Thanks to “Maglia Rosa: Triumph and Tragedy at the Giro d’Italia” by British author/Italian resident Herbie Sykes we have not only an English-language history of the Giro d’Italia, which is in itself distressingly rare, but an extraordinarily entertaining book.
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.
Judging from the spate of videos and perhaps related to the explosive growth in interest in gravel riding, endurance riding has become A Thing. One can only be impressed by Mark Beaumont's circumnavigation of the world. Who better to write a book about endurance cycling? But “Endurance,” a fine volume from the Global Cycling Network, is a valuable instruction manual for those seeking to go the distance.
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.
In 2000, former US national-level racer Lennard Zinn came out with “Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance”, grease thumbprint-stained copies of this excellent book can be found in many of our workshops. But time marches on and the latest comprehensive guide to road bike maintenance is the third additional to GCN's library.
The release of “The Game Changers,” a documentary about athletes switching to non-meat diets, in 2019, aroused considerable interest and some controversy. On the other hand, GCN's “The Plant-Based Cyclist,” a book that also came out in 2019, is striking for its low-key delivery of useful information for those considering changes in nutrition.
Bookshelf: As we all know, Europe is the Promised Land of Cycling and as a professional athlete if you want to make it big you need to make it there. 2019 saw a Colombian, Egan Bernal, victorious, and a fascinating book, “The Big Climb,” recounts the ups and downs of a South American country's love affair with pro racing.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines an almanac as “a book published every year that includes information for that year such as important days, times of the sun rising and going down, or changes in the moon.” “The Road Book 2020” may not contain information on lunar phases but is a truly indispensable reference guide to the ups and down of this unique year in racing.
What hath Covid-19 wrought? While the pro bike racing season was on-and-off-again outdoors, there was a surge in the popularity of e-racing, even with some virtual races actually contested by top riders, inside riding is now clearly A Big Thing. Striking while the iron is hot, noted coach Joe Friel's latest book looks at this trend and how to use it.