If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to read more then this is the book you should start with. If you haven’t made that resolution this year, then you should because not enough people are reading these days (myself included) — and make this book the first book you read:
Originally published in 1978, The Rider by Tim Krabbé is a rare example of great cycling fiction. Bike racing is an awesome sport so why don’t more writers write about it?
Anyone who’s ever raced a bike before knows that the subject matter makes for some great stories. You got allies, enemies, thrills, spills, speed, winners, losers, drama and glory. Regardless of the underdog nature of the cycling fiction genre, The Rider still shines as a great, solid book.
The entire book takes place during a one-day, 150-kilometer road race. The story begins as our protagonist rider pulls up to the race starting line and goes through his pre-race preparations while sizing up the competition.
From the moment the flag goes down, the race is narrated kilometer by kilometer as the reader is enveloped in the world of the peloton. The Rider is only 150 pages long, a quick read which takes slightly less time to finish than the race itself. I read it the night it was given to me for my birthday (thanks dad!). For those pages, nothing is held back. All the adrenaline, the fury, the pain and the agony is accounted for in this tale.
For all the suffering our racing hero goes through during the imaginary race, I love it because I’m reading it instead of riding it — but at the same time, I love it because it makes me wish I was riding it. Go grab yourself a copy and give it a read.
So obviously I’ve been disconnected for the past couple weeks. I went off on holiday vacation and somehow lost my laptop charger so I haven’t been able to post anything here let alone keep updated on e-mails and other stuff going around on the interwebz. Sorry about that!
But now I’m back, recovered from Christmas and birthday hangovers (the 26th) and more importantly — I got a new charger and got my laptop all juiced up again. First of all, thanks to the few of you who’ve sent me e-mails to check if I was alright. Love ya’ll!
In the meantime, I’m getting my act back together, catching up on the news and finally returning to regular posting again. I’m planning some big things for RTBL in 2011 so definitely stay tuned. And if there’s anything you want to see more of on this site next year, feel free to drop me a line. I would love to hear from you. Until then…
Midnight Ridazz All City Toy Ride » The fifth annual edition of this amazing social ride/toy drive. Groups from all over Los Angeles will gather in their region to converge in Downtown Los Angeles and then ride as a huge group to the secret party location. Bring an unwrapped toy to donate. Click the link to find a ride near you.
Beer30 Alleycat » Beer and racing and mashed potatoes in Minneapolis. Sounds like fun? Meet on Greenway and Chicago Ave at 3pm.
Revolution 31 » Track stars meet at Manchester Velodrome for a night of racing action. This is the penultimate race night in the current Revolution season so don’t miss it. Program starts at 7pm.
Velo Cult Tweed Ride » My favorite shop in San Diego is hosting a tweed ride for all your dandies out there. Meet at Velo Cult at 2pm.
USAC Upgrade Criterium » Last chance to get your USAC upgrade points and crit experience at this race in Compton.
USA Cyclocross National Championships » Already taking place in Bend, OR and continuing for the rest of the weekend. If you follow the link, I think you can find a live feed.
I mentioned this last week and this is just a reminder. Dryside Velodrome — a grassroots cycling track waiting to be built in Durango, Colorado — is in the running for a $50,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project this month and they can seriously use your help. At the end of the month, the top-ten most voted projects will get the money. Dryside Velodrome could seriously use your help.
You can vote EVERY DAY on the Pepsi Refresh website. Yeah, you gotta register your e-mail address and everything which might be a pain in the ass to some. The easiest way to vote is by text messaging 104534 to 73774 (P-E-P-S-I). That just takes a few seconds, right?
Remember to vote every day. I’m voting three times a day with two different e-mail addresses and by text msg. Supporting this project is supporting track cycling in the good ol’ USA. More velodromes means more racing and more racing means more fun!