A One Paragraph Review of 5 Cycling Books

28
Mar
2012

Seems like there is an overload of bicycle inspired books out there right now, and we’re here to give you a one paragraph review of five of them.  We’re just giving you a quick review of each one so that you can spend your reading time on the books themselves, and not the review.

I am a self-proclaimed Turtle Reader which means that it takes me like forever to get my way through a book.  I’ve also become a bit of a skimmer recently as well.  But I made my way through these books and I think that each of them is diverse enough from the other to help you find one that speaks to you.  These days you can get a regular book, online version, nook, and probably a few others….I’m a traditional book kind of guy but pick the one that works best for you.

Oh, and we’d like to give away a four pack of the Yehuda Moon series to one of you as well.  See below for details on how to enter.

RIDE: Short Fiction about Bicycles (various authors)

As you can likely make out from the title, this book is composed of a bunch of short fiction stories about riding a bike.  There are nine stories to be exact.  Each of the stories are as different from one another as the people who wrote them, but there is a nice flow that transcends through the entire book making it a seamless journey from start to finish.  I think that flow comes from the fact that each of the contributors to the book are crazed bike fanatics themselves, and their love for the bike comes shining through in each captivating story.  It’s hard to cut out one story and praise it as being the best because each of them have their special ingredients making them enjoyable and unique in their own little way.  With that said, I would like to mention that one story in particular stayed with me after finishing the book. I’ve seen a few other reviews of this book, and I know I’m not alone in saying that “Red Dot” by Barbara Jay Wilson lays out a story that is sure to put a smile on your face.  I’m only guessing, but I’m pretty sure that Barbara Jay Wilson is a person who spends a lot of time out there on her bike connecting with the beauty and nature that surrounds her.

Grab a copy and increase your bicycle fanaticism: www.ridebikefiction.wordpress.com

Comedian Mastermind (Fat Cyclist)

You’ve likely heard me call Elden from Fat Cyclist the kind of the cycling blogs.  This dude has an incredible following and he’s done some wonderful things and raised a lot of money for cancer awareness.  Comedian Mastermind is a collection of his blog posts from 2005 to 2007.  Yeah, I know what you’re thinking….these kinds of books always seem to be a little choppy and don’t flow very well.  But they do a good job of organizing the content by topic and because Elden Nelson (aka Fatty) is such an entertaining writer, you won’t even notice any flow issues.  On top of it all, Elden is an authentic dude and from the couple of times I’ve talked to him he definitely seems to be a great guy.

If you like dig cycling and like to laugh, grab your copy of Comedian Mastermind at www.fatcyclist.com.

Twenty Miles Per Cookie (Nancy Sathre-Vogel)

I’ve gotten to know Nancy from Family on Bikes quite well over the past couple years and I was thrilled when she asked me to check out her book, Twenty Miles Per Cookie.  Now I know enough about Nancy and her adventurous family to not need any coaxing to read about their life stories, but if you don’t know about these incredible people let me tell you why you should read this book.  This book is not about their epic ride from Alaska to the tip of Argentina, but about the trip that started it all off.  This one is the entertaining story of two schoolteachers and their twin eight-year-old (at that time) boys, and 9,000 miles of real life bike adventures around the United States and Mexico.  I would really love to sit down with Nancy and her family and hear about all their bikey adventures first hand….but this was definitely a good alternative.

Twenty Miles Per Cookie is available through Amazon, click here.

Cycling: Philosphy For Everyone (Ilundáin-Agurruza and Austin)

This is the only book of the five that was not given to me by the author for review.  Instead, it was given to me by my good friend @PedalmanTO who just happens to be a book (and cycling) expert.  If it’s good enough for him to highly recommend and encourage me to read, then it’s got to be a book worth your time.  I have to be honest about something….I haven’t quite finished this book, but I wanted to include it in this 5 book review.   This one is sort of like “RIDE” in that it’s written by a bunch of different authors but put all together by the editors.  This book has something for all types of riders and all types of interests.  If you haven’t been out riding lately as much as you’d like…this book is sure to inspire and remind you how much you are loving the bike.

This book should be available at any bookstore, but also available at Amazon.

Yehuda Moon Volumes 1-4 (Rick Smith and Brian Griggs)

If you’re not all that into traditional book reading and are more of the comic book reader, this one’s definitely for you.  Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery started off as an online webcomic at www.yehudamoon.com that ended in September 2011, but grew into four full-out comic books which are now available.  I think you have to be a cyclist to get a lot of the humor found in these comics, but all four volumes are full of the great “four panel” comic strips about the adventures of two bike shop owners, Yehuda Moon and Joe King.  If you loved comic strips as a kid or just love comedic and light cycling reading, pick up one or all four volumes at the Yehuda Moon Shop.

