The long Labor Day weekend is nearly upon us and that means you’ll have extra hours to slip in a longer bike ride and even crack open the pages of a good book. So why not combine the two? Here’s our round-up of the best bike-related books for all types of riders, readers and long weekends.
For the literary cyclist:
The Rider (1978) by Tim Krabbe
Holland author Tim Krabbe originally published this cult classic in the Netherlands, and the sports novel has sold more than 100,000 copies. It tells the first-person story of a nail-biting race in the Tour du Mont Aigoual, entering the protagonist’s head as his thoughts whirl as quickly as his legs. We have a window into how he sizes up fellow riders:
“Lebusque is really only a body. In fact, he’s not a good racer. People are made up of two parts: a mind and a body. Of the two, the mind, of course, is the rider.”
For the historical biker:
More than just a fun way to get around, the bicycle paved the way for women’s rights. Learn how this incredible mode of transportation broke stereotypes, changed fashion and granted women more mobility—and with it, power.
For the pedaling doodler:
The Epiplectic Bicycle (1998), by Edward Gorey
With his clever storytelling and Edwardian drawing style, illustrator Edward Gorey has crafted a wild tale about a journey on a bicycle’s seat—and handlebars. The short, precious book is fit for both children and adults with childlike wonder.
For the spin-happy goofball:
French Revolutions (2001), by Tim Moore
A true, hilarious telling of Moore’s crazed attempt to retrace the path of the Tour de France. The British humorist is determined, and he actually crosses his own finish line. Healthy doses of self-deprecation, biking history, and quirky French shop clerks give this travelogue plenty of personality.
The Bike Deconstructed: A Grand Tour of the Modern Bicycle (2014), by Richard Hallett
Hallett disassembles the bike to examine its every part and show how each bolt and bracket contributes to the whole. Half history tour, half ode to mechanics, this book will become a favorite of the cyclist who believes the bike is so much more than the sum of its parts.
Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling (2010), by Eben Weiss
Biking is more popular than ever. To understand its many subcultures, from the urban sophisticates to the spandexed athletes, this amusing guide will help you navigate through the tribes—and maybe blush once Weiss has accurately pegged own your group.