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Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer Paperback – March 1, 2008


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Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer + Reading the Race: Bike Racing from Inside the Peloton
Price for both: $28.77

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Velo Press (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934030171
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934030172
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #419,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

  • "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

  • "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

  • "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.net


  • More About the Author

    Jamie Smith began writing while serving in the USAF guarding B-52s at a remote northern base. He wrote to alleviate the boredom then immediately burned the pages in order to stay warm.
    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.

    Customer Reviews

    Very light read, easy to get through, funny, all around awesome book!
    T. Akers
    There is a lot of good information in here and the wit and humor that the author and illustrator used kept me interested.
    New Cycling Fan
    As a "cyclist" who aspires to be a "road racer" (roadie), I found this book both fun and very informative.
    Vince T

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By New Cycling Fan on July 31, 2008
    Format: Paperback
    Obviously, from some of the reviews on here, some people don't understand that this book isn't written as an instruction manual for roadies. This is a book for people like me...friend of a roadie trying to understand the lifestyle. Before reading this book, I knew NOTHING about the cycling world. I found the book extremely informative and entertaining at the same time. There is a lot of good information in here and the wit and humor that the author and illustrator used kept me interested. After reading "Roadie" I HAD to see a race in person...perhaps to answer the question "Does this really happen?". Yep, it really happens. And now the world of bike racing has a new supporter. I'm hooked!
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    20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bill McGann on May 5, 2008
    Format: Paperback
    Jamie Smith and Jef Mallett have done a terrific job of explaining the complex (OK, weird) culture of bicycle road racing. They have done this with such good humor that I must warn you, do not read this book while drinking milk. At some point in the book you will not be able to contain yourself and you will make a mess laughing out loud.

    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 ›
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    10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Rider on April 25, 2008
    Format: Paperback
    If you have ever struggled to explain why you ride your bike, why you race, why you shave your legs, why anyone would drive 4 hours to race for one hour, and what's the motivation to your madness to friends and family, then this is the book for you!

    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.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Curtis on April 30, 2008
    Format: Paperback
    Well written. Easy to read. Hard to put down.

    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.
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Janet on April 27, 2008
    Format: Paperback
    I picked this book up on a whim -- I ride a bicycle very slowly to work, and have no interest in racing whatsoever. But the illustrations were great, and I read a few paragraphs and laughed, and thought it might be fun to learn about a "misunderstood world".

    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.
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Davis on July 18, 2008
    Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    I don't race, but I'm an avid roadie and bike mechanic. This is a great book for friends and relatives who frequently ask, "Why do you spend so much time riding a bike?" Whether serious to build a relationship and mutual understanding or as a humerous conversation piece, it would make a great gift...to cyclists of all levels (to have a greater appreciation of the competitive realm) or noncyclists who are close to cyclists. It is easy to read without getting too technical, it has humor infused throughout, the sidebar boxes are great but not distracting, and Mallet's cartoon's are classic (I've been a fan of Frazz for years).

    One has to have a connection to cycling to fully appreciate it, but it is a worthy read.
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