Win a Yehuda Moon Prize Pack

We’re giving away a prize pack that includes volumes 1 through 4 of Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery.  If you’d like to get in on a chance to win, we need you to leave a comment below telling us:

  • What your favorite cycling book is
  • Why you’d like to read Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery

Contest is open from right now to Noon EST, March 30th.

The Contest is now Closed….Congratulations to Brian Campbell (@mooseofblue).  Brian wins a set of the Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery book pack.  Thanks to Rick Smith and the crew over there at Yehuda Moon, and thanks to all of you who entered.  It’s a great book, so be sure to pick up a copy for yourself.

Enjoy Your Ride

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  • http://twitter.com/RIDEbikefiction RIDE – bike fiction

    Hey–I just dropped by again and saw that my previous comment didn’t post. (I’ve been having problems with Safari and blogs.)

    Sorry about that! Just wanted to say thanks for the review, and see you at bikeschool!

    (Oh, and I second that vote for The Rider. A flat-out terrific book.)

  • http://twitter.com/RIDEbikefiction RIDE – bike fiction

    Hey–I just dropped by again and saw that my previous comment didn’t post. (I’ve been having problems with Safari and blogs.)

    Sorry about that! Just wanted to say thanks for the review, and see you at bikeschool!

    (Oh, and I second that vote for The Rider. A flat-out terrific book.)

  • Rustypants

    Sadly, I don’t have a favorite cycling book. in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever read a cycling book. But the Yehuda Moon strips are great reading and on-point. I’d love to read them after a bad day at school or maybe when I need someone to identify with me about something that happened on the commute. :-)

  • Paul Ashworth

    My favorite cycling book to date is The Rider, by Tim Krabbe. This book, published in 1978, remains a classic today…and for good reason. It explores the notion that despite advances in equipment such as carbon fiber, frame geometry, Dura-Ace componentry, and the like, the most important part of cycling remains the rider himself. Through one rider’s painstakingly detailed account of racing, we experience first-hand what the rider experiences in terms of personal challenges. The concept of personal determination and fortitude to push through all adversities in search of glory. The understanding that with great pain and suffering, comes the best rewards. And the realization that true ‘class’ in cycling comes only with maximal effort and commitment in the face of all odds against oneself. Personally, I cycle for pleasure and enjoyment most of the time. But I also train for fitness. And when I train, this book reminds me of what I know deep down, but rarely admit…that most of the time I’m probably not trying hard enough. To train to the point of suffering, keeps one grounded in the history of the sport. And puts one that much closer in spirit to the true greats of our sport. What better motivation than that?

    I had the pleasure to “discover” Yehuda Moon last year when I started my twitter account. I’ve enjoyed their twitter humor very much and have replied on a number of occasions to their posts. I also became a subscriber to their website last year as well and have recommended their site to many others. I have read their online comic strips weekly since then with great amusement. It would be great to have the early volumes as they would allow me to see how the comic strip developed from the beginning…the evolving plot lines, as well as the introduction and development of the supporting characters.  I’m sure this would all be a hoot. I agree that one of the appealing parts of Yehuda Moon is that it’s a true cyclist’s comic. I’m reminded of a recent strip where at the end of a long day, Yehuda puts his prized bike to rest for the night on pillows and covers it with his beloved rain cape as a blanket. Non-cyclists just wouldn’t understand how close to the truth that really is! But Yehuda ‘gets it’ because he’s a REAL CYCLIST!!

  • Paul Ashworth

    My favorite cycling book to date is The Rider, by Tim Krabbe. This book, published in 1978, remains a classic today…and for good reason. It explores the notion that despite advances in equipment such as carbon fiber, frame geometry, Dura-Ace componentry, and the like, the most important part of cycling remains the rider himself. Through one rider’s painstakingly detailed account of racing, we experience first-hand what the rider experiences in terms of personal challenges. The concept of personal determination and fortitude to push through all adversities in search of glory. The understanding that with great pain and suffering, comes the best rewards. And the realization that true ‘class’ in cycling comes only with maximal effort and commitment in the face of all odds against oneself. Personally, I cycle for pleasure and enjoyment most of the time. But I also train for fitness. And when I train, this book reminds me of what I know deep down, but rarely admit…that most of the time I’m probably not trying hard enough. To train to the point of suffering, keeps one grounded in the history of the sport. And puts one that much closer in spirit to the true greats of our sport. What better motivation than that?

