Book Review: Higher Calling

Higher Calling, Road Cycling’s Obsession with the Mountains by Max Leonard

As the Tour de France races across the Pyrenees do you want to try these roads for yourself? Perhaps but maybe the Tour’s passage is only a part of it. The scenery, the challenge, perhaps the hope of better weather or a week away from it all are part of the attraction.

Why do the mountains hold such an important place in cycling’s iconography, it’s myths and travel business? This book sets out to explore the mountains, not the roads but our approach to them.

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Book Review: Mountains

Mountains by Michael Blann

Mountain roads have a special place in cycling, venerated and the subject of secular pilgrimages every summer. A lot of this makes sense, a ride in the mountains brings great scenery and many want to test themselves on the same roads as the big races. This book covers many of these famous climbs with fine photos but doesn’t stray into the mythology so often associated with these climbs. Instead the expansive photos capture the road and the environment around it, including all the artificial features from ski lifts to hotels.

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Book Review – Ultimate Etapes

Ultimate Etapes, Ride Europe’s Greatest Cycling Stages by Peter Cossins

Imagine you could ride anywhere in Europe, where would you go? It’s a nice thought experiment, perhaps begin by picking a preferred region and then think of some special roads and extrapolate this into the best part of a day’s ride. That’s the genesis of this book, a collection of 25 rides that are illustrated by lavish photos, route maps and plenty of detail on each of the proposed courses.

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Book Review: Pinpoint by Greg Milner

Pinpoint book by Greg Milner

Pinpoint, How GPS is Changing Our World by Greg Milner

Do you use GPS for your cycling? The short answer is yes because even if you don’t have a bike computer on your bars or a smartphone in your pocket the satellite technology would have contributed to your ride in other ways from making that paper map to guiding the deliver truck that brought the spare parts for your bike to your home or local bike shop. GPS is everywhere and it’s free. How did this happen? Pinpoint tells the history of its creation and explores the use today.

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Book Review: Triumphs and Turbulence

Triumphs and Turbulence by Chris Boardman

Confession time. There’s a conveyor belt of books about British cycling and when this came out during the summer it wasn’t a pressing read. Boardman’s enjoyed an impressive career but the story of a track and time trial rider famous for his calculating ways didn’t appeal at first. Surely rival Graeme Obree’s story is the more interesting? Add to this the fact that Boardman comes across as dryer than an indoor velodrome and this wasn’t something to rush into. Was it worth waiting for?

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Book Review: The Art of The Jersey

The Art of The Jersey by Andy Storey

Pro cycling requires a working bicycle and once that’s taken care of surely the jersey is the next most important thing? When people think of the Tour de France many associate it with the yellow jersey, a genuine icon. More than a textile the jersey has become a shop window to display the sponsors who make the wheels turn around and once you look over time the jersey chronicles design, consumerism and technology.

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The Art of The Jersey Book Giveaway Competition

Art of The Jersey

The Art of The Jersey book celebrates the jerseys of the peloton over the years and the publisher has sent two copies meaning one for review and one to give away. To enter simply pick who will be the last rider on the general classification when the Giro d’Italia finishes on Sunday.

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Book Review: Ventoux

Ventoux by Bert Wagendorp

Ventoux by Bert Wagendorp

A big deal in the Netherlands, Ventoux was made into a film and now it’s been translated into English. Good timing with the mountain is set to feature in Paris-Nice and the Tour de France. But is this a cycling book?

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Book Review: “Parlons Vélo” with Marc Madiot

Parlons Vélo by Marc Madiot and Mathieu Coureau

It’s written in French so at first sight a book review may not be of great use to an anglophone audience but it’s a hook to write about Marc Madiot, share some legendary anecdotes and show some hidden sides to one of the sport’s bigger personalities.

Often seen as a hothead and a relic from the past there’s the story of a manager who, while Russian billionaires come and go, has lead one of the sport’s longest lasting teams and sponsorship deals.

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Book Review – Cycling Anthology

Cycling Anthology

Cycling Anthology Volume Six

Strong, light, cheap. Pick two” said Keith Bontrager when it came to parts for your bike. Here’s a book that offers strong writing, that’s light and small enough to fit in a race jersey pocket and all for a keen price.

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