By Kris Parfitt
The Bohemian Guide to Urban Cycling
By Sean Benesh, self-published
The cycling guide sleeper of the year, The Bohemian Guide to Urban Cycling is a five-star read. Humor and honesty weave through Benesh’s personal stories of struggle as both an urban commuter and devout mountain biker.
Benesh offers wise and sound tips on selecting the best bike, accessories, fashion and gear for new and veteran commuters. I especially loved the story about making grandpa’s pants into trend-setting bike fashion.
With an engaging but more serious tone, Benesh addresses the planning that underscores urban bicycle infrastructure, along with the ethics of being an urban rider and car driver. He dives into equality, discrimination and the social justices surrounding cycling.
He drives home that, regardless of social class, the amount of people who prefer or rely on bicycle commuting and urban cycling is on a sharp steady increase and that it is time for this choice in transportation to be taken seriously.
Fast After 50
By Joe Friel, VeloPress
A popular holiday gift in 2014, athletes are devouring Joe Friel’s book not only because it’s an informative read, but because it’s currently the only resource for older athletes. While it is well researched and articulately written, it is not a book for beginners.
Friel dives deep into the physiologic changes that impact an athlete’s performance after age 50. The first part of the book details both scientific studies alongside his experiences as a training coach and athlete himself.
He provides his readers with a practical training approach proposing that high-intensity workouts, detailed methods for reduction of body fat, and heavy-load strength workouts are the key to combating age-related decline of athletic performance.
Goggles and Dust
By Shelly and Brett Horton, VeloPress
Shelly and Brett Horton have compiled a selection of fine-art quality photographs from cycling’s early history in the 1920–30s from their extensive collection of cycling photographs. Many have not been published and if they ever were, it was for but a brief moment in newspapers and magazines at the time.
“It is only when one studies the etched lines on the faces of the riders as they toil up a rutted, muddy mountain road that one appreciates the true difficulty of the era’s contests,” write the Hortons. This is the perfect gift for any history buff who loves the golden age of cycling.