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The Sportive Cyclist Book Club

I like to write. I also like to read. I also like to cycle. I like to read cycling books.

If you’re reading this blog (literary titan that it is), I’m sure you like to read cycling books as well.

On this page I give you a selection of my favourites.

Note: The links to Amazon below are affiliate links. If you click through and end up buying something, Amazon reaches into its deep pockets (with its short arms) and throws me a small scrap of meat (they call it ‘a commission’). It won’t cost you anything (Amazon pays), but will give you the warm glow that comes from helping to support this site (and the important work it does, etc etc).

Christmas is poking its sneaky head around the corner, so why not treat yourself (or a cycling loved one) to some velo-related words…

Improve Your Cycling And Lose Weight

The Cyclists Training Bible Joe Friel
The Cyclist’s Training Bible
Joe Friel

'Bible' is a grand claim to throw into a book title, but Friel carries it off. This book contains all the information you need to build an effective, structured training programme.

Not one for beginners (it's aimed at the performance / racing road cyclist) but put the advice into practice and you'll get fitter... faster!

Buy the paperback rather than Kindle version due to the large, detailed tables used in the book.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US
Racing Weight Matt Fitzgerald
Racing Weight: How To Get Lean For Peak Performance
Matt Fitzgerald

I have waxed lyrical about how great this book is in a number of blog posts about losing weight getting lean. Since reading it 3 months ago, I've lost 4kg and my body fat has dropped from 18.9% to 15.9%.

The book contains sensible, pragmatic advice based on how top performing endurance athletes eat. There are no fads or gimmicks.

Highly recommended.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US

Sportiveur Andrew Montgomery

Sportiveur: A Beginner’s Guide To Training For, Completing and Enjoying Your First Sportive
Andrew Montgomery

Yes, this is my book. By me. On Amazon!

Worth clicking through just to read some of the reviews...

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US


Some Cycling Light Relief

How I Won The Yellow Jumper Ned Boulting
How I Won The Yellow Jumper
Ned Boulting

An account of ITV sports Ned Boulting's experiences reporting from his first few Tours de France, including gaffes, cultural confusion and transportational discomfort.

A light-hearted but loving look at the Tour. A great book if you want to get up to speed on 'how the Tour works' or if you simply enjoy well-written, humorous prose (I know you do!)...

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US
On The Road Bike Ned Boulting On The Road Bike
Ned Boulting

The follow up to How I Won The Yellow Jumper (in that it's a second book about bikes, written by Ned Boulting). This book investigates the ongoing re-blossoming of Britain's love affair with road cycling.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US
Its All About The Bike Robert Penn
It’s All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness On Two Wheels
Robert Penn

A lovely book recounting the author's experience travelling around the world to source each of the individual components needed to build his perfect road bike. His trip takes him to Italy for gears and handlebars, to the US for the wheels and to Stoke-on-Trent for the frame...

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US
French Revolutions Tim Moore
French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France
Tim Moore

I first read this book almost 10 years ago (so before the most recent resurgence in British cycling interest) and I'm pretty sure I've read it since (a good sign). The tale of a writer from London simply deciding to ride the route of the Tour de France one summer, without much training and without much clue.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US
The Rider Tim Krabbe
The Rider
Tim Krabbe

I'm not sure whether this book falls under light relief. It almost deserves a category of its own: cycling literary fiction. Don't let that put you off though. It's a must read, and not at all hard to get through.

It's the fictional first-person account of a local cycling race in France and it captures everything you need to know about bike racing.

Anything I say will undersell this book. Just read it.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US

Professional Cycling: Biographies, Great Races, Historical Accounts

Slaying The Badger Richard Moore
Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France
Richard Moore


Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US
Racing Through The Dark David Millar
Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar
David Millar


Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US

The Secret Race Tyler Hamilton
The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
Tyler Hamilton & Daniel Coyle


Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US
Project Rainbow Rod Ellingworth
Project Rainbow: How British Cycling Reached the Top of the World
Rod Ellingworth


Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US
At Speed Mark Cavendish
At Speed
Mark Cavendish


Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US
My time Bradley Wiggins
My Time
Bradley Wiggins


Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US
Put me back on my bike William Fotheringham
Put Me Back On My Bike: In Search of Tom Simpson
William Fotheringham


Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US
Easy Rider Rob Hayles
Easy Rider: My Life on a Bike
Rob Hayles


Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US

Cycling Climbs And Routes

100 Greatest Cycling Climbs Simon Warren
100 Greatest Cycling Climbs – A Road Cyclist’s Guide to Britain’s Hills
Simon Warren

A nice little book detailing the author's top 100 climbs to ride in Britain. Some are famous (in the UK at least); some less so. Each climb has a photo, description, key statistics and a difficulty rating.

Some will complain about the omission of their favourite climb. Complainers should write their own book. It's nice to have a list of climbs to tick off and compare experiences of.

Although its a small book (i.e. in height), being a guide book, you probably want to own it in paperback rather than ebook format.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US
Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs Simon Warren
Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs: A Road Cyclist’s Guide to Britain’s Hills
Simon Warren

What's this? Another 100 British climbs, described, documented and diagrammed for your delectation?

Why, yes it is.

I've bought both books. If you're interested in becoming a hill-bagger (is that a term?), I suggest you do the same.

Get the paperback, for the same reason as mentioned above.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon US