Saturday, 3 August 2013

Bookworm



Hi all, I am going to attempt to right a little on a few books I have been reading recently.  I really enjoy reading and that coupled with my enthusiasm for cycling has led me to try and learn more about the history, culture and the professional element of it.

Domestique

Domestique is a really interesting read as it is from the perspective of someone who wasn’t a winner of big races but fulfilled a very necessary role within the teams he rode for.  As a fairly new cycling enthusiast I have watched a lot of the races and Grand Tours and started to learn about the intricacies of the Peloton.  There are lots of books on the big names of cycling but this book offers a genuine if slightly self pitying view of the world of a domestique.  The book is written in a very frank manner and tells mostly of Charly Wegelius career from junior ranks to respected senior professional.  He tells of the struggles of trying to make it in the world of the pro-tour, the pitfalls of the era he rode in and the constant struggle to maintain form and usefulness in this highly competitive sport.  Overall a very easy and informative read.  I picked up a copy for £10 from Amazon.  Highstreet best price is £12 from Waterstones.

Hunger:  Sean Kelly

A massive name in the world of cycling and a much anticipated release of a book from this Irish legend.  As with most autobiographies the book starts with Kelly’s beginnings and works through his career.  He has chosen only to pick up on a small number of wins but I guess if he had written about all of them the book would have been somewhat bigger!  It’s again a frank read.  Kelly talks about his rivals, a tragic episode in his personal life and the ups and downs he encountered during his career.  I really enjoyed the book and found it difficult to put down.  This was probably my favourite book amongst the ones I have reviewed here.  Picked this up for £17.69 from Amazon but matched on the highstreet by Waterstones at the same price!



The Man Who Cycled the World

This is something a little different but peaked my interest as I would love to do some travelling on the bike.  My hatred of camping may make this a little difficult and more expensive but this book was a great read.  Mark Beaumont the chap who wrote this book is the current World Record holder for a round the world trip.  There are certain rules which must be followed to qualify and the trip must also be mapped by a number of technical gadgets of course.  The book is obviously very broad in that it starts with Marks background and moves on to a day by day coverage of the ride itself.  There are lots of interesting stories and anecdotes and the constant struggle to find food and water was very interesting especially when covering the Asian countries.  What I struggled to get my head around was how Mark could cycle 100+ miles per day with so very few rest days for the entirety of the trip.  Anyone who has done 100 miles in a day will know how sapping it is.  I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it if you like cycling and travel.  I picked a second hand paperback copy up of Amazon for £2.18 and it was good entertainment.