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Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer

Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer [Kindle Edition]

Jamie Smith , Jef Mallett

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Product Description


"This primer explains everything you've wanted to know (and more) about a somewhat mysterious sport." -- "Chicago Tribune""Absolutely entertaining from start to finish. The book finishes up with ways non-cycling friends and family can start enjoying the favored pastime of their bike racing friends. Terms, strategies, and ideas are explained so well that even someone who really doesn't care for cycling will stay interested, maybe even enough to pique their interested and get into the sport." --"After spending years explaining the little idiosyncrasies of being a bike racer, Jamie Smith decided to write a book to bring understanding to the masses. "Roadie" acts as a complete guide to the life of a bike racer. I found myself nodding in agreement with each page, as Smith picked apart everything it means to be a bike racer in a way that only a true roadie could. It's engaging, entertaining, and downright fun, from front cover to back." --"This witty primer offers lively insights into race formats and techniques, including drafting, breakaways and strategies employed in professional and amateur bicycle racing. Get it for family members and friends who are interested in the lingo and politics of bicycle racing, if not up for the experience of actually pulling on a pair of padded Lycra shorts." -- "Denver Post""A well-written and informative insight into the world of road racing." -- "Lightweight News""I wish I had a copy of "Roadie" when I started racing 35 years ago. Jamie Smith's wealth of knowledge, insightful comments about racing, and wonderful wit and infectious enthusiasm certainly would have helped me explain cycling to all my friends and family who thought I was crazy." -- Paul Alman, President, Michigan Bicycle Racing Association"Jamie Smith has succeeded, with a light and amusing style, to convey the joy of the sport with an unblinking eye...There is no question that "Roadie" will keep the interest of someone

Product Description

Veteran race announcer and long-time cycling enthusiast Jamie Smith sets out to explain the sport he loves and the roadies who live for it in this lighthearted treatise on bike racing. Finally, a book to explain those people who roll out for a ride dressed in technicolored Lycra at the crack of dawn on Saturday, and return at sundown with a glow of satisfaction and even stronger tan lines.

Perfect for anyone who has ever known a roadie, considered becoming a roadie, or walked away from a bike race completely puzzled, Roadie addresses all of the curiosities that accompany the sport of cycling, from shaved legs to colorful jerseys and unbelievably expensive bicycles, shoes, and components. Every seemingly neurotic tendency is explained and celebrated with humorous illustrations from nationally syndicated cartoonist Jef Mallett (also rumored to log thousands of miles of riding per year).

Explaining strategy and races from the famous Tour de France stage race to the local criterium, Roadie brings the excitement of bike racing alive for anyone with an appetite for adrenaline. And for the thousands who purchase a shiny new road bike each spring, it's a much-needed primer on the politics of a group ride. Pacelines, drafting, sprinting, climbing, and breakaways are turned into everyday commonsense with colorful anecdotes.

Whether interested onlooker or cycling aficionado, readers will find themselves laughing out loud as they revel in the roadie's world.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4158 KB
  • Print Length: 206 pages
  • Publisher: VeloPress (1 Mar 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HS51E28
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #898,925 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now I get it! 1 Aug 2008
By New Cycling Fan - Published on
Obviously, from some of the reviews on here, some people don't understand that this book isn't written as an instruction manual for roadies. This is a book for people like me...friend of a roadie trying to understand the lifestyle. Before reading this book, I knew NOTHING about the cycling world. I found the book extremely informative and entertaining at the same time. There is a lot of good information in here and the wit and humor that the author and illustrator used kept me interested. After reading "Roadie" I HAD to see a race in person...perhaps to answer the question "Does this really happen?". Yep, it really happens. And now the world of bike racing has a new supporter. I'm hooked!
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Fun! 5 May 2008
By Bill McGann - Published on
Jamie Smith and Jef Mallett have done a terrific job of explaining the complex (OK, weird) culture of bicycle road racing. They have done this with such good humor that I must warn you, do not read this book while drinking milk. At some point in the book you will not be able to contain yourself and you will make a mess laughing out loud.

