As some of you may know, I recently purchased an iPad 2, its not really a life changing device, but in some ways over the past couple of months it has really helped me to start using my time more efficiently. To be specific, I read A LOT more now. Previously my reading material was limited to select newspapers and magazines like Triathlete. But thanks to the smart integration of Kindle to the iPad and iPhone that allows you to pick up where you left off with either device, I am never without a few books in my pocket.
So having read a few great sport related books in the past few months I thought I'd share my must reads.
It's Not About The Bike - Lance Armstrong
This book isn't so much about the Lance we know today, but about the Lance that battled through cancer. Cyclist or triathlete or not I would urge anyone and everyone to pick up and read this book. Cancer is an ugly and destructive thing that doesn't discriminate but it's something that we can fight. In the fight against cancer and adversity, no hope is too faint to hang on to, and that's one theme that really shines through in this book.
Its Not About the Bike is probably one of the most powerful books I have ever read and at times this is actually a difficult read because of the raw emotion it elicits. This is a story of inspiration and heartbreak, and regardless of your position on Lance I would challenge anyone to read this book and not be moved by the inspiring story of a cancer survivor who went on to conquer Le Tour.
Bike Snob- BikeSnobNYC
If you're a cyclist, triathlete, hipster, lone wolf, mountain biker, cyclocrosser, or just a person who owns a bike, this is a must read. In his clever and chuckle out loud examination of "bike culture" and it's sub cultures, BikeSnobNYC has put together a great book full of "it's funny because it's true" facts and moments.
In addition to the stories and goofy cycling references, the book actually does have a lot of useful facts for cyclists just being introduced, or reintroduced to the bike. I'd go so far as to say that if you're going into the local bike shop to buy your first new bike in a few years, you buy this book on the way there.
The book is a little like a ride on a rolling course, some ups, some downs, but at the end you were happy that you did it and have some favourite parts that you'll want to do again. My absolute favourite part of the book was when it went through type by type of cyclist, really hitting the nail on the head with each group (Triathletes and Roadies being my two favourites of course).
Born to Run - Christopher McDougall
This was a good book, but definitely one that I read with a big grain of salt. In it Chris talks a lot about, our ancestral evolutionary roots in running, tribes and individuals who still practice basically prehistoric running today, barefoot running, and a little bit about how running shoes are the root of all evil.
The premise behind the overall theme of the book is relatively sound, that human beings are born to run, and 100,000 years ago when we were chilling on the African safari, if we could not run to save our lives then we would be lion dinner. Likewise, if we couldn't run, we probably wouldn't be able to go after our own dinners. But somewhere between the covers of this book, this seems to somehow translate into how we don't actually need running shoes to run on cement surfaces, which last time I checked were not present on the African safari.
There are a lot of great concepts in the book and I do firmly believe that more people running would lead to the world being a better place, but until archeologists uncover a ten millennia old concrete river pathway in Kenya, I'd suggest hanging onto your New Balance runners.