A Rough Ride: An Insight into Pro Cycling and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading A Rough Ride: An Insight into Pro Cycling on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Rough Ride [Paperback]

Paul Kimmage
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 2.70 (30%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Saturday, 19 April? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 3.59  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 6.29  
Amazon.co.uk Trade-In Store
Did you know you can use your mobile to trade in your unwanted books for an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card to spend on the things you want? Visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details or check out the Trade-In Amazon Mobile App Guidelines on how to trade in using a smartphone. Learn more.

Book Description

7 Jun 2007

First published in 1990, Rough Ride is one of the greatest books ever written about the life of a professional athlete. Almost twenty years later, Yellow Jersey is publishing an updated edition of this cycling classic, with a new foreword by the author which reflects on his life both inside and outside the sport.

Paul Kimmage's boyhood dreams were of cycling glory: wearing the yellow jersey, cycling the Tour de France, becoming a national hero. He knew it wouldn't come easy, but he was prepared to put in the graft: he spent his teenage years cycling an average of 400 miles per week.

The dedication began to pay off. As an amateur, he represented his country and finished sixth in the World Championships. In 1986 he turned professional. That's when reality hit. He soon discovered it wasn't about glory and courage, and it wasn't about how much training you put in or how much you wanted to win. It was about gruelling defeats, complete and utter exhaustion, and it was about drugs. Not drugs that would ensure victory, but drugs that would allow you to finish the race and start another day.

Paul Kimmage left the sport to write this book. It is a powerful and frank account that breaks the law of silence surrounding the issue of drugs in sport. An eye-opening expose and a heartbreaking lament, it is a book that anyone interested in any sport should read.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • From mountain bikes to cycle computers, find 1000s of products in our bikes store.

Frequently Bought Together

Rough Ride + The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography + Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar
Price For All Three: 18.87

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey; New Ed edition (7 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224080172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224080170
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8.9 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


"Sent shockwaves through the peloton" (Daniel Friebe Outdoor Fitness)

"A devastatingly frank description of life on the professional road cycling circuit, hurtful in its telling of unwelcome truths yet powerful in its capture of what it takes, legally and illegally, to compete" (Mary Perryman Huffington Post UK)

"In the wake of the Armstrong affair, you can't move for books about doping, but Kimmage, and ex-pro rider himself, was the first to 'spit in the soup' back in the 1990s... A must read for any cyclist" (Cyclist)

Book Description

Updated edition of one of the classics of cycling and sports literature with a new introduction and new chapters - published to coincide with the 2007 Tour de France coming to London

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 2 Jun 2005
Many sports books are written to celebrate the glory of winning and achievement. Kimmages book is different because it is an honest account of an also-ran, a dreamer, a slogger. Paul never enjoyed the trappings of success, never earned anything more than a pithy wage and experienced in rare measure the dream of winning.
Against all this, Paul is forced to deal with the ever-present tumour of doping in cycling. As he struggles to accept his physical limitations as a human cyclist, he finds himself having also to compete against the drugs that fuel those around him to success. Eventually he leaves the sport, disillusioned, bitter but with his head held high.
The honesty, frankness and innocence of the book makes it compelling stuff, and I think it should appeal to anyone, not just those interested in cycling or sport. The 1998 drugs scandal, which happened several years after this book was published, sadly verifies much of what Kimmage describes.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True account of life as a pro cyclist 26 April 2002
By A Customer
I think Paul Kimmage's book is outstanding. The newer edition adds details of the events following the book's first publication (about 12 years ago) into context and how it affected not only the sport of cycling but Kimmage's relationships with one-time pro colleagues (such as Stephen Roche) and the pro cycling 'brotherhood' generally. It is especially sad that the book led to him being an outcast yet in 1998 when half the peloton in the Tour de France were found to be doping, it was treated as a huge shock - yet Kimmage and others had tried before to reveal the truth. This book is a superb contrast to books by authors such as Graeme Fife, whose dewey eyed reviews of glorious champions and direct criticism of Kimmage's book are really put in their place. Read this book if you really want to find out about cycling.
Was this review helpful to you?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best book on the topic 9 Dec 2008
By turkle
I know that some have complained about Kimmage's bitterness, but that's what makes this book so good - it's for real, he doesn't shy away from examining himself, his own failures and his own role in what went on.
That he felt wretched being a part of the politics and cheating is part and parcel of an aspect of cycling that few people knew about until recently. Kimmage's high-profile spat with Stephen Roche was a precursor to Greg LeMond v Armstrong - for similar reasons.
This book was a genuine ground-breaker - Kimmage really put his neck on the line and had to face the predictable fallout for what he wrote. A far cry from the disingenuous "apologies" and press conference conversions we've seen from the likes of Bjarne Riis.
The original and still the best. Unfortunately, it's still all-too relevant.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping from beginning to end. 12 Aug 2006
Having just read Matt Rendell's Death of Marco Pantani and Willy Voet's Breaking the Chain, this is the book which puts everything into perspective.The gritty reality of the world of the domestique as portrayed through Paul's experiences offers the reader great insight into this lifestyle and is written in such a manner that you just can't put the book down.

