With so many fascinating cycling books available, including tales of Tour de France champions and investigations into doping scandals, it can be tricky choosing your next read. We’ve put together a list of the best cycling books to help you out.
Gain an insight into what it takes to be a professional cyclist; learn about the history of a specific ride such as LEJOG, Giro d’Italia or The Transcontinental and delve into personal accounts of world-record attempts with our selection of the best cycling books.
Whether you’re after an insightful read for an upcoming holiday, or a cycling gift for a fellow bike enthusiast, we’ve got you covered.
Best cycling books for 2022
End to End
Fancy riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats? LEJOG, JOGLE, End to End, whatever you want to call it, you can read all about it in Paul Jones’ highly regarded narrative. In an attempt to understand what it takes to ride the length of the UK, occasional racing cyclist Jones took to the challenge himself and thankfully for us, has written a captivating account of his experience.
Jones also delves into the history of record-breaking attempts and describes meetings with those who have cycled the route in quite remarkable times, such as Eileen Sheridan and Michael Broadwith.
A great gift for those who are keen to give LEJOG a go, or have an interest in the route’s history, this cycling book has been praised for its honest and fascinating nature.
Bikepacking: Mountain Bike Camping Adventures on the Wild Trails of Britain
Like to combine your triathlon training with a bit of bikepacking? Plan your next trip with the help of this useful guide. Bikepacking is packed with 30 multi-day rides across Britain, from hidden trails and family-friendly routes, to help you successfully plan your wild adventure. You’ll also find helpful tips on camping, required kit and planning.
As an added bonus, all routes can be accessed by train and you can download maps to help you find your way. From mountain biking routes, to explorations of the Scottish Highlands, you’ll find all sorts of adventures for all kind of cycling abilities.
Where There’s a Will: Hope, Grief and Endurance in a Cycle Race Across a Continent
For a moving read packed with emotion and grit, try Emily Chappell’s Where There’s a Will.
Read of her experience riding The Transcontinental – a 4,000km unassisted race across Europe. A story of determination, Chappell went from completing half of the race one year, to winning it the next. Covering a range of terrain, it should be the perfect read for those with a real sense of adventure.
Gironimo!: Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy
If you’re after a humorous cycling book, Gironimo! is sure to make you chuckle. If you’re not familiar with the 1914 Giro d’Italia, it’s regarded as one of the toughest cycling races in history, with only eight of the 81 cyclists completing the event. Tim Moore set himself the challenge of recreating this event himself, as authentically as possible, wooden bike and all.
Praised for his witty writing style, Moore shares the ups and downs of his Italian ride.
Tour de Force: My history-making Tour de France
Often described as having created the greatest cycling comeback of all time, sprinting legend Mark Cavendish has had quite the cycling career.
Having won the Tour de France’s green jersey in 2011, and then again 10 years later, it’s no surprise the cyclist has a lot to share. Read his incredible story in his autobiography – Tour de Force – or gift to a fellow Tour de France mega fan.
Another biography from a cycling champion, this time it’s four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome. Co-written by highly regarded sports journalist David Marshall and the cyclist himself, The Climb delves into Froome’s upbringing in Nairobi and explores his struggles, rivalries and numerous victories.
The Man Who Cycled the World
A brilliant cycling book for those with an interest in the work of endurance athletes. In 2008, Beaumont cycled around the world in a record time of 194 days. Learn about what such an achievement involves – including wild camping and extremely challenging, harsh conditions – in this personal account of his epic endeavour.
The Scottish cyclist has since beaten his own record, and in 2017 took the Guinness World Record title for the fastest circumnavigation by bicycle (for men) after cycling around the world in a time of just 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes. You can read about that trip in this book.
Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong
Of course David Walsh’s incredible work investigating one of the world’s biggest sporting scandals makes the cut.
Lance Armstrong‘s cycling career and use of performance-enhancing drugs is a well-documented affair, and this book lets you hear from the journalist who spent years of his life working relentlessly to expose the truth.
Awarded The Sunday Times Book of the Century, this personal account from award-winning writer Walsh is not to be missed.
Back in the Frame
If it’s been a while and you’re looking to jump back on your bike after a break, this joyful and motivational read is sure to help. Described as a ‘celebration of cycling’, Walker writes of her passion for cycling, along with how she overcame personal difficulties.
The book also explores the inclusivity of cycling and how it should be a sport everyone can enjoy. You may recognise Walker from her popular blog, Velo City Girl.
With an impressive list of achievements to her name, including the first cyclist to win the Olympic Road Race and World Road Race Championships in the same year, Welsh cyclist Nicole Cooke has had quite a remarkable cycling career.
In her autobiography, Cooke describes the challenges female cyclists face, as well as her upbringing and journey into cycling.
Cooke’s book was named The Sunday Times Sport Book of the Year and the cyclist has been praised for her open and outspoken writing style.
The Hour: Sporting Immortality the Hard Way
How far do you reckon you could cycle in an hour? Read cyclist-turned-writer and journalist Michael Hutchinson’s experience tackling the iconic challenge. Applauded for being humorous and well-written, this is a great cycling book for those looking for an informative and entertaining read.
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