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Recommended Books

This is my recommended list of cycling related books with a description of each book from Amazon.com, and a link to each so that you can own a copy for yourself.

If you recommend a cycling-related book that's not on my list, please mention it in the comment section below  (email me: myworldfromabicycle@gmail.com).   I would love to read it and add it to my list!  (btw:  the book only needs to be related to cycling, not exclusively just about racing bicycles). 

"The Rider"

A really good cycling book.  I highly recommend!

Originally published in Holland in 1978, The Rider became an instant cult classic, selling over 100,000 copies. Brilliantly conceived and written at a break-neck pace, it is a loving, imaginative, and, above all, passionate tribute to the art of bicycle road racing.

Not a dry history of the sport, The Rider is beloved as a bicycle odyssey, a literary masterpiece that describes in painstaking detail one 150-kilometer race in a mere 150 pages. The Rider is the ultimate book for bike lovers as well as the arm-chair sports enthusiast.

"Hollywood Rides a Bike"
"Hollywood Rides a Bike: Cycling With the Stars" is a picture book containing scores of photos of Hollywood stars, mostly from the 1930s through the 1950s, riding bicycles. It is a singular and eccentric creation and, like a lot of singular and eccentric things, thoroughly charming. Bicycling enthusiasts will take pleasure identifying the various vintage bicycles - their riders were movie stars, remember, so they weren't riding rusty buckets - and a full index of bikes is given at the back.

For the rest of us, the book is picturesque and has the pleasure of novelty, but there's something more. There is a poignancy about seeing these vivid people from the past in the midst of physical activity and pleasure. There they are, the lucky and the tragic, all doing the same thing: Lauren Bacall, at her most beautiful, at the dawn of her stardom. And in another photo, Susan Peters, lovely and seemingly with the world before her - and yet a few years later, she was dead.

These are perhaps strange ruminations from what is essentially a cheerful book, but sometimes when you put disparate elements together, there are unexpected depths.

"Training and Racing with a Power Meter"
 In only a few short years, power meters have become an essential training tool for amateur and pro cyclists and triathletes. The first edition of Training and Racing with a Power Meter was largely responsible for popularizing what was once an arcane technology understood by only a few elite coaches and trainers. Now the updated and revised second edition provides significant updates on technology, software tools, training protocols, and workouts, making the benefits of power-based training available to everyone. The new edition also includes specific information for triathletes—the fastest-growing segment in endurance sports—including a complete triathlon training plan. Other significant updates include reviews of the latest hardware, refinements and additions to training plans, additional case studies, more on monitoring fitness and chronic training loads, and revised and clarified artwork, charts and tables throughout. Training and Racing with a Power Meter, 2nd Ed., will continue to be the definitive guide to the most important training tool ever developed for endurance sports.
"Cutting-Edge Cycling"
Increase speed, power, endurance, and efficiency with Cutting-Edge Cycling. You’ll learn how to apply the latest in cycling research, science, and technology to train smarter, ride longer, and race faster.
Renowned cycling coach Hunter Allen and leading scientist Stephen Cheung share the most recent biomechanical, physiological, and technical advances and research, why they matter, and how you can incorporate them for maximal training and optimal performance.
From the latest information on periodization, lactate threshold, and recovery to bike fit, pedaling technique, and cadence, Cutting-Edge Cycling covers every aspect of conditioning, preparation, and competition in this physically demanding sport. Additional coverage includes interviews on a broad range of topics: interpreting lab results, fatigue, monitoring training, high-intensity training, prevention of and recovery from overtraining, pacing, power meter quadrant analysis, hydration, and cooling strategies.
If you’re serious about gaining the edge on the competition, Cutting-Edge Cycling is one guide you shouldn’t be without.


"The Cyclist's Training Bible"
 Coach Joe Friel is the most trusted name in endurance sports coaching, and his Cyclist’s Training Bible is the most comprehensive and reliable training resource ever written for cyclists. This new edition of the bestselling book includes all of the latest advances in training and technology. Using this book, cyclists can create a comprehensive, self-coached training plan that is both scientifically proven and shaped around their personal goals.

