It seems that listening is all it takes to come up with interesting blog posts. Recently I saw someone ask on Facebook for recommendations of books about cycling which she could gift to a friend. So here we are; bringing you a selection of books which anyone should enjoy if they love cycling!
1. Back in the Frame by Jools Walker
I was lucky enough to meet Jools not so long ago so this one goes to top of the list! Jools was being interviewed for the Quick Brown Foxes podcast so I got to listen to a lot of her story but I think she left enough uncovered to make the book a good read personally.
Jools is a fellow Londoner and fellow blogger over at Velo City Girl. Back in the Frame is Jools’ first book which tells the story of how she fell in love with all things bike and her journey into cycling. In Jools’ own words “The idea of putting together a book formed three years ago. As cliche as it sounds, I felt like I had the experiences from myself and other women of colour, who I wanted to talk about and who have gone through struggles in regards to a world that doesn’t necessarily feel like a space for them. This wasn’t just going to be a cycling book, that’s not just the soul of the book at all, there are so many more elements to it.” [source]
2. 50 Shades Of The USA by Anna McNuff
50 Shades of the USA is Anna’s second book; a prequel to The Pants Of Perspective. However, it’s actually the tale of her very first big adventure back in 2013, covering 11,000 miles! In Anna’s own words, this book is “less emotionally heavy, certainly less about me, and more about the wonderful people I met along the way in a country that has more layers than your Nanna’s English trifle.”
This book is available on Amazon and is free to read for those with Kindle Unlimited (free trial details below).
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3. Roar by Stacey Sims
Now this one is specifically cycling related but if you’re a woman or buying for a woman, it’s one you’ll have to seriously consider. I’ve not read it myself yet but it cam highly recommend.
Camilla, NL Perform said: “Roar is an amazing piece of scientifically backed writing for any female. Yes it’s discussing how to optimise your training, and is extremely useful to ALL female athletes. But it’s also an amazing book for ANY woman who wants to understand and look after their body in the most efficient way. I can not recommend this book enough to all women, and especially women who like to exercise. When you follow her suggestions for nutrition and training you will not overtrain your body leading to potential injury. Nor will you maintain a mindset of ‘more is better’ as is commonly prescribed by male trainers and media. Learn to train your female body like it deserves-as Stacey says “women are not small men”.”
4. Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road by Kate Harris
This one is for the bikepackers… or just those with an adventurous spirit. Canadian Kate Harris, made the decision to bikepack the Silk Road, a journey that took her through the some of the most remote and wild regions of the world. The entire adventure, with her friend Mel took over 12 months to complete and then 6 more years before it was published.
In Kate’s own word “Cycling the Silk Road was tough, but writing about it was far tougher: a journey whose difficulty was redeemed, like the bike ride itself, by moments of incredible power and beauty that were all the more intense and revelatory for being hard-won”.
Kate also got back to me on Twitter and said “LOLB is about a bike trip on the Silk Road, but it’s also an exploration of how borders of all kinds impact lives/landscapes, and an exploration of exploration itself. I hope anyone who loves to read and is curious about the wider world will enjoy it.”.
5. How to Ride a Bike: From Starting Out to Peak Performance by Sir Chris Hoy
I bought this book for myself last Christmas but haven’t had a chance to read it from cover to cover yet. It does look like the kinda book you can dip in and out of so it’s prob time I dipped in as I have so many more questions about bike maintenance; stuff like how to maintain tubeless tyres and hydraulic disc brakes. There is always something to learn when it comes to cycling! Anyway, this book is beautiful hardback that you could prob even keep on your coffee table should you so desire.
6. Bike Nation: How Cycling Can Save the World by Pete Walker
Although this book did come recommended, I couldn’t find too much opinion about it online. I think the gist of it is that the others tell stories or share knowledge whereas as this book by Peter Walker, covers the practical and societal stuff.
In the book Peter explores the attitudes of various cities around the world to cycling. Obviously Amsterdam are in there as a ‘shining example’ along with Copenhagen where cycling is just a part of their culture. Then he covers less welcoming roads, like y’know, Britain, USA and Australia where soooo many people are scared to take to the streets on two wheels (sigh.)
He also of course covers what might be at the root of all the aggression expressed towards cyclists. Like, I’d like to know?! Just yday on my Breeze Ride Leader Training we had one motorist shout “just get out of the way” at us. It’s frustrating, but this book apparently should ‘prepare you with all you need to know to confidently claim your place on the road’.
There you have it! Enough books about cycling to keep you going for a few months of reading, right?! All of them are available on Amazon – you can check out my reading list to see what other books have been recommended. If you have any other recommendations please leave a comment or you can email me a short review that can be featured in a follow up post!