Best books on cycling?

124

Comments

  • LangerDan
    LangerDan Posts: 6,132
    The object of Mr.f72's unrequited affections (and the current Mrs. Cadel Evans) Chiara Passerini has just tweeted a pic of hubbys new book

    http://twitpic.com/6uxyo0



    9781740669863.jpg

    I think its mainly a photo book.
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • roypsb
    roypsb Posts: 309
    Really enjoyed:

    Ned Boulting's Yellow Jumper book - excellent read, very funny indeed
    David Millar's biography
    Lance - Tour De Force
    Fignon - Young and Carefree
    Put Me Back On My Bike

    Was surprised how little I enjoyed Wide Eyed and Legless, considering the rave reviews it gets.

    Must get the Robert Millar book and looking forward to Robbie McEwen's
  • fish156
    fish156 Posts: 496
    durhamwasp wrote:
    Anyone started reading Nick Roches book?
    About 300 pages in so far. It seems to be a book simply about Nicolas Roche's racing & results, rather than any real insight into life in the peloton.
  • fish156 wrote:
    durhamwasp wrote:
    Anyone started reading Nick Roches book?
    About 300 pages in so far. It seems to be a book simply about Nicolas Roche's racing & results, rather than any real insight into life in the peloton.

    300 pages you say... On just his results... Must be large font with double space!
    Ribble R872
    Specialized Langster Monaco
    Trek 6300
  • spenb
    spenb Posts: 14
    I know there are some Laurent Fignon fans here, I was watching 'American Flyers' the other day, in it early in the movie there is a poster of Fignon and the poster reads "The Legend Continues", the poster is on the fridge of one of the 2 brothers' apartment, I think the brother who is played by Kevin Costnert. So, some might find that of interest.

    Yes, I'm a Fignon fan - the poster you talk of was a Gitaine Promotional poster with all Fignon's results upto then on it done at the end of 1984
    I'm not BITTER - Just TWISTED
  • josame
    josame Posts: 1,141
    Btw Mountain High (50 Top Climbes in Europe) is a tenner on Amazon so disregard £15 deal on the home page of BR

    sorry BR - honesty is the best policy...
    'Do not compare your bike to others, for always there will be greater and lesser bikes'
  • FYI - We were Young and Carefree by Laurent Fignon is £2.99 in Booksale at the moment so grab your self a bargain
  • LeicesterLad
    LeicesterLad Posts: 3,908
    +1 Tour de Force was very good (maybe been reprinted as 'Lance Armstrong's War' though?). A good insight into Armstrong's build up to the 2004 Tour & the Tour itself (think it has been updated to include the 2009 Tour). The chapter on the Alpe d'Huez Time Trial itself is fantastic.

    In Search of Robert Millar was a cracker too. A great piece of investigative journalism by Richard Moore.

    Recently read and enjoyed Ned Boultings 'Yellow Jumper' book - laugh out loud funny!

    ''Wen't to see my doctor day before the tour started, found it really helpfull''
  • rubertoe
    rubertoe Posts: 3,994
    FYI - We were Young and Carefree by Laurent Fignon is £2.99 in Booksale at the moment so grab your self a bargain

    Just finished this great read - Laurent was a very up and down sort of guy.

    Currently reading the Hobbit (non cycling but still a great read) and will be heading to the Book shop tomorrow for David Millars auto biog and "slaying the badger"
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • luckao
    luckao Posts: 632
    rubertoe wrote:
    FYI - We were Young and Carefree by Laurent Fignon is £2.99 in Booksale at the moment so grab your self a bargain

    Just finished this great read - Laurent was a very up and down sort of guy."

    Booksale? I've never heard of it. Is there likely to be one located near me, or am I making myself look extremely stupid by asking for the geographical location of an internet site. I'm prepared to make myself look silly if I can get it for £2.99.
  • Luckao wrote:
    rubertoe wrote:
    FYI - We were Young and Carefree by Laurent Fignon is £2.99 in Booksale at the moment so grab your self a bargain

    Just finished this great read - Laurent was a very up and down sort of guy."

    Booksale? I've never heard of it. Is there likely to be one located near me, or am I making myself look extremely stupid by asking for the geographical location of an internet site. I'm prepared to make myself look silly if I can get it for £2.99.