Thoroughy recommended reading for anybody interested in cycling.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trials and tribulations of a pro cyclist 20 Oct 2003
This book is about how Kimmage develops and nurtures his boyhood dream – to become a successful and respected professional cyclist – and how this dream is gradually undermined and eventually smashed by the corrupt nature of the sport he so dearly loves. A central theme is how his high moral principles with regard to drug taking are gradually eroded away as he himself struggles to stay in touch with the gruelling demands of tour cycling. His account of drug abuse in the sport is truly shocking. But the book is far more than an exposé of drugs in sport. It’s an adventure that provides a real inside view of the hectic and difficult life that a pro-cyclist has to endure, in most cases for relatively meagre reward. Nothing like the boyhood dream. It’s about the trials and tribulations, the joy, frustration, anguish, pain, and many other emotions Kimmage goes through during his cycling career. The writing is absolutely superb – read the book and you’ll feel the emotion for yourself. Can’t recommend it more highly.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate writing...a dream gone sour 1 May 2005
In short this book is about a dream. A dream to become a pro cyclist and compete in the Tour de France and how that dream is soured by the harsh reality of professional cycling and the illegal substances inherent in the sport.
Its written with passion and honesty and the sections dealing with the tour de France are breathlessly exciting.
Easily the best sports book I've ever read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheating or surviving? 24 Mar 2004
Over the last few years the sport of cycling has been badly tarnished by the use of drugs, and some believe that every professional cyclist cheats using them, even if they've been tested negative by the officials.
This book is a real eye-opener into the whole issue, it openly describes what goes on within the peloton, "charging up" before races. However, one huge important fact comes through. They're not taking drugs to cheat, not to win the race. They're taking drugs to get them to the finish line, even if it's in last place, to be able to start again the next day, to avoid the humiliation of abandoning.
If you have an interest in any sport,or you have any opinion of drugs use in sport, I highly recommend you read this book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Down and dirty cycling
Excellent view of the experience of pro cycling in the 80's. Read it if you love to ride a bike
Published 14 days ago by C. Duffin
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally honest hard hitting book
Excellently written, it's no surprise Paul Kimmage has went on to become a leading journalist. Brutally honest with no punches pulled, a fascinating glimpse into the drug fuelled... Read more
Published 23 days ago by JOHN BLACKBURN
4.0 out of 5 stars very good book
This book was a good read,( the kindle edition isn't the updated version), it was still a real insight into pro cycling at that time.
Published 1 month ago by John Baxter
5.0 out of 5 stars A really honest account
Brilliant book, so honest. At times you really felt for Paul. It's a real insight into what it's really like to be a professional cyclist struggling on the tour. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
It may be 24 years old but gives a clear account of life pre Armstrong. Kimmage defines the very hard life of a domestique in what I think is the toughest sport in the world.
Published 1 month ago by H. MacDonald
3.0 out of 5 stars Original whistle blower
Reading this book in 2014 is strange after what we know now but guys like kimmage were telling us back 20 years ago. Read more
Published 3 months ago by james reardon
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good insight about the sport
Very plain English and good insight into the sport. After reading the book, one can understand how much pressure a professional cyclist to perform race after race (with all its... Read more
Published 3 months ago by A. Pena Ruiz
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Interesting read would highly recommend, you will find this one hard to put down. Would read it again and again
Published 3 months ago by Mark Griffiths
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
A very candid account of Paul Kimmage's seasons as a professional cyclist, his use of drugs and of those around him and some of the events that have happened in cyccling since he... Read more
Published 4 months ago by James Whitfield
5.0 out of 5 stars very interesting book
a lot of in depth stuff here about the greatest love affair of the last 100 years
cycling and dioping
i felt for kimmage,but to me he didn't have a winning mentality... Read more
Published 4 months ago by LutonLagerLout
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category