Thursday, November 08, 2012

What is Max Glaskin reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Max Glaskin, author of Cycling Science: How Rider and Machine Work Together.

His entry begins:
Three weeks ago I put down The Sea by John Banville. I was glad to have finished it because at times I had feared I never would. It happens often for me. Of all the books I've ever started to read, I reckon that I've never reached the end of about half of them. (Maybe you feel the same about blog entries and this is as far as you'll go.) Then I feel a certain inadequacy. Increasingly I think that the problem is not in the books I pick up but in me.

I'd first started The Sea several years ago. It was a gift and I hadn't been involved in its choice. I gave up within 80 pages and gave it up to our second-hand bookshop, in exchange for the price of a coffee in the excellent café opposite, where I read the ephemeral sports section of the newspaper.

Then, this September, the book group to which I belong, chose...[read on]
About Cycling Science, from the publisher:
Every July hundreds of thousands flock to the Champs-Élysées in Paris—and millions more to their televisions and computers—to witness the dramatic conclusion of the grueling three weeks of the Tour de France. There is no better measure of the worldwide love of the bicycle. But of the 1.2 billion cyclists traversing the world’s roadways and trails, few of us take the time to consider the science behind the sport. The simple process of getting about on two wheels brings us in touch with a wealth of fascinating science, and here journalist Max Glaskin investigates the scientific wonders that keep cyclists in their saddles.

Cycling Science tours readers through a wide variety of topics, from tire rolling resistance and the difference between yield strength and ultimate strength, to the importance of aerodynamics and the impact that shaved legs have on speed. Each chapter explores a different subject—fundamentals, strength and stability, materials, power, aerodynamics, and the human factor—and is organized around a series of questions: What is the ideal frame shape? What is the biggest source of drag? What keeps a bicycle from falling over? How much power can a cyclist produce? Which muscles does cycling use? Each question is examined with the aid of explanatory diagrams and illustrations, and the book can be used to search for particular topics, or read through for a comprehensive overview of how machine and rider work together.

Athletes have much to gain from understanding the science of their sports, and Cycling Science will be a must-read for cyclists of all stripes—professionals, recreational riders, and anyone seeking to enhance their enjoyment of cycling.
Visit Max Glaskin's website, and follow Cycling Science on Twitter and Facebook.

Writers Read: Max Glaskin.

--Marshal Zeringue