Higher Calling: Cycling's Obsession with Mountains

Author: Max Leonard

Publisher: Pegasus Books

ISBN: 1681776901

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 320

View: 877

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Guaranteed to appeal to all lovers of cycling, the author of Lanterne Rouge explores the glorious—and painful—allure of cycling up mountain peaks. Written with verve and enthusiasm, A Higher Calling explores why mountains have such a magnetic appeal to cyclists the world over. But Max Leonard, himself an accomplished amateur cyclist, does not forget the pain, the glory, the sweat, and the tears that go into these grueling climbs. After all, cycling up a mountain is hard. So hard that, to many, it can seem absurd. But for others, climbing a mountain gracefully (and beating your competitors up the slope) represents the pinnacle of cycling achievement. It is where legends are forged. Many books tell you where the mountains are, or how long and how high. None of them ask why. Why are mountain ranges professional cycling’s Coliseum? Why do amateurs also make pilgrimages to these high, remote roads? Why are the roads even there in the first place to lure us on to these obsession inducing climbs? Just why are mountains so enthralling? “This is real cycling, where the glory is and where dreams come true,” according to Bradley Wiggins. Mountains are where cycling's greatest heroes have made their names. Every amateur rider wishes they could climb better, too. Are all these people addicted to the pain? To the achievement? Or to the allure of the peaks? Some spend their weekends and holidays cycling up mountains from start to finish. But how does a rider push themselves beyond their limits to get up a 10% gradient on pedal power alone? What is happening when they do? A Higher Calling explores the central place of mountains in the folklore of road cycling. Blending adventure and travel writing with the rich narrative of racing, Max Leonard takes the reader from the battles that created the Alpine roads to the shepherds tending their flocks on the peaks, and to a Grand Tour climax on the “highest road in Europe.” And he tells stories of courage and sacrifice, war and love, obsession and even elephants, along the way.

Higher Calling

Road Cycling’s Obsession with the Mountains

Author: Max Leonard

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473524156

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 336

View: 7332

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Why do road cyclists go to the mountains? After all, cycling up a mountain is hard – so hard that, to many non-cyclists, it can seem absurd. But, for some, climbing a mountain gracefully (and beating your competitors up the slope) represents the pinnacle of cycling achievement. The mountains are where legends are forged and cycling’s greats make their names. Many books tell you where the mountains are, or how long and how high. None of them ask ‘Why?’ Why are Europe’s mountain ranges professional cycling’s Wembley Stadium or its Colosseum? Why do amateurs also make a pilgrimage to these high, remote roads and what do we see and feel when we do? Why are the roads there in the first place? Higher Calling explores the central place of mountains in the folklore of road cycling. Blending adventure and travel writing with the rich narrative of pro racing, Max Leonard takes the reader from the battles that created the Alpine roads to the shepherds tending their flocks on the peaks, and to a Grand Tour climax on the ‘highest road in Europe’. And he tells stories of courage and sacrifice, war and love, obsession and elephants along the way.

Higher Calling

Road Cycling's Obsession with the Mountains

Author: Max Leonard

Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press

ISBN: 9780224100366

Category:

Page: 320

View: 6750

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This is real cycling, where the glory is and where dreams come true. So said Bradley Wiggins when, after years of huge success on the track and in time trials, he reached the summit of Mont Ventoux in the 2009 Tour de France alongside the best in the business. Mountains are where professional cycling's legends are forged and its greatest heroes make their names. Every amateur rider too wishes they could climb better, but what is it about mountains that enthrals them? Are they addicted to the pain? To the achievement? Or to the allure of the peaks? Some spend their weekends 'Everest-ing', some a summer holiday cycling up mountains from start to finish. But how does a rider push themselves beyond their limits to get up a 10% gradient on pedal power alone? What is happening when they do? The Dark Glow of the Mountains is an exploration of the central place of mountains in the folklore of road cycling, of the mystique that surrounds the grimpeurs, or climbers, and why amateurs feel compelled to follow them. Interweaving adventure and travel writing with the rich narrative of the Grand Tours, Max Leonard speaks to the riders who conquered the summits and encounters stories of courage and sacrifice, war, love, obsession and elephants.

