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What cycling books need to be written?(8 posts)

What cycling books need to be written?DougSloan
Jul 27, 2002 5:39 PM
Any ideas? What books about cycling need to be written, or what existing ones need to be improved substantially? (No, I don't intend to write one.)

I know it's not about the bike, but.............Dave Hickey
Jul 27, 2002 5:46 PM
I'd like to see more about the history of road bikes. Most of the books written focus on the riders or races. Very little is written about the history of road bikes themselves. I'd like to see chapters on frame developments, components, wheels design, etc.........
How About Software....Scot_Gore
Jul 27, 2002 6:56 PM
I'd love to see trip planning/routing software for Bicycling similar to trip planning software available for cars. I use a car one now for bike planning. It's functional, but alot could be done to for a Bicycling audience.

It can't recognize when I leave surface roads and travel on MUTs or other non-car routes. There's a road preference feature in the one I use but lots could be done to its programming to recognize good bike roads. A bike specific one could give hill grades or other difficulty factors of a trip.

I think Dave Hickey's book idea is a good one. I'm a history buff and I have dozens equipment books for military equipment like artillery, small arms, uniforms, ships, etc. They all demostrate the progression of developments, show examples of successes directly attributable to innovation, there's always a few failed concepts thrown in for good measure, and have lots of technical detail like number produced, where they were used, how long they were in service etc. Hey - Spirito - Arms & Equipment of Motobecane, or something like that, you could probably write that tonight based on what I've seen on this board.

"After all what does it cost this dream?" Aldo RossAllisonHayes
Jul 27, 2002 6:56 PM
i I would like to see good translation of Aldo Ross' writings. The prose is simply superb and is so much better that any contemporary writing. If you haven't read any of his material go to the retro section and see what Spirito has posted as well as on this board.

Spirito "THIS IS A GIRO SPOILER!!! (well 53 years ago)...." 5/17/02 10:29pm

"After all what does it cost this dream?" Aldo Ross (Before the start of the 1949 Giro Italia, onboard the passenger liner "Saturnia", the night of May 17th, 1949.)

Tonight even the lowliest trainee is like a Napoleon.

And he dreams...

He dreams, this little soldier who has never heard the crowd roar his name, nor been lifted victoriously onto the shoulders of the delirious throng. He dreams of what all men have an absolute need to imagine, at one time or another, for otherwise life would be too difficult to bear.

He is dreaming of HIS Giro d'Italia, an awe-inspiring revenge, and right from the very start of course!

One hundred six kilometers from Palermo, where the road begins the difficult climb toward the Colle del Contrasto, more than 3000 feet above sea level, out of the thundering pack of racers, still as compact as a herd of buffalo, who leaps out? None other than he, the gregario, the unknown one, whose name children have never chalked on suburban walls, as encouragement or as scorn.

Alone, he hurls himself like a madman up the steep climb, while the others ignore him.

"What an idiot," says one know-it-all, "That's the best way to do yourself in! In five minutes at most he'll explode."

But he continues to fly, as if carried by a supernatural force. He devours switchback after switchback as if, instead of climbing, he was hurtling down the Stelvio, or some other mountain pass.

Behind him the others are no longer visible. People along the road shout "Bravo, Bartali!", but he shakes his head, trying to make them understand that he is someone else.

"Who is he, then?" No one recognizes him. In order to identify him they must look for his number on the list printed in the newspaper.

And panic runs through Sicily...

"When will this little wretch give up?" This "joke" is annoying everyone. "Now THIS is TOO MUCH! Let's teach that madcap a lesson."

The aces arch their backs. Yes!, it is Coppi himself who will inflict the punishment!. Bartali, of course, is stuck to Coppi's side. What had earlier seemed to be so amusing now turns into a gigantic battle.

But he, the anonymous one, the last of the last, has donned wings. A twenty-minute lead, twenty-five, thirty. Compared with him, who are these campionissimi? What are Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali? Poor little grubs plodding in his wake far, far behind, losing minute after minute.

Here, finally, is the city of Catania, and the finish. The rumor of a "miracle" has arrived before him, unleashing a frenzy of crowds, flags, applause, flowers, kisses, and brass bands.

The time-keepers, with staring eyes, scan the road. He arrives unexpectedly, like an arrow, on a road that is clear, totally deserted, incredibly empty.

The hands of the stopwatch run on, and still no one else appears. Forty-seven minutes, forty eight, fifty-five, sixty! One hour and five minutes go by before the pursuers are seen emerging in the distance. The crowd has remained, watching them in silence.
1949 Giro d'Italia (cont..) 11th juneSpirito
Jul 28, 2002 6:42 AM
(a quick note - Coppi's successful solo attack yesterday lasted 190 kilometers. Also, today is the first time the Giro d'Italia has included a time trial since before the Second World War. A.R.)