    I assumed they were nationwide but maybe not? And they don't seem to have an internet presence either..............

    Only good if your local to Cardiff then I guess :oops:
  • luckao
    luckao Posts: 632
    No worries. According to Amazon, I can get it for just over £5. I'll get that when I'm not feeling so stingy. Definitely look forward to reading it. Maybe I can sell all of those Armstrong books to fund it.
  • Moomaloid
    Moomaloid Posts: 2,040
    In Pursuit of Stardom: Les Nomades du Velo Anglais

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pursuit-Stardom ... 979&sr=8-1

    Possibly my favourite bike book ever. Proper grafters man. Hard Hard men...
  • KnightOfTheLongTights
    KnightOfTheLongTights Posts: 1,415
    edited October 2011
    just finished Bad Blood by Jeremy Whittle:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Blood-Secre ... 119&sr=8-2

    He's got a slightly irritating style and his tales of how matey he was with this rider and that team leader and bla bla are a bit tiresome - but it's also full of insight into the racing scene of the last 20 years and in particular the politics of doping, if like me that's something you don't know much about.
  • ms_tree
    ms_tree Posts: 1,405
    Recently read and enjoyed Ned Boultings 'Yellow Jumper' book - laugh out loud funny!

    Just finished this. Don't agree. Thought it was a bit like him - light-weight.
    'Google can bring back a hundred thousand answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.'
    Neil Gaiman
  • ms_tree
    ms_tree Posts: 1,405
    Yes, I'm almost finished Ned's book after taking it away on holiday. By its nature the focus is the process of following and covering the Tour, rather than providing any great insight into cycling itself, but I don't mind saying I laughed aloud regularly as I made my way through it.

    See above ; only laughed once. Can't remember why - and I only finished it this pm!
    'Google can bring back a hundred thousand answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.'
    Neil Gaiman
  • Luckao wrote:
    rubertoe wrote:
    FYI - We were Young and Carefree by Laurent Fignon is £2.99 in Booksale at the moment so grab your self a bargain

    Just finished this great read - Laurent was a very up and down sort of guy."

    Booksale? I've never heard of it. Is there likely to be one located near me, or am I making myself look extremely stupid by asking for the geographical location of an internet site. I'm prepared to make myself look silly if I can get it for £2.99.

    They had it for £2.99 in the "Works" remainder bookshop in the Hatfield Galleria a week or so ago too (I think the Works are fairly national). They also had the Death of Marco Pantani for £2.99 too.
  • Any list of great cycling books would be remiss without a mention of this classic.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Jean-Bicy ... 541&sr=8-1

    sallyjean.jpg
  • Tusher
    Tusher Posts: 2,762
    Why, that looks uncannily like myself cycling joyfully to work each morning.






    Er, maybe not. It does however looks uncannily like myself cycling home v-e-r-y early one morning after the work night out. Pickled in charge of a bicycle.
  • Moomaloid
    Moomaloid Posts: 2,040
    Anyone read these yet? Looking for a new read whilst i wait for Mcwan's to come on sale..

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1891 ... d_i=468294

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Team-7-Eleven- ... 263&sr=1-1
  • BikingBernie
    BikingBernie Posts: 2,163
    edited October 2011
    Moomaloid wrote:
    In Pursuit of Stardom: Les Nomades du Velo Anglais

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pursuit-Stardom ... 979&sr=8-1
    Possibly my favourite bike book ever. Proper grafters man. Hard Hard men...
    I used to ride regularly with Vic Sutton and I still keep in contact for his wife, Shirley. I put together his story for a website that I used to run and Shirley allowed me access to her archive, which has some great material in it. For example, take this extract from Cycling of 18 March 1959:

    'Ice Cold in Flanders' by Tony Hewson.

    'I woke with a start and turned over in my bunk. I was frozen stiff. The Febrary wind was blowing snow flakes through the open windows of the ambulance. I staggered up and slammed them shut. "Idiots! Do you want us to freeze to death?" But the other snoring figures paid no heed to my words. It was cold. We were in Flanders. It was ice cold.

    The story really begins a month before this in January 1958. Vic Sutton, Jock Andrews and I, Tony Hewson, three young men with little money and less experience but with one burning purpose, to seek adventure, to escape the humdrum life of the office or factory, to earn a living by bike racing on the continent.

