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Cycling Books (2) – The Long Distance Cyclists’ Handbook

April 4, 2009

Long Distanace Cyclist

The Long Distance Cyclists’ Handbook, 2nd ed.

By Simon Doughty
Publisher: Lyons Press; 2 edition (Sep 2006 )
ISBN-13: 978-1592289486 (245 pages)
(book arrived in Aug. 2008)

This is my 2nd cycling book and I bought this for the scope this book covers — long-distance cycling. Based on the reviews at, I picked up this book, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The book is organized in three parts (Get Ready, Get Set, Go!). Like other cycling books, it starts in telling the gear — which bike to choose — and the bike accessories and clothing. I thought I might be bored in reading this part, considering I have already read this kind of articles many times, but I was not. Mr. Doughty discusses not only the different kinds of bikes in the market, but he also presents us the details about bike parts and how these can affect you in long-distance cycling (he never forgets the book title!). Through out the book, the pros and cons of certain topic are often listed in the tables for easy comparison.

Now you have your gears, you still need to know about yourself and surroundings before you set out a trip. In the 2nd part (Get Set), the author discuss the sources for your energy and the seriousness of dehydration and how to get hydrated. The book also covers the soreness and pains related to cycling and how to ease them at home and on the bike (uh.. I still prefer to do that off the bike). Other preparations for long distance cycling, e.g. safety, packing and some on-road repairs, are included as well.

The main topic in the third part (Go!) is training for the long-distance cycling. It starts from the training principles, go on about season basics and then the specifics for events based on the different distance (from short one like 50-100 miles to 1000+ km) and time of trails (24 hours!  😯 ). The author gives lots of tips and training charts targeted for different circumstances so that you can be prepared both physically and psychologically.

This book discusses long-distance cycling thoroughly. I particularly like the way how it is presented: very logical and informative (citing references). Though I’m not ready for going on a race for this long distance, I like to understand them and learn how to prepare for taking a long-distance trip (yup, maybe in the future). And this book does just like what its title said. Highly recommended. 😀

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