CYCLING’S GREATEST MISADVENTURES
Edited by Erich Schweikher and Paul Diamond
Paperback, 240 pages, Casagrande Press, 2007
“The tales are real gems, causing the reader to cringe, laugh, or shake his or her head
in utter disbelief.”
“Love the book; hate the title” sums up one excellent review of this anthology that appearered here. In these pages you’ll find twenty-seven true stories, some terrifying, some comical, some contemplative, some downright bizarre. In Australia, a former pro cyclist decides to spread tacks on women’s race course in an attempt to get a date. In California, an enthusiastic computer programmer crashes a stationary bike during his first spin class. In Pennsylvania, a man accidently cycles deep into a prison yard and then has to make an escape.
Both everyday riders and pros tell their stories of freak accidents, animals attacks, sabotage, idiotic decisions, eerie or unexplained incidents, and other jaw-dropping, adrenaline-pumping calamaties. These stories bring to life the strange possibilities that await us once we step on the pedals of our road, mountain, or commuter bikes.
My favorite is probably "Shock and Numbness," about a woman who leads group bicycle trips across the country and has to cope with the mid-trip death of one of her team in a traffic accident. On a lighter note, "The Day I Beat Miguel Indurain" is a humorous essay about a middle aged office worker's determination to beat a five-time Tour de France winner in a race. This is one of my favorite books to browse through, and not just because I contributed a few pages to it. Recommended to anyone who likes being outdoors on two wheels.
Authors include Eric Pinder, Heather Andersen, Luke Bauer, Amy Nevala, Greg Taylor and Dave Stamboulis. Edited by Erich Schweikher and Paul Diamond.
Includes an 18-page Bike Crash Photo Gallery that is both amusing and alarming. Pictures include Lance Armstrong and Iban Mayo crashing during the 15th stage of the Tour de France, and the Relax Team car overturning while the careless driver was shouting encouragment to a rider during the Tour de Langkawi. Essays include “The Day I Beat Miguel Indurain,” “Riding Tandem with a Rodent,” “Sabotage on the Tour de Femme,” “Spin Cycle” and “Bicycles and Bagpipes,” an expanded/modified excerpt from the chapter of the same name in North to Katahdin.