Monday, December 28, 2009


It's been downright wintry here, spare time on weekends has been time well spent watching the World Cups in the morning on, followed by stuffing my face with holiday leftovers and doing non-cycling type things like visiting our new rock climbing gym downtown. I thought I'd throw out a couple of recommended reads for the dark season.

First up, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Let me be perfectly clear. I strongly dislike borders on hate. I can't think of any other mindless, boring activity to partake in,other than perhaps.....jogging, so while reading this book, I must say, it actually makes me want to go out for a run!!! It's an amazing story of the Tarahumara Indians of Copper Canyon, Mexico and their extraordinary abilities to run ultra marathon distances. There's some evolutionary explanations on why the human body is born to run while another interwoven story is told of Tarahumara's being brought up to Colorado to compete in the Leadville 100 ultramarathon race. This tale (which at times seems like fiction), then culminates with the best North American runners traveling down to Copper Canyon to see how they stack up against the locals. Read it, trust me, you will want to head out on the trails by foot.

Second, The Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne. Yes, that David Byrne, former member of the highly eccentric band, Talking Heads. I've been a huge fan of Byrne's musical work for decades and this book didn't disappoint either. While travelling the globe, he brings a folding bicycle in order to explore his surroundings. It's not a "bicycle book" per se, sometimes I was lost in his thoughts on modern art or architecture but it's a fun read and glad to see that someone else feels as though the bicycle can save the world.

Lastly, The Wild Trees, by Richard Preston. For about 3 years, Jen and I lived in the Santa Cruz mountains surrounded by massive redwoods along the California coastline. It was remarkable to be able to see so far through the forest but because the canopy's were so dense that very little light actually made it to the ground. This is a fascinating story of those persons who dedicated their lives and careers to studying and searching out these massive trees, some reaching almost 350ft into the sky. Many had their own very own ecosystems at this height. It's a great read about what brings a number of people who's personalities are polar opposites of each other together to live and seek out these trees.

Plan can't sit still with a book ? Pop in the Road To Roubaix, in my humble view. The BEST cycling documentary ever...yes...ever. A Sunday in Hell is fine but nothing else captures the Queen of the Classics like this movie

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