Beryl Burton was one of Britain's greatest athletes and one of the best cyclists ever, a story brought to life and beautifully told in the DVD “Racing is Life - The Beryl Burton Story.”
The British have a great love of the idiosyncratic and this enthusiasm for the oddball has extended to bicycle racing. Before British Cycling conquered track racing and Grand Tours fell to British riders, the British had a warm enthusiasm for time trialling. And one of the biggest fishes in this tiny pond was Alf Engers, “The King.”
We have shelves full of books about the great climbs of the world, and about effective training but, oddly, one cannot recall a book specifically devoted to the art and practice of going uphill. Now Selene Yeager, has nicely filled that gap with her book, “Climb!", which indeed deserves the exclamation mark.
Italian book “Bicycles: Past, Present and Future” by Roberto Gurian, with graphic design by Maria Cucchi, has been translated by Robert Bethel into English, but marvelous bike photos speak in all languages. PEZ literary editor, Leslie Reissner, gives us his thoughts on this wonderful bike book.
“What is the well-dressed cyclist wearing these days?”, I hear you ask me. “Or back in those early days?” I am glad you asked because Rodale Press' excellent book, “The Art of the Cycling Jersey,” subtitled “Iconic Cycle Wear Past and Present,” shows us that looking good and going fast are not mutually exclusive.
It is an apparent given that cycling requires not so much talent as an ability to suffer. Greg Lemond said that: “It never gets easier. You just get faster.” Now expat Brit Jon Malnick has written a droll and novel book about the relationship between pain and suffering, and riding your bicycle called Into the Suffersphere - Cycling and the art of Pain is a peculiar and engaging read.
2017 marked the 200th anniversary of Baron Drais's ride around Mannheim on his Laufmaschine, generally held to be the predecessor of our carbon-framed, electronically-shifted disc-braked wonder bicycles. From then to now, with its detours, fashion victims, and astringent personalities, is the subject of well-known British author Michael Hutchinson's book.
Cyclists determined to improve their condition have a wide variety of choices, from training diaries to formal programs to online coaching. But recent developments have now opened up a multi-million dollar market for an aspect many of us don't pay much attention to: recovery. A new book, “Good to Go” is devoted entirely to this subject and the science-or lack of science-behind it all.
January 13th would have been Marco Pantani's 50th birthday: Don't be misled by the title of this excellent book. “Pantana Was A God” is not a panegyric, a worshipful recounting of the life of the last pro cyclist to win the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in the same year. It is two books in one - a masterful look at when Pantani triumphed, and brief remembrances by those who knew him.