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Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer Paperback – March 1, 2008
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"This primer explains everything you've wanted to know (and more) about a somewhat mysterious sport." -- Chicago Tribune
"Absolutely entertaining from start to finish. The book finishes up with ways non-cycling friends and family can start enjoying the favored pastime of their bike racing friends. Terms, strategies, and ideas are explained so well that even someone who really doesn't care for cycling will stay interested, maybe even enough to pique their interested and get into the sport." -- RoadBikeReview.com
"After spending years explaining the little idiosyncrasies of being a bike racer, Jamie Smith decided to write a book to bring understanding to the masses. Roadie acts as a complete guide to the life of a bike racer. I found myself nodding in agreement with each page, as Smith picked apart everything it means to be a bike racer in a way that only a true roadie could. It's engaging, entertaining, and downright fun, from front cover to back." --BikeRumor.com
"This witty primer offers lively insights into race formats and techniques, including drafting, breakaways and strategies employed in professional and amateur bicycle racing. Get it for family members and friends who are interested in the lingo and politics of bicycle racing, if not up for the experience of actually pulling on a pair of padded Lycra shorts." -- Denver Post
"A well-written and informative insight into the world of road racing." -- Lightweight News
"I wish I had a copy of Roadie when I started racing 35 years ago. Jamie Smith's wealth of knowledge, insightful comments about racing, and wonderful wit and infectious enthusiasm certainly would have helped me explain cycling to all my friends and family who thought I was crazy." -- Paul Alman, President, Michigan Bicycle Racing Association
"Jamie Smith has succeeded, with a light and amusing style, to convey the joy of the sport with an unblinking eye…There is no question that Roadie will keep the interest of someone new to the sport." -- TinDonkey.com
"We should be very grateful for this epiphany; members of my family had to ask me to stop laughing so much while I was carrying out the perfectly respectable and serious task of reviewing the book." -- TheWashingMachinePost
"You will recognise yourself in many of the actions and situations described in this gently amusing and well written book." -- Arrivee magazine
From the Publisher
More About the Author
He spent 25 years writing boring press releases for a sleepy Detroit suburb. The fact that they were sleepy had nothing to do with the press releases Smith wrote.
He also spent 25 years as a bike race announcer working at cycling events in 46 different states. His first work, Roadie - The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer (VeloPress), was named a 2009 Michigan Notable Book by the Library of Michigan. His second effort, Reading the Race, includes sidebar commentary by 2013 Vuelta a Espana winner and 2012 Olympian, Chris Horner.
Smith lives and surfs in the Great Lakes area.
Top Customer Reviews
Writer Smith takes the reader step by step through the equipment, time consuming training, eating habits and the rest of the near obsessive life style successful bike racing entails. He then segues to cycle racing tactics, the inevitable crashes and how a day at a bicycle race is structured. Along the way he translates the odd language of cycling, clearly defining each word that would be foreign to the person new to the sport.
The book's purpose is to be a guide for those who want to understand that strange fellow with the beer cooler strapped to his head and oddly-shaped shaved legs. He also gives out lots of sage and valuable advice to racers, such as "Another important and powerful action is to find and thank the sponsors for footing the bill for the event [race]. If they are not on-site, then each roadie should write a letter of thanks within the following month." Gosh, if every racer did that, we'd have a rich racing calendar that would make the bike-mad Belgians green with envy.
Jef Mallett, the award-winning creator of the nationally syndicated cartoon "Frazz", illustrates Smith's first-rate text with lots of wonderful pictures. As a roadie himself, Mallett understands cycling, and his cartoons are hilarious because they are spot-on true. Smith gives a detailed explanation of what happens to a rider when he doesn't eat enough.Read more ›
I wish all of my ex-girlfriends, as well as a few of my ex-wives, and all of my former in-laws had read it.
Jamie knows the world of bicycle racing and it shows. I lost count of the number of times I said, "See honey...it's not just me!" or resorted to laughing loud enough to wake the dead.
The book is filled with simple, no-nonsense explainations of why we (Roadies) do what it is we do. It is perfect as a gift for that person in your life that is left to deal with your Roadie lifestyle or for yourself (a Roadie) - simply for entertainment.
The illustrations by Jef Mallett are simply amazing (as always). He does a wonderful job of displaying a self-critical summing up complex social behaviours in a single illustration.
This is a book that should be added to everyone's cycling collection.
The book was consistently as informative and funny as the snippets I read while browsing. In the Acknowledgments, Smith writes "if you find this book amusing, the Smith farm in Davisburg is where it started." His writing style sounds like someone telling you a story at the family dinner table, as everyone is picking at a second piece of pie. It's straightforward, and funny.
I finished it in about 2 days, and found myself explaining the difference between time trials and criteriums to my husband while we washed the dishes tonight. I also had to read bits of it aloud to him. I'm sure he's very glad to know that you can fit 3 bikes into a shower stall.
I remembered seeing bikes flying in circles around a few blocks downtown last summer, and I've found the race date for this year and put in on my calendar. I will not; however, follow Smith's advice to bring a batch of chocolate chip cookies for the race announcer.
One has to have a connection to cycling to fully appreciate it, but it is a worthy read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this book when it first came out, it was fun and easy to read. The artwork helps convey the authors points and makes you chuckle. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mark C
A humorous book with insight into cycle racing, strategies, tactics, and life on the road of a cyclist. Entertaining and insightful. I learned a lot. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Hilarious. As a non roadie with a lot of roadie friends I could totally relate to a lot of these stories. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Daisy
If you want to learn more about bikes and bike racing, read this!!Published 14 months ago by EdwardG
Good book! Very funny and It works as a good introduction to someone who wants to get inside The bike Racing world. Read morePublished 17 months ago by luciano
Wonderfully written that made it hard for me to put this book down. As an avid cyclist and amateur bike racer I feel like I can relate to every word in this book. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Noe Espinosa
This book was highly entertaining. Would highly recommend anyone interested in bike racing to read. You will not be disappointed.Published 22 months ago by James