Our Pick of 2021: Books and Videos (in no particular order): 2021 has been another good year for books, but we have also seen the growing availability of short videos, whether of race analysis, adventure travel or even beautiful ads from bicycle manufacturers. As to books, with so many out there about training and technology, it is perhaps not surprising that nutrition has finally gotten its due with numerous cookbooks arriving in the PEZ library.
The Cycling Chef
There have been so many advances not only in the technology of cycling and in our understanding of training approaches and the key benefits of recovery, but also in the importance of nutrition. In the Good Old Days racing cyclists downed raw eggs and Chianti, with lots of steak on the side. Today pro teams employ their own chefs and there are valuable resources available to any interested amateur on how to eat well for better performance. “The Cycling Chef” by Michelin-starred chef Alan Murchison, released in March of this year, is a valuable addition to this literature.
Mapping Le Tour
Some say “to travel is better than to arrive” but planning the trip can be more fun than anything else. Mapping le Tour by Ellis Bacon covers the journey taken from the first Tour to the 2014 Tour when the French race hit the roads of Yorkshire. As the 2021 Tour winds up the second week, Leslie Reissner takes a trip down Memory Lane and journeys the Tour de France routes of the past.
Read the full review here: pezcyclingnews.com/features/pez-bookshelf-mapping-le-tour/
Sports fans love comparisons. Baseball is famous for its obsession with statistics (“The most successful left-handed pitcher throwing against a Chicago team on a Tuesday evening…”) and certainly all sports have record-holders. Pro cycling, with its varied disciplines and diverse races, defies easy comparison of its stars. Can we figure out who was truly The Greatest of All Time?
The Yellow Jersey
Our bookshelves are groaning with volumes devoted to the Tour de France, the world’s preeminent cycling road race. Books about the Tour in 1903; great climbs of the Tour; famous stages of the Tour; the Tour de France seen from above; the France of the Tour de France; biographies of pros who won it five times; biographies of a pro who no longer has won it seven times; bicycles of the Tour de France; and, of course, menus of the Tour de France. But in 2019 a new book arrived to mark the centennial of the first awarding of the very symbol of the Tour: The Yellow Jersey.
Read the full review here: pezcyclingnews.com/features/pez-bookshelf-the-yellow-jersey-le-maillot-jaune/
The Art of Cycling
Participants in men’s professional bike racing have not been noted for intellectual pursuits or firepower. After all, Laurent Fignon was nicknamed “Le Professeur” not because of his glasses but because he had spent a year in veterinary college, a mark of high education in the peloton. Maybe you don’t have to think much when riding. But in “The Art of Cycling,” perhaps the most unusual cycling-related book we have enjoyed, there is revealed a very different side.
Read the full review here: pezcyclingnews.com/features/pez-bookshelf-the-art-of-cycling/
The Midlife Cyclist
Carefully working my way through Phil Cavell’s “The Midlife Cyclist” for some weeks now, a remarkable book of startling scope, I have found that whenever I mention the title it causes people to smile or laugh indulgently. They seem to either hear “midlife crisis,” or picture another dive into the realm of Middle Aged Men in Lycra, those out-of-shape riders who, for instance, appeared in those Danish television ads for the Tour de France. But “The Midlife Cyclist” is actually a thought-provoking exploration of something that has never before existed in human history: a great cohort of middle-aged athletes rewriting our knowledge of human health and performance.
Read the full review here: pezcyclingnews.com/features/pez-bookshelf-the-midlife-cyclist-book-review/
The Road Book 2021
Following the global disruptions of 2020, the question in pro bike racing fans’ minds was whether this year would see some kind of return to normality. If “normal” means the same kind of exciting racing we actually did see last year, then 2021 had plenty to offer and the latest edition of the unique cycling almanac, “The Road Book,” brings those memories back in focus, along with plenty of other entertainment.
Read the full review here: pezcyclingnews.com/features/pez-bookshelf-the-road-book-2021/
A Cyclist’s Guide to the Pyrenees
Wilder and woolier than the Alps, the Pyrenees have often served as a dramatic battlefield for the Tour de France and, starting on July 10, the final week of the 2021 edition will see five stages in these mountains spread across France and Andorra. For cycling enthusiasts unafraid of climbing, the Pyrenees experience is a must-do, and a new book by Peter Cossins provides an insider’s look at some great riding.
Read the full review here: pezcyclingnews.com/features/pez-bookshelf-a-cyclists-guide-to-the-pyrenees/
The Plant-Based Cyclist
On January 18 history was made as the Michelin Guide awarded its first-ever star to a vegan restaurant in France. And it is not those hoity-toity folks at Michelin who are alone in recognizing new trends. The release of “The Game Changers,” a flashy documentary about athletes switching to primarily non-meat diets, in 2019, aroused considerable interest and some controversy. On the other hand, the Global Cycling Network (GCN)’s “The Plant-Based Cyclist,” a book that also came out in 2019, is striking for its low-key delivery of useful information for those considering changes in nutrition.
Read the full review here: pezcyclingnews.com/features/plant-based-cyclist-book-review-gcn/
Phil Liggett: The Voice of Cycling
For much of the English-speaking world, Phil Liggett along with his broadcast partner, the late Paul Sherwen, was the commentator who was as much a part of professional bike racing as the riders and team managers and Tour de France publicity caravan. Now Demand Films presents a documentary about the life and times of Phil Liggett, MBE, Dr. (Hon.) and rhinoceros enthusiast, playing at your local cinema (at least in Canada) on October 25.
Read the full review here: pezcyclingnews.com/features/phil-liggett-the-voice-of-cycling-movie-review/
Open Road Indoor Cycling App
The world of indoor training is filled with brutal competition, not only amongst those e-racers who are driven to cheating, but also between the various providers of simulation apps. The scale of this is revealed by the most recent financing round by Zwift, where something in the order of US$450 million was brought to the table. With 300,000 daily activities, each averaging over an hour, this is the Big Kahuna of apps. There are different approaches, with some software like Rouvy eschewing Zwift’s video game-like look for real scenery but also offering opportunities for racing and training plans, while The Sufferfest uses race footage in support of its over-arching training function.
Read the full review here: pezcyclingnews.com/technspec/pez-in-the-pain-cave-indoor-riding-with-open-road/