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.
Matt Wood talks to author Geoff Drake about his book: 'Team 7-Eleven: How an Unsung Band of American Cyclists Took on the World - and Won' which was published in 2011, ten years ago, the ground breaking team was started 40 years ago. A great insight behind the scenes of the time, that we thought was lost.
While 2021 saw Nicholas Dlamini as the first black South African to ride the Tour de France and the Olympics, his Qhubeka team has been denied a WorldTour license, so no African team will be present at the top level in 2022. A recent book, “Desire Discrimination Determination - Black Champions in Cycling,” addresses this elephant in the room.
Participants in men's professional bike racing have not been noted for intellectual pursuits or firepower. Maybe you don't have to think much when riding. But in “The Art of Cycling,” perhaps the most unusual cycling-related book we have enjoyed, there is revealed a very different side.
Ah, mountains! Perhaps they share only with the sea something that universally arouses us to flights of poetry and fancy. “Higher Calling” is a book by Max Leonard that endeavours to explain this attraction to “up.” Beautifully written and multi-faceted, it elegantly ranges from the personal to the historical to the geographic and even to the macabre.
For someone just coming into the world of cyclesports, the terminology, concepts and history can perhaps be baffling. How can you win the Tour de France without winning a single stage? Who was the Eagle of Toledo? What is the Cima Coppi? When you ride tempo up the Alpe and the elastic snaps, does the Man With the Hammer come? Thanks to a lovely little book by Tom Bromley, all will be made clear.
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.