LGRAB Summer Games reading ideas

Looking to complete the “read a book about cycling” event in Part II of the LGRAB Summer Games, but not sure what to read? Here are a few suggestions, in no particular order, all of which have been read by Dottie or me over the past year or so:

Pedaling Revolution by David Mapes (Read Dottie’s review of this one here.)

The Art of Cycling or The Cyclist’s Manifesto by Robert Hurst

The Lost Cyclist by David Herlihy (I’m currently reading and enjoying this one)

Bike Snob by Bike SnobNYC (Don’t miss Velouria’s take on this)

Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt

And last but not least, David Byrne’s much-heralded Bicycle Diaries.

FYI, fiction where cycling plays a starring role is also permissible, so be creative! Dottie recommends Sarah Dessen’s YA bestseller Along for the Ride.

S. at Academichic has a few ideas as well. I’m adding The Man Who Cycled the World to my bike-related reading list. Anything else we should consider? Share in the comments!

Happy reading!

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10 thoughts on “LGRAB Summer Games reading ideas

  1. Cathy says:

    Last year I read _Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry’s Extraordinary Ride_ by Peter Zheultin. It’s the story of a immigrant Jewish mother from Boston, who in 1894 set out to be the first woman to bicycle around the world. The book details her travels, her bicycles, and the nascent start of sports sponsorship. It was a great book.

  2. Jeff says:

    Much of what I know about bicycle mechanics, and many of my ideas about the importance of human powered transportation to our quality of life, I learned from the original Richard’s Bicycle Book (1972). The latest version is Richard’s 21st Century Bicycle Book. If it is even 1/4 as inspiring as the original, you MUST read it!

  3. TroisV says:

    An excellent novel with cycling as the star is ‘The Rider’ by Tim Krabbe. Written by the author of ‘The Vanishing’ (the one they made into a film starring Keifer Sutherland), it tells the story of a one day bike race in Europe. Will the protagonist win, or will the mysterious lone rider from Cycles Goff take the laurels?

    The book draws you in to the rhythm of the race
    and you find your reading accelerating as the finish line approaches. When not focused on the action the book describes, through the eyes of the narrator, the strange compulsion of bike racing, and the odd mix of painful sacrifice and beauty that make it such a fascinating spectacle.

    Highly recommended by the TroisV.


  4. Academichic says:

    Thanks, Trisha, for the awesome list! I can’t wait to hit up my home library for some of these titles! And the suggestion from reader Cathy sounds really good too. S.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions! This week, I’m going to cram my entries for Part II of the games…my summer college class has killed my June, but ends Wednesday, *yay*! I look forward to ‘being back’ and gettin’ my head back in the games…haahaa…which book shall I pick up?? :)

  6. SlowBikeMadison says:

    A few other suggestions for francophiles out there:

    Marc Augé, Eloge de la bicyclette (Paris: Payot, 2008)

    Didier Tronchet, Petit traité de vélosophie : Le monde vu de ma selle (Paris: Omnibus, 2000)

    Both are difficult to find in the US. But Augé’s in particular should be well worth a read. He’s among France’s leading anthropologists, and he has produced fascinating ethnographic studies of the Paris Métro as well as the “non-places” characteristic of contemporary urban space: airports, shopping malls, highways, and housing projects.

    Happy reading!

  7. sara says:

    I recently read two of Joe Kurmaskie’s (“The Metal Cowboy”) books about riding 1. across the States with his two young sons on a single bike with a tag-along & a Burley trailer 2. across Canada with his wife and THREE sons (this time a tandem, tag-along, & Burley trailer). It was great fun to read about an extreme guy who hasn’t let parenthood get in the way of his (or his family’s) adventures. You can find him here:

    Also, a friend who studies urban design and cares a lot about livable cities/bike-friendly roads sent me the link to this picture book that we will be reading in our house soon:
    Isn’t Mara Rockliff’s blog header just so cool?

  8. Elisa M says:

    I know it sounds cheesy, but Lance Armstrong’s “It’s Not About the Bike” was a really great read.

  9. Mike says:

    The Art of Cycling is one of the most rational books I have read on riding among the cars. Real, use-it-today advice, and it’s a fun read, too.

    Good pick! BTW, in used bookstores you might see it under its old title, The Art of Urban Cycling.

  10. Vinny says:

    A little late, but I’d highly recommend The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty. It’s fiction, but a great story based around a bike ride. I don’t get to read too many novels, but was happy I found this one and have gotten great feedback from others on it.

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