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Recommend any good books on bicycling?

Old 06-30-20, 08:44 AM
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eyemkeith
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Recommend any good books on bicycling?

I've recently read a book on bicycling I didn't care for (In Praise of the Bicycle: My Review Here), so I'm hoping for some recommendations of good books. History, philosophical ruminations, bicycle culture are all interests. What's your favorite?
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Old 06-30-20, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by eyemkeith View Post
I've recently read a book on bicycling I didn't care for (In Praise of the Bicycle: My Review Here), so I'm hoping for some recommendations of good books. History, philosophical ruminations, bicycle culture are all interests. What's your favorite?
Honestly, I donít read a lot of bicycle related books. Frankly, many of them are just not that interesting. There are a few that Iíve read that are pretty good, however.

Wheels of Chance is a book by HG Wells. Itís essentially a guy meets girl, guy loses girl, guy get girl back story set in the English countryside of the late 1890s. Itís a bit dated but not a bad read.

Bicycles in War is a very good book about bicycle uses since the Franco-Prussian war to the mid60s.

The Quotable Cyclist has a bicycle quote for all occasions.

Bicycling Science and The Dancing Chain are two extremely nerdy bicycle books but have their own charm. Bicycling Science is about the science of bicycles with how and why they do what they do. The Dancing Chain could be a horror book, depending on how you feel about derailers. Itís about the development of the derailers that have vexed so many cyclists.

Major Taylor: the Extraordinary Career of a Champion is very good as well.

Iron Riders is a fascinating story about an 1890s experiment with the 25th Infantry to put soldiers on bicycles instead of horses.
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Old 06-30-20, 09:32 AM
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Slaying the Badger, by Richard Moore - a must read if you have a competitive bone in your body

Rough Ride, by Paul Kimmage - the truth about pro riding

Half Man, Half Bike, by William Fotheringham - the life and career of Eddy Merckx

Major, by Todd Balf - another fine book about the times of Major Taylor, every bicyclist should read this book

The Giro d'Italia (1949), by Dino Buzzati - translated from the Italian language, it's a compendium of daily entries. Vague, poetic, romantic, frustratingly verbose - it's torture to read. About Coppi vs Bartali, though, so there's that.
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Old 06-30-20, 09:34 AM
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Dude, these are good suggestions. Thank you!

I've heard that H.G. Wells did a handful of bicycle books, so I'm interested in reading the one you suggested. And both Major Taylor and Iron Riders -- which I sadly only recently learned about -- are definite interests, too. Both those nerdy tomes look good too. Man, thanks for the list.

And Phil, I'll definitely check out that book on Major Taylor. Thanks, man.

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Old 06-30-20, 01:50 PM
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Journey Across a Continent by David Gidmark chronicles his cross Canada ride in the 1970s. Out of print but still available via the internet.

Cheers
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Old 06-30-20, 02:05 PM
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Full Tilt, by Dervla Murphy..






https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dervla_Murphy
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Old 06-30-20, 05:14 PM
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Dividing The Great, a light and fast read about an Englishman's trip down the GDMBR, about twenty years ago.

Bike Snob Abroad, about recent cycling culture
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Old 06-30-20, 05:22 PM
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Around the World on a Bicycle by Thomas Stevens. Volumes 1 and 2 are available through the Gutenberg Project. Stevens made his journey on a Columbia Ordinary in the late 1800's.


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Old 06-30-20, 07:10 PM
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One I read few months ago that I found entertaining although more a touring/adventure type read than a hardcore cycling book.

50 Shades of the USA: One Woman's 11,000 Mile Cycling Adventure Through Every State of America

Another one with a similar theme is published in 1990 is.

Hey, Mom, Can I Ride My Bike Across America?: Five Kids Meet Their Country

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Old 06-30-20, 07:55 PM
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Two Iíve enjoyed:

Round Ireland in Low Gear, by the travel writer Eric Newby

Three Men on the Bummel, by Jerome K. Jerome, a cycling sequel to the more famous Three Men in a Boat.
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Old 06-30-20, 08:06 PM
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Fat Tire Flyer by Charlie Kelly. Great perspective from one of the founders of mountain biking. A little bit of self promotion, but a good read.

John
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Old 06-30-20, 09:04 PM
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Sorry if slightly off topic... I donít know of any cycling books but feel compelled to mention Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
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Old 07-01-20, 07:21 AM
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One of the best books I've ever read. You're always right to mention it, no matter where!
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Old 07-01-20, 07:58 AM
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Read "The Tour According to G" a couple months back and would highly recommend. Part bio on Geraint Thomas, part inside look at his 2018 win (where he took the team lead from Froome) - thought it gave a great look at all that goes into racing in the TDF. Also really cool to hear Geraint's take on all the big moments in the 2018 race. Remember watching so much of it on TV and this gives you a whole new perspective.
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Old 07-01-20, 06:05 PM
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Be Brave, Be Strong by Jill Homer --- about her experience racing in the Great Divide. Interesting and funny.
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Old 07-01-20, 06:21 PM
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Re: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
I canít help but jump in here. When I was teaching Math in the Peace Corps (Ghana, 1974-77) I picked this book up somewhere and really enjoyed reading it. Then as per normal procedure I left it at someone elseís house. Many years later my daughter was in the Peace Corps in Madagascar and returned in 2012. While she was unpacking I noticed the same book. It had the marks that I had made on the back cover way back when. So I read it again and enjoyed the lessons about quality etc. all over again. Then carrying on the tradition I donated it to someone else. I wonder where it is now? Thanks for the memories.
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Old 07-02-20, 07:16 AM
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That is awesome. Great story!
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Old 07-02-20, 09:53 AM
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Pro Cycling On $10 A Day and Draft Animals. Chronicling Phil Gaimon's career.
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