Books & Film
Cycling Science; Descent
edited by Stephen S. Cheung and Mikel Zabala published by Human Kinetics
If you were to study cycling at the university level, Cyclingsc ience would be the textbook for your introductory course. I’m guessing it would be a full-year course. There’s a lot to cover, including bike fit, nutrition, pedalling technique, periodization and even stretching. Stephen Cheung of Brock University (and ccm contributor) and Mikel Zabala, director of the Cycling Research Centre in Granada, Spain, are the editors of the collection of articles. Some of the notable contributors include Hunter Allan (“Tackling the Hills,” “Using a Power Meter” and “Road Racing”), Dirk Friel (“Data Management for Cyclists”) and the founder of Montreal’s Alphamantis Technologies Andy Froncioni (“The Aerodynamic Rider”). One of my favourite lines from the book was by Friel: “Making training decisions is essentially a real-life science experiment, and applying the principles of science theory can lead the way.” He’s saying you’re your own guinea pig as you train and develop as a rider. You need to apply rigorous analysis to find out the best ways to improve.
Some of the articles in Cycling Science are quite practical. José M. Muyor’s “Stretching” not only explores why you should stretch, but provides exercises you can do. Allan’s “Tackling the Hills” has climbing and descending advice. Other articles are less applied. In “bmx,” I did like the very clinical description of a bmx race. While it didn’t capture the excitement of the action, I did give me more insight into the complexity and intensity of that style of racing. I’m sure Cycling Science will deepen your knowledge of cycling, in all its forms, too.