/ Road Cycling Literature

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Double Knee Bar - on 23 Jul 2013
Putting a list together of books I'd like for my birthday. Is there a "Classic Rock" of the cycling world? Are there any must own titles?
blurty - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Try 'Mountain Kings'. Quite coffee table but good never the less.
Hardonicus - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar: Dunno but Lance's tomes are going fairly cheap these days I would imagine.
Bob Hughes - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

I've read a few positive reviews of this one (I've never actually read the book though):

http://www.cycling-challenge.com/book-review-mountain-high-europes-greatest-cycling-climbs/

I have read Cyclings Greatest Misadventures, which my Mum bought me to discourage me from going on any more bike trips. It had the opposite effect...
Bob Hughes - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Hardonicus:
> (In reply to Double Knee Bar) Dunno but Lance's tomes are going fairly cheap these days I would imagine.

I've just started The Secret Race about his doping. Meant to be good.
a lakeland climber on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Bob Hughes:

Got that book. It's perhaps the closest to Classic/Hard Rock for the road cycling crowd.

Other than that most cycling books are either travelogues or (auto)biographies. "Mud, Sweat and Gears" is an amusing account of the Lands End to John o'Groats challenge, then there's the book by the guy who biked round the Tour de France route one year that is meant to be pretty good.

ALC
SiWood - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:

Yes good coffee table book.

There is also a second in the series coming out in September. I think this will be the Extreme rock equivalent.
Byronius Maximus - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

"The Rider" by Tim Krabbe, for something a bit different. It's novel describing the events of a road race told from the point of view of one of it's participants, absolutely fascinating from beginning to end. Came out about 10 years ago I think and was an instant classic.
lb1dej - on 23 Jul 2013
David Millar's Racing Through the Dark - best racing cycling book I've ever read - and I've read a lot of them. TdeF Centenary History is very good for retro enthusiasts, though no one has told my copy that Lance is no longer a winner.
Dave
dale1968 - on 23 Jul 2013
Double Knee Bar - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to dale1968: thanks guys. Plenty to go at.
andy guppy - on 23 Jul 2013
biped - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

'One more kilomtre and we're in the showers.' by Tim Hilton.

I've recently finished it, a great book. Potted history of british cycling club lore and continental history from one man's perspective. Essential for anyone with an interest in the history and culture of cycling.

jethro kiernan - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar: this would be the closet thing to "Hard Rock" for cyclists, dipping into it planning next years trip to france
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mountain-High-Europes-Greatest-Climbs/dp/0857386247/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&q...
tim Krabbs the cyclist is a good one
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-British-Bike-Rides-Cyclists/dp/1906148554/ref=pd_sim_b_4

Enty - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Byronius Maximus:
> (In reply to Double Knee Bar)
>
> "The Rider" by Tim Krabbe, for something a bit different. It's novel describing the events of a road race told from the point of view of one of it's participants, absolutely fascinating from beginning to end. Came out about 10 years ago I think and was an instant classic.

One of my fave cycling books. Based not a million miles from us. I can totally relate to everything he goes through in that race. Excellent read.

E
wilkesley - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

The author of "Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder" http://www.amazon.co.uk/Obsessive-Compulsive-Cycling-Disorder-ebook/dp/B007B1WO8C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digit... has also written "Great British Bike Rides", which looks as though it might be good, but I haven't seen a copy yet. See http://www.greatbritishbikerides.co.uk/
tim000 - on 24 Jul 2013
then there's the book by the guy who biked round the Tour de France route one year that is meant to be pretty good.
>
> ALC

french revolutions by tim moore . very funny, good read.
Mike Highbury - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Byronius Maximus)
> [...]
>
> One of my fave cycling books. Based not a million miles from us. I can totally relate to everything he goes through in that race. Excellent read.
>
> E

I agree, it's super and then you get to the really nasty bit
SteveRi - on 24 Jul 2013
I'll second the David Millar and The Rider and chip in Roule Brittania, In Search of Robert Millar, The Hour and The Flying Scotsman.
Guy - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar: David Millar's book is fantastic but this is also really good http://www.prendas.co.uk/details.asp?typ=typ&fkid=44&ID=3247
I have the second one too but am saving that for a holiday!
stonewall - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Mike Highbury:

Krabbe's book is undoubtedly the most original and gets closest to the heart of the business. I remember the beginning where he writes about how shocked he is by what he sees as the relative emptiness of the lives of the spectators, before the start of the race, and then there's a great passage on suffering later on. absolute classic number 1 cycling book. [hope to do mt aigoual and causse later this summer...]

i thought Matt Seaton's biog starting out as an amateur was also very good moving story.

Pity there's not more imaginative writing on the subject...
andy - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar: Ned Boulting's written a couple of good reads - one is his account of covering the Tour for ITV, title based on his priceless question "how does it feel to wear the yellow jumper?" (asked of Dave Millar, I think) and then his recent one "On the Road Bike", which is a good yomp round the UK cycling scene, including the bizarre "New Romantics Ride" rounf Richmond park where various Spandaus, ABCs and other assorted 80's music industry folks go out in their Rapha. There's also a shorter Kindle only one about Cav winning the green jersey.
Enty - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to andy:
> his recent one "On the Road Bike", which is a good yomp round the UK cycling scene, including the bizarre "New Romantics Ride" rounf Richmond park where various Spandaus, ABCs and other assorted 80's music industry folks go out in their Rapha.

Serious? FFS. I might search that one out for entertainment value - sounds ace.

E

biped - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to andy:

I think that was mentioned by some Spandau Ballet member on the (utterly rubbish) The Cycle Show last year. It was a bit incongruous, him talking about this retro-hipster thing, with Eddy Merckx sat next to him on the sofa.
brunoschull - on 24 Jul 2013
Hello. Sorry for the shameless plug, but if you are looking for a different book about bicycle racing, you might try my own book, The Long Season.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Long-Season-Bicycle-California/dp/1891369326

The story chronicles one year of amateur racing in California. It also closely follows the European professional season in 1995. My intention was to describe the feelings and passions of bicycle racing, as well as to communicate something of the history and inner workings of the sport. There is also, dare I say, a love affair.

I wrote the book when I was young, and, in retrospect, many parts make me cringe in embarrassment, but there are other parts of which I am proud, including the whole process of writing and finally publishing the book, which itself was a long journey. Some people seem to identify with the book, others don't, but I can honestly say that, as far as I know, nobody has ever written, or tried to write, about bicycle racing in the same way.

As regards other books mentioned in the posts above, I agree with the recommendation of Tim Krabbe's The Rider. Another great book which I am surprised nobody has mentioned is Paul Kimmage's Rough Ride. I can also recommend Robin Magowan's Tour de France, and Dino Buzzati's Giro D'Italia. There are also several books, such as Paul Fournel's Need For The Bike, which are not exclusively about bicycle racing, but explore cycling in general with a philosophical perspective.

Finally, throughout literature, there are various references to or descriptions of bicycling and bicycling racing, some of which are quite beautiful. Searching for these rare passages is a rewarding quest.

All the best,

Bruno Schull
mattsccm - on 25 Jul 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar:
Just read Rob Hayles' book. Good read. Interesting but best of all, without all that introspective garbage.
Road to Valour, about Gino Bartali is also good.
Henry Iddon - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Need for the Bike by Paul Fournel.
ads.ukclimbing.com
steev on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Another vote for Tim Krabbé's 'The Rider'. Hadn't raced a bike when I read it but found it thoroughly engrossing all the way through. Looking forward to reading it again with a few races in my legs.

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