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Whats your favourite bike book?

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Whats your favourite bike book?

Old 01-15-21, 01:39 AM
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On reflection I have not half a dozen but more like ten favourites. To add to the three I listed above, a couple more:I hadn't thought that I was particularly interested in 19th-century cycling and I didn't think I was even slightly interested in track cycling; and therefore ordering a copy of Gilles' book was daring/reckless/stupid of me. The book turned out to surpass my hopes, let alone expectations.

Although Flandrien is a photobook, you shouldn't expect a "coffee-table" book: instead, it's in a compact format -- it's not even as tall as a traditional Penguin paperback -- but I think this suits it well.
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Old 01-15-21, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by P!N20
Whatever you think of the Velominati, their book 'The Hardmen' is a great read.

And don't be fooled by the title, there are plenty of hardwomen featured.

Now, if only I could remember who I lent it to...
Ah yep, thats been well read in my household - especially like the chapter on the sprinter Eros Poli who in the `94 Tour managed a win on Mont Ventoux - epic.
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Old 01-15-21, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer
"Half Man, Half Bike: The life of Eddy Merckx, Cycling's Greatest Champion" by William Fotheringham.
Read it but didn't like the writing style. It was a hard read for me.

Bicycle By David Herlihy is a history of two wheeled contraptions from the Velocipede to the modern bicycle.
Bikes don't stand alone. They are two tired.

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Old 01-15-21, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself
Hands down the Ruff Stuff Fellowship Archive (I sprang for the beautiful hardcover collectors edition in slip case but here is the regular edition: https://www.isolapress.com/shop/rsf-archives-2)
I second that. I have gone through it many times and I will go through it many more times.
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Old 01-15-21, 07:40 AM
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"The accidental ironman"
OK, not only biking but also swimming and running but the writing is very good. At least I liked it a lot. Book by Martyn Brunt.

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Old 01-15-21, 07:41 AM
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I like the time-traveling effect I get when I read old cycling manuals - in particular, Reg Shaw's Let's Go Cycling from c.1950 is lovely, and in a perfect world would be paired with Cuthbertson's Anybody's Bike Book as introductory texts. Even more enjoyable, time-travel wise, is F.J. Camm's Every Cyclist's Handbook from 1936, which includes excellent directions for how to use Woods valves and maintain carbide headlights, and how to join two damaged inner tubes together to create one good one.

Put Me Back On My Bike by Tom Fotheringham left me with much more sympathy and understanding for Tom Simpson.

Across France in Wartime by Kuklos (1916?) also raised my eyebrows - how did a middle-aged English cyclotourist ride through a war zone on an X-frame Raleigh and get away with it?
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Old 01-15-21, 07:53 AM
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I can second the nominations of Bicycle and Dancing Chain, but my favourite read is Fat Tire Flyer by Charlie Kelly. Love that early Marin history. And for pictures any books from the Horton Collection (notably Cycling's Golden Age and Googles and Dust) are worthwhile. And finally for a really complete look at sort of modern Italian history John Foot's Pedalare! Pedalare! is a must read.

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Old 01-15-21, 11:48 PM
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The most memorable bike book for me was Hell On Two Wheels:An Astonishing Story of Suffering, Triumph, and the Most Extreme Endurance Race in the World by Amy Snyder. It details the Race Across America and follows some of the competitors on what has to be the most insane sporting event ever.
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Old 01-16-21, 10:48 AM
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"The Complete Book of Bicycling" by Eugene Sloan.
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Old 01-16-21, 12:15 PM
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"The Yellow Jersey." by Ralph Hurne.

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Old 01-16-21, 12:34 PM
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Old 01-16-21, 12:43 PM
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Major Taylor by Tom Ritchie
IMO, the best book on this world champion.

Bob Chicken A passion for the bike by Graeme Fife
A great read and a tremendous source of information as well.

One more for fun:

No Hands by Judith Crown and Glenn Coleman
The rise and fall of Schwinn

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Old 01-16-21, 01:08 PM
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A nice autobiography on the life and cycling career of super domestique Vin Denson, the faithful lieutenant of Anquetil.

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Old 01-16-21, 01:40 PM
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"The Third Policeman" by Flann O'Brien. A bike novel.
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Old 01-16-21, 02:27 PM
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Not being a real reader......

