Roadie: The MIS-Understood World of a Bike Racer

Roadie: The MIS-Understood World of a Bike Racer


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Veteran race announcer and long-time cycling enthusiast Jamie Smith sets out to explain the sport he loves and the roadies who live for it in this lighthearted treatise on bike racing. Finally, a book to explain those people who roll out for a ride dressed in technicolored Lycra at the crack of dawn on Saturday, and return at sundown with a glow of satisfaction and even stronger tan lines.

Perfect for anyone who has ever known a roadie, considered becoming a roadie, or walked away from a bike race completely puzzled, Roadie addresses all of the curiosities that accompany the sport of cycling, from shaved legs to colorful jerseys and unbelievably expensive bicycles, shoes, and components. Every seemingly neurotic tendency is explained and celebrated with humorous illustrations from nationally syndicated cartoonist Jef Mallett (also rumored to log thousands of miles of riding per year).

Explaining strategy and races from the famous Tour de France stage race to the local criterium, Roadie brings the excitement of bike racing alive for anyone with an appetite for adrenaline. And for the thousands who purchase a shiny new road bike each spring, it's a much-needed primer on the politics of a group ride. Pacelines, drafting, sprinting, climbing, and breakaways are turned into everyday commonsense with colorful anecdotes.

Whether interested onlooker or cycling aficionado, readers will find themselves laughing out loud as they revel in the roadie's world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781934030172
Publisher: VeloPress
Publication date: 03/28/2008
Pages: 206
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


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