Posted by Editoress on 12/15/10
Most cyclists have gone through the experience of having non-cycling family and friends give them something for Christmas that the non-cyclist thinks is 'perfect' ... but it gets a little tedious after you have received your third introduction to cycling book. So, we here at Canadian Cyclist are putting together this week a list of cyclist-appropriate Christmas gifts to suit any rider.
Today, we start with books. A cycling book is one of the best gifts you can give to an enthusiast. The photos allow you to capture a moment in an event and, with the best ones, a moment that tells the story. The words provide the background and the context, and often the feelings of the subject themself.
Most of these books are by photographers or writers who are friends of ours (or have contributed to Canadian Cyclist over the years) and, in a few cases, our editor is a contributor to the book. But that doesn't negate the fact that these books are by some of the best in the business.
Steve Peat World Champion by Steve Peat and Victor Lucas
It was an incredibly special moment with Steve Peat won the Downhill world title in Canberra (Australia) in 2009. Peaty is a legend in the sport, and a super nice guy, and everyone was happy or him when he finally won the one award missing from his trophy case.
Steve and Irish photographer Victor Lucas teamed up after that special season to produce Steve Peat World Champion - Seventeen Years in the Making. Ostensibly, it is chronological account of Peat's 2009 season, a season in which he set records for the most World Cup wins, most World Cup podiums and won the world title. However, it is more than that. Steve talks frankly about training, travel, his team and his life, providing a intimate look at one of the most respected riders in the sport.
Available through the Chain Reaction Cycles website at www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=58838.
Chronology by Gary Perkin and Sven Martin
Chronology covers the entire 2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season through the lenses of South African photographers Gary Perkin (aka Flipper) and Sven Martin. While both are more associated with the gravity side of the sport, they are mountain bikers themselves, and superb photographers.
While many of the images are of race action, Gary and Sven also provide a window into the parts of the sport not often seen by spectators: with the riders as they prepare for their rides, post-competition (win and lose) and the family that develops among those who follow the circuit.
The only text in Chronology is by riders. Julien Absalon, Steve Peat, Sam Hill, Anneke Beerten, Jared Graves, Elisabeth Osl and Sabrina Jonnier all contribute essays.
Available through the Crank Brothers website at cart.crankbrothers.com/gear/chronology-book.html. ISBN 978-0-620-45871-9
mtb professional mountain biking by Frank Bodenmüller and Tanja Borgschulte
mtb is different than the previous two volumes, in that it doesn't attempt to chronicle a particular rider or a specific season of racing. Instead, German photographer Frank Bodenmüller and his partner Tanja Borgschulte have selected a compendium of images from their years of covering the sport.
Divided into separate sections on cross-country and downhill/4-cross, Frank and Tanja's images provide a record of some of the most classic venues in the sport, as well as the biggest names in racing. Each double page spread has a theme, with captions explaining the significance of the images. Dutch cycling journalist Marcel Slagman and Olympic champion Bart Brentjens offer introductions.
Paris-Roubaix A Journey Through Hell
There are classics of road racing and then there is THE Classic: Paris-Roubaix. It is considered the hardest and most storied one day race in cycling, notorious for the sections of pavé - rough-hewn cobblestones that eat wheels. Run on the third Sunday in April since 1896 through the roads of northern France, it is known simply as The Hell of the North.
Published by VeloPress, this 224 page book has been translated into English, and offers the words and photographs from France's authoritative L'Equipe newspaper. This book is a magnificent addition to any cycling fan's library.
Available at Amazon Canada. ISBN 978-1-934030-09-7
Major Taylor "The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World"
Over one hundred years ago, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, cycling was the most popular spectator sport in North America. One of the biggest stars of the day was an African-American rider named Major Taylor. In addition to winning many of the gruelling Six-Day races that were so popular with spectators, Taylor became the world champion in 1899, and set multiple world records at various distances on the track. Sadly, he went from the height of fame and money to dying penniless in 1932.
In this updated edition to his original 1988 book on Major Taylor, British author Andrew Ritchie has put together a fascinating account of both Taylor and what may well be the 'Golden Age' of bike racing in North America. Ritchie has pulled together personal reports (including from Taylor's daughter), newspaper articles, archives and Taylor's own autobiography, together with 100 photographs and illustrations from that time.
Available at Amazon Canada. ISBN 978-1-934030-09-7
Campagnolo 75 Years of Cycling Passion
Until the late 1980's, for any true cycling aficionado there was only one brand on cycling components that mattered: Campagnolo. Campy (or Campag) was what we all lusted for. It was not only the stuff that the pros used, but cycling jewelry in its own right.
There is a legendary (and true) story about Tullio Campagnolo, the founder of the company that bears his name. He was a bike racer in the 1920's, who lost a race when his hands were too frozen to loosen the rear wheels nuts that would allow him to flip the wheel around for a lower gear on the climbs. Out of this was born the quick release mechanism and the derailleur as we know it, and the beginning of Campagnolo, the most storied name in bike parts.
This book is more than a recitation of dry facts, it includes a history of the development of the bicycle, racing photos, interviews and a fascinating looking into the genius of a man who held 185 patents in his own name.
Available at Amazon Canada. ISBN 978-1-934030-37-0
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