Following the popularity of the recent Best Books for Wild Swimmers article, I thought I’d start a discussion around the best books about cycling.
Being an adventure website and as I’m about to set off for a 12-month cycle to Australia, the focus is on cycle touring books, but all recommendations are welcome.
Here are some suggestions from Laura and I to get you started…
(Book titles below link to Amazon.co.uk. For orders outside the UK, use the separate Amazon.com links)
Cycle Touring Guide Books
- Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook by Stephen Lord (Amazon.com): The book for anyone planning an adventurous tour by bicycle.
- Bike Touring Survival Guide by Friedel and Andrew Grant (Amazon.com): Great practical touring book from the authors of the amazing Travelling Two website (where you can get a free mini ebook on cycle touring).
- How to Cycle Around the World by Tim Moss (Amazon.com): It would be remiss of me not to mention my own book. How to Get to the North Pole and Other Iconic Adventures features a whole chapter on how to cycle around the world with contributions from many round-the-world cyclists and record breakers.
Adventure Cycling Stories
- Moods of Future Joys by Alastair Humphreys (Amazon.com): One of my favourite adventure books. The first part of his four year cycle around the world on pennies saved from a student learn. All of Al’s books are great.
- The Wind in my Wheels by Josie Dew (Amazon.com): A collection of tales about her various trips. Makes you itch to get out on your bike. She has written several others, but this is a good overview.
- Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle by Dervla Murphy (Amazon.com):I’d recommend everything by Dervla Murphy, but this classic is about her first cycle trip. Other good ones include The Ukimwi Road, a fascinating account of her journey around East Africa in the context of the HIV crisis, and this one, which recounts her chilly journey through Baltistan in winter with her 6-year old daughter.
- Cycling Home from Siberia by Rob Lilwall (Amazon.com): A great story which takes Rob from the depths of a Siberian winter (with Al Humphreys, above) and through a scary sounding Indonesia on his way back to the UK.
- Janapar: Love on a Bike by Tom Allen (Amazon.com): An honest account of a guy (my mate Tom) who goes off cycling, meets a girl and gets a bit confused. Also a feature length film.
General Cycling Books
- French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France by Tim Moore (Amazon.com): A wonderfully entertaining account of a very amateur cyclist attempting to follow the route of the Tour de France, including trying EPO drugs from a pharmacy and urinating from the saddle like the real riders.
- It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong (Amazon.com): Although you may now be inclined to reply “No, it’s all about the drugs”, this is still a remarkable story of a man’s fight back from cancer.
- Lance Armstrong: Tour de Force by Daniel Coyle (Amazon.com): A fascinating insight into the world of the Tour de France and Armstrong’s mind, from a sports journalist who follows him through the 2005 Tour.
This is just a select few that I’ve read and enjoyed. What have I missed? What would you recommend? Add your suggestions in the comments section below.