Several weeks ago, I received an uncorrected galley of the book Hell On Two Wheels (2011, Chicago: Triumph Books), by Amy Snyder, to review here on the blog. The book describes an event that is almost unfathomable, the Race Across America - 3,000 miles, on bike, minimal sleep. While what these endurance athletes do seems superhuman, Amy takes great care to point out that, while "(u)ltra cyclists are tough as nails, but as human as can be." Could just anyone accomplish racing across America? Riding, maybe, racing, I'm doubtful.
Snyder follows the group of racers during the 2009 Race Across America, using the days of the race (8 for the victor!) to introduce the favorites, newbies, and veterans. The thing that I most enjoyed was how each rider's bio was compared and contrasted, along with information on their training, without focusing on a single athlete for overly long. She deftly wove together the preparation, suffering, and mental gymnastics that make up an endurance event such as this one.
I think this might be the best cycling book I've read, and among the top based on endurance events. Highly recommended as an insight into a world most don't even know exists.
Buy Hell On Two Wheels at Amazon or other fine booksellers.