Friel empowers athletes with every detail they need to consider when planning a season, lining up a week of workouts, or preparing to race. This fourth edition includes extensive revisions on the specifics of how to train and what to eat. Friel explains how cyclists can:
  • use power meters to balance fatigue and recovery and maximize fitness and form;
  • more knowledgeably and accurately make changes to their annual training plan over the course of a season;
  • dramatically build muscular endurance with strength training;
  • improve body composition and recovery with smarter nutrition.

"Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling"
 Cycling is explodingin a good way. Urbanites everywhere, from ironic hipsters to earth-conscious commuters, are taking to the bike like aquatic mammals to water. BikeSnobNYCcycling's most prolific, well-known, hilarious, and anonymous bloggerbrings a fresh and humorous perspective to the most important vehicle to hit personal transportation since the horse. Bike Snob treats readers to a laugh-out-loud rant and rave about the world of bikes and their riders, and offers a unique look at the ins and outs of cycling, from its history and hallmarks to its wide range of bizarre practitioners. Throughout, the author lampoons the missteps, pretensions, and absurdities of bike culture while maintaining a contagious enthusiasm for cycling itself. Bike Snob is an essential volume for anyone who knows, is, or wants to become a cyclist.

"Bicycling Science"
 The bicycle is almost unique among human-powered machines in that it uses human muscles in a near-optimum way. This new edition of the bible of bicycle builders and bicyclists provides just about everything you could want to know about the history of bicycles, how human beings propel them, what makes them go faster, and what keeps them from going even faster. The scientific and engineering information is of interest not only to designers and builders of bicycles and other human-powered vehicles but also to competitive cyclists, bicycle commuters, and recreational cyclists.The third edition begins with a brief history of bicycles and bicycling that demolishes many widespread myths. This edition includes information on recent experiments and achievements in human-powered transportation, including the "ultimate human- powered vehicle," in which a supine rider in a streamlined enclosure steers by looking at a television screen connected to a small camera in the nose, reaching speeds of around 80 miles per hour. It contains completely new chapters on aerodynamics, unusual human-powered machines for use on land and in water and air, human physiology, and the future of bicycling. This edition also provides updated information on rolling drag, transmission of power from rider to wheels, braking, heat management, steering and stability, power and speed, and materials. It contains many new illustrations.

"Bicycling Medicine: Cycling Nutrition, Physiology, Injury Prevention and Treatment For Riders of All Levels"

Whether you're a novice rider or a championship racer, Bicycling Medicine shows you how to prevent and treat all kinds of bicycling-related aches and pains. Coach Arnie Baker, M.D., explains how to diagnose minor and major problems, offers do-it-yourself solutions, and alerts you to conditions that require a doctor's attention. A special section on bicycling physiology illuminates the demands cycling puts on your body, and thorough discussions of diet, exercise, and nutrition reveal the best ways to keep your performance at its peak.


"Bicycling Magazine's 1000 All-Time Best Tips (Revised): Top Riders Share Their Secrets to Maximize Fun, Safety, and Performance"
The most information-packed collection of advice on road and mountain biking has now been revised and updated for anyone seeking to become a better cyclist.

Jump-start your cycling savvy with this compilation of proven tips from the staffs of Bicycling and Mountain Bike magazines. Enjoy nuggets of wisdom from experts, in the full range of cycling subjects--from aerodynamics to zones for heart-rate training. Bursting with smart strategies to build your skill level, this is a book guaranteed to make you a more talented cyclist.

