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Classic Cycling Books?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Classic Cycling Books?

Old 08-25-18, 06:07 PM
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Classic Cycling Books?

What are some of the classic books on road cycling?

Essays, biographies, narratives... doesn't matter.


-Tim-
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Old 08-25-18, 06:09 PM
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I still have it (and his other one).
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Old 08-25-18, 06:14 PM
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Old 08-25-18, 06:37 PM
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Not what you mean, but I have a few guide books that are lists of routes, with some text about the history of each place you ride through, where to stop, etc. I don't think they make those anymore, you just download a route to your computer now.
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Old 08-25-18, 08:05 PM
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Go to your local library and used book stores ... they often have the "classics".

But what exactly are you looking for?
Bicycle Maintenance?
Touring Stories?
Cycling Past 50?
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Old 08-25-18, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Go to your local library and used book stores ... they often have the "classics".

But what exactly are you looking for?
Bicycle Maintenance?
Touring Stories?
Cycling Past 50?
Not maintenance. I'd also like to stay away from stories about doping or those who dope and would prefer something uplifting.

Other than that, I have nothing specific in mind but am just wondering what the cycling community considers "must reads" or classic cycling books.

I did order "Need for the Bike" by Paul Fournell.

A book like no other, Paul Fournel’s Need for the Bike conducts readers into a very personal world of communication and connection whose center is the bicycle, and where all people and things pass by way of the bike. In compact and suggestive prose, Fournel conveys the experience of cycling—from the initial charm of early outings to the dramas of the devoted cyclist. An extended meditation on cycling as a practice of life, the book recalls a country doctor who will not anesthetize the young Fournel after he impales himself on a downtube shifter, speculates about the difference between animals that would like to ride bikes (dogs, for instance) and those that would prefer to watch (cows, marmots), and reflects on the fundamental absurdity of turning over the pedals mile after excruciating mile. At the same time, Fournel captures the sound, smell, feel, and language of the reality and history of cycling, in the mountains, in the city, escaping the city, in groups, alone, suffering, exhausted, exhilarated. In his attention to the pleasures of cycling, to the specific “grain” of different cycling experiences, and to the inscription of these experiences in the body’s cycling memory, Fournel portrays cycling as a descriptive universe, colorful, lyrical, inclusive, exclusive, complete.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...d_for_the_Bike
I'm interested in The Rider by Tim Krabbe.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/657466.The_Rider


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Old 08-25-18, 08:56 PM
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I enjoyed Road to Valor, about Gino Bartali.
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Old 08-26-18, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Not maintenance. I'd also like to stay away from stories about doping or those who dope and would prefer something uplifting.

Other than that, I have nothing specific in mind but am just wondering what the cycling community considers "must reads" or classic cycling books.

I did order "Need for the Bike" by Paul Fournell.



I'm interested in The Rider by Tim Krabbe.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/657466.The_Rider


-Tim-
The Rider is the only book I can think of that qualifies as a classic about cycling.
Decidedly not a classic, but the only book about cycling that anyone recommended and gave to me - and which I found somewhat insightful and amusing, and was happy to pass along to someone else - was Pro Cycling on $10 a Day
As for other cycling books that get talked about a lot, there's Slaying the Badger

OH!
Not a book, but if you're interested in classics that have something to do with bikes (and not about racing like the books above) - if you haven't seen Vittorio De Sica's masterpiece "Ladri di Biciclette" drop everything and watch it now
. It's not even about riding or bicycles, but the story does happen to be about how important a bike is to someone, and what a profound impact it has on his life.
You won't look at bikes the same afterwards.

Last edited by kbarch; 08-26-18 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 08-26-18, 08:02 AM
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Old 08-26-18, 08:15 AM
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God forbid you read a book on MAINTENANCE....

Like say Zinn and the art of Road Bike Maintenance
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Old 08-26-18, 10:15 AM
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"Three Men on the Bummel", by Jerome K. Jerome.


Last edited by avole; 08-26-18 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 08-26-18, 10:35 AM
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Perfect for you.

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Old 08-26-18, 10:49 AM
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Make one.

Photo Books - Make & Print Custom Photo Books | Blurb
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Old 08-26-18, 05:50 PM
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C.O.N.I. Cycling manual.
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Old 08-26-18, 08:27 PM
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Three Men on a Bummel is still an entertaining book because the comical situations cyclists might find themselves in 100 years ago are exactly the same today and still funny.
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Old 08-26-18, 08:46 PM
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The Rider by Tim Krabbe is one of my favorite cycling novels. Anyone who has ever raced can totally relate.
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Old 08-26-18, 10:38 PM
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Three Men on a Bummel sounds great.


Originally Posted by Jadesfire View Post
I enjoyed Road to Valor, about Gino Bartali.
I did not know that Gino Bartali was Righteous Among the Nations and just read a little about him. This is fascinating. I will definitely be ordering this book. Thank you.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 08-26-18 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 08-27-18, 03:33 PM
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Le Metier, Michael Barry. Instant classic.
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Old 08-27-18, 06:23 PM
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"A Rough Ride" by Paul Kimmage. The same Paul Kimmage that became an Irish Sports Journalist after his racing career and was a thorn in Lance Armstrong's backside until he finally admitted to doping..... and other things.
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Old 08-27-18, 07:33 PM
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Plus a thousand for The Rider.

another plus for our own Event Services’ Roadie

For a fun read Bobke

and if you want insight into what it’s like as an American trying to race in Europe,A Dog in a Hat
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Old 08-27-18, 09:22 PM
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Funny name, great book!
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Old 08-28-18, 01:53 AM
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Any number to choose from

Ok, so I have a collecting issue....

My library of bicycle related books is now over 1000 titles.
And that is without the advertising and technical stuff.

I have read about 10% of them- some are a grind and others flow with a tailwind.

The Around the world books about Stevens and Lenz are a good start.

Major Taylor by Ritchie is a great read.

Bicycles in Wartime( there are a number of these) if you are so inclined

Sharps Treatise on Bicycle and Tricycle ( reprinted but original is 1893 or so) -mechanics and physics orientation.

No Hands - on the Schwinn Company collapse

Tommy Simpson - Cycling is My Life

Coppi biographies show a very interesting man.

Floyd Landis - Positively False - smile while you read this one as Floyd did when he wrote it.

I have a number of Lance and Tour de France ( there are more than 100 titles on the tour) books, more place holders than anything else.

I shy away from " best places to ride" or non-English language stuff.

Like children, favorites - each enjoyed for its own sake.

So many to choose from.........
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Old 08-28-18, 07:51 PM
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HG Wells: The Wheels of Chance. Set during the biggest cycling boom in history is an interesting novel about cycling.
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Old 08-28-18, 09:53 PM
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(3) Euro heroes, all enjoyable, merckx was the best read:







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Old 08-29-18, 12:47 AM
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Gironimo!: Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy by Tim Moore was a fun read.

+1 to Road to Valor
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