Lanterne Rouge: The Last Man in the Tour de France

Author: Max Leonard

Publisher: Pegasus Books

ISBN: 1605987875

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 272

View: 7958

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A lively and entertaining history of the riders who have come in last place during the grueling 3,000-mile Tour de France Froome, Wiggins, Mercks—we know the winners of the Tour de France, but Lanterne Rouge tells the forgotten, often inspirational and occasionally absurd stories of the last-placed rider. We learn of stage winners and former yellow jerseys who tasted life at the other end of the bunch; the breakaway leader who stopped for a bottle of wine and then took a wrong turn; the doper whose drug cocktail accidentally slowed him down and the rider who was recognized as the most combative despite finishing at the back. Max Leonard flips the Tour de France on its head and examines what these stories tell us about ourselves, the 99% who don't win the trophy, and forces us to re-examine the meaning of success, failure and the very nature of sport.

The Hardmen

Legends of the Cycling Gods

Author: The Velominati,Frank Strack,Brett Kennedy,John 'Gianni' Andrews

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 178283236X

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 173

View: 7598

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It's time we all stopped whining and learned a thing or two from The Toughest Cyclists Ever. Including: Stephen Roche, whose cure for exhaustion was to go up a gear and fight harder, all the way to the ambulance. Eddy Merckx, who hurt himself so badly in breaking the Hour record that, he estimated, he shortened his career by a year. Beryl Burton, who crushed her (male) rival's morale with the offer of a piece of liquorice, before speeding past to victory. Nicole Cooke and Edwig Van Hooydonck, who rejected dope and became legends. The Hardmen tells the stories - the good bits, anyway - of the 40 most heroic Cyclists ever. Their bravery, their panache and their Perfect Amount of Dumb. It reminds us that suffering on a bike liberates us from our daily lives, and that, in the words of Lance Armstrong "pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever"; proof that even assholes can be insightful.

Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal

Author: Daniel Friebe

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1448146682

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 384

View: 7545

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'The whole point of a race is to find a winner... I chose to race, so I chose to win.' For 14 years between 1965 and 1978, cyclist Edouard Louis Joseph Merckx simply devoured his rivals, their hopes and their careers. His legacy resides as much in the careers he ruined as the 445 victories - including five Tour de France wins and all the monument races - he amassed in his own right. So dominant had Merckx become by 1973 that he was ordered to stay away from the Tour for the good of the event. Stage 17 of the 1969 Tour de France perfectly illustrates his untouchable brilliance. Already wearing the yellow jersey on the col du Tourmalet, the Tour's most famous peak, Merckx powered clear and rode the last 140 kilometres to the finish-line in jaw-dropping solitude, eight minutes ahead of his nearest competitor. Merckx's era has been called cycling's Golden Age.It was full of memorable characters who, at any other time, would all have gone on to become legends. Yet Merckx's phenomenal career overshadowed them all. How did he achieve such incredible success? And how did his rivals really feel about him? Merckx failed drug tests three times in his career - were they really stitch ups as he claimed? And what of the crash at a track meet in Blois, France that killed Merckx's pacer Fernand Wambst, which Merckx claimed deeply affected him psychologically and physically? Or the attack by a spectator in 1975? Despite his unique achievements, we know little about the Cannibal beyond his victories. This will be the first comprehensive biography of Merckx in English, and will finally expose the truth behind this legendary man.

Ventoux

Sacrifice and Suffering on the Giant of Provence

Author: Jeremy Whittle

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1471113027

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 336

View: 7413

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‘They’re all scared. Everybody’s afraid’ – Eddy Merckx ‘Nothing compares to the Ventoux’ – Lance Armstrong 'Heart-stirring and jaw-dropping in equal measure' – Tim Moore 'A really excellent book' – Richard Williams The French call Ventoux ‘the killer mountain’ and in 1967 it claimed its most famous victim, as former world champion Tom Simpson died near the summit during that year’s Tour de France. The terrible ascent of Ventoux’s south side encapsulates both the brutality and beauty of this cruel sport, but also highlights cycling’s ongoing battle to distance itself from its demons. Yet it was the legendary and extreme climb of Mont Ventoux that first inspired award-winning author Jeremy Whittle’s love of cycling, so much so that he bought a house in its shadows. Ventoux is his memoir to the Giant of Provence in which he reveals the little-known history of the Ventoux, and tells the story of a monstrous climb that has driven riders to near-hysteria and also to wild extremes of doping. It has provided the spectacular backdrop to some of cycling’s most titanic contests, exposing the true character of those who take on the challenge. Through a series of revealing conversations with Lance Armstrong, Dave Brailsford, Alastair Campbell, Nicole Cooke, Tyler Hamilton, Eddy Merckx, Simpson’s daughter, Joanne, and many others, Whittle details the poignancy of bitter memories, flawed obsessions and ruthless ambition that have made the Ventoux so feared and so infamous. 'A terrific book' – Matt Dickinson 'An intense hit. A must read' – Ned Boulting ?'Highly recommend Jeremy Whittle's Ventoux - a fascinating and expert insight into the mountain and into the current state of pro racing' Peter Cossins

No Shortcuts to the Top

Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks

Author: Ed Viesturs,David Roberts

Publisher: Broadway

ISBN: 0767924711

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 372

View: 6644

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A veteran mountaineer recalls some of his most dangerous climbs as he pursued the goal of reaching the summit of the world's fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, discussing some of his own close calls and rescues, and errors in judgment on the part of fellow climbers.