"Cycle Racing: How to Train, Race and Win"
A practical and detailed reference.
Using bright, colorful photographs and non-technical text, this book examines every aspect of competition cycling. It features everything racers need to know about their sport's equipment, fitness, training, nutrition, the mental game, event rules, winning strategies and much more. All the information is geared to the specific facets of these sports.
The cycle racing sports profiled are:
  • Road Racing: From basic skills like learning to ride in a group, cornering and climbing to advanced skills like breaking away, sprinting and team tactics
  • Time Trials: Complex rules, requirements and equipment. All forms of time trial are explained - beginner, short- and long-distance trials, hill climbs and team trials
  • Mountain Bike Racing: The fastest-growing area of cycle racing is also one of the toughest. Where to ride, how to find a club, equipment and specifically tailored exercises
  • Track Racing: Where to find it, how to do it and how to improve
  • Cyclo-Cross: A running-cycling sport that requires as much conditioning as running a marathon. Features a specific training regimen for tackling this grueling event.
The training and fitness regimens are detailed and specific to each sport. Quick reference charts list interval programs for developing explosive power, aerobic power, intensity threshold, lactic acid tolerance and muscle power. Also covered are treating joint and soft tissue injuries, common problems and self-help, safety equipment and stretching.
Packed with the latest and most practical advice, Cycle Racing will help aspiring participants get a solid start in all types of cycling competition.
"High-Tech Cycling - 2nd Edition"
For serious cyclists, cycling coaches, and triathletes, the quest for a technical edge never stops. Now two-time U.S. Olympic cycling team staff member and renowned cycling author Ed Burke leads a team of top cycling scientists to reveal the latest advances in the sport.

The newest edition of High-Tech Cycling picks up where the first edition left off, incorporating the most current information on cycling technology, technique, physiology, and mechanics in one comprehensive book. Thorough explanations, along with supportive graphs and illustrations, give you an in-depth understanding of the dynamics between human and machine that combine to create champions of the sport.
Thirteen experts contributed to this book, compiling the latest scientific information available to enhance your cycling performance. From bike optimization to body positioning, High-Tech Cycling provides the details you want, including new information you won't find in any other book.
With each chapter, you'll gain fresh insights and new information from another research insider. In High-Tech Cycling, you'll learn more than what to do and how to do it; you'll discover the scientific justification for equipment, positioning, and key training decisions. The book covers every aspect of the cycling world, from racing on the road to specific elements of mountain biking.
High-Tech Cycling cuts through opinions and misinformation to give you the cutting edge on the science behind the sport. From heart rate monitors and altitude tents to power hubs, suspension systems, frame construction, pedaling efficiency, and beyond, the book covers every aspect of technology and technique. Additional chapters are dedicated to nutrition, altitude training, and the physiological demands of the sport.

"Hell On Two Wheels"

This is a stunning inside account of what it's like to take part in one of the most epic endurance sport events in the world. RAAM - The Race Across America - is a bicycle race like no other. This epic contest is the most brutal organized sporting event you've never heard of and one of the best-kept secrets in the sports world. Contestants have died, been injured, even descended into the realms of madness. Half of them don't finish - in fact, only 200 racers have ever made it to the end of the 3,000 mile, 12-day course. "Hell on Two Wheels" is a thrilling and remarkably detailed account that follows a group of athletes before, during, and after the 2009 race. By experiencing the race from the perspective of the racers themselves, "Hell on Two Wheels" breaks new ground in helping us appreciate how such a grueling effort can be so cleansing and self-revelatory. This is more than just a race - it's an unforgettable allegory about the human experience of pain and joy and self-discovery.
"Major: A Black Athlete, a White Era, and the Fight to Be the World's Fastest Human Being"
 The story of a man who transcended the handicaps of race to become America’s first African American mega sports celebrity

At the turn of the 20th century, hundreds of lightning-fast racers won the hearts and minds of a bicycling-crazed public. Scientists studied them, newspapers glorified them, and millions of dollars in purse money were awarded to them. Major Taylor aimed to be the fastest of them all.

Taylor’s most formidable and ruthless opponent-a man nicknamed the "Human Engine" was Floyd McFarland. One man was white, one black; one from a storied Virginia family, the other descended from Kentucky slaves; one celebrated as a hero, one trying to secure his spot in a sport he dominated. The only thing they had in common was the desire to be named the fastest man alive. Finally, in 1904, both men headed to Australia for a much-­anticipated title match to decide who would claim the coveted title.

Major is the story of a superstar nobody saw coming, the account of a fierce rivalry that would become an archetypal tale of white versus black in the 20th century, and, most of all, the tale of our nation’s first black sports celebrity.

"Bicycle Repair"
 Large-format comprehensive and systematic maintenance and repair instructions for road, mountain, and city bikes. Illlustrated with over 500 color photos and other illustrations. Includes chapters on every relevant bicycle component. Includes index and bibliography.

