Books that are One with the Bike

I’ve been reading some interesting books about bikes and bike riding, racing and commuting. Here are a few books that have an interesting angle or two. Sometimes the angle is from the ground looking up.

This is Parkin’s follow up to his very popular A Dog in a Hat. This time he returns to the states and learns to ride a wide tired bike over snowmobile tracks. When he finally gets his chance to race in America he finds this snow training has been all wrong for the quick and tumble races that lay before him in the American South.

“I’ve been riding a bicycle as my principal means of transportation in New York since the early 1980’s.” So says the author and musician in this book where he recounts his bicycling travels in Berlin, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Manila, Sydney, London and U.S. cities big and small from New York to Sweetwater Texas.

In 1892 Frank G. Lenz of Pittsburgh decided to ride his bicycle around the world. Yeah, I know, it sounds like a really great idea, but after two years of harrowing exploits and narrow escapes somewhere in Eastern Turkey things went terribly wrong. Lenz had disappeared. So another American cyclist, Will Sachtleben, set out after Lenz hoping to find him alive.

Fournel is a man possessed, and the hub that his world rotates around is the bicycle. There are many odd and hilarious insights into biking including his inaugural crash which just happens to coincide with his first kiss and his teeth going all the way through the young lady’s bottom lip.

Everyone’s got a crazy bike story. Schweikher gathers 27 of the best here.

Have a great ride, and be careful!

                  ~ Tom the Librarian, Queen Anne Branch

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