FTC Notice: I was provided copies of these cycling books to review with no further obligation. This post contains Amazon affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
It’s official. I am hooked on cycling. While I used to plan my weekends around a long run, I now find myself trying to figure out how I can fit a long run and a bike ride into my busy weekend schedule. Not only that, but if there just isn’t time for both I might actually give priority to the bike ride. Who am I?
In all honesty, cycling gets priority on weekends because it is easier for me to run on weekdays, but still!
Last weekend I had it all planned out: an early bike ride Saturday and then a 6 mile run on Sunday before my late-morning flight to San Diego. But then this happened:
I am not comfortable riding my bike in the rain, so I ditched my cycling plans and went for a rainy run instead. The rainy Saturday gave me a chance to catch up on things around the house and finish my review of three new cycling books from Bicycling Magazine.
Bicycling Essential Road Bike Maintenance Handbook is 166 pages divided into color-coded sections:
- Foundation (Frame, Headsets)
- Contact Points (Pedals, Saddle and Seatpost, Handlebar and Stem)
- Controls (Shifters, Disc Brakes, Rim Brakes)
- Drivetrain (Front Derailleur, Crankset and Bottom Bracket, Chain, Cassette, Rear Derailleur)
- Wheels (Hubs, Wheels, Rims, Tires)
It has lots of pictures and url’s for videos on bicycling.com — how cool is that?
I asked my husband to review this book because he takes care of all of our bike maintenance. He gave it a thumbs up which is saying a lot–he’s an engineer which I think makes him very particular about these types of things!
I was excited to read the The Bicycling Big Book of Cycling for Beginners. Now that I’ve been cycling for almost two years, I am ready to learn more about form and technique, and even though I usually ride with my husband, I probably should learn some of the lingo in case I want to hold my own in a conversation with other cyclists.
This book is 268 pages and covers topics including:
- Selecting a bicycle that best fits you and your needs
- How to appropriately outfit yourself with gear and equipment
- Basic riding and etiquette skills, including how to navigate traffic
- The anatomy of a bicycle and its various components
- Body tune up for greater endurance, strength, and speed
- Training and Nutrition
- Maintaining your bike, how to perform routine repairs
It has a fun, light tone which makes it easy to read (even the technical parts). In my first skim through, I learned that I’m not supposed to wear undies under my cycling shorts–how could my husband not have told me that! 😉
Bike Your Butt Off! was less interesting to me because I do not need to lose weight, but it has lots of great information for anyone interested in cycling their way to better health. Its 288 pages include cycling tips, workouts, nutritional advice, and personal testimonials. Chapter 1 includes core strengthening exercises and stretches that I know I should do as a cyclist and a runner, and Chapter 8 has a whole section on foam rolling.
The book is divided into 12 chapters, and the end of each chapter has an exercise plan and diet/nutrition goals that you can work through as a 12 week program. The diet/nutrition goals build from simply tracking your food, to paying attention to hunger cues, portion sizes, and food choices, etc. The diet/nutrition advice covers not just what to eat, but also other aspects of eating and overeating like cravings, snacking, special occasions, etc. It takes a sensible approach to build long-lasting healthy habits and the advice and suggestions are useful even if you are not trying to lose weight. (This means me!)
Do you like to read up on your fitness activities or do you prefer to “just do it”?