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Books every cyclist should read

While clearing out my desk the other day (you wouldn’t imagine the things one finds under so much rubbish), I discovered a few books lurking. With the Tour de France pending and the summer now well underway, everybody gets a little more passionate about this great sport. And reading a good book is a nice way of furthering that passion. This lot are well worth a few hours of your time.

stack of books

Put Me Back On Bike: In Search of Tom Simpson William Fotheringham
Reported by many to be the best cycling biography ever written.

Every Second Counts by Lance Armstrong
The second in Armstrong’s series of auto-biographies. In this episode the preparation for the 2000 Tour de France is covered.

Tim Krabbe’s The Rider
Krabbe is an amateur cyclist taking part in a race, and he manages to make you feel like you’re right in the thick of the action. Essential reading.

Marco Pantani: The Legend of a Tragic Champion by John Wilcockson
The ‘Pirate’, as he was better known. Renowned for savaging the climbs and leaving everyone else in his wake. A legend, and must read.

Flying Scotsman: Cycling to Triumph Through My Darkest Hours by Graeme Obree
Many books struggle to relay emotion as well as Obree does in this very revealing story of his childhood and transition to becoming one of the fastest men in the world.

“Bicycling” Magazine’s 1,000 All-time Top Tips for Cyclists: Top Riders Share Their Secrets to Maximise Fun, Safety and Performance by Ben Hewitt
Ever wondered just how to eke out a little more speed from your bike and body. Or how to position yourself perfectly in a bunch sprint. This book has the answer to many of your questions, an interesting read.

Long Ride for a Pie by Tim Mulliner
There’s no better inspiration to ride faster than the thought of a nice pie waiting for you at the end. Well, that’s kind of the basis for Tim Mulliner’s epic ride across the world from the UK to New Zealand, for what he missed the most about home was a proper Kiwi pie. Now that’s how you plan a ride.

French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour De France by Tim Moore
Many people, like myself, have dreamed of riding the Tour de France route. Well that’s exactly what Tim Moore set out to do in this funny and witty book. Only Moore wasn’t your averagely fit cyclist before he embarked on this challenge of 2,256 miles.

Cleopatra’s Needle: Two Wheels by the Water to Cairo by Anne Mustoe
In Cleopatra’s Needle, Mustoe cycles to the site of Cleopatra’s Needle in Egypt, taking in some stunning landmarks on the way.

Roule Britannia: A History of Britons in the Tour De France by William Fotheringham
The second book here from William Fotheringham charts the up and down success (or lack thereof) of British riders in the biggest cycle race in the world.

Lance Armstrong: Tour De Force by Dan Coyle
Dan Coyle leads an insightful behind the scenes look at Armstrong preparing for the 2004 season, the year of his sixth win of the Tour de France.

All books available at all good book shops.

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