, no drugs and not able to speak the language. What a guy! What a real hero! He shudda been knighted!

Your heart bleeds for what he did and what he did should never be forgotten. I loved this book and what it said about a gentle man who was a giant in his sport. And he was still turning the pedals and clocking fast times well into his 60s!! If you love cycling and Boy's Own adventure stories, this is the book for you. Buy it and enjoy!! 10 out 10!

One More Kilometre and We're in the Showers by Tim Hilton - just a lovely read, written by someone who treasures riding a bike as much as we all do.

Cycling's Greatest Misadventures by Erich Schweikher - "... a book of cycling stories with a difference then this is it - from the downright funny to the thought provoking, this has it all. A must read for cyclists of all abilities." (Edwyn McCann)

" ... funny, tragic and inspirational accounts of cycling ventures. Stories that will stay with you and make you appreciate your bike even more - highly recommend it." (Sprint)

Give 'em a bash - they are well worth your time!

posted by comm88 [79 posts]
19th June 2013 - 9:32

8 Likes

[[[ Yes---"One More Kilometre And We're In The Showers", by Tim Hilton. I couldn't stop pedalling it..oops..reading it. Next best thing to being awheel.
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [325 posts]
23rd June 2013 - 1:40

4 Likes

+1 for 'Consumed' by Jonathan Budds.
I loved it and am now trying to find some more cycle-related fiction.

posted by Old Cranky [278 posts]
30th September 2013 - 15:18

3 Likes

A Race for Madmen by Chris Sidwell is a brilliant history of the tour. Good for those like me who maybe dont know that much about past greats and famous stories!

posted by 02curtisb [71 posts]
30th September 2013 - 22:13

4 Likes

I'm mid way through "Boy Racer" - Cavs first book - have to say it's actually one of the best biographical reads I've gone through to date!

Might just be because it's from a Manx perspective (reading it in an accent & knowing the people mentioned in it probably helps?) but it's highly entertaining, quite fast paced and the fact that he wrote it when he was still very young makes it quite fresh and enthusiastic.

Good read. I'd say I'm enjoying it much more than the Merckx book!

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

mooleur's picture

posted by mooleur [542 posts]
1st October 2013 - 12:04

2 Likes

Ive Been listening to On the Road Bike by Ned Boulting, I prefer Audiobooks as I can listen when im in the shed...Even better as Ned is narrating the book also

Also just started reading the Anthology Vol 1....so far its pretty good, but the first chapter about Wiggo is really just a rehash of Wiggos book, "my time" ..also a favorite of mine

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
1st October 2013 - 12:27

3 Likes

The Death of Marco Pantani - nothing i can say on here can describe the emotions of reading such a book. Highs, lows and everything in between.

He was a hero of mine when i was younger and despite the drugs he always will be.

Even if you didn't like him its a must read.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

posted by stumps [3112 posts]
1st October 2013 - 12:36

3 Likes

inside the peleton by Nicholas Roche is good , especially in light of how well he's done recently in the Vuelta

posted by skitza [16 posts]
1st October 2013 - 22:23

3 Likes

Finished the Field of Fire book about ANC/Halfords ill-fated TDF and found it much better than Wide eyed and legless the original book about ANC/Halfords ill-fated TDF! should have read them the right way around i guess!

posted by skitza [16 posts]
4th November 2013 - 23:04

2 Likes

The Bicycle Book by Bella Bathurst (how much alliteration!?) is great, covering just about everything to do with bikes and culture in a really well-written and accessible way. It's got a touching chapter on Obree too.

The Enlightened Cyclist by Bike Snob NYC is really good too, absolutely hilarious.

The Man Who Cycled the World by Mark Beaumont isn't exactly Dickens, but it's a compelling story nonetheless.

posted by thelimopit [122 posts]
5th November 2013 - 0:46

4 Likes

We were young and carefree by Laurent Fignon - typically principled and indignant Frenchman. His descriptions of what it feels like to ride a bike when you're THAT good are fascinating.

ragtimecyclist's picture

posted by ragtimecyclist [151 posts]
5th November 2013 - 8:30

10 Likes

"Round the world on a wheel" by John Foster Fraser

An epic account of 3 chaps circumnavigating the globe in the last years of the Nineteenth Century - when one seemingly needs by the way of kit is a change of underwear and a trusty revolver

May be found online at:
https://archive.org/details/cu31924023252707
but the book deserves buying

posted by HowardR [19 posts]
5th November 2013 - 12:30

3 Likes

The updated (2013) edition of Geoffrey Wheatcroft's excellent 'Le Tour' is currently being sold in The Works for £2.99.

Crosshouses's picture

posted by Crosshouses [256 posts]
6th December 2013 - 14:46

8 Likes

Just done 'the rider' which follows one racers race its a damn fine read!

posted by skitza [16 posts]
9th January 2014 - 23:31

1 Like