Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer
by Jamie Smith (Author), Jef Mallett (Illustrator)
  • Price: $21.95
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: VeloPress
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934030171
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934030172
Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer came into the office a while back shortly after it's release date. And I thought I'd get around to reading it at some point, but because of this or that did not get around to it. That was, until one day right before a flight up to Seattle I decided on a whim to grab it and give it a read. I was absolutely entertained from start to finish during the flight with veteran race announcer Jamie Smith's words and Jef Mallett's illustrations. I had to stop and look around a few times to see if anyone was giving me dirty looks for randomly laughing out.

Roadie is aimed at a very specific audience, that being the friends and family of those who have a cyclist or bike racer in their life. The author, Jamie Smith, does a very good job of explaining everything Roadie related. The book is carefully divided into several parts. In the beginning Smith explains the lifestyle of a bike racer, the devotion to the sport, the training that goes into it, the dreaded bonk. Why cyclist go out and ride with the tightest and brightest clothing on earth. Then he moves onto strategy, what a racer does during a race and why. The intricate chess match going on within the NASCAR style racing. Drafting, breakaways, and the good ol finish line sprint are all covered with great enlightenment. The book finishes up with different ways the non-cycling friends and family can start enjoying in the favored past time of their bike racing friends.

Smith does all of this with simple explanations and a great sense of humor. Terms, strategies, and ideas are explained so well that someone who really doesn't care for cycling will stay interested, maybe even enough to pique their interest and get into the sport. Helping Smith is Illustrator Jef Mallett, a nationally syndicated cartoonist, who drives these explanations and points home with his simple yet beautiful illustrations throughout the book.

Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer doesn't aim to teach Roadies much, because you already live and do those things, but it does drop little tidbits from time to time that might make you go "hmm". What Roadie does very well is explain this beautiful and obsessive sport to the masses that might not otherwise understand the world of a bike racer.

  • Very entertaining book
  • Easy gift for the friends and family of cyclists
  • Not much new information for those already into the sport
Conclusion - Highly recommended reading, just for the sheer entertainment.