Books & Films
written by Phil Gaimon published by Velopress reviewed by Matthew Pioro
Ask a Pro; Shred Girls; Saddle, Sore; The Time-crunched Cyclist
Books by retired pro cyclists can be dangerous documents. Think of Michael Rasmussen’s Yellow Fever, in which the disgraced Dane revealed that he’d given Ryder Hesjedal doping lessons. Remember the scandal? Well, in retirement, Phil Gaimon also names names.
Gaimon, who stopped racing professionally at the end of 2016, says that former Kenda presented by Gear Grinder teammate Jake Rytlewski kept the TV on all the time when the two were roommates during races. Tom Zirbel snores too loudly, and is thus a terrible roommate. Then, there’s the news that will make Canadians gasp. “[Other roommates] stay up until midnight and set their alarm for 11 minutes before we have to leave for the race, so they’re getting dressed, pouring cereal down their throats, and barely making it to the bus, Will Routley,” Gaimon writes of his Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies teammate.
Of course, Gaimon’s Askapro isn’t breaking news. It’s a collection of his columns from Velonews. The pieces are funny and sometimes cutting. In the collection, Gaimon provides some annotations for extra context, and extra gags. There’s some legit advice mixed in, too, and a cookie recipe that features peanut butter, chocolate chips and pretzels.
But did Routley know what Gaimon had written about him, first in the magazine and now republished in book form for posterity? I asked Routley, who also retired at the end of 2016. “Phil says I would wake up late!?!?!,” Routley replied. “I was just smart and would wake up at a reasonable time! Maximize sleep – it’s the only way to survive a stage race.” (Routley also added he and Phil are good friends.)
OK, so maybe Gaimon doesn’t set off any scandals. His humour, however, will still provoke some smiles.