"The Cyclist's Training Diary"
 This smart training diary makes it easy for cyclists to record every component of cycling workouts. Details of each cycling, crosstraining, or strength workout are accommodated, with ample space for notes on the route or other variables such as weather conditions. Power, heart rate, and exertion readings are critical indicators, as are other personal vital signs including sleep, fatigue, stress, and soreness. For athletes who are designing their own annual plan, "Cyclist's Training Diary" provides a guide to planning the entire season.

"Blazing Saddles: The Cruel & Unusual History of the Tour de France"
 In this fascinating book, award-winning sports writer Matt Rendell covers every corner of "La Grande Boucle," from the eccentric couture of the first Tour winner (white blazer, black trousers, wool socks) to the earliest method of cheating (riding the train). "Blazing Saddles" recounts the famous rivalries and riders that contested the Tour, setting the score straight with complete records of every podium finisher. Rendell's vivid storytelling is complemented with more than 100 classic black-and-white photographs, portraying cycling's heroes and martyrs from Jacques Anquetil to Lance Armstrong.

"Bicycle Dreams/Race Across America"
the Bicycle Dreams/Race Across America DVD 2-pack offers director Stephen Auerbach's two powerful documentaries about the event that Outside Magazine calls the "toughest race in the world."

Winner of 15 film festivals, Bicycle Dreams is the inspirational true story of the Race Across America, a 3000-mile bicycle race that challenges riders to cross the country in just ten days. They must overcome searing desert heat, agonizing mountain climbs, and endless stretches of open road, all while battling extreme exhaustion and sleep deprivation. But what begins as the adventure of a lifetime is transformed in an instant when tragedy strikes the race. By journey's end, some are saved, others are lost, but all learn that the fuel that takes a soul toward its own true destiny is desire.

Race Across America, Auerbach's first RAAM documentary, captures all the drama and emotion of the race, showing the riders' most difficult moments as well as their greatest triumphs. From the controversial battle for first to the constant struggle to overcome injuries and fatigue, all aspects of the race are covered in intimate detail. Narrated by legendary sports broadcaster Jim Lampley, Race Across America is an inspirational testament to the power of the human spirit.

"Cycling for Competition: All you need to know about every type of racing, from track racing and time-trialling to cyclo-cross and triathlon, all shown in 200 photographs"
 The definitive guide to the high-speed, high-adrenaline sport of cycle racing: essential reading for beginners and experienced readers.

"A Dog in a Hat: An American Bike Racer's Story of Mud, Drugs, Blood, Betrayal, and Beauty in Belgium"
 In 1987, Joe Parkin was an amateur bike racer in California when he ran into Bob Roll, a pro on the powerhouse Team 7-Eleven. "Lobotomy Bob" told Parkin that, to become a pro, he must go to Belgium. Riding along a canal in Belgium years later, Roll encountered Parkin, who he described as "a wraith, an avenging angel of misery, a twelve-toothed assassin". Roll barely recognized him. Belgium had forged Parkin into a pro, and changed him forever. A Dog in a Hat is Joe's remarkable story.
Parkin lays it all out: the drugs, the payoffs, the betrayals, the battles for contracts, the endless promises, and the glory of racing day after day. A Dog in a Hat is the unforgettable story of the un-ordinary education of Joe Parkin and his love affair with racing, set in the hard place in the world to be a bike racer.

"Greg lemond's complete book of bicycling"
 1986 Tour de France winner LeMond, the only American to win this grueling three-week stage race and one of the few Americans to compete on a par with European riders, has produced one of the best bicycling books of the decade. There are many "Complete Books" or "Guides" available (e.g., John Howard's The Cyclist's Companion , LJ 6/15/84; Michael Shermer's Sport Cycling , LJ 7/85), but this one is by far the most comprehensive. It is excellent for those who want to purchase a bike (with an exhaustive chapter on fitting the bike), race, ride for fun, and perform minor maintenance. It also has interesting stories by and about LeMond and is well illustrated. If you buy one bicycling book this year, this should be it. Highly recommended. Thomas K. Fry, UCLA Libs.

"Racing Tactics for Cyclists"
 Written for the experienced road cyclist, this illustrated book shows team riders how to ride in a race, explains the importance of position, and discusses individual and team racing tactics. Each type of road race — one-days, stage races, criteriums — is covered, along with the technical riding skills and mental strategies needed to succeed. Also included is information on handling prologues, recovering from a crash or flat tire, resting during a race, and evaluating the competition.

