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Old 02-02-08, 03:33 PM   #1
robtown
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Old 02-02-08, 04:17 PM   #2
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Free if you promise top pass it on. First to PM.
What's is it?
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Old 02-02-08, 05:12 PM   #3
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It's a book by Mike Magnuson. You know the story-overweight, drinker, smoker who makes himself into a pretty darn good cyclist.

I was interested in it as he has ridden Bridge to Bridge that finishes on Grandfather Mountain. My brother rode a good while with him on BtB just before he started the book and got his story firsthand.

Robtown-I got about 1/2-2/3 through it and lost interest as it seemed to get so "self focused" and also seemed to be repeating everything. Should I pick it back up and finish it????
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Old 02-02-08, 06:39 PM   #4
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Darn. I was hoping it was a bike.
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Old 02-02-08, 07:05 PM   #5
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Robtown-I got about 1/2-2/3 through it and lost interest as it seemed to get so "self focused" and also seemed to be repeating everything. Should I pick it back up and finish it????
I found it to be a bit repetitive. I'm also a bit peeved that he makes it seem so easy to ride hundreds of miles a month. It was still a quick read and different enough from the scifi and fantasy that's my usual staple to be worth finishing.
I'm overwhelmed in clutter and trying to prune back a bit. Books seem to increase in value as they're shared ; I reserved this one for BF.
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Old 02-02-08, 08:26 PM   #6
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If you are just starting out, coming from being in terrible shape to getting fit, you will enjoy the book a lot. But yes, jppe, it gets repetitive after the first half.
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Old 02-02-08, 08:35 PM   #7
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It was originally an article in Bicycling called 'Don't try this at home.'
The article was brilliant, one of the finest bits of cycling writing I have ever seen.

It got expanded into a book, and the material got stretched. I was disappointed in the book, after reading the article. But if you can track down the article, it's wonderful.
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Old 02-02-08, 10:36 PM   #8
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I liked the book and the article! It was the perfect book to read after bike rides in Yosemite, which is what I did, in that hour or two after the ride was finished and before the sun went back over the valley walls!

Lots of really excellent sections, and more so for me probably, since I went to college just over the Mississippi river from Carbondale (Cape Girardeau, MO), and knew some of the bike shops and people mentioned.

It's a short enough book, so read the whole thing! Maybe not brilliant prose, but a fun read for a recreational cyclist even if (like me) you don't drink beers/wine, nor smoke, nor have to lose a bunch of weight.

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Old 02-02-08, 10:38 PM   #9
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I really liked this book, whatever flaws it has are overshadowed by it's pleasures.
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Old 02-02-08, 11:09 PM   #10
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The article starts out with him at dinner in a 4 star inn in California's wine country.
You don't know it yet, but he's half starved himself and is on doctor's orders to eat.
So his reaction to fine cuisine is over the top, which is really what world class cuisine deserves.

He has just gotten a Litespeed Tuscany, which was one of the finest bikes in the world when he got it. So he and the bike were getting to know each other while he pounded up and down California back country and mountains, about a 100 miles a day. And then eating gourmet food and staying at 4 star inns.
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Old 02-03-08, 01:29 PM   #11
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I just noticed that Magnuson finished a few minutes ahead of me but a few minutes behind my brother in this past year's Assault on Mt Mitchell. I'll have to keep an out for him on the road next time. I'm sure we leap frogged as I was ahead of my brother with about 20 miles left.
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Old 02-03-08, 02:08 PM   #12
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I have a problem with books like this.

It's cool that people can write stuff like "I was a fat stupid lard-ass drunk but I biked a lot, a lot more than most people in their right minds would ever do, and now I'm a cat 2 cyclist".

Give me an author like John Bingham, someone who MIGHT write "I was a fat stupid lard-ass drunk, but I stopped drinking, got on my bike and rode as much as my schedule and energy level would allow, and lost a bit of weight. I'm still stoopid, the butt's too big, and my training rides can be timed with a calender, but I'm having fun anyway".

Then again, I don't suppose it would make for a very good book, except I have two or three of Bingham's books in my library, so someone would get around to reading them.
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Old 02-03-08, 08:00 PM   #13
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I read the book and had to keep putting it down and going back due to the writing style. One thing that struck me is that for anyone with an "addiction problem" and an "addictive personality" it is never easy to overcome. Magnuson's search for significance and walking away from a life style that was sure to put him into an early grave led him to bicycles. Bicycling for Magnuson and any of us is a far healthier addiction, if taken in moderation (whatever that is?).

I think it takes more than just discipline.
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Old 02-03-08, 08:12 PM   #14
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I read the book and had to keep putting it down and going back due to the writing style. One thing that struck me is that for anyone with an "addiction problem" and an "addictive personality" it is never easy to overcome. Magnuson's search for significance and walking away from a life style that was sure to put him into an early grave led him to bicycles. Bicycling for Magnuson and any of us is a far healthier addiction, if taken in moderation (whatever that is?).

I think it takes more than just discipline.
I think the book is brilliant. One of the subtexts of Heft on Wheels is the drive for excellence - how much are you willing to sacrifice for an activity you love. Magnuson was always a cyclist, even when he was a 255 pound lummox, but he changed who he was because he loved the sport and wanted to perform as well as he was able to. As a person who taught himself to ride a bike at age 41, and then rode his first century nine months later, I can identify with Magnuson to a degree.
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