Our 10 best books on bicycling

Yesterday Outside magazine published its Ten Best Books on BICYCLES (see below), and so we thought we’d do the same ☺ Interestingly, none of our books appear on their list…
What books would you add?

1. Around Africa on my bicycle, by Riaan Manser (2007)
2. Bicycle Portraits, Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler (2012)
3. Bicycle Diaries, by David Byrne
4. Cycling and Society: Dave Horton, Paul Rosen and Peter Cox (2007)
5. Cycling Home from Siberia, by Rob Lilwall (2007)
6. Llamas & Empanadas: 5000 Kilometres by Bicycle Through South America, by Eleanor Meecham
7. Moods of Future Joys: round the world by bike, part 1, and Thunder and Sunshine: round the world by bike, part 2, by Alastair Humphreys
8. One Less Car: Bicycling and the politics of automobility, by Zack Furness (2010)
9. Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities, by Jeff Mapes (2009)
10. The Cyclists’ Manifesto: the case for riding on two wheels instead of four, by Robert Hurst (2009)

There is something about a bicycle that stirs the soul. In some souls, the act of riding also inspires the act of writing and, naturally, as one wheel follows another, there are books about bicycles. These are our favorites.

There are histories written. There are races recounted. And there are tales of distant trails. While no single book can appeal to every reader, each of the following 10 books captures some unique aspect of the bicycle and the rider.
In addition to the obvious connection to bicycles, each book on this list presents its subject matter with passion and detail. These are books to be savored at the end of a long day’s tour or as fuel for the next coffee shop conversation involving bicycles. They are books that matter to people who love to ride.
• Bicycle: The History, David Herlihy
• The Dancing Chain: History and Development of the Derailleur Bicycle, Frank Berto
• Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle, Dervla Murphy
• Ghost Trails, Jill Homer
• Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet, Mia Birk
• Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer, Andrew Ritchie
• Need for the Bike, Paul Fournel
• Park Tool Big Blue Book of Bike Repair, C. Calvin Jones
• Slaying the Badget: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France, Richard Moore
• The Wonderful Ride, George T. Loher



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  1. I would ad “Bike Snob” by Eben Weiss

    • Yes good point. I haven’t read his new one yet, awaiting its arrival from Amazon (I usually get Kindle books, but this one is the kind of book I’d like to share, so need a paper copy 🙂

  2. The Rider by Tim Krabbe is the best cycling book ever.

  3. The Hitch-Biker’s Guide Through Africa; Cairo to Cape Town on a Folding Bike by Jo Charnock.

  4. Here’s another list – from the London Review Bookshop – which has some excellent books. The list is clearly skewed because it was published during the Tour de France, so it’s definitely not a ‘best of’ list.



  1. […] Our 10 best books on bicycling – RIDE YOUR CITY This entry was posted in Blog Search and tagged bike, future, home, llamas, meecham, siberia, […]

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