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Author Topic: Good Cycling Books
Lardinho
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Breaking the Chain is the only cycling book I've read. Interesting, definitely.
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VTTBoscombe
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I was looking in Waterstones at Manchester Airport yesterday, and picked up "The Death Of Marco Pantani" by Matt Rendall, and "Push Yourself a Little bit more" by Johnny Green.

Reading the Pantani book first (because it cost the most)- totally rivetting, I like how Rendell does the actual rides, the rythym of the races and the power up moments - although the start describing the manner of Pantani's death, I found quite harrowing - so far good stuff though .However the family tree descriptions, and the endless list of Italian names are, at first, a little confusing to an anglo like me.

I chose the Johnny Green book as , anyone who cites Joe Strummer (Green was the Clash's tour manager) and Lee Brilleaux as inspiration for a book on the Tour is alright by me. Plus he also dedicated the book to Barry Ashby centre half at Gillingham.

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Fausto Ptang
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I have read a load of good cycling books. In fact I don't recall having read a poor one.

Listen to interview with Hutchinson

I do like Rendell. He's good to listen to and his topics are good, but he can be a little verbose at times. I'm reading the Pantani book at the moment. In fact Conconi's book on Pantani isn't great and is full of inaccuracies. Rendell's book on Colombian cyclists is excellent. It's called "Kings of the mountain." A significant other is good as well. He's a personal friend of Pena so it's interesting.

French revolutions is very good. It's light, but very funny. Heck, light shouldn't be an insult. The Johnny Green book is fun, but I did tire of his constant talk of ju-ju's and rock and roll. But like you say, he likes Cipo and Lee Brilleaux so fair do's.

Listen to an interview with Green here

The Escape artist by Matt Seaton is a brilliant book and gets very close to understanding the obsessive nature of some cyclists. He was married to Ruth Picardy and he writes really well.

The Armstrong autobiographies are essential books, but not great pieces of literature. Hugely enjoyable though.

I agree with what's been said about the Simpson book. Superb.

Tour de Force is a great read as well. Coyne is a good wirter and the story is a great one.

I really enjoyed "Roule Brittania" by William Fotheringham. Probably for real enthusiasts only, but if you want to know about Brits in the tour, then this is the one.

One more kilometre and we're in the shower by Tim Hilton is just the book if you want to know what it was like to be brought up by Communist cycling parents in the 50's. This could be interesting but needed a more judicious editor.

Kimmage is the man though isn't he? I think he's great. His book, 'Rough Ride' and Seaton's captures the suffering and pleasure of cycling like no other.

I'd also recommend a few cycling coffee table books. The centenary celebration of the Tour is a wonderful thing.

Finally Roleur magazine available at Rapha is ludicrously priced at £9 a throw, but it's cowing lush. The photos are stunning and the writing is top notch. Issue one has Seaton writing about fixed gears and Thurston from the bike show writing about Kraftwerk. There's also a lovely article or rather photo-shoot out between Campagnolo and Shimano.

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Fausto Ptang
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Oh and '23 days in July' is good as well.
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Jorge Porbillas
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ditto what's been said about Put Me Back on My Bike and Rough Ride. I received, in a pile of books which I got for my birthday last week, Team On The Run (The Inside Story of the Linda McCartney Pro Cycling Team), but I haven't started it yet.

[ 15.10.2006, 20:58: Message edited by: George Berry's Afro ]

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Fausto Ptang
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Let me know what the McCartney book is like GBA. I haven't read it.
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Jorge Porbillas
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I'm halfway through now - it's a bit superficial and skims over quite a bit of the early story, but it's still an intriguing (sp?) read.
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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I'm about halfway through The Death Of Marco Pantani. It's excellent so far, though Rendell is sometimes overly concerned with What This Says About Italy As A Nation.
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kuhisek
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One for ursus? (And any other French reading cycling fans).

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I saw it in a bookshop in Macon before Christmas. It's superb. Year-by-year, race-by-race, event-by-event, from the very early days up until last year's Tour de France. It's absolutely magnificent - almost worth it for the photos alone if you don't speak French.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Forgot to post it here; I read the Graeme Obree book, which is just stunning. Heartbreaking, heartlifting stuff. Troubled genius, and all that. A truly great, great sports book.
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The Purple Cow
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The Obree book is back-ordered at Amazon for the next 4 to 6 weeks, which I suppose is a good sign, can't wait to get it.

Just finished the Pantani book, and agree with what everyone says - a good book but Rendell's attempts to put everything in the Italian context in general, and the Italian communist context in particular wears a bit thin after a while. A bit like that last sentence, actually.

I read the Hutchinson book in one sitting, thoughy admittedly I was on a ten hour train journey. Great book, Hutchinson is a smart, funny, guy, and a natural story teller.

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VTTBoscombe
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When is the Obree film out with Johnny whatsis face playing Obree?

Found the Rendell book on Pantani, OKish.
But once it got into the downward cycle (sic) of failed drug tests, higher and higher drug addiction stories, my interest waned.
Wanted more two wheel action I suppose.

Agree with Ptangelli about the Johnny Green book, at first funny; but ultimately boring in his clichés.

Enjoyed all the rest so far, still looking and reading.

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Paxton Sprout
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Not really about Mountain Biking but as some of this covers my local routes and it is an off-road route across the whole country with history/local bits of interest thrown in, well worth a look.

The Chalke Way

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Read A Significant Other recently; it's very good, explains the tactical detail of road racing better than any other I've seen.

But it leaves a lot of interesting stuff out, both about Pena and about the world of the cyclist generally.

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ursus arctos
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Un Siecle de Cyclisme arrived yesterday.

There is only one word for this book.

BUSINESS.

Seriously, any member of the Peleton who can read French has to buy it, and even non-French reading members who are interested in racing history should consider it for the photos and comprehensive race results in the back.

6 pavés on the ursus scale (which like France Football's player ratings, allows for one to go above the maximum of five in genuinely extraordinary cases).

And speaking of pavés, L'Equipe has put out a nice pictorial history of Paris-Roubaix, along the lines of their "Cols Mythiques du Tour de France" and "50 Ans des Coupes de l'Europe" books.

Both are available from Amazon.fr.

Un Siecle de Cyclisme Euro 36.58

Paris-Roubaix: Une Journee en Enfer Euro 33.25

Gonfle also appears to have exquisite taste in mysteries, as the graphic novel versions of the Nestor Burma stories he recommended on the Agatha Christie scale also merit at least 4.5 pistolets.

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