10 Cycling Books Guaranteed to Inspire


There's nothing more inspirational to a cyclist than a great day in the saddle. But let's say you've already completed your ride today. What are you going to do with the remaining 20-or-so hours left in your day? If you aren't watching the Tour or searching for your next century ride, curling up with a cycling-themed book is the next best thing. 

From training insights and a visual history of the cycling jersey to an inside look at the lives of elite professional cyclists, these 10 cycling books are guaranteed to inspire. 

The Tour According to G
Geraint Thomas

The 2018 Tour de France was one to remember—with Chris Froome defending his yellow jersey from the previous year's race, the maillot jaune was his to lose. After being dropped on some of the world's most difficult climbs, his teammate Geraint Thomas stepped up to the challenge, winning atop the Alpe d'Huez and ultimately securing the yellow jersey for the first time. This book is an inside look into the challenges of the race, the internal politics of one of the most successful teams in cycling history and his inspiring never-say-die attitude. 

Draft Animals: Living the Pro Cycling Dream (Once in a While)
Phil Gaimon

If you've ever wanted an unfiltered, behind-the-scenes view of the life of a professional cyclist, look no further than Phil Gaimon's latest release. He gives an honest and realistic account of what it's like to rise through the ranks as an amateur cyclist and realize his lifelong dream of being a World Tour professional. From difficult contract talks to hilarious shenanigans with his teammates, Gaimon leaves no stone unturned. 

100 Greatest Cycling Climbs of Italy: A Guide to the Famous Mountains of the Giro d'Italia and Beyond
Simon Warren

You may not be able to shoot free throws in the Staples Center or kick a field goal on Lambeau Field, but you can ride all of the roads featured in cycling's top races. It's one of the of the most unique aspects of our sport and gives cycling an equal playing field for amateurs and professionals alike. From the Stelvio to Gavia Pass, Simon Warren has created the end-all-be-all guide to the iconic climbs in the Giro d'Italia. He outlines all the details you need, from maps and detailed descriptions of the climbs to mileage and elevation profiles. If this guide doesn't inspire an Italian cycling trip, nothing will. 

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France
Tyler Hamilton 

By now you've no doubt heard about the Lance Armstrong and U.S. Postal Service doping controversy, but for even the most well-read cycling fan, this book will leave you speechless. Tyler Hamilton, Armstrong's former teammate, pulls back the curtain on the doping culture surrounding this era of cycling, and his tell-all account of lies, coverups and cheating is a sad yet insightful page turner. 

The Loyal Lieutenant: Leading Out Lance and Pushing Through the Pain on the Rocky Road to Paris
George Hincapie 

George Hincapie is one of the most beloved figures in the history of professional cycling. With 17 Tour de France starts under his belt and a domestique for all of Lance Armstrong's Tour de France victories, the "loyal lieutenant" has plenty to say on the sport.  He discusses his personal doping history and confession and gives an inspiring account of how he fell (and stayed) in love with cycling as a youngster in Queens. 

Lanterne Rouge: The Last Man in the Tour de France
Max Leonard

Not all professional cyclists have the talent or the opportunity to salute the camera as they cross the finish line in first place. Most cyclists ride in support of their team leader, taking sacrifices to ensure the safety and ideal position of the team. Lanterne Rouge is the story of the last-place finisher in the Tour de France and the entertaining shenanigans and inspiring dedication that put them there. 

The Cyclist's Training Bible: The World's Most Comprehensive Training Guide
Joe Friel

While this isn't a novel of sorts, this staple in the cycling scene has an all-new look with updated information to help you perform at your best. The fifth edition of The Cyclist's Training Bible covers all the basics of the previous editions but incorporates a new focus on power meter techniques, recovery tactics for athletes pressed for time and personalizing training plans. Written for athletes of all levels, Friel thoughtfully outlines all the details needed to be successful on the bike. 

The First Tour de France: Sixty Cyclists and Nineteen Days of Daring on the Road to Paris
Peter Cossins

Today's version of the Tour de France looks nothing like the inaugural edition. There were no flashy team kits, support vehicles or live streaming—it was a mishmash of 60 cyclists who did anything they could to complete the three-week challenge. From foolish mishaps to blatant cheating, this marketing ruse was filled with inspiring characters who helped catapult cycling to where it is today. 

The Art of the Cycling Jersey: Iconic Cycle Wear Past and Present
Chris Sidwells

It's true. The better you look, the faster you ride. Nothing is more of a statement on the bike than a well-matched cycling kit, and each rider's panache is a reflection of their own personal style. From early monochromatic wool jerseys to modern, aerodynamic high-tech designs, the Art of the Cycling Jersey is a fascinating visual account of the history of not just the jerseys themselves but the different eras of this storied sport as well.  

How Cycling Can Save the World
Peter Walker

Sure, cycling can help keep you in shape and is a great way to socialize and explore new areas, but Peter Walker dives into how a cycling-friendly infrastructure can have a positive impact on not only our daily lives but also the environment. He discusses how utilizing bicycles for transportation has long-term positive effects ranging from reducing smog and obesity, to improving overall quality of life and mental health. We all love cycling for our own reasons, but this must-read book provides facts on why this two-wheeled mode of transportation is the future. 

READ THIS NEXT: 11 Must-Read Cycling Books

Discuss This Article