    We had experienced continental hotel bills previously - a caravan and a car would have been ideal but were still outside our means, so it had to be an ambulance converted to what we required as cheaply as possible.

    We bought her at a breakers yard near Chesterfield. She was pretty near what we wanted and the price was right; she was a three tonne Austin twenty six horse-power, built for desert warfare... Out went the stretchers and in went four folding bunks and a table. Vic did the joinery, Jock made the mattresses. I was clerk of works.

    We spent a morning and two gallons of petrol getting her off a muddy field at Thorne where the work had been done, but two days later we were in Dover where Derek Cover (of Brighton fame) made fourth man...And so we found ourselves in Flanders, camped for the night, and Vic had left the windows open...'


    Cycling magazine of August 26 1959 carried an article on the Tour written by Vic himself:

    Three Weeks' Board and Lodging! By Vic Sutton.


    As an "unknown" Sutton was the sensation of the 1959 Tour de France, finishing 37th at his first attempt and climbing like a new "Angel of the Mountains".

    'Rest day at Bayonne! I'll not forget it, for I suppose it was the turning point for me in my first ever Tour de France.

    Everyone starts the race knowing that it's going to be hard, but for me it seemed to be that much harder - a head cold was really at the root of my trouble. I was going alright when I started with the rest of the 120 field from Mulhouse even with the cold, but then I crashed on wet cobbles at Nancy, 60km from the finish - it was pretty bad, as Shay Elliot came down in the same place - and I ended up well down with cuts on my left elbow and a mammoth bruise on my left thigh. I had the same sort of luck the next day when, "flying" I punctured twice in the last 30km on dusty paths of roads. Gradually the head cold got worse until after four days I had a sort of sinus trouble which affected my breathing. This lasted until the near-coast town of Bayonne and, as you will remember, I was then 109th overall, second from last and 49 minutes 9 seconds down. That 207 km into Bayonne was the hardest day of the Tour for me. I normally prefer wet to real heat and that day was really hot, sapping my strength- made worse by my breathing trouble. For 207 km I hung on desperately. But after that rest on July 4, by which time my friend, teammate and living companion Tony Hewson had been forced to drop out with bronchitis, my cold went, my head cleared, and with the increase in my all-round fitness that came as my health improved so I gained more confidence.

    No Real Plan.

    The first mountain stage lay ahead! When the race started I treated each day as it came with no real plan, other then the hope of getting to the mountains O.K.

    Stage 10 saw the 6,973 feet climb of the Tourmalet. The field split into about a dozen groups and I jumped from one to the other until I reached the leaders (Brian Robinson tells me that Vic rode alongside him in the leading group on that climb, said 'Right, I'm going to show these...! They've given me the hammer on the flat so now I'm going to show them." And he did! -Ed). But I lost a lot of ground on the descent and finished 35th.

    Robinson's Bad Day.

    Stage 14 from Aurillac to Clement Ferrand was the day Brian Robinson and Shay Elliot finished outside the time limit and I was 26th. I left them unknowingly on one of the four real climbs that day - one moment I could see them together behind, the we climbed for 2 or 3 kilometres and after that I couldn't see them. I never thought for a moment Brian had gone to pieces and certainly didn't expect that they would be outside the time limit. [Note: Brian Robinson was reinstated as he was at that time in a top 10 position and the rules of the day did not permit the elimination of a rider in the top 10.]

    The next day was the second of the three time trials -which I hate! On the first time trial (stage 6) there was a following wind on a sporting up-and-down course so it was not too bad. The second stage against the watch was the hill climb on the Puy de Dome which rises from the start at 1,323ft to reach the summit, having climbed 3,346 ft in 12 1/2 kilometres. I didn't mind it too much from starting off number four, according to L'Equipe, I was ninth fastest, 51 seconds down on Bahamontes after 25 km; 12th at 45km 1-39 down; 15th after 6.5 km 1-4 in arrears; and then fourth fastest after 8.3 km, 1 min 33 seconds behind Bahamontes, with Gaul second and Anquetil third. At the finish I was 16th, 5-47 in arrears. But for an hour my time stood as best.

    Gear Too High.

