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Holy Spokes!: A Biking Bible for Everyone Paperback – January 22, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1160L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zest Books (January 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936976234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936976232
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,384,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A journalist and biking enthusiast offers a practical guide to cycling and bike racing. One useful chapter analyzes types of bikes used for racing, transportation, and recreation, while another considers ways of purchasing bicycles, fitting them to the rider, and maintaining them. The brief chapter on cycling history praises Lance Armstrong’s achievements and contributions. It notes the formal doping charges filed against him in June, 2012, but not the subsequent results, which presumably happened after the book went to press. Coppolillo discusses environmental and safety aspects of riding bicycles, as well as the experiences of racing and adventure cycling. Appearing at intervals, articles by a bike maker, a seller, a rider, and a racer add other informed, experienced voices to the presentation. Line drawings illustrate the text as needed, especially in the chapter on types of bikes. Clearly written and packed with useful information, this handbook will be helpful to novices and more experienced riders alike. Grades 6-9. --Carolyn Phelan

Review

"A journalist and biking enthusiast offers a practical guide to cycling and bike racing. . . . Clearly written and packed with useful information, this handbook will be helpful to novices and more experienced riders alike." — Booklist

More About the Author

Cycling began for me on an Evil Knievel replica bike, in 1976. I'd mastered the tricycle by then and had spent a good many hours wobbling around with training wheels--but true bicycling, as in riding unassisted on two wheels, took off the first year of the Carter administration. And man, it has been a ride ever since.

My brother and I covered some serious mileage in the empty fields of south Denver on our BMX bikes. We discovered road bikes when the Red Zinger bicycle race came through town. In college the mountain bike gave us another way to enjoy the hills above Boulder, where I live today.

During my 20s I managed to sucker a couple magazines into publishing my writing, round about the same time I gave racing a shot. I was no natural, but spent a decade bombing through the American West at breakneck speeds. I made tens of dollars doing it.

Writing (barely) paid the bills and gradually I figured out other ways to keep cycling an integral part of my life. Guiding bicycle tours in Italy, for Cinghiale Tours. Commuting around Boulder; Austin, Texas; and San Francisco, California. Nowadays I tow our little twins, Luca and Dominic, behind the bike and my wife and I still mountain bike as much as possible. Holy Spokes is just my latest never-get-rich-quick scheme in the world of the bike. Give it a read and see what you think. Thanks for coming by.

Customer Reviews

It *IS* all about the bike as Holy Spokes reveals!
Jordan Kobert
This is a book for all, a quick read and an informative one which can easily expand your enjoyment of biking.
Neal Reynolds
The book is well written, humorous, and provides a wealth of information.
K. Eckert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gearhead Mania TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Holy Spokes

Before I critique the book, here's some background info. As someone who enjoys car and motorcycle racing, I also enjoy bicycles for training and fun on 2 wheels. I've already gotten involved with repairing and modifying bicycles, and there's actually a small group of diehard cyclists at work who have high end kit as well as high end carbon fiber frames (Pinarello, Felt, Cervelo, etc..). However, I am not that extreme. I've got very inexpensive kit: mainly Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier clothing and Shimano SPD cycling shoes on an inexpensive Kent aluminum bicycle from Wal-Mart. But I've done a lot of work on the bike: fitment, new saddle, shorter steering stem, new SPD pedals, new Continental tires, new Kool Stop brake pads, derailleur adjustments, etc... I also switched the front and rear brake levers so that it was more like a motorcycle. A lot of the principles behind 2-wheeled vehicles are the same, except bicycles are much lighter and more agile/less stable and have far less power.

So how does this all apply to the book? Well, the author made it clear that this book was intended to be a fun and easy to read primer for someone who wants to delve into the world of cycling - essentially a Cliff's Notes bicycles. It starts with the history of the sport and technology and leads the reader into professional cycling (or at least what to expect). I don't consider myself a beginner to bicycles, but I'm certainly not a professional.
There are chapters devoted to technique, fitment, maintenance, different bicycle choices, and competition. I also liked how they referenced American Flyers as a recommended movie. I remember watching the movie and seeing how it accurately portrayed professional cycling in the US.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By l2 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
We're in the middle of another bicycle boom right now. At some of my local grade schools, 40% of the kids bike to school year round. There are lots of beginner bicycling books on the market and this one doesn't really say anything that the other do not. Most of the others are written for adults and are more detailed. Perhaps a shorter sparser book will is more suitable for a teenage attention span? Most sections of the book have just enough information to get you interested, but not enough to get you into trouble.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Just Me on December 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is far more detailed than the typical kid's book on bikes. It gives more important information, in a more detailed manner. Coppolillo doesn't assume that the reader knows much about bikes, but does assume that the reader is interested. He guides you through the many types of cycling available, bike fit, and more. His enthusiasm is contagious. The book is well suited as a introduction to cycling for adults looking for a shorter book on the topic. Coppolillo chose well in deciding what to leave in and what to leave out to make the book short.

Contents: A Brief History of the Bike (it's not boring, amazing), What's Your Bike Type?, To Fixie or Not to Fixie, Finding Your Ride, Fitting Your Bike, Keeping it Rolling, Saving the Planet (and Staying Alive), Putting Your Bike to Work, Pinning on a Number, Adventure Cycling, Conclusion & Resources.

From the back: Biking is cheap, it's healthy, and it can provide easy access into an incredible array of life experiences. In this wide-ranging and quick-hitting guide, author Rob Coppolillo explains how bikes work, why bikes matter (especially today, when gas is expensive and interest in green living is high), and how readers -- whatever their level of experience -- can indulge their tastes for mountain trails, competitive racing, city exploration, and just basic transportation from point A to point B. The book also includes: in-depth info about bike types, mechanics, and maintenance; profiles from a raucous cast of health, racing, and travel experts; sidebars that highlight common pitfalls and offer great ideas about how to pursue your passions while on two wheels; annotated illustrations and even a tear-out cheat sheet and repair guide!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J-J-J-Jinx VINE VOICE on January 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Hardly a "bible" as the subtitle of the book implies, I would humbly suggest a new subtitle like maybe, "A Breezy Little Hodge Podge Collection of Cycle Info". Yeah, that pretty much sums up this book. It's not "for everyone", either. It's aimed at teens but gives them a VERY broad overview of cycling from the american point of view. It also cracks me up because they mention "Lance Armstrong's Dark Cloud", with a paragraph or two summing up Lance Armstrong's life and career and doping allegations BUT the book was out of date before even being officially published, since Lance Armstrong has now admitted to doping. It's too bad a few sentences about allegations against Lance are the ONLY mention of performance enhancing drugs in bike racing in the whole book.

This book does have a few nuggets of useful information, but it's very spotty and with a lack of pictures or drawings so things like making repairs on your bike depend on the reader already knowing the names of all the bike parts and being able to visualize well. There are also no drawings of the more interesting and unique bikes described in the chapter on different types of bikes. No picture of a recumbent, a low rider, tandem or cargo bike. Who doesn't know what a mountain bike looks like already?

In parts of the book a lot of resources (books, URLs, movies) are suggested, but when it comes to finding a bike shop no mention is made of something obvious like maybe checking Yelp reviews. There is also a part about how if you have a smart phone there are a lot of apps out there for mapping your ride or monitoring your ride in other ways, but NO resources or suggestions. I wouldn't have minded a few recommendations in that area.
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