Carefully working my way through Phil Cavell's “The Midlife Cyclist” for some weeks now, a remarkable book of startling scope, whenever I mention the title it causes people to smile or laugh indulgently. But “The Midlife Cyclist” is actually a thought-provoking exploration of something that has never before existed: a great cohort of middle-aged athletes rewriting our knowledge of human health and performance.
There is a very special jersey that, once you win it at a one day event, it is yours for a year wherever you race. This jersey, is of course, the glorious rainbow-striped confection first donned by Alfredo Binda in 1927. Its fascinating history is the subject of “Chasing the Rainbow: The Story of Road Cycling's World Championships” by Giles Belbin.
It is said that there are people who live to eat and others who eat to live and for some of us enough cycling means we can eat whatever we want. “Eat Bike Cook” is a wonderful little book that really is about the joys of riding and the pleasures of eating, with an original viewpoint.
As focused as we are on cyclesport, it should not be forgotten that the invention of the bicycle was aimed at solving transportation problems. Dave Walker has followed up his 2017 book “The Cycling Cartoonist” with a new volume with more of a transportation and environmental focus, with charm and educational value.
Our bookshelves are groaning with volumes devoted to the Tour de France, the world's preeminent cycling road race. But in 2019 a new book arrived to mark the centennial of the first awarding of the very symbol of the Tour: the Yellow Jersey.
Book Review: As the 2021 Tour winds up the second week, Leslie Reissner takes a trip down Memory Lane and journeys the Tour de France routes of the past. Mapping le Tour by Ellis Bacon maps the journey taken from the first Tour to the 2014 Tour when the French race hit the roads of Yorkshire.
The Pyrenees have often served as a dramatic battlefield for the Tour de France and, starting on July 10, the final week of the 2021 edition will see five stages in these mountains. For cycling enthusiasts the Pyrenees experience is a must-do, and a new book by Peter Cossins provides an insider's look at some great riding.
Author Peter Cossins describes in his history of that first 1903 Tour de France, the inelegantly titled “Butcher, Blacksmith, Acrobat, Sweep,” the original Tour de France, something totally new and untried and flawed in many ways, “should be considered as one of the greatest events in sporting history.”
Bike racing in 2020 was very strange, things like races with no spectators and Spring Classics in autumn, but the weirdest is the overlapping of the Giro's final week with the Vuelta's first. But in 1981 only three days separated the two races and Giovanni Battaglin, in the new book “48 Days,” tells the astonishing story of how he won both.