@Germany_chris hit my Favorite reference book. I ‘reread’ it regularly and don’t worry about remembering detailed stuff.

Then there is the Favorite book to Linger Over occasionally.

not sure if it will be a favorite, but wife says “Dream Big”.

Vintage, modern, e-road. It is a big cycling universe.
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Old 01-16-21, 04:08 PM
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If you're a fan of bicycle road racing, The Yellow Jersey was great. As I type this I see it on my book shelf. I probably should re-read that one.
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Old 01-16-21, 04:15 PM
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it's nothing like what you might think

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Old 01-16-21, 06:35 PM
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It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels

by Robert Penn

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Old 01-16-21, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by notthe1freeman

It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels

by Robert Penn

For obvious reasons to any that know me. Although I entertain myself with modest steeds from the 90s the spirit...well just read the damn thing
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Old 01-16-21, 06:59 PM
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The Man Who Loved Bicycles: The Memoirs of an Autophobe by Daniel Behrman

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Old 01-16-21, 10:07 PM
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It's very clear that tastes differ. While I can appreciate the work that went into The Dancing Chain (multiply recommended above), and the erudition that I imagine can be extracted from it, what struck me vividly from my copy of the 4th edition was the way it seems to be unadulterated by any touch of copyediting. It's confusing and repetitive. I find bits and pieces (especially about early inventions and products) interesting and even enjoyable, but once Berto is on to the postwar period, I'm lost. I suppose that if you're already rather familiar with the subject, you'll find what you need from it. If there were a new edition, sympathetically but ruthlessly revised by somebody who knows their stuff, I might buy it.

I'd read good things about Miles from Nowhere (also recommended above), ordered it online, and was reading my two or three day old copy when this thread was started. I'm about halfway through (the author and her husband are in Britain), and continue to read it but only with mild interest. The copyright page says "Edited by Diane Hammond"; I don't know what she had to do to the manuscript but I wish she'd done very much more. Sample (from p161 of the 1984 Mountaineers Books edition, as reprinted in 2010) of what she let through:
"So you're keen on campin' 'ere now, are ya?" Fred smiled at us. "Well if you pitch yer tent over there in that grassy area, you'll 'ave a lovely view of sunrise over these three-thousand-five-hundred-year-old stones tomorrow mornin'. Now never mind the NO CAMPIN' sign over there. It's only there to keep away the undesirables. I'll let you two camp there as long as you promise not to 'op the fence in the middle o' the night and sniff around the stones. People try that you know. But just remember, I'll be 'ere all night and I 'ate to be disturbed. If I catch you over that fence, you'll be two un'appy Yanks on the next flight over the big pond. So behave yourselves, all right?"

"OK, Fred," Larry answered.

"Oh, and by the way," winked Fred. "When you 'ear -- "
Sorry, Fred (and Barb), I've cut you off in midflow. Enough. For me, a lot more than enough. Savage has a story to tell; but unlike, say, Tim Moore (French Revolutions, Gironimo!, The Cyclist Who Went out in the Cold, each recommended by others above), she's no writer. I may or may not finish this book; but unless there's a dramatic improvement in its second half, it's certain that I'll never reread it.
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Old 01-17-21, 09:44 AM
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Upgrading Your Bike by Frank Berto. And +1 to A Dog in A Hat and No Hands. Also, since motorcycle books have been mentioned, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Rebuilding the Indian are philosophically relevant to the C&V bike hobby.
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Old 01-17-21, 09:53 AM
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I didn’t read Miles fro Nowhere, but it was read aloud in 30 minute segments on The Radio Reader on NPR when it was first published. Enjoyed that experience tremendously.
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Old 01-17-21, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO
I've really enjoyed 'In Search of Robert Millar' and 'A Dog in a Hat' and would recommend.
ive read a Dog in a Hat , wasnt this the Joe Parkin autobiography? I dont remember all the details, but i enjoyed the book

currently working on Slaying The Badger - the Lemond-Hinault showdown
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Old 01-17-21, 03:04 PM
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Need for the Bike by Fournel
Breakaway by Samuel Abt, in fact, many books by Abt.
Sting in the Tail by Peter Duker circa 1973. Very irreverent story about riding a Raleigh Pro around the world.
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