I was asked to introduce myself and logically, since I'm a librarian received the following question :
<i>Originally posted by ljbike
I noticed from your profile that you are a librarian. Every once in awhile a thread comes up from people looking for a good read. Do you know of any books on cycling, touring or general interest that might pique the imagination of other members?</i> [/B]
Well, not a librarian of the type you know.. I'm one of those behind the screens that make catalogues .. yawn, yawn, yawn..
Can I tell you a piece of heresey? I haven't finished reading a book in a long time! Yet, I read more than I ever did before...
The answer is the Internet my friend!
I can mention a few books in my possession or books that I'd like to have..
The last book I've bought is one I bought online last night from a Canadian.. Neil Anderson.. He cycled in Europe and North America with his wife. you can have a look at ttp://www.cyclelogicpress.com
I've become a bit wary of travelogues especially now you can read them for free (heresy again ;-) ) on the web so often. However, I really enjoyed his writing style and hope that the snippets I've read on the web will be as good as the book.
Ever since I've started cycling more, I've become desillusioned with Dutch bike paths.. and started hating the bike apartheid system which we have more and more... you automatically arrive at the vehicular cycling field of which John Forester is the best known advocate. I've bought his amazingly comprehensive book and while it's a little outdated by now as far as pure bike materials and other perishable knowledge is concerned, his advice is very well thought out and well written.. a vast volume of 600 pages minus 1 and 49 chapters.
On training I own a book by a Dutch writer called "Moderne training voor wielrenners" /Modern Training for Roadracers by Cees Vermunt. The advice is OK, but I'm not a road racer, hence the need for that other book... Truth is, that there's little known about REAL long-distance cycling.. So, I bought a book by Simon Doughty called, "The long distance cyclist' handbook" it's smaller than you'd think necessary for a handbook and covers more subjects than you would imagine necessary for the size... Perhaps I'm an oldie by now, since it contained little I didn't know already, but it was nice to see it written together and confirmed.
So, I guess I'm still looking for THE book written for people who actually don't like training but know they should train ;-)..
The answer is fairly easy : don't buy a car (which I followed) and go everywhere by bicycle unless it's unpractical.. I try to adhere to that advice, but considering the poor signposting for cyclists and the bad condition of a lot of bike paths.. it makes me ripe for the mental asylum.
To cure this condition.. I've got a number of travel books from cyclists.. one I particularly like is Dervla Murphy, who was daft enough to go riding a single-speed men's bike to India, starting in December from London... you really have gotta be daft to try..
I'm also waiting with impatience on a book I've received exactly 1 year ago, but because of the unkept promises of my host, still haven't received my copy of the complete unabridged version of the book on the first RTW bicycle ride by a Usonian journalist.. he rode on a penny-farthing.. can you imagine!!!
Other authors I like are Josie Dew and Anne Mustoe.. all women.. Sorry, I just enjoy female writers more than men.
Yet another type of book are the guide books... I have a German guide books, called Reise Know How: Fahrrad Weltfuhrer (a cyclists's Worldguide) and another one in Dutch which does the same but only for Europe.. it tells me what to expect cycling wise in every European country and which routes are popular.
As of 2001, Lonely Planet also publishes books on particular countries for cyclists. I've bought Cycling in France but they also have copies for Britain, New Zealand and Australia.
And finally, I'm thinking of publishing routes myself after I've devised them.. In 2001 I completed a fairly prestigeous route , called Route des Cent Cols (itinerary of 100 mountain passes) : 4000K in 2 months over 110 French mountain passes. I liked it so much that I'm contemplating to design similar routes in other countries.. I had ordered the itinerary and it came with a booklet in which I had to collect route stamps from certain towns I passed. It would be fun to have similar options for other countries.. I was told that such a tough ride would not draw enough people interested, but I am convinced this is not true..
So, you know a lot from me already!