"The Belgian Hammer: Forging Young Americans into Professional Cyclists"

This is the story of what it takes for young Americans to make it in professional cycling. Only thirty-six Americans have competed in the Tour de France since the world's greatest bicycle race began in 1903. That's not too many more than the twelve Americans who have walked on the moon. It's far fewer than the hundreds of Americans who have reached the summit of Mount Everest.
But rising stars such as Lawson Craddock of Texas, Benjamin King of Virginia, Taylor Phinney of Colorado, Daniel Holloway of California, and Tyler Farrar of Washington state are doing just that as they endure crashes, cold rain, cobblestones, crosswinds, and culture shock on their road to cycling stardom, which starts in Belgium.
This is the story of the next generation—of riders not yet tainted by drug scandals, of riders still bursting with hope and potential. This is the story American cycling fans need right now.
Daniel Lee is a passionate journalist and cyclist. In his early twenties, Lee raced his bike across Kentucky horse country, through mountains in Germany and over cobblestones in Belgium. He was even a professional cyclist—for one race—in 1991. He has worked as a reporter with the Indianapolis Star.

"French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France"
 Not only is it the world's largest and most watched sporting event, but also the most fearsome physical challenge ever conceived by man, demanding every last ounce of will and strength, every last drop of blood, sweat, and tears. If ever there was an athletic exploit specifically not for the faint of heart and feeble of limb, this is it. So you might ask, what is Tim Moore doing cycling it?

An extremely good question. Ignoring the pleading dictates of reason and common sense, Moore determined to tackle the Tour de France, all 2,256 miles of it, in the weeks before the professionals entered the stage. This decision was one he would regret for nearly its entire length. But readers-those who now know Moore's name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Bill Bryson and Calvin Trillin-will feel otherwise. They are in for a side-splitting treat.

French Revolutions gives us a hilariously unforgettable account of Moore's attempt to conquer the Tour de France. "Conquer" may not be quite the right word. He cheats when he can, pops the occasional hayfever pill for an ephedrine rush (a fine old Tour tradition), sips cheap wine from his water bottle, and occasionally weeps on the phone to his wife. But along the way he gives readers an account of the race's colorful history and greatest heroes: Eddy Merckx, Greg Lemond, Lance Armstrong, and even Firmin Lambot, aka the "Lucky Belgian," who won the race at the age of 36. Fans of the Tour de France will learn why the yellow jersey is yellow, and how cyclists learned to save precious seconds (a race that lasts for three weeks is all about split seconds) by relieving themselves en route. And if that isn't enough, his account of a rural France tarting itself up for its moment in the spotlight leaves popular quaint descriptions of small towns in Provence in the proverbial dust. If you either love or hate the French, or both, this is the book for you.

French Revolutions is Tim Moore's funniest book to date. It is also one of the funniest sports books ever written.

"Lance Armstrong's War: One Man's Battle Against Fate, Fame, Love, Death, Scandal, and a Few Other Rivals on the Road to the Tour de France"
 Lance Armstrong's War is the extraordinary story of greatness pushed to its limits; a vivid behind-the-scenes portrait of perhaps the most accomplished athlete of our time as he competes in the toughest sporting event on the planet. The incomparable will to win that famously lifted Armstrong beyond his humble Texas roots, beyond cancer, and to unparalleled heights of success is revealed by acclaimed journalist Daniel Coyle in new and startling dimensions. It is the true story of a superlative sports figure fighting on all fronts -- made newly vulnerable by age, fate, fame, doping allegations, a painful divorce, and an unprecedented army of challengers -- while mastering the exceedingly difficult trick of being Lance Armstrong, a combination of world-class athlete, celebrity, regular guy, and, for many Americans, secular saint.
A fascinating journey through the little-known landscape of professional cycling, Lance Armstrong's War provides a hugely insightful look into the often inspiring, always surprising core of a remarkable athlete and the world that shapes him.

I also highly recommends this book.  Very well written by Coyle.  It's a great view of world class professional cycling from the outside in. 

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