    I had the pleasure to “discover” Yehuda Moon last year when I started my twitter account. I’ve enjoyed their twitter humor very much and have replied on a number of occasions to their posts. I also became a subscriber to their website last year as well and have recommended their site to many others. I have read their online comic strips weekly since then with great amusement. It would be great to have the early volumes as they would allow me to see how the comic strip developed from the beginning…the evolving plot lines, as well as the introduction and development of the supporting characters.  I’m sure this would all be a hoot. I agree that one of the appealing parts of Yehuda Moon is that it’s a true cyclist’s comic. I’m reminded of a recent strip where at the end of a long day, Yehuda puts his prized bike to rest for the night on pillows and covers it with his beloved rain cape as a blanket. Non-cyclists just wouldn’t understand how close to the truth that really is! But Yehuda ‘gets it’ because he’s a REAL CYCLIST!!

  • Paul Ashworth

    My favorite cycling book to date is The Rider, by Tim Krabbe. This book, published in 1978, remains a classic today…and for good reason. It explores the notion that despite advances in equipment such as carbon fiber, frame geometry, Dura-Ace componentry, and the like, the most important part of cycling remains the rider himself. Through one rider’s painstakingly detailed account of racing, we experience first-hand what the rider experiences in terms of personal challenges. The concept of personal determination and fortitude to push through all adversities in search of glory. The understanding that with great pain and suffering, comes the best rewards. And the realization that true ‘class’ in cycling comes only with maximal effort and commitment in the face of all odds against oneself. Personally, I cycle for pleasure and enjoyment most of the time. But I also train for fitness. And when I train, this book reminds me of what I know deep down, but rarely admit…that most of the time I’m probably not trying hard enough. To train to the point of suffering, keeps one grounded in the history of the sport. And puts one that much closer in spirit to the true greats of our sport. What better motivation than that?

    I had the pleasure to “discover” Yehuda Moon last year when I started my twitter account. I’ve enjoyed their twitter humor very much and have replied on a number of occasions to their posts. I also became a subscriber to their website last year as well and have recommended their site to many others. I have read their online comic strips weekly since then with great amusement. It would be great to have the early volumes as they would allow me to see how the comic strip developed from the beginning…the evolving plot lines, as well as the introduction and development of the supporting characters.  I’m sure this would all be a hoot. I agree that one of the appealing parts of Yehuda Moon is that it’s a true cyclist’s comic. I’m reminded of a recent strip where at the end of a long day, Yehuda puts his prized bike to rest for the night on pillows and covers it with his beloved rain cape as a blanket. Non-cyclists just wouldn’t understand how close to the truth that really is! But Yehuda ‘gets it’ because he’s a REAL CYCLIST!!

  • Sezgi Uygur

    At the moment I’m reading “Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry’s Extraordinary Ride”. The book tells the story of the first woman riding her bike around the world in 1894 when she was only 23. She was married and  mother of three children. She wasn’t an activist or in a good economic condition. She was an ordinary woman accepting an extraordinary challenge. You probably have guessed that I’m a woman, but I think that it’s a great story for all cyclists and travellers.
    I’d like to read Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery book ’cause I’m a fan of the webcomics and I’d like to reread it on paper. You can follow my cycling (and other) adventures on avventvra.blogspot.com

  • M Blightely

    I really must buy that book from fatty.  He’s the man.  Nice quick reviews you have here and I would like to enter myself for the Kickstand book series.  It looks like fun.

  • Jackson

    I have to admit, I am not much of a reader.  Turtle reader, I like that one.  I would like to read the Yahuda Moon books because I am so much better at reading comics than I am at reading books.

  • Andy Kewell

    My favourite cycling book is You’ve gone too far this time, Sir! by Danny Bent. It is the story of teacher Danny’s ride from the UK to teach in India. It is written with humour and honesty and I couldn’t put it down once I’d started. I highly recommend it.

    I’d like to read the Yehuda Moon books because the strip touches almost every aspect of cycling, and cycling discussion. Almost every strip has something most cyclists will recognise or will have thought at one time or another! There’s a little bit of Yehuda, Joe, Thistle, Fred, Fizz, and even Sister Sprocket in every cyclist. 

  • http://twitter.com/mooseofblue Brian Campbell

    I confess to not having read a single cycling book unless you can count reading Yehuda Moon every day. I have been riding a bike since I could walk and the stories I get are from fellow riders. Love hearing about the a ventures and watching act out some of their more glorious crashes or dog attacks. That is why the Yehuda Moon books appeal to me. I get to see the daily adventures as well as “hear” about them in the writing, four frames at a time.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Congratulations, Brian.  You’re the winner of the Yehuda Moon giveaway.  Please send your mailing details to darryl@lovingthebike.com and we’ll get that out to you.

  • http://twitter.com/mooseofblue Brian Campbell

    I confess to not having read a single cycling book unless you can count reading Yehuda Moon every day. I have been riding a bike since I could walk and the stories I get are from fellow riders. Love hearing about the a ventures and watching act out some of their more glorious crashes or dog attacks. That is why the Yehuda Moon books appeal to me. I get to see the daily adventures as well as “hear” about them in the writing, four frames at a time.

