French Revolutions by Tim Moore
This is a very funny account of the author’s attempt to cycle the route of the 2000 Tour de France in the weeks before the pros did it.
In a beguiling mix of his own inadequacies, snippets of Tour history and the people he encounters as he wobbles around France, Tim weaves a tale laced with humour and endeavour.
This is a two wheeled travelogue that anybody who has struggled up a hill on a bike or been cowed by a grumpy French restaurateur will be able to enjoy.
In search of Robert Millar by Richard Moore
If like me you started to watch professional cycling on Channel Four back in the eighties you will remember the Scot Robert Millar. Millar was one of very few Brits or even English speakers in the pro peloton back then.
Millar was a great climber and he won many great races. In fact until the arrival of the likes of Cavendish, Wiggins and Thomas he was for many years Britain’s most successful Tour de France cyclist.
Millar was always a prickly character and often seemed at odds with his team or his public. In his book Moore tries to unpick the life of Millar and his disappearance. It reads a bit like a detective novel and reveals a man who was and is an individual, and above all a great bike racer.
Rough Ride by Paul Kimmage
This book has been around for a while and was originally published in 1990. In it Paul tells his story of a childhood obsession with cycling that, through years of hard work and dedication, ultimately led to a professional contract and access to the biggest races.
However once he gets there he discovers that in order to really succeed he needs to take drugs. He doesn’t and this decision ultimately leads to him quitting. Writing and publishing his story left Paul ostracised by the sport and despised and ridiculed by his former friends and colleagues.
It’s a tale that reflects on the state of cycling today which still has its problems with drugs, along with many other sports. The book exposes the pressures placed on young athletes and the difficult decisions they are often forced to make.
How I Won The Yellow Jumper by Ned Boulting
Ned will be familiar to those who follow the Tour de France on Channel Four every summer. His book is at times hilarious and at times totally excruciating as Ned stumbles his way through the Tour de France.
From his clueless beginnings to his slightly jaded view many tours later, Ned gives you a view of the sports biggest race you don’t normally see. The over worked, under slept journalists and broadcasters who chase the Tour around France every year.
From interviews with cyclists who don’t want to be interviewed to standing ankle deep in mud wearing a bin bag to complete a piece to camera, Ned tells it all with great humour.
Boy Racer by Mark Cavendish
Love him or hate him Mark Cavendish is a sponsor’s dream. If he’s not winning then he’s crashing or throwing his toys out of the pram. Whatever he’s doing the press will be writing about it. Many pro athletes are a bit dull. You know what they are going to say before they say it. Yes it was a hard day, yes the team rode well, yes we will try again tomorrow. Not Mark. Mark just says whatever is on his mind especially just after a winning sprint.
In this book you really get to see into the mind of a bike racer. What it’s like inside a bunch sprint and what it’s like inside the head of a bunch sprinter. Mark’s writing is frank and cheeky just like him. This book is mostly about the first part of Mark’s career and up to his break through years 2008 and 2009.
And here’s one extra for the kids.
Flying Fergus series, by Sir Chris Hoy
Chris Hoy launched this series of books in 2016 and there are now 10 of them! They are aimed at early readers and contain all the messages you would want – magic cycling adventures, dealing with social challenges, trying hard for great results.
And here’s a great tip spotted on Cycle Sprog – Flying Fergus gives you simple ‘World Book Day’ dress-up ideas – all you need is a pair of cycling shorts and a helmet!