    The gear I used was too high-although one always thinks that after an event that one could have done better although at the time you are going as fast as possible! Bahamontes and second fastest, Gaul, rode 48X26 gears of 49.8in; I had 48x25 which meant I pushed a gear of 51.84 inches. (I used the same bicycle throughout, but for the other stages I rode close ratio gears). The last time trial, the 21st stage from Seurre to Dijion, was by far the worst. It was 69km into a strong head wind and Riviere, who really is a fantastic time trialist, won in 1-39-38. 1 finished last but one, 19 minutes 59 seconds down.

    But that last time trial came after the Alps. It was there that things really went well. Take stage, 17. That was over 197km. from St. Etienne to Grenoble and included several climbs - Col du Grand Bois (3,779ft.) and the Col de Romeyere- (3,544ft.) being the main ones. The feed came 2km. from the foot of the Romeyere climb and Brian Robinson punctured. I waited for him - and got a sharp lesson in tactics from Brian for doing so; I didn't know that you're not supposed to wait for anyone on a climb or a descent, as they can make up time then themselves. Still, I'll remember next time !

    Group to Group

    Anyway, at the actual foot of the climb on a narrow road there was a "stack Up" which took some sorting out, but on the mountain I moved up from group to group until I found I'd caught the leading group which included Bobet and Anglade. Ahead were Bahamontes and Gaul having a big battle, and as I'd caught the leading group I just kept going. I got to within 50 metres or so of Gaul's wheel, who was then chasing Bahamontes, and tried for 20km. to get right on ! Later, other riders said they were disgusted with the Luxembourger who, they thought, should have eased to let me get on his wheel, As I was so far behind overall it would not have made any difference to him, but I suppose it was a question of his prestige being at stake.

    At the top of the Romeyere 1 was 1-7 down on Gaul ; 20km. later at Villard de Lans I was 2-20 behind Gaul, who was by then with that other terrific pedaller, Bahamontes, and 1 min. 10 seconds ahead of the main bunch led by Riviere, Anquetil and Pauwels.

    When I saw it was no use trying any more, being just unable to close the gap, I eased, waited to be caught, and finished eventually in the bunch 15th, 3-42 down on stage winner Gaul.

    Complete Novice!

    It was the first time I'd been on hills like that - in fact the first time I'd even seen the Tour de France.

    Stage 19 saw us on the St.---Bernard climb of 8,160ft. soon after the start, which had the worst road surfaces imaginable. I lost ground on the descent - visibility through rain and mist was down to 15 yards, and the "road" was 2-in. deep mud ! Just 57km. later, at the Farclaz climb, I was with Gaul, Bahamontes and Reitz, 2-35 down on Saint and Graf. By the finish, 134km. later, I was 9-22 behind Graf in 18th place.

    Now it's all over everyone is asking me what I thought of the Tour . . . what was my greatest thrill ... what I hope to gain by it ... and so on.

    A Matter of Confidence

    Well, it's queer, but I have never been very envious of anybody - that's why I came over to the Continent really. I remember the boys back home tried to discourage me, but I have always had confidence in myself, believing that one chap is as good as another. It's self-confidence really. So I was not overawed by the occasion, although my greatest thrill was in coming off the top of the cols with Riviere, Baldini, Bobet and so on, and looking back to see all those other riders struggling behind !

    I had an open mind about the Tour when I started. The real aim was to do a good ride to try and be noticed and so possibly be signed up by a Continental sponsor. Everyone in Rheims, where I stay, was keen on me finishing the Tour, but I knew it would not mean anything just to finish -you can even lose by it, for if you're not going well you don't pick tip the all-important prize money.

    A Climber's Race

    Don't forget the Tour is a race all on its own, and I think it is a race for climbers. I'm not big or strong, but I got there - not being fast on flat roads or a sprinter it's a matter of hanging on to a wheel on the flat, a tactic well learned in Belgium where you can never drop a Belgian off your wheel.

    But in any case, it was more than three weeks free board and lodging !'


    Perhaps best of all was the report in Cycling on August 26 1959.
    At the Tour finish at the Parc des Princes in Paris each team did a lap of honour. As Vic was awaiting his turn along with Brian Robinson and Adolf Christian of Austria, the only other survivors of the International team, a man in a lounge suit leaned over to congratulate them.

    "I was not surprised at your victory, you are now an established Tour rider," the man said speaking to Robinson of his stage win. "But this young man with you has been one of the revelations of the race. My congratulations Mr. Sutton" he said shaking hands with Vic.
    The man in the suit? Non other then Fausto Coppi! How cool is that? :wink:
  • cajun_cyclist
    cajun_cyclist Posts: 493
    edited October 2011
    BikingBernie, good reading, I always like it when I'm in a forum and someone adds something real colourful like that.

    I always knew the basic story of Coppi, how odd though that he was not treated correctly for his malaria and probably died because of the mis-diagnosis while people like Geminiani survived though was afflicted with the same sickness. I didn't know Coppi was a tragic figure in that. Shocking and sad.
  • BikingBernie
    BikingBernie Posts: 2,163
    edited October 2011
    BikingBernie, good reading, I always like it when I'm in a forum and someone adds something real colourful like that.
    I am glad that you appreciated it. Take a look at the following footage of the 1959 Tour, especially 2.20 in, where Vic Sutton looks straight into the camera whilst climbing the Tourmalet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oLUajkXcJ8
  • Moomaloid wrote:
    Anyone read these yet? Looking for a new read whilst i wait for Mcwan's to come on sale..

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1891 ... d_i=468294

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Team-7-Eleven- ... 263&sr=1-1

    I agree, both of those books sound like good reading and I'd heard a bit about the 7-Eleven book. Maybe someone has read these, I didn't know about the first one...a bit short for me...
  • Tusher
    Tusher Posts: 2,762
    Wonderful stuff, thanks for posting that Bernie.
  • Here is one I don't believe that was mentioned that sounds good:
    After Anquetil’s last Tour de France victory in 1964 and his final race in ’66, the Tour de France was going through a period of transition. Anti-doping controls were taking hold, national teams were brought back after a stint of commercially sponsored teams; and Gimondi and Aimar, the ’65 and ’66 winners respectively, were two relative surprises.

    Early in the 1967 season, Roger Pingeon climbed off his bike in the Tour of Corsica and announced his retirement. Yet, just a few weeks later, he started the Dauphine Libere, only to retire because he refused to carry water for a team mate, Brit Tom Simpson. He entered the 1967 Tour de France with the French national team as a bit of an unknown entity. However, on Stage 5, he launched a terrific attack, gaining 6 minutes on the peloton and establishing himself as the man to beat.

    http://grannygearblog.com/2011/05/tour- ... r-pingeon/

    You don't hear much about the '67 Tour winner, Roger Pingeon.

    I'll definitely have to read "Slaying the badger", reviews for it are largely positive.

    "The eagle of the Canavese, " http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eagle-Canavese- ... _3_rdssss0 Franco Balmamion racing in the Giro Italia. Here's one I'd never quite heard of. We will see, again, a rather slim volume to read. Be nice if the library had it, the library has a good selection of books but lacks these more obscure types of reads that seem a bit pricey page-wise.
  • galatzo
    galatzo Posts: 1,295
    Late to the thread and sure they've been commented on but of the few I've read

    Tour de Force, Dan Coyle
    Riding through the Dark, Dave Millar

    Neds Yellow Jumper dissapointed but Millar made up for it on hols this year.
    25th August 2013 12hrs 37mins 52.3 seconds 238km 5500mtrs FYRM Never again.
  • durhamwasp
    durhamwasp Posts: 1,247
    Would give Boultings book a 7/10. Enjoyable and quite funny but not the best ive read

    Im 5 chapters into Nick Roches book, and enjoying it so far!
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • k1875
    k1875 Posts: 485
    just finished Bad Blood by Jeremy Whittle:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Blood-Secre ... 119&sr=8-2

    He's got a slightly irritating style and his tales of how matey he was with this rider and that team leader and bla bla are a bit tiresome - but it's also full of insight into the racing scene of the last 20 years and in particular the politics of doping, if like me that's something you don't know much about.

    I've just finished this and I found the things that irritated me were what stayed with me rather than the good bits. I'm sure he'd claim it's a broader topic than that but, for me, it comes over as a "lance took drugs" expose, because that'll sell, without any minerals to back it up.
  • josame
    josame Posts: 1,141
    By no means a best book on cycling but I have just recieved Mountain High (Europes greatest cycle climbs) and it's pretty good; great pics, ok maps, extensive/interesting GT tour info

    all for a tenner
    'Do not compare your bike to others, for always there will be greater and lesser bikes'