Roadie: The MIS-Understood World of a Bike Racer

Roadie: The MIS-Understood World of a Bike Racer


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781934030172
Publisher: VeloPress
Publication date: 03/28/2008
Pages: 206
Sales rank: 597,820
Product dimensions: 6.71(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Jamie Smith is a veteran bike racer and bike race announcer. He has been a bike racer since 1983 working his way up through the ranks of amateur cycling, and a bike race announcer since 1985 traveling with some of the world's greatest cyclists. He spent several years in public relations for a sleepy Detroit suburb, receiving one Emmy nomination and several Telly Awards. Writing repetitive press releases and boring speeches inspired him to find something more exciting to write about: bike racing. A graduate of Central Michigan University's Broadcast and Cinematic Arts program, Jamie has become adept at describing cycling's most complex intricacies to normal people. His first book, Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer, was selected as a 2009 Notable Book by the Library of Michigan. He has since taken on the role of sport director to translate the complexities of bike racing for befuddled bike racers who mistakenly chase down their own teammates, miss the winning breakaway, and consistently finish one place out of the money. He currently lives in Rochester, Michigan, with his 11 bikes, 2 surfboards, 1 rowing scull, and 5 pair of cross-country skis.

While in high school, Jef Mallett produced a daily comic for the "Pioneer" in Big Rapids, MI. He later worked as a cartoonist, and as an art director and an editorial cartoonist for a chain of eight midsize dailies. He has written and illustrated the children's book "Dangerous Dan", and has also served as an illustrator for other authors, including best-seller Mitch Albom. Jef is also a contributing editor for "Inside Triathalon" magazine. He lives in Lansing, MI.

Table of Contents


1 Riders Ready
2 The Bike
3 The Lifestyle
4 The Training Ride
5 Nutrition and the Bonk

6 Drafting and the Breakaway
7 The Sprint, the Solo,
the Combine, and Others
8 Crashes

9 Race Day
10 The System
11 Our Sponsors

12 The Criterium
13 The Road Race
14 The Individual Time Trial
15 The Stage Race
16 Podium Finish

About the Author
About the Illustrator

What People are Saying About This

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." —

“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.” —

"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." —

"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


Customer Reviews

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Roadie: The MIS-Understood World of a Bike Racer 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
phunculist on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Explains the life of the bike racer to those new to the sport. An interesting and entertaining read.
mholles on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Humerous look at bike racing and bike racers. The focus was on road racing, but generally true for mountain biking racing and racers as well.
BillMcGann on LibraryThing 7 months ago
What Fun!Jamie Smith and Jef Mallett have done a terrific job of explaining the complex (OK, weird) culture of bicycle road cycling. 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. The crippling weakness that occurs when the body can no longer supply the needed food to the muscles is called the ¿bonk¿. Mallett¿s cartoon of a blank- faced, starved rider sitting on the ground with a tow-truck backing up to take him away is perfect. It could only have been drawn by someone who has at least once forgotten to bring along enough chow and wondered if he would make it home.Smith says every rider has a ¿bonk¿ story and the memory of that misery is etched indelibly in his memory. He got that right! 20 years ago I was stuck 10 miles from home and came upon some tomatoes by the side of the road that a harvesting truck had spilled while going around a corner. Those were the best tomatoes I ever ate and they got me home.I¿m not sure if it¿s better that Smith and Mallett have shown that my own shaved-legged, loner, obsessive life isn¿t all that rare or that I¿m really in a looney bin with a bunch of other crazed people who can be spotted a mile away because of the odd tans that wearing bike clothing causes.In any case, get and read this book. I recommend it not only to those interested in the roadie (bicycle road racer) life. It is also a good refresher course for any racer on the ins and outs of cycling. And it¿s funny as all get-out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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kioki More than 1 year ago
Basic book on Road racing, glad to have read it before the Tour de France. It doesn't go into great detail, but gives you a begining knowledge of how the teams work. Easy to read.