Tim Krabbé, The Rider (1978, trans 2002)Read about another entry on the list.
The Dutch are a nation of cyclists, but they’re not so well known as bicycle racers. There are not enough hills in the Netherlands to make for interesting multi-stage racing. But Dutch writer Tim Krabbé’s The Rider is not only the best evocation of a bicycle race, but also one of the finest ever novels about sport.
Krabbé describes – pedal stroke by pedal stroke and kilometre by kilometre – an amateur one-day classic race. The Rider reads like the deranged interior monologue of the bicycle itself. It’s a novel that’s almost perfect.
Also see the Barnes & Noble Review's five top books on cycling, John Mullan's list of ten of the best bicycles in literature, Marjorie Kehe's list of ten great books about cycling, Matt Seaton's top 10 books about cycling, and William Fotherham's top ten cycling novels.