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Bicycling Medicine: Cycling Nutrition, Physiology, Injury Prevention and Treatment For Riders of All Levels Paperback – September 29, 1998
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Camilla Buchanan, M.D. Bicycling Magazine Fitness Advisor Bicycling Medicine belongs in the library of every serious cyclist. The lucid explanations, economical writing, and easy to-follow format make this book a joy to read. It is destined to be a classic among cycling books.
Dean Golich, Physiologist U.S. Cycling Team An exciting step into a generation of cycling books that emphasize science and [a] commonsense approach to training.
Roger Young World and Olympic Champion Coach The more coaches who have this book, the better for the bike riders.
About the Author
Arnie Baker, MD, author of Smart Cycling, is a licensed USCF coach and practicing physician. He has coached racers to more than fifty U.S. National Championships and dozens of United States records. Dr. Baker serves on the fitness board of and is a frequent contributor to Bicycling magazine. A medical consultant to USA Cycling and the USCF, he is also a category 1 USCF racer, a five-time national champion, and a five-time United States record holder.
Top customer reviews
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The author, Arnie Baker, is a physician, a competitive cyclist and cycling coach. I liked his very conservative view of medicine. He does not hype techniques and products, and gives a balanced view of advantages and disadvantages of the subjects. (After reading the effects of too much vitamins, you will probably not want to take supplements again.) He honestly discusses the limitations of medicine and medical testing.
The book is divided into five parts, and further divided into 81 mini-chapters. Each chapter tackles one subject in a succinct manner - short, easy, but adequate. Most chapters starts with "What We're Talking About" that introduces and defines the subject before delving more deeply into it. Some of the subjects are nutrition, energy use vs. effort, vitamins, performance aids, heart rate training, muscle physiology, optimum cycle fit, injury treatments, medical problems and general health. The range of topics covered is simply astounding. Baker even discusses how to urinate while riding, which side of your body is best to sleep on, and how to shave your legs. He discusses gender-specific topics honestly and maturely, as you would expect from a physician.
The book is sparesly illustrated, and does not require many additional figures, but if you need lots of glossy photos of racers cutting through corners to keep your attention, you won't find them here. Most of the figures in the books are of a cartoon character demonstrating a very complete array of stretching exercises.
My complaints are very few, and are to be considered more of suggestions for later editions. A couple of additional figures could be helpful in the bike fitting sections. I was a little confused by "...angle from the horizontal formed by the knee at the bottom on the pedal stroke." (p.119) I think I get it, but I'm still not quite sure. "Handlebar angle" on p.149 could have been illustrated. On p. 97, energy and power are confused. This is important to an engineer such as myself, and I think the author understands it, too, but got lazy at this point with the terminology (work is energy and is therefore not measured in Watts, which is power). On pp. 110-111, while I understand efficiency very well, I am kind of lost by his definition of economy. And the related example confuses me more. Is economy energy per distance, or energy per speed? "Fewer calories are needed to travel at the same speed" doesn't make total sense without establishing the distance over which the speed was maintained. Figure 1-4 has "Low," "Medium," and "High" exercise intensities on the x-axis of the graph, and in the text he defines these as 65%, 75% and 90% of maximum heart rate. Why not just put those value on the graph?
Again, I consider these complaints minor.
I recommend this book to everyone who is beginning cycling and wants to cycle for fitness, or has any desire to measure and improve his performance. It is a fantastic starting point. After reading this book, you will have enough understanding to ask other questions or to seek out more in-depth resources on the subjects that interest you most. Someone with years of cycling involving some sort of training may find the book somewhat basic, though, but it may still be a useful, very general, reference.
Highly Recommended by this Exercise Physiologist
This book dispells the witchcraft of cycling. It's about what practically happens to a person when they take up cycling even semi-seriously--particular ailments and stress disorders; simple explainations of how muscles, the circulatory system, blood, and body chemistry all work as it relates to cycling; and the low-down on even the most minor of performance enhancers, such as vitamin overdosing and sports drinks, which he doesn't particularly recommend and tells you impartially why you should or shouldn't use them as well as provides the home cookin' alternatives to expensive gels, drinks, and the like.
BOTTOM LINE: Authoratative yet practical, this book applies equally to the Sunday afternoon 10 mile "epic" rider as well as the 'professional' rider. It will explain everything from the benefits of beer to why you get butt cramps, and will never make such rediculous recommendations as "buy a more expensive bike" or belittle the relatively small amount of riding you No. 3s out there do.
It's the 'obsessive compulsive' free guide to healthy cycling for all levels of riding and riding experience.