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Whats your favourite bike book?

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Whats your favourite bike book?

Old 01-17-21, 03:12 PM
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Blazing Saddles: The Cruel and Unusual History of the Tour de France.
You have to laugh not to cry they're not making any of this stuff up.
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Old 01-17-21, 06:38 PM
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Nice coffee table book. But very Francophile, not one Italian maker. The title should read: "The Golden Age of French Handbuilt Bicycles." Sample pix are from the end, book starts in 1900s.

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Old 01-17-21, 06:39 PM
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Really good info here if a bit of a dry read.

Bicycling Science
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Old 01-17-21, 09:06 PM
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If they havent already done it ...I wish they would take all the old Bridgestone catalogs from the 80s and 90s and bind them together into book form......I use to read them over and over......great stories and information...........and generally speaking its amazing how much you can learn about bike repair.by reading a Park tool catalog.......and old miyata catalogs can educate you about technology and frame design and geometry and how it changed through the years..........I think there should be a catalog database somewhere or at least a sticky............just think if you posted..every catalog from shimano ...campy....tange ...ishiwata..columbus......schwinn ...pinnarello.....trek.....etc etc etc....no more questions no more arguments no more explaining nothing no guess work........BFers could spend all their time riding and wrenching as god intended
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Old 01-18-21, 10:31 AM
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I read The Dancing Chain cover to cover in 2000, when it came out. I was 12. Didn't know good writing from bad at that age. Didn't care either! For me, there can be no other favorite cycling book. Two years later, I was lucky enough to see the bicycle museum in Nijmegen - and I recognized all the derailleurs there by sight, like old friends!

It's provided a foundational knowledge that I am forever stuck with grateful for. Caused me to get fired from my first job at a bike shop (I corrected my boss one too many times - think it made him insecure that he couldn't compete with the 16 year old lackey in recalling derailleur esoterica ). Same thing when I went to college. I found myself creepily perusing the racks of campus clunkers looking at old Simplex and bull moose bars, and slowly coming to the realization that The Dancing Chain had left an indelible mark on me, that years would not erase.

If only I'd had the good sense to buy up Nivex derailleurs back then, when you could get them for $200...
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Old 01-18-21, 12:48 PM
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I don't have a favorite bike book. But: I do have a favorite bike song.
My own. It, I will modestly say, is superbyly written and performed by an 18 piece jazz orchestra. My singer tells the following story, about a zen monk and his five bicycle riding students, which I found searching the internet for something that Albert Einstein allegedly said, but apparnently didn't, which was "the three greatest inventions of the modern world are the three masted sailing ship, the refrigerator, and the bicycle."
I modified the story, author unknown, slightly to better fit the music, though if you google, you can find multiple version of it. ON the same album, I also included two things Einstein DID say: "Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must keep moving" and "I thought of that while riding my bicycle".Why Do You Ride?

Why Do You Ride?
Darrell Katz (from a Zen story, author unknown)

A Zen teacher saw five of his students, returning from market on their bicycles.

When they arrived at the monastery

the teacher asked his students, “why do you ride?

Why do you ride?”

The first student said

“The bicycle is carrying the sack of potatoes

I'm glad to get them off my back”

The teacher praised him:

“You are a smart boy

when you grow old

you will not walk hunched over like I do.”

The second student replied:

“I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down

the path!”
The teacher commended him:

"your eyes are open and you see the world".

The third student replied “when I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant

nam myoho renge kyo.”

The teacher gave praise to his student: "your mind

will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel.”

The fourth student replied to the question, "When I

ride my bicycle I live in harmony with all

sentient beings. That's why I ride.”

The teacher was pleased, and said to him, "You are

riding on the golden path of non harming."

The fifth student replied "I ride my bicycle to ride my

bicycle. I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle "

The Zen teacher sat at the feet of his fifth student and

said, "Master! Master, I am your student.

I am your student!”

Why do you ride?

Why do you ride?

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Old 01-18-21, 01:08 PM
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The first and only one I ever read - Everybody's Book of Bicycle Riding by Thom Lieb. There was a copy at my college library that I went through multiple times in the mid-1990s. It's very informative with many moments of hilarity.
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Old 01-18-21, 02:08 PM
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+1 for Japanese Steel

Great history and photography

As a pixel peeper, I'm rarely impressed by image print quality (not limited to cycling and art books), but this one is first rate.
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Old 01-18-21, 02:23 PM
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Catfish and Mandala

Not a bicycle book per se, but a great story about refugee immigrant from Vietnam to California's bike tour return to the homeland in search of who he is.
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Old 01-18-21, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
Hands down the Ruff Stuff Fellowship Archive (I sprang for the beautiful hardcover collectors edition in slip case but here is the regular edition: https://www.isolapress.com/shop/rsf-archives-2)

Followed by the Golden Age of Hand-built Bicycles (focuses on mid century french randonneurs and their constructeurs): https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...uilt-bicycles/

And of course the Bicycle Quarterly magazine subscription: https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...-subscription/

Japanese Steel is also a gorgeous book and photographed by Scott Ryder who posts here regularly: https://www.rizzoliusa.com/book/9780847861705/

The Renee Herse book would probably be in my list if I had it. Soon enough. https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...er-the-riders/
A resounding second on the big blue Rene Herse book, fascinating, great read.
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Old 01-18-21, 02:54 PM
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The Beast, The Emperor and The Milkman

Currently reading this:

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Old 01-18-21, 03:06 PM
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Currently re-reading The Rider by Tim Krabbe, and enjoying it even more the second time. Great first paragraph.

