Books & Films

writ­ten by Phil Gai­mon pub­lished by Velo­press re­viewed by Matthew Pioro

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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.

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