When the days get shorter and a chill hits the morning air, I start thinking the unthinkable. Moving my bike indoors for the winter season. I don’t know about you but, for me, that takes a different kind of motivation to keep riding.
In order to generate the motivation to exit the bed before the sun exits its bed, I amass some reading material that creates a longing for the days when I can return full gas to the outdoors. The type of material is slightly different than my End of Summer collection. That is about entertainment, Fall/winter is about romance. “Romancing the bike”
For those who need to remind themselves of the world we left behind when we go indoors, here are some books I’ve found helpful in keeping the burning passion pilot light lit.
The Tour – Dave Shields. This actually belongs in the entertainment section of summer reading. I am including it here for a couple of reasons. First, it entertains wonderfully. At the conclusion of The Race, Ben Barns got the girl, redemption, and the maillot jaune. Why revisit a happily ever after story? Well within days, he loses all the above and gets embroiled in a doping scandal right out of today’s headlines. The parallels are scary.
I am including The Tour here because the way Shields weaves his story puts the reader in the thick of things. You hear the clicks of gears being changed. You feel the pain of climbing, the exhilaration of descending. You even feel the embrace of riding in another’s slipstream. Plenty of mental images to play over and over again while riding on a trainer. You will never look at a sunset the same way again.
Dave Shield’s website says he will be writing Saul Raisin’s story. Now that should be inspirational!
Chasing Lance – Martin Dugard. An excellent depiction of behind the scenes life at the 2005 Tour de France. Martin gives you a perspective of the race that is generally overlooked. He also tries to answer the question why are always chasing Lance Armstrong? After reading this book, you will want to part a sea of Basques with your bike as you climb into the thin air of the Pyrenees. Or maybe stop on the side and party. Your call.
JohnWilcockson’s World of Cycling. This was a difficult choice. You could put here any of John Wilcockson’s reprises of the Tour de France. 23 Days in July is one of my favorites. If you want pure romance, read World of Cycling. John takes you across the entire gamut of the cycling calendar from the Spring Classics to the Grand Tours, to the season ending Tour of Lombardy. Each story provides insight into the race through the eyes of John Wilcockson. Wonderful.
Livestrong – The Lance Armstrong Foundation. The book delivers on its subtitle; Inspirational stories from cancer survivors – from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. How can you stay in bed after reading stories like this.
Here is my problem, I’ve read these books. I need to go and fill my Fall/Winter library. What would you recommend?