Writer Smith takes the reader step by step through the equipment, time consuming training, eating habits and the rest of the near obsessive life style successful bike racing entails. He then segues to cycle racing tactics, the inevitable crashes and how a day at a bicycle race is structured. Along the way he translates the odd language of cycling, clearly defining each word that would be foreign to the person new to the sport.

The book's purpose is to be a guide for those who want to understand that strange fellow with the beer cooler strapped to his head and oddly-shaped shaved legs. He also gives out lots of sage and valuable advice to racers, such as "Another important and powerful action is to find and thank the sponsors for footing the bill for the event [race]. If they are not on-site, then each roadie should write a letter of thanks within the following month." Gosh, if every racer did that, we'd have a rich racing calendar that would make the bike-mad Belgians green with envy.

Jef Mallett, the award-winning creator of the nationally syndicated cartoon "Frazz", illustrates Smith's first-rate text with lots of wonderful pictures. As a roadie himself, Mallett understands cycling, and his cartoons are hilarious because they are spot-on true. Smith gives a detailed explanation of what happens to a rider when he doesn't eat enough. The crippling weakness that occurs when the body can no longer supply the needed food to the muscles is called the "bonk". Mallett's cartoon of a blank- faced, starved rider sitting on the ground with a tow-truck backing up to take him away is perfect. It could only have been drawn by someone who has at least once forgotten to bring along enough chow and wondered if he would make it home.

Smith says every rider has a "bonk" story and the memory of that misery is etched indelibly in his memory. He got that right! 20 years ago I was stuck 10 miles from home and came upon some tomatoes by the side of the road that a harvesting truck had spilled while going around a corner. Those were the best tomatoes I ever ate and they got me home.

I'm not sure if it's better that Smith and Mallett have shown that my own shaved-legged, loner, obsessive life isn't all that rare or that I'm really in a looney bin with a bunch of other crazed people who can be spotted a mile away because of the odd tans that wearing bike clothing causes.

In any case, get and read this book. I recommend it not only to those interested in the roadie (bicycle road racer) life. It is also a good refresher course for any racer on the ins and outs of cycling. And it's funny as all get-out.
-Bill McGann, author of "The Story of the Tour de France"
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST buy book to aid your cycling enabler 25 April 2008
By The Rider - Published on
If you have ever struggled to explain why you ride your bike, why you race, why you shave your legs, why anyone would drive 4 hours to race for one hour, and what's the motivation to your madness to friends and family, then this is the book for you!

I wish all of my ex-girlfriends, as well as a few of my ex-wives, and all of my former in-laws had read it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it...or..."we're going to yell at you!" 30 April 2008
By R. Curtis - Published on
Well written. Easy to read. Hard to put down.

Jamie knows the world of bicycle racing and it shows. I lost count of the number of times I said, "See's not just me!" or resorted to laughing loud enough to wake the dead.

The book is filled with simple, no-nonsense explainations of why we (Roadies) do what it is we do. It is perfect as a gift for that person in your life that is left to deal with your Roadie lifestyle or for yourself (a Roadie) - simply for entertainment.

The illustrations by Jef Mallett are simply amazing (as always). He does a wonderful job of displaying a self-critical summing up complex social behaviours in a single illustration.

This is a book that should be added to everyone's cycling collection.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From a roadie himself... 18 July 2008
By Michael Davis - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't race, but I'm an avid roadie and bike mechanic. This is a great book for friends and relatives who frequently ask, "Why do you spend so much time riding a bike?" Whether serious to build a relationship and mutual understanding or as a humerous conversation piece, it would make a great cyclists of all levels (to have a greater appreciation of the competitive realm) or noncyclists who are close to cyclists. It is easy to read without getting too technical, it has humor infused throughout, the sidebar boxes are great but not distracting, and Mallet's cartoon's are classic (I've been a fan of Frazz for years).

One has to have a connection to cycling to fully appreciate it, but it is a worthy read.
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