  • Mark Beaconsfield

    My favorite book on the subject of cycling would have to be the classic “Bears on Wheels”! Who, as a child, has not read this book?
    I would love to read these books. Anything cycling related will always keep me turning the pages.

    • AmandaGaleKotyk

      How have I not read this book?  I googled “Bears on Wheels”, and I think we NEED to read it.  

      • Mark Beaconsfield

        You MUST read it. Not only does it teach counting skills, It features bears on unicycles, tamdems, tricycles, doing stunts and a group ride racing down the road. And of course, a spectacular finish!

      • Mark Beaconsfield

        You MUST read it. Not only does it teach counting skills, It features bears on unicycles, tamdems, tricycles, doing stunts and a group ride racing down the road. And of course, a spectacular finish!

      • Mark Beaconsfield

        You MUST read it. Not only does it teach counting skills, It features bears on unicycles, tamdems, tricycles, doing stunts and a group ride racing down the road. And of course, a spectacular finish!

        • AmandaGaleKotyk

          Im going to check at the library tomorrow, and if I can’t find it there, I’ll just order it off Amazon!  

          Thanks for the suggestion! :) 

  • Mattjank

    Loved the Comedian Mastermind. But also loved Bike Snob’s book as well

  • Michael Paktinat

     I really enjoyed Bike Snob’s Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling.
    I’d like to get the Yehuda Moon books because I already have them and would like to give them to some cycling buddies.

  • http://twitter.com/baldzach Zach J.

    I love Fatty’s Mastermind book. Got it for Christmas and had it read by New Years. And Yehuda… well, when I discovered his comic strip, I spent the better part of 3 days at work reading the back story. Awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508098279 Jonathan Davis

    I’m eating a super-delicious Peanut Butter cookie right now, and I’m already thinking about how many miles I’ll have to ride as a result, and I’m not complaining!

    I’m really digging cycling biographies right now, so my current favourite is David Millar’s “Racing through the Dark”. It’s an honest and open account that he wrote himself with little guidance from any ghost writers (who usually pen sport bios). This man is so self-aware and eloquent about the choices he’s made through life; you’ll get completely swallowed up by the story.

    I want to read more of Yehuda Moon after receiving a print sample from a printer, it was by total chance, and I loved every panel!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508098279 Jonathan Davis

    I’m eating a super-delicious Peanut Butter cookie right now, and I’m already thinking about how many miles I’ll have to ride as a result, and I’m not complaining!

    I’m really digging cycling biographies right now, so my current favourite is David Millar’s “Racing through the Dark”. It’s an honest and open account that he wrote himself with little guidance from any ghost writers (who usually pen sport bios). This man is so self-aware and eloquent about the choices he’s made through life; you’ll get completely swallowed up by the story.

    I want to read more of Yehuda Moon after receiving a print sample from a printer, it was by total chance, and I loved every panel!

  • http://antoinerjwright.com Antoine RJ Wright

    I don’t really have a favorite cycling book. At least in terms of a genre of reading, I never really thought about it before coming across Ride some months back. I liked what was in there, but feel still that the perodical effect of Bicycling Times (with its occasional vignettes) hits my reading button for cycling-related items.

    On the other side of things, I’ve been following Yehuda Moon for sometime, and very much enjoyed the story arc. Life circumstances have prevented me from contributing again to read behind the paywall, but I sponsored once and would gladly do so again becaue of its quality and attention. For me, Vol.1-4 would be an incentive to get on the sponsoring kick a bit faster, while sharing with my non-riding friends the stories of what can happen in between the wheels, but not in the Sunday paper.

  • http://antoinerjwright.com Antoine RJ Wright

    I don’t really have a favorite cycling book. At least in terms of a genre of reading, I never really thought about it before coming across Ride some months back. I liked what was in there, but feel still that the perodical effect of Bicycling Times (with its occasional vignettes) hits my reading button for cycling-related items.

    On the other side of things, I’ve been following Yehuda Moon for sometime, and very much enjoyed the story arc. Life circumstances have prevented me from contributing again to read behind the paywall, but I sponsored once and would gladly do so again becaue of its quality and attention. For me, Vol.1-4 would be an incentive to get on the sponsoring kick a bit faster, while sharing with my non-riding friends the stories of what can happen in between the wheels, but not in the Sunday paper.

  • http://twitter.com/ashleyhdesign Ashley Hill

    One of my favorite books has been The Cyclist’s Training Bible. The book has helped me immensely in my own cycling, especially when my coach uses most of Joe Friel’s methods.

    I would love to get the Yehuda Moon collection. I’ve been a follower of the comic for the past few years and recently joined as a subscriber so I can continue reading the comics. 

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