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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bicycling Books

Booker...   Last summer I became more serious about biking.  I have the type of personality where I want to know as much as I can about a subject before I try it.  Sometimes this type is called Competent Carl.  So, I did a lot of looking to find the best bicycling books out there.  I obviously didn't look at every single book, but I looked at quite a few.  Here are my two favorites:


Every Woman's Guide to Cycling by Selene Yeager: Book CoverSelene Yeager is Bicycling Magazine's "Fit Chick".  She's also written a fantastic cycling book.  This book helps beginners start and veterans prepare for racing competetion.  The subtitle says the book has "everything you need to know, from buying your first bike to winning your first race".  That's no lie.  This book covers things I couldn't easily find in other books such as what to eat and when during different rides, solutions to common biking ailments, bicycle maintenance, essential skills and techniques for riding, an excellent explanation of heart rate and zones and how to use them properly in your training, year-round training plans, and more.  Mountain biking offroad is also covered.  And, there's really no reason why a man couldn't use this book, too, so don't let your husband shy away from refering to your book just because it says woman on it.  I am really thankful I found this book.


Training Plans for Cyclists by Gale Bernhardt: Book CoverThis book contains information about nutrition (though I found it too intense and rely on Yeager's book) and help choosing bikes and other gear.  But, I use this book for its training plans.  The Every Woman's Guide above does have training plans, but I like the plans in this book much better.  Benhardt's training plans are longer, so you don't have to be in shape or a serious cycler before beginning some of the training plans.  I also like how detailed the plans are while still leaving you some flexibility.  The plans are easy to follow and each type of ride is explained very well.  I don't think I would be trying to rides I am without the training plans in this book.  Last fall, I decided to first try a 30-mile ride.  The plan allowed six weeks of training.  It turned out I did the ride after three weeks of training.  This spring I'm going to do a 50-mile ride.  I'm following the eight week training plan in the book.  I'm confident that if I follow this plan and the nutrition guidelines and heartrate monitoring from Yeager's book, that I will be ready for it in 8 weeks.  The plans covered in this book include: 30-mile, 50-mile, 100K, Century, Multiday Tour.  Moutain bike plans include:  3-houir, 100-mile, 24-hour.

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