Best Bike Book(s) Ever?
It's a heck of a lot easier collecting bike books than bikes space-wise but I collect both. So I thought I'd start a thread where people could talk about what they think is the best bike book (and why). I'll start. My all time fav is simply entitled "The Bicycling Book" and then subtitled "Bicycling--the best thing man has ever done." Hard to argue with either the title or the subtitle (OK is should have been titled the best thing man or woman has ever done, :). The book was published in 1982 by the Dial Press and consists of a bunch of articles by people with a lot of expertise over subjects that they are passionate about. The late Beryl Burton (and if you don't know who she is, you need to google her) gives a great account of what it's like to race as a woman. There's a really fun article by a writer in Finland who tells you how to ride there in the winter. There's a really fun piece on klunkers since this when some enthusiasts in CA were modifying bikes to ride offroad.
I could go on but what sets this book apart is that it is a collective effort (over 100 articles) written by experts and each piece is very short. There isn't any marketing BS; there isn't a bunch of techno speak; it is simply written by people who are passionate about what they are doing and want to share that passion with others.
Edit: this is a link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Bicycling-.../dp/0385276664
Beryl Burton was a giant of the sport, one of the greatest time-triallists ever, male or female. Simply astonishing.
As for books, the best cycling book I have ever read is a novel: "The Rider" by Tim Krabbe. Read it if you want to get inside a racing cyclist's head.
Curious George Rides A Bike - H.A. Rey
Bicycling Bliss - Portia Masterson
Bicycling Science - David Gordon Wilson
The Dancing Chain by Frank Berto.
The Quotable Cyclist by Bill Strickland
Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer by Andrew Ritchie
Bicycles in War by Martin Caidin
Friends by Helme Heine. Much sweeter than Curious George Rides a Bike.
Urban Bikers' Tricks & Tips by Dave Glowacz
The Art of Cycling by Robert Hurst
The Immortal Class by Travis Hugh Culley
Joe "Metal Cowboy" Kurmaskie has 5 books out now; I have them all:
METAL COWBOY: Tales of the Road Less Pedaled
Riding Outside the Lines
Momentum is Your Friend
Mud, Sweat, and Gears
You Might Be a Cyclist If....
A little less engaging, but still a good read, is Rolling Around Heaven All Day, by Stan Purdum.
The Quotable Cyclist is sweet, too, I have that as well.
Bicycling for Dummies has some good information, as well.
Personally, though, I'd pass on Liggett's Dancing On the Pedals; it was a BIG letdown. I couldn't even GIVE that one away, had to TRASH it. I also had a hardcover edition of Spokesongs by Willie Weir; I have a 10-month-old nephew who likes to handle things, so I let him handle that one. Best use for it.
I visited Belgium, My Host, in Ypres, was amassing a nice collection of large format books
on Cycle racing History of that end of the country, Flanders..
writers that cycle Tom Vernon , wrote and did a TV show , Fatman on a Bike
touring, festivals, and dining.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Vernon
Dervla Murphy many Books including Full Tilt Ireland To India by bicycle.
Lance Armstrong's War by Daniel Coyle
It's All About the Bike by Robert Penn
Bicycle Builder's Bonanza - Atomic Zombie