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Holiday Reads: 8 Books to Dig your Teeth into

From professional racing novels to real life epic cycling journeys, these holiday reads must go with you on your travels!

Holiday reads to fulfil your cycling crave…

Gold by Cleave Thomas

Gold follows the lives of Kate and Zoe, two professional cyclists whose good friendship undergoes change as they compete against each other in the world’s largest sporting event, the London 2012 Olympics.

Things have long moved on since their first cycling challenge at the age of 19, with Kate leaving her racing career behind to cherish a life with her family whist Zoe sets out to be the best she could. They now discover that everything they value in life is suddenly put to the test as they compete against each other.

Captures the true fear, excitement and effort every athlete experiences, with a complicated love situation thrown in, Kate and Zoe mirror qualities every true athlete possesses.

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Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam

Caught between two cultures, unsure of which one he truly belongs to, the bicycle enables a young Vietnamese-American man to explore the memories and feelings that were left behind during his childhood.

Catfish and Mandala follows his journey through the Pacific Rim starting from America, the place he’s spent most of his life, through to Vietnam his mother land, after loosing his sister, his job and his possessions on a year long bicycle journey in search of truly discovering his Vietnamese-American cultural identity.

How will he feel when his fellow Vietnamese countrymen regard him as foreigner in his own motherland as well as being looked upon by Americans for his Asian blood?

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A Bike Ride by Anne Mustoe

Anne Mustoe took up cycling at the age of 54,  after feeling filled with envy as a man cycled past her and into the Great Thar Desert, leaving her sitting on a stationary bus in moving nowhere, in need for something more.

From someone who hated camping and the outdoors, Anne bravely stepped completely out of her comfort zone, quitting her job as a head mistress, and set out to conquer some of the world’s toughest environments.

Facing some of the world’s biggest cultural differences, her memoirs show just how capable each and every one of us are in doing things we never imagined.

Having captured each of her cycling travels in a series of books, A Bike Ride is definitely our favourite.

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Legend of Rosalind by Dan Hammack

A cycling novel with romance tied in the midst. The Legend of Rosalind, follows the story of Jason Mitchell, an amateur national cyclist for the US who finds his whole world collapses after his team suffer with food poisoning, destroying them all.

Having to familiarise himself with the unpredictable and demanding world of professional cycling, fending for himself, things start to become more complicated. He falls for his training coach Maria, the daughter of a superior French cycling sponsor.

Stuck in a tricky situation, when your work is your passion, it shouldn’t involve a love affair. Or should it?

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Chain Reaction, by Ross E. Goldstein

Having quit his professional cycling team three years ago, Cal thought he could move back to California and forget about his entire career and passion for racing.

However after a recreational cycling holiday to Italy with his father, for some family bonding, it seems his own father’s push to get him back in the game is stronger than his as he is suddenly brought back into a life he thought he had parted with forever.

It’s soon clear that most of his energy and attention soon draws to Danielle, his coach’s daughter, but with another man in the picture things start to get a little complicated. Chain Reaction is worth a read just let alone for it’s beautiful descriptive scenery of racing in Italy.

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Cat by Freya North

Having had a troubled upbringing, after her mother left her and her three sisters with their uncle, Cat became obsessed with cycling with the dream to one day become a sports journalist.

The Guardian approach her to help cover the most anticipated event in cycling, the Tour de France, but will she be able to leave her troubled life behind to focus on what she really wants? And since a traumatic split with her long-time boyfriend, it’s not just a mother and a life companion she feels that she has lost.

Cat captures her life amidst the exciting world of professional cycling and the intimidating world of the press with many male distractions, and with male distractions are love triangles. 

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Cycling Full Circle by Astrid Domingo Molyneux

Ever thought of cycling around the world? Try it alone, for two years, with no real cycling experience or bicycle to your name.

When Astrid Domingo Molyneux hit 50, she embarked on a 2 year journey around the world starting from her home in Bristol, set to not look back until she conquered her quest eventually ending up in Portugal. Admiring every step of her trip, through 5 of the 7 continents, follow her brave and fulfilling journey as she returns home feeling something she had never once felt before.

And conquering the world comes with its fair share of risks, from minor accidents, to cultural differences and unwelcome meetings with strangers, but the excitement builds as Astrid comes closer and closer to her goal.

A fulfilling read for anyone wanting a bit of change in their life. Read our interview with Astrid and her top tips for touring solo here.

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The Wheels of Chance by HG Wells

Written amidst the bicycle craze of the 1890’s, The Wheels of Chance captures the wonderful story of how the bicycle gave Mr Hoopdriver the freedom and excitement he had always longed for.

When the thought of an adventure springs to mind, he embarks on a solo cycling journey across the England countryside during his annual leave, providing an interesting insight into life in the late 1800’s.

Does everything get turned upside down after meeting a new lady friend and is this connection too strong to leave behind to returning to his poorly paid job and ordinary life?

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