The best investment I’ve ever made – Greg LeMond’s Complete Book of Bicycling

Back when I was first getting into long distance cycling around the age of 12, my dad bought me a cheap but decent Raleigh 12 speed from a garage sale.   I rode that bike the whole summer and luckily never had a flat or a mechanical issue because I didn’t ride with a spare or tools.  I was too young to think ahead or even think of safety, I typically didn’t wear a helmet.  But I lived in the country and rolling country roads with little traffic were plentiful.

That long Minnesota winter after my first summer of riding, I bought Greg LeMond’s Complete Book of Bicycling and read it all the way through.  I learned so much about biking history, racing, training, diet, maintenance and most importantly, buying a bike.

The following summer, I bought a Bianchi Forza from Twin Ports Cyclery in Duluth, MN and had a great summer of riding due in large part to learning so much from this great book.  I had a seat bag, rode with a spare and tools, had clipless pedals and yes, wore spandex.  I rode solo for the most part and I didn’t care that this wasn’t what other kids were doing.  I was content to watch Miguel Indurain and Tony Rominger duel in the 1993 Tour de France (good effort Tony, you are still my favorite) and imagine myself racing alongside.  I no longer fit into the replica Mapei-Clas (Tony’s team) jersey that I wore for the next couple years but I still have it.

I’m sure there are newer books and some information is a little out of date but if you are thinking of entering the sport and of buying a new  performance bike, you could do a lot worse. This book should be the foundation of your cycling knowledge.


Yes, this book has been well read.


Action!


Love those stripes, Greg!


Time trial with non-aero brakes, toe clips and a cycling cap instead of an aero helmet.  Old school effort!


Check the hair net.


How to disassemble a 5 speed cassette.  Not relevant today but back then, I was fascinated.

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