Also liked The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton. The Armstrong saga told by a victim without acrimony. A friend of mine tells a personal story about Hamilton that backs up the humility revealed in the writing.

And Anybody's Bike Book by Cuthbertson, sure.
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Old 01-18-21, 04:39 PM
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Miles From Nowhere is the book that inspired me to become a cycle tourist - I highly recommend it as well.
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Old 01-18-21, 05:51 PM
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For ficton fans

Originally Posted by Dan Chase View Post
OK, so winter/covid is keeping all of our heads down - so whats your favourite bike based book? The kind of thing you find yourself re-reading after a couple of years, maybe quoting to a buddy...

For me its a toss up between Crabbes "The Rider", Kimmages "Rough Ride" and then "8 Seconds" recounting the `89 TDF...

Hard to choose, The Rider really puts you in the mindset of a top amateur racer, Kimmage makes you realise why most pro riders turned to drugs to perform (imagine getting to a hotel at 9.30pm after a hard stage to find there`s no food and forced to dine on energy bars whilst washing your only pair of team shorts... grab me the rocket fuel...), just love the `89 tour for all its drama and the book drills down into each stage as well as the big picture, you can almost feel the sun as you read it.

mmm..... yep, * seconds.... no, wait, Rough Ride...

Let me know what you all love to read, might give me some new books to search out, Dan.
Ralph Hurne’s The Yellow Jersey.

Claire Huchet Bishop’s The Big Loop.
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Old 01-18-21, 06:14 PM
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+1 for Slaying the Badger.

"Fallen Angel"--the story of Fausto Coppi. Provides a good contrast to Bartali.
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Old 01-18-21, 07:18 PM
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The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World

Major Taylor was the USA's first black champion athlete. He was the world champion when the sport of cycling was extremely popular with the general public. His story is both amazing and sad
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Old 01-19-21, 03:15 PM
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Bicycle - The Definitive Visual History

I reviewed it on the CL Bicycling forum; this link might work: https://forums.craigslist.org/?act=Q&ID=273570708
see lots of other good suggestions on here, including Zinn. You should have enough to read for a long time.
One I wouldn't recommend is "It's Not About the Bike" by Lance Armstrong. No, Lance, it's about the drugs.
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Old 01-23-21, 01:51 AM
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Magic Spanner by Carlton Kirby... hilarious!

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Old 01-26-21, 04:32 PM
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This will seem an odd choice but it has it's basis in nostalgia. I was given a copy of the 1971 edition (green cover) when I bought my new 1971 Raleigh Grand Prix from them, I was 16. I wore it out, I've been looking for a reasonably priced copy for a long time and I finally had to settle for this 1973 edition for now. It's also a great reference book for my early 70's bikes.

".....distasteful and easily triggered."
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Old 02-16-21, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kraftwerk View Post
Road to Valor: A True Story of WWII Italy, the Nazis, and the Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation
this guy is about the coolest hard as nails dude that ever was, Gino Bartali.
He won races: T de F & Giro etc. etc.
He smuggled documents,
He fought Fascism / Hated Mussolini
He risked his own life for others,
He saved lives
Just finished this one following your recommendation. What an amazing human being. The world needs more Gino Bartalis.
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Old 02-16-21, 10:52 PM
my nice bike is at home
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Agreed the world does, especially right now! Glad you read it. He should be Sainted.
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Old 02-17-21, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bertinjim View Post
The Man Who Loved Bicycles: The Memoirs of and Autophobe by Daniel Behrman

How did I EVER forget this one? This is a lovely, lovely book on so many levels! His depictions of riding around in Paris seeking out the hidden and the secret places was lovely beyond words.
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Old 02-17-21, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by dmarkun View Post
Nice coffee table book. But very Francophile, not one Italian maker. The title should read: "The Golden Age of French Handbuilt Bicycles." Sample pix are from the end, book starts in 1900s.

He did buy the rights to Rene Herse, what were you expecting?
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Old 02-18-21, 03:21 AM
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My first thought was Anybody's Bike Book; I love his humor and unpretentious writing.

Has anyone read Being Gary Fisher? Diane Jenks interviewed him on The Outspoken Cyclist podcast, and he sounds like a hoot. I should just suck it up and buy a copy, only available from Trek.
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Old 02-19-21, 01:49 PM
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Mentioned before, but Japanese Steel is an absolutely great book. Good read, very nice pictures ...and of course an interesting subject: Japanese Steel. Can also recommend it to people who like classic road bikes in general.
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