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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's A Ride To The Sun, And A Ride To Zen
It's A Ride To The Sun, And A Ride To Zen, August 6, 2005

Tim Krabbe, from Holland, is a much beloved writer by his country men and women. His books "The Vanishing" and "The Cave" have become known world wide, and made into very successful movies. He started out in life knowing he had to be a winner. His first love was that of chess. He played chess, he wrote...
Published on 14 Aug 2005 by prisrob

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok cycling book.
I'll admit to being a mental drifter when I'm out cycling, all sorts of nonsense drifts in & out of my head during long 200km rides, I've always wondered if I was odd or whether others spoke at length to them selves in this way..
It's a decent enough little book about the inner thoughts of a road racing cyclist during a continental bike race. Ok for a wet weekend...
Published 9 months ago by terry2wheelz


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's A Ride To The Sun, And A Ride To Zen, 14 Aug 2005
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Rider (Paperback)
It's A Ride To The Sun, And A Ride To Zen, August 6, 2005

Tim Krabbe, from Holland, is a much beloved writer by his country men and women. His books "The Vanishing" and "The Cave" have become known world wide, and made into very successful movies. He started out in life knowing he had to be a winner. His first love was that of chess. He played chess, he wrote books on chess, he joined tournaments, and then he realized he would never be the winner he wanted to be. So, at the age of 29, he turned to bicycle racing.
Through out his life, Tim Krabbe,also realized he had to write. No matter what he was involved in, he had to write. In this book "De renner" or "The Rider', he has made literary history. The book was written in 1978 and has become a cult classic. This is a fascinating book, a half-day race, 150km, of the love of bicycle racing, and the love of relating the life of racing.
"It's a ride to the sun, and a ride to Zen-the definitive abc of sports, an encyclopedia, a literary masterpiece, an adventure novel and bicycling odyssey all rolled into one," one book critic wrote. Tim Krabbe tells of us his life as a cyclist all rolled up into a small book of 129 pages. The prose that rolls out of his mouth onto the paper of the book is memorable. This is a book that begs to be read again and again. He tells us of a fantasy of riding with bicycle's best and besting them all by winning the race. Throughout this half day race, we learn how to put the bicycle together and take it apart. We learn all about gears, and what to use, when. We learn what he eats before he starts the race, where to put his hands on the handle bars and how to choose the bicycle seat. The men he races with, the fans that turn out and scream encouragement for all of their favorites. The cafes, the bars,and the major developments of racing. And through out this race, instead of chapters the book is divided into kilometers of the race. We end at Kilometer 137, when he crosses the finish line. Was he the first, third, or tenth? Gotcha' you need to read this book, and you will love it.
This is not a book that is a metaphor for life. It is a book of the racing life and how this life takes over. I understand for the first time, how a racer's blood becomes attuned to the race, the speed, the climbs, the straights, the finish line, the Win!
"Whenever I hit absolute rock bottom I always think of those immortal words from De renner by Tim Krabbé-Batoowoo Creakcreak-and everything seems just fine again."
Maarten Ducrot, bicycle racer
Highly recommended. Prisrob "Batoowoo Creakcreak"
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Novella--Even for the Noncyclist, 18 Nov 2003
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Rider (Paperback)
I'm not a cyclist by any stretch of the imagination, and am only a moderate fan of the sport in general. But Krabbé's novella, originally published in the Netherlands 25 years ago, has got to best one of the best fictional treatments of any sport. The book follows an competitive amateur rider through a half-day, 150 kilometer race over the very real Mont Aigoual in France. Krabbé is himself an avid amateur cyclist, and his ability to capture both the mental and physical aspects of the sport is uncanny. Although I've never raced a bike, I did run cross-country competitively, and many of the elements carry over—mainly the twin battle each individual faces with their brain and their body (There's one excellent moment when the rider wills his bike to get a flat so he can withdraw with honor.).
The stripped-down prose style (common to all Krabbé's work), works especially well in the context of a race where the long distances can lead to almost a trance-like state. The mind wanders all over the place, and that is captured brilliantly in the rider's musings—for example, one part describes how he tries to invent words to keep himself amused during long, boring training rides. At the same time, the race itself is very tense, and Krabbé does quite well at describing the various tactical gambits employed along the way. The main competitors emerge as distinct figures—allies and foes in both a psychological and physical sense (I especially liked the unknown in the blue Cycles Goff jersey). Interwoven with it all are tidbits of cycling history, which are intermittently interesting to the non-racer.
It's not a reach to call this a masterpiece of sports literature. The story does a remarkable job at conveying the tension and flow of a race to the outsider. At the same time, the insights into the psychology of the athlete are so acute as to be universally recognizable across cultures and sports.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 5 Nov 2005
By 
J. Wagstaff "psychiatricblues" (Cardiff, South Wales.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Rider (Paperback)
An excellent novel, rooted with cycling anecdotes that lend a reality to the story. Felt like you were in the race there. Drew me in so I felt as if I was watching, and built up to the final dash for the line, like watching a real race. Excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok cycling book., 14 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Rider (Paperback)
I'll admit to being a mental drifter when I'm out cycling, all sorts of nonsense drifts in & out of my head during long 200km rides, I've always wondered if I was odd or whether others spoke at length to them selves in this way..
It's a decent enough little book about the inner thoughts of a road racing cyclist during a continental bike race. Ok for a wet weekend when you don't fancy a venture outdoors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it Read, 5 Mar 2011
This review is from: The Rider (Paperback)
If anyone ever asks me to recommend them a book about cycling this one is I start with.
If they ask for a recommendation that is not specifically cycling, this still gets the nod.
It gripped me from start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you want to get back on the bike, 8 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Rider (Paperback)
I bought this for a friend. It's very short circa 150 pages, so I decided to read it myself. Very good read and certainly got me in the mood to get back on the bike. But with all the crappy weather recently and dark evenings, I've still to get out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a cyclist, 17 Mar 2010
By 
Mr. Alastair Burnett "The Cyclist" (The Cyclist) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rider (Paperback)
a good account of what it is like to be a cyclist in a race, the thoughts that enter your head during the race, the swet of the struggle and more, one big rush
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How it Should be Done, 2 Dec 2009
This review is from: The Rider (Paperback)
I read this book a long time ago but it remains in my mind as one of the best books about how it feels to ride a bike. Cyclists will recognise this instantly when they start to read this wonderful little book, but from the reviews, clearly it works on other levels as well. I'd also recommend Matt Seaton's book "The Escape Artist".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: The Rider (Paperback)
Great book really captures the essence of riding a long distance race.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 7 May 2014
This review is from: The Rider (Paperback)
Fantastic. Just buy it. No thought required. Excellent for cycling enthusiasts and fans of literature. Treat yourself. Thankfully I have reached the required word limit.
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The Rider
The Rider by Tim Krabbe (Paperback - 3 Jun 2002)
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