"And spirits are already falling a bit, out of sadness, as is always the case when something is near it's end; it doesn't matter whether the ending is beautiful or terrible, because, either way, it makes man realize how fast time flies and how short life is." Dino Buzzati

(transcribed by Aldo Ross)

Torino, the night of Saturday, 11th June 1949.

Dino Buzzati writes. . .

The time trial: the only stage in which the last arrive first, and the first arrive last. Each rider departs alone from Pinerolo, one rider every four minutes, beginning with the last rider on the general classification, the rider whose abilities are most modest. The race leader, the "pink jersey," will be last to start.

It is a race in which you must be calculating: the racer challenges himself only, the convenient wheel is not there to pull you along, nor the incitement of your adversary to spur you on; also absent are the tactical maneuverings among teammates. At last the most modest riders, the "gregari," can play at being stars; there is no worry that the team leader will ask for their wheel, or have them stop somewhere to buy cold orangeade. It is a race in which the spectator has no way of knowing who is winning or losing - like today, when everyone was focused on the aces, and after computing the odds concluded that Coppi would win, forgetting all about Antonio Bevilacqua of the Atala team who, having purposely conserved his energy yesterday in the Alps, took off like an express train at an average speed of forty-two kilometers an hour, faster than all the others, and they paid no attention to Corrieri or De Santi, who were also faster that the campionissimo; it seemed that he didn't commit himself too much today.

The excitement generated by this kind of racing is a bit theoretical: it is measured at little tables, where all the calculations are completed and the numbers are compared. The racer's only rival is the hand of the stopwatch, released at the start and stopped at the finish. How far has it traveled in between?

To see them as they start off, alone, faces flushed and tense, it is hard to imagine why the champions are so uneasy. It could be said that much energy is expended in pointless worry. A feeling of dreariness permeates the event, as it does all solitary endeavors: it reminds one of a chess player fretting over a problem; a lonely retiree, concentrating on a game of solitaire; a self-educated man with no free days, who in the evening studies English through a correspondence school, or from phonograph records. In short, after seventeen days of hand-to-hand combat, it resembles a casual target-shooting competition.

The last starts first. His name is Sante Carollo (of the Wilier Triestina team), a day laborer by trade, who deprived Malabrocca of last place in the overall classification, below which there is no one. It's a placing that many riders would like, for last place arouses the public's curiosity and sympathy quite a lot more than does, say, seventh or eighth in the standings. The last rider becomes, in a sense, the standard bearer for all the other destitute and needy on this earth; he's considered a sort of brother by all those who, in the arena of life, have failed to find more than standing room in the bleachers section, and perhaps not even that. But in addition to the sentimental interest, last place has had an actual prize tacked on this year. Every day, bundles of money orders and checks from all over Italy are delivered to the Giro's promotional group, the "Giringiro," whose idea it was to give a prize to the racer who achieves this inverted glory. Factory workers, schoolchildren, priests, teachers, landowner
(cont..) 11th juneSpirito
Jul 28, 2002 6:44 AM
...... Factory workers, schoolchildren, priests, teachers, landowners have all contributed to this bonus for the so-called "black jersey." And it has been estimated that Carollo, by dint being last, will pick up more that two hundred thousand lire.

What a strange feeling it must be for him to be the first: ahead of him, two traffic policemen on motorcycles are clearing the road; behind, a team car following just for him, plates with his name mounted on the grill and the back; and people applauding at the edges of fields - not many, to be honest, because the army of sports enthusiasts won't show up until later, to pay tribute to the greatest champions.

One must admit that, for the public, no stage is more enjoyable than this. The entertainment is not limited to two of three seconds - the time that it usually takes a peloton of cyclists to pass in front of them - but instead goes on for hours; and it doesn't cost a thing!

Finally! There's no longer any anxiety of having to single out Bartali's or Coppi's number from among the seething tangle of caps and jerseys. On the contrary, all the aces can be savored one by one without any chance of confusing them; and you also have time to discuss things before the next rider arrives.

