5 Best Books About Biking Update 05/2022

There is something about a bicycle that makes you feel alive. In some people, riding a bicycle also makes them want to write. As one wheel goes after another, there are books about bicycles. These are our favorite things.

There have been stories written. There are stories about races. There are also stories about long-distance trails that people have heard about. There is no single book that will appeal to everyone, but each of the 10 books below captures a different aspect of the bicycle and the rider. They all have a different story to tell. These books all have a connection to bicycles, but they also show a lot of love and attention to their subject matter. At the end of a long day, read these books to help you think of new ways to talk about bicycles in a coffee shop. They are important to people who love to ride.

‘Bicycle: The History’ By David Herlihy

David Herlihy’s book, Bicycle: The History, is an in-depth look at how the bicycle first came to be. You can read it in bites, browse through it, or read it all at once. It’s filled with stories from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as hundreds of photos and drawings.

It’s not just the machines and riders that Herlihy looks at. He also looks at how the “poor man’s horse” changed society and the world around us. Over 400 pages are filled with stories about how bicycles were sold, how the machine freed women from the constraints of Victorian society, how paved roads were made, and more. The book doesn’t feel padded or slow down. Herlihy’s history gives us a sense of where we are now, but if you want to know more about what’s going on now, you should look somewhere else. No single book can cover such a wide range of topics with such a long and rich history, so Herlihy has chosen to focus most of his attention on the first 50 years of bicycling.

‘The Dancing Chain’ By Frank Berto

There is a lot of information in Frank Berto’s book, The Dancing Chain: The History and Development of the Derailleur Bicycle. It talks about how the derailleur drivetrain evolved over time. People who aren’t interested in mechanics or engineering should not read this book. The Dancing Chain will keep your attention for hours if you have that kind of mind. Berto’s 400-page book is the best book for people who love cycling gear. It’s been meticulously researched and constantly updated (the book is now in its fourth edition).

While other writers, like Herlihy, write about the history of the bicycle, Berto focuses on the engineering and evolution of one important part of the bicycle, the multi-speed drivetrain. In school, Berto learned how to be an engineer. He worked as a technical editor for Bicycling magazine for a long time, and he built a machine that can test derailleurs. His love of gears led him to write a book that has the feel of a conversation with the best gear expert. A lot of beautiful drawings by Daniel Rebour help explain not only why bicycle parts work, but how they work and how they came to be in the first place. Campagnolo, Simplex, Suntour, and Shimano are all looked at, explained, and then understood.

‘Full Tilt’ By Dervla Murphy

It looks like Dervla Murphy is a tough woman who likes to ride a bike. It’s called Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle. It’s about her trip to India on a bicycle in 1963. Murphy has a sense of humor, grit, and resolve that help her get through rough country on her own. She also sometimes fires a pistol when she needs to. This is the first in a long line of books and real-life adventures.

Murphy rode from Dunkirk across Europe. He went through Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan on his way. She walked across the Himalayas into Pakistan and India, and then back again. In the book, she fights off wolves and people with bad intentions, but most of her interactions show the beauty of the land and the people she meets. It’s important to note that this book is now 50 years old, and many of the things that Murphy talks about have changed a lot because of modernity and war. Some of her writing may seem casually racist to people who read it now. That said, this is a book that was written at the time it was written. Some scenes, like those of kids playing soccer in a remote mountain village, have been around for a long time. Full Tilt, Murphy’s first book, came out 50 years ago, and she’s been traveling and writing other books ever since. This is still a good place to start for anyone who wants to live a life of adventure in a wide, wild world. With 50 more years of living, Murphy looks back on the years that led up to that life in her book, Wheels Within Wheels: The Making of a Traveller.

‘Ghost Trails’ By Jill Homer

During her 350-mile journey through the frozen Alaska Iditarod Trail, Jill Homer lets us in on the many thoughts that go through her head. : Jill is a real person. She has a job, boyfriend, and so on. As a writer, she’s also very good. She gets very excited about doing something wild and weird, like riding a bike through the Alaskan wilderness in the middle of winter. Homer’s story is told in a “as it happens” style with a lot of flashbacks. This makes her journey seem easy, even though it was hard. She draws pictures with words of the frozen country, the remote cabins that serve as checkpoints, and the people who are competing with her in the race. Races happen, but they aren’t really races against other people on the course. They’re more like a race against yourself and your own doubts about what you can do.

Her question about whether she spent too much time training and not enough time buying frozen peanut butter cups makes Homer laugh out loud. For as long as it takes her to thaw her CamelBak, she can’t remember why she’s out on this dark, frozen trail. There was a reason she planned so hard for the race, trained all winter, and spent all her free time thinking about the race. That was the last thing on my mind as I got on my bicycle and pedaled into the dark. Finally, I was moving down the trail. Jill Homer talks about the obsessions that drive us far from home and into a dark place where we find answers that may not be ultimate, but are enough to keep us going down the trail.

 ‘Joyride’ By Mia Birk 

There are a lot of people who have made Portland one of the best places in North America to ride a bike. Mia Birk is one of them. Joyride is the story of how hard people have worked to make a city that works for bikes and people, and it’s a good one. Birk tells a series of stories about how small changes can make things better. Each one shows how these changes work. Birk doesn’t skimp on the work it takes to make changes at the local level, and she tells many stories about the people who tried to stop her from making Portland a better place to live and ride. Birk has a lot of grit in her stories, but it’s also clear that she’s a pragmatic optimist who isn’t afraid to try new things. Joyride is a game that everyone can enjoy.

The activists Birk and her group worked with had a small budget but a big goal. They took what was a city with a few bike lanes in the early 1990s and made it into the cycling city that it is today. It’s been more than 20 years since Portland’s Bicycle Master Plan was approved. Since then the city has added more than 300 miles of bike paths and trails, made thousands of bike parking spaces available, and had an eight times higher share of people who bike to work than people who drive to work. All of this was done for less money than it would take to build one mile of urban freeway in the city. Joyride is both a story of hope and a call to arms. A “how we did it, and how you can, too!” book. Birk also points out that the work never ends. None of the places I go to are like this.

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