Re:Cyclists

200 Years on Two Wheels

Author: Michael Hutchinson

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472925610

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 352

View: 4000

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Somewhere in a German forest 200 years ago, during the darkest, wettest summer for centuries, the story of cycling began. The calls to ban it were more or less immediate. Re:Cyclists is the tale of the following two centuries. It tells how cycling became a kinky vaudeville act for Parisians, how it was the basis of an American business empire to rival Henry Ford's, and how it found a unique home in the British Isles. The Victorian love of cycling started with penny-farthing riders, who explored lonely roads that had been left abandoned by the coming of the railways. Then high-society took to it - in the 1980s the glittering parties of the London Season featured bicycles dancing in the ballroom, and every member of the House of Lords rode a bike. Twentieth-century cycling was very different, and even more popular. It became the sport and the pastime of millions of ordinary people who wanted to escape the city smog, or to experience the excitement of a weekend's racing. Cycling offered adventure and independence in the good times, and consolation during the war years and the Great Depression. Re:Cyclists tells the story of cycling's glories and also of its despairs, of how it only just avoided extinction in the motoring boom of the 1960s. And finally, at the dawn of the 21st century, it celebrates how cycling rose again - a little different, a lot more fashionable, but still about the same simple pleasures that it always has been: the wind in your face and the thrill of two-wheeled freedom.

A Hunter's Road

A Journey with Gun and Dog Across the American Uplands

Author: Jim Fergus

Publisher: Holt Paperbacks

ISBN: 9781429900317

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 312

View: 585

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In an epic season of sport, Jim Fergus and his trusty Lab, Sweetzer, trek the mountains, plains, prairies, forests, marshes, deltas, and deserts of America.

The Rider

Author: Tim Krabbé,Tim Krabbe,Sam Garrett

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1582342903

Category: Fiction

Page: 160

View: 9463

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The classic bicycle road racing book first published in 1978 chronicles a 150-kilometer European road race and its competitors in vivid, realistic detail. Reprint.

Rainbows in the Mud

Inside the Intoxicating World of Cyclocross

Author: Paul Maunder

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472925963

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 288

View: 8999

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Cyclocross is no longer cycling's hidden gem. Its rapid growth in the USA and UK means this intense and dramatic sport is exploding into the mainstream. With a season running from September to February, cyclocross is cycling's only purely winter discipline, demanding a combination of athleticism, supreme technical skill and ruthless tactics for the muddy conditions. In the sport's heartland of Belgium, major races attract crowds of thousands and have a carnival atmosphere fuelled by heavy drinking, ringing cowbells and pumping airhorns. Many top riders have enthusiastic fanclubs and are national celebrities – one even had his own reality TV show. On race day, Belgian and Dutch television coverage is akin to a major football match in the UK, stretching for hours with prerace interviews, pundits and behind-the-scenes films. In Rainbows in the Mud, Paul Maunder spends a season soaking up the sport's rich culture and history, and mixing with the obsessive fans, celebrity riders, and old-fashioned patriarchs of the sport. Following the riders – novices, veterans, American, British – as they slog their way through the season, he captures the spirit of this flamboyant cult sport, and paints a picture so vibrant you can almost feel the mud under your feet and taste the beer, mulled wine and frites.

Mountain High

Europe's 50 Greatest Cycle Climbs

Author: Daniel Friebe,Pete Goding

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0857386255

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 224

View: 1422

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SHORTLISTED FOR THE BRITISH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS Mountain High is a book for cyclists of all interests and abilities - from experienced club racers to enthusiastic amateurs looking for the world's greatest cycle challenge. Packed with practical route information and advice on each climb, Daniel Friebe's beautifully written text explains why each mountain pass merits inclusion in the top 50 with superb descriptions of the majestic scenery, the heroic deeds of cycling's legendary riders or the sheer endeavour and exhilaration of reaching the summit. With over 250 specially commissioned photographs taken by specialist cycling photographer Pete Goding, this really is the ultimate guide to Europe's 50 best climbs. Featured rides include: Tour de France icons Alpe d'Huez, Col du Galibier, Mont Ventoux, Col de l'Izoard and Col du Tourmalet; the Passo dello Stelvio, Passo Fedaia, Le Tre Cime di Lavaredo and other sacred summits from the Giro d'Italia; plus Spain's formidable Alto de l'Angliru, Austria's Grossglockner and forty more mountain legends.

Alpine Passes by Road Bike

100 Routes Through the Alps and how to Ride Them

Author: Rudolf Geser

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408179954

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 288

View: 3796

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The 100 best pass roads to cycle throughout the European Alps. Breathtaking in every sense.

The Ascent

Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation

Author: Barry Ryan

Publisher: Gill & Macmillan Ltd

ISBN: 0717180263

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 400

View: 7135

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Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and other events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is from Glanworth in County Cork.

A Ride Through the Greatest Cycling Stories

Author: Giles Belbin

Publisher: Aurum Press Limited

ISBN: 1781316872

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 176

View: 1411

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Cycling's vast history is a fascinating mix of gripping sporting moments, inspired pursuits and a whole host of heroes, hellions and legend-makers. From the death of the great Fausto Coppi through to the dominance of Sir Bradley Wiggins and the intrepid pursuits of iconic cyclists on the peaks of the Tour de France, cycling historian Giles Belbin brings together the most important, memorable and intriguing moments of the sport’s illustrious past. With striking and unique illustrations by artist Daniel Seex, each inspired by the stories told, A Ride Through the Greatest Cycling Stories is a sporting treasure trove of human virtue, vice and cycling trivia.

The Man and His Bike

Musings on life and the art of cycling

Author: Wilfried de Jong

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473529107

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 256

View: 6185

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The world as seen from a bike 'Understated, comic and melancholic... It’ll inspire you to get back on your bike.' Martin Love, The Guardian ‘One of the most entertaining sports books I have ever read’ Joe Short, The Daily Express In this award-winning collection of cycling tales, Wilfried de Jong uncovers the true soul of cycling – why we do it, why we watch it, why we hate it, why we love it – stripped bare. With his distinctly comic and melancholic charm Wilfried ponders life, love and death on his trusted bike, chasing the essence of our existence against the backdrop of major cycling events or while roaming alone in nature. Whether he is describing being ejected from Paris-Roubaix, a terminal incident with a bird while out riding, or explaining why he is standing stark naked on Belgian cobbles with a tyre in his hand, Wilfried unlocks a sport that involves so much pain, punishment, and a high probability of failure, but that will always liberate and inspire us.

Crazy for the Storm

A Memoir of Survival

Author: Norman Ollestad

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061886432

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 1324

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“Breathtaking....Crazy for the Storm will keep you up late into the night.” —Washington Post Book World Norman Olstead’s New York Times bestselling memoir Crazy for the Storm is the story of the harrowing plane crash the author miraculously survived at age eleven, framed by the moving tale of his complicated relationship with his charismatic, adrenaline-addicted father. Destined to stand with other classic true stories of man against nature—Into Thin Air and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer; Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm—it is a literary triumph that novelist Russell Banks (Affliction) calls, “A heart-stopping story beautifully told….Norman Olstead has written a book that may well be read for generations.”

Killer on the Road

Author: James Ellroy

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 038080896X

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 1535

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Martin Michael Plunkett is a product of his times -- the possessor of a genius intellect, a pitiless soul of brushed steel, and a heart of blackest evil. With criminal tendencies forged in the fires of L.A.'s Charles Manson hysteria, he comes to the bay city of San Francisco -- and submits to savage and terrible impulses that reveal to him his true vocation as a pure and perfect murderer. And so begins his decade of discovery and terror, as he cuts a bloody swath across the full length of a land, ingeniously exploiting and feeding upon a society's obsessions. As he maneuvers deftly through a seamy world of drugs, flesh, and perversions, the media will call him many things -- but Martin Plunkett's real name is Death. His brilliant, twisted mind is a horriying place to explore. His madness reflects a nation's own. The killer is on the road. And there's nowhere in America to hide.

Giro d'Italia

The Story of the World's Most Beautiful Bike Race

Author: Colin O'Brien

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1782832904

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 167

View: 524

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The story of the Giro d'Italia - Italy's equivalent of the Tour de France, and its superior in the eyes of many - is as dramatic and full of extraordinary characters as the story of Italy itself. Heroism, suffering, feuds and betrayals, tradition under threat from modernity all play out against a timeless landscape. The iconic riders, mythical stories and career defining exploits are conveyed in rich, vibrant prose.