So he goes, the blond Carollo, absolutely unconcerned about the activity of his closest rival, Luigi Malabrocca (of the Stucchi team), who is next to last in the classification, and left four minutes after him. Already a gap of more than two hours separates them in the general classification, and it's hard to imagine Malabrocca going slowly enough over a sixty-five kilometer route to pull a fast one and pinch Carollo's title. Not even if he were to climb off and walk from time to time. Now and then, Carollo can even relax enough to entertain dreams of victory. Who knows, those huge clouds on the mountain could unleash a storm of biblical proportions, surprising the competitors starting after him. Who knows, the wind could blow hard enough to knock them out of the saddle, leaving them immobilized in the middle of the road until nightfall, and he, making an overpowering leap up the classification, tomorrow could put on the pink jersey of race leader. But these are just fantasies. The clouds have already burst, emptying their water all along the road, but it was just an ordinary, harmless June rainfall. In reality, everything has already been decided; if anything can change in the classification, it certainly doesn't involve first place. The Giro - at least in the opinions of all the professors - has nothing of further importance to reveal, not even in tomorrow's stage, which takes us to Monza. And spirits are already falling a bit, out of sadness, as is always the case when something is near it's end; it doesn't matter whether the ending is beautiful or terrible, because, either way, it makes man realize how fast time flies and how short life is.

In any case, the most significant battle today concerns second place, because Adolfo Leoni, of the Legnano team, tails Bartali by only three-and-a-half minutes, and time trials have never been Bartali's forte. But the race did not go well for Leoni today, partly because he has a large boil; in fact, he himself was passed by Coppi after no more than twenty kilometers, so instead of a step up the classification, he slipped down to forth, leaving third place to Giordano Cottur of the Wilier Triestina team.

And Bartali? Today, once again, Bartali demonstrated his great honesty as a racer, doing his utmost as if he were going to win. But he knew full well that, today, victory would not be his.

At Pinerolo, waiting for the starter to call his name, trying to extricate himself from a mob of boys who had besieged him with postcards and pencils, hoping for an autograph, the loser on the Izoard took refuge in our car. He was serene, and seemed in perfect form, and was unusually talkative. As always, he had to grumble about something in
(cont..) 11th juneSpirito
Jul 28, 2002 6:45 AM
...... As always, he had to grumble about something in order to remain the real Bartali, and he started to complaining that Leoni was scheduled to leave after him instead of vice versa. Therefore, he did not have a chance to regulate his speed with regard to Leoni's pace, but Leoni could do so with regard to his. Then he asked us: "And you, who will you follow in your car? Coppi, right?" For a moment there was a touch of bitterness in his voice, "Oh, everybody will follow Coppi today - he's riding well. I don't know how to any more!" But he said it without rancor, as if it seemed logical to him, and he'd resigned himself to it.

Then he spoke about yesterday's stage. He said that when Coppi attacked, he thought it was just a prank. But he offered no excuses, quite the contrary. He did not protest, and he spoke as if he were just talking to himself, trying to convince himself. "You see, I am no longer the same. Now I am afraid on the descents. Yesterday, descending the Izoard, I lost two minutes. In the past, I would have shot off into thin air, but now I am afraid. When I see a sharp turn I slow down. Who knows, perhaps it is also the Torino accident. That really shocked me. In the past I flew downhill, I went hard. . . Now I race hard uphill, but not downhill any more. I am afraid now"

Then a voice from the starting line was heard calling his name. Bartali adjusted his pigskin mitts, climbed out of the car, and walked to his bicycle just like a man on his way to work.

thanks to Aldo Ross

.....last day to come

resulti .... 11th juneSpirito
Jul 28, 2002 6:46 AM
18° tappa - sabato 11 giugno

Cronometro PINEROLO – TORINO 65 chilometri


1° Antonio BEVILAQUA (Atala), in 1 ora 32' 03" media: 43,368
2° Giovanni CORRIERI (Bartali Gardiol), a 1' e 32"
3° Guido DE SANTI (Atala), a 1' e 33"
4° Fausto COPPI (Bianchi Ursus), a 2' e 08"
5° Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto), a 2' e 21"
6° Giordano COTTUR (Wilier Triestina), a 2' e 47"
7° Tino AUSENDA (Wilier Triestina), a 2' e 49"
8° Gino BARTALI (Bartali Gardiol), a 3' e 20"
9° Dino ROSSI (Cimatti), a 3' e 32"
10° Nedo LOGLI (Arbos), a 4' e 28"


1° Fausto COPPI (Bianchi Ursus), maglia Rosa
2° Gino BARTALI (Bartali Gardiol), a 24' e 32"
3° Giordano COTTUR (Wilier Triestina), a 38' e 12"
4° Adolfo LEONI (Legnano Pirelli), a 38' e 46"
5° Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto), a 39' e 35"
6° Alfredo MARTINI (Wilier Triestina), a 48' e 48"
7° Giulio BRESCI (Wilier Triestina), a 48' e 59"
8° Serafino BIAGIONI (Viscontea), a 52' e 55"
9° Nedo LOGLI (Arbos), a 59' e 44"
10° Silvio PEDRONI (Frejus), a 61' e 55"

Maglia Bianca: Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto)