Top 5 Cycling & Training Books I've Read

I like reading books, but mainly when they have to do with cycling or triathlon. Lately, I have been picking up a book at night to read instead of watching something on TV or playing on my phone, because it is supposed to help you fall asleep. Sometimes I like to read inspirational stories, other times I like to just read about someone’s journey, and other times I like to read about training.

How Bad do You Want it?  Mat Fitzgerald
Pro Cycling on $10 a Day Phil Gaimon
  1. The Triathlete’s Training Bible - Joe Friel
    This one has a lot of science in it, and I enjoy it for that reason. I am always trying to learn more about how and when I should train and recover. I recommend this especially if you are training for something and coaching yourself, because it can provide a wealth of information. There is also a version specifically designed for cyclists, and I recommend that one as well.

  2. How Bad do you want it? - Matt Fitzgerald
    I bought this book before Ironman Louisville in 2016 in order to help myself mentally prepare by reading stories from top athletes. The one that stuck with me the most in this book was Siri Lindley’s chapter, and I took that with me into my race. I highly recommend it, because it offers something for people like me who have trouble with the mental side of training.

  3. Pro Cycling on $10 a Day - Phil Gaimon
    If you are looking for something funny, enticing, and all around entertaining, this is my top recommendation. I started it and read probably 75% of it in one day. It starts with when Phil first started cycling and chronicles his journey in the world of pro cycling and the struggles that came with it, while not focusing too much on how he was not making enough money and living on people’s couches at times.

  4. Surfacing - Siri Lindley
    Like I mentioned before, I was really interested by Siri Lindley’s story in one of the other books, so I went out and bought her book when it came out, and I was not disappointed. I read the entire book in one flight from Nashville to San Diego shortly after Ironman Louisville in 2016. I found her journey from beginner to world champion triathlete to be very intriguing, especially seeing the way she trained progress throughout the book.

  5. Bike Snob Abroad - BikeSnobNYC
    This is one of my current coffee table books, and a little different from the others, because it is looking at cycling from a different lens than that of a pro cyclist or triathlete, and more from the perspective of an ordinary cyclist exploring how the norms in one country differ from the norms of another when it comes to cycling. I like it, because it is one of those books where I can read a short section, and then step away and come back much later and still enjoy it without feeling like I missed something.

Training in Nashville

I work in a bike shop and we get questions all the time about where people should go to train, so I thought I would create a post with just that. Here is your guide to training in Nashville.

Centennial Sportsplex

Centennial Sportsplex

Swim

Pool Swimming. Do you like a cold pool or a warm pool?
If the answer is cold, my recommendation is the Centennial Sportsplex on West End. This is also a good option if you are staying downtown. It is a Olympic size pool, set up short course most of the year, except during the summer. They have anywhere between two and seven lap lanes available and the pool is open 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. If you prefer a structured workout, I work for Nashville Aquatic Club as a masters coach and highly recommend you look into joining us for a workout.
If the answer is warm, the local YMCA’s are a great option, if they have enough lanes. They have between three and six lap lanes, depending on the Y. I recommend Maryland Farms in Brentwood at 6:30 p.m., because it is normally quiet then, and it is open until 9:45 p.m. if you are a night owl.
An option in the middle would be also in Brentwood, the Indoor Sports Complex, which is an Olympic size pool with four to eight lap lanes available and is not too warm or too cold.

Open Water. I recommend going with the Nashville Aquatic Club group out to Percy Priest Lake. You can go to the public areas on your own, but some have heavy boat traffic, which is why I recommend a group in a cove.

Natchez Trace Bridge

Natchez Trace Bridge

Bike

If you are downtown, your closest option will be Shelby Bottoms Greenway, from there you can get on roads and follow the Music City Bikeway, which goes all the way to Belle Meade or follow the Music City Bikeway the other way on Shelby Bottoms to the Stones River Greenway, ending at the Percy Priest Dam.

If you are on the west side of town, I recommend either finding the greenways in Percy Warner and Edwin Warner Parks or coming out to where I like to ride on routes near the Natchez Trace. I can provide Strava links to routes or map some, but my favorite is to ride out the Natachez Trace from Highway 100, headed south. You get off at the Lieper’s Fork exit and stop by either Red Bird Coffee or Puckett’s Grocery for a minute and then take back roads back through Franklin. There are a few options for the route back, and I can provide the exact route if someone is interested. It has a lot of rolling hills, but only one significant climb up the trace entrance.

Belle Meade Boulevard

Belle Meade Boulevard

Run

If you want to get out of the city, any of the greenways I recommend for biking are also good for running. Aside from that, I also recommend Belle Meade Boulevard as a good option for running. It connects to an entrance to Percy Warner Park, and is about five miles total if you go out and back. It is a rolling route, and very shaded in the early morning hours, but it will get extremely hot in the afternoons.

There is also a path in Brentwood starting by the Brentwood Library on Concord Road that is very flat if you prefer a flat route, and another path I like in Franklin. This one starts at the soccer fields at the Franklin Recreation Center and goes along the river, through a neighborhood and into downtown Franklin where you can continue onto a new extension I have not run or on to the sidewalks in Franklin.

Those are all of my best suggestions for where to train. I have lived in Nashville since 1996 and once in a while am still finding new places to go run or ride, so I will definitely try to share those with pictures as I stumble upon them.

I Want to Ride my Bike Because

There are so many reasons I want to ride my bike, and sometimes I don’t have the time to actually ride it when I want to. It can be a bad day, a need to train, or just an overwhelming need to go ride a bike. These are a few of my favorites I’ve run into in my life lately.

Trek Domane SL 6

I cried over a sandwich - but to be honest it was a really bad sandwich and not what I ordered. I don’t know why exactly I cried over the sandwich, but I was having a rough morning, and the sandwich topped it off. I got home from work at 8:30 that night and got the trainer set-up and rode my bike, because I really needed to ride my bike.

I haven’t ridden my bike - and I just want to ride bikes all the time. I love my bikes, and I just want to ride them all the time. Unfortunately, school, work, and family can all get in the way of my opportunity to ride my bikes.

I haven’t ridden this exact bike - a personal problem. Not everyone has multiple bikes to choose from like me, but I know one person who has more than me, and he will ride one bike, go home, and then ride another bike, so all of the bikes get ridden. I wish I lived somewhere I could do this easily.

Trek Madone with Bontrager Ion 800 Headlight

It’s 70 degrees out - in December. I remember one Christmas, the weather was so nice, I rode my bike from my parents’ house to my aunt’s house for Christmas dinner. People thought I was a little crazy, but I just thought it was nice to get out in the clear weather.

I built a new bike - yes another one. I love building bikes. It may be a little bit of an obsession I have, because I like having the newest things, but it is also fun for me. I love a project bike.

Why N+1 is the Answer

Welcome to my blog!  This is my very first post, and I was originally going to write about myself, but I realized I have all of that information in the About section of the website, so I am going to go ahead and skip that.  If you want to learn more about me, you can read through there, and you can learn more through reading my posts.

I am instead going to go ahead and jump right in with a quick post about my bikes and what I use each one for.  People always ask me why I keep multiple bikes, and why I always have another one (or three) I want to buy.  I tell them every bike has a specific purpose, specific advantages, and some even hold a little sentimental value to me.

2013 Trek Lexa

Going in the order which I acquired the bikes, the first is my 2013 Trek Lexa.  This was my very first bike my dad got for me when I finished my first triathlon in college, and it is probably one of my favorites, purely because it was my first.  It didn’t have climbing gears, and it was only 8-speed components, but it got me through some races and out training on the roads.  Currently, it is my greenway bike for when I ride the flat greenway with my husband, and it is upgraded from my 8-speed claris components to 10-speed tiagra components, complete with rack, fenders, and a bag in case I want to commute someday (my dream right there).

Felt B16W Bells Bend TT

Next would be my triathlon bike, which is a 2013 Felt B16W, which was the women’s model of Felt’s popular entry level B16, complete with purple pain.  It has it’s obvious purpose as my triathlon and now time trial bike, and it remains my fastest bike, although that may change some day.  It came stock with Felt wheels, but I have upgraded those to the FSE 55/79 combo I ride currently, and now other upgrades have been done outside of regular maintenance like new cables and housing.  I would love Di2 with 2-button shifters, but I will most likely get a new bike before that happens.

2017 Trek Madone 9.2 Project One

I didn’t get another bike until 2017, when I bought my first bike I paid for myself, which is a 2017 Trek Madone 9.2, which I upgraded to Di2 myself, making it a 9.5 (minus carbon wheels).  This was the first of my bikes I worked on myself, so there was a lot of learning in this process, but I came out of it with a lot more knowledge, and a smooth riding aero bike.  I originally bought it because I love the integration and invisible cable routing, and now it will most likely become the bike I race if I choose to road race more than time trials.

Trek Domane SL 6 Disc Craft Carbon Wheels

Next, I bought a frame.  Trek was doing a closeout on past model year frame sets for employees, so I bought a 2017 Trek Domane SL disc frame.  I spent close to 9 months buying parts for this bike, the problem being the need for hydraulic shifters, and I chose to go with carbon wheels.  I ended up with one Dura-Ace and one Ultregra shifter with one Dura-Ace and one RS785 Brake caliper, and it works perfectly for me.  I did go ahead and only get carbon wheels, no trainer wheels, on this one from Craft Carbon Wheels, opting for 35mm deep rims, so if I get a cross bike, I can swap wheels.  This is also the first bike I put a 11-32 cassette on, other than my Lexa when I upgraded it, so it is the perfect bike for hilly group rides, or if I am planning to do hill repeats up on the trace (Natchez Trace Parkway).  It is also very comfortable with front and rear Isospeed from Trek, and the position is definitely the first one where I got on a bike and immediately thought “this feels good”.

What do I want from more bikes?  For one, I think I want to try cyclocross, so a Trek Crockett would be nice, whether I go frame set or whole bike.  I also want the new Madone, because it is lighter, and it is offered in a disc frame for more reliable stopping.  I think my next bike will probably be another triathlon bike, because I know I want to race more in the future, but I may actually stick to UCI legal for time trial, or keep my Felt for those.  For anyone questioning, N+1 is always the number of bikes you need, but my most recent purchase has been my husbands new bike.

Look out for my first video on Youtube where I will be going over some bike fit basics, as well as messing up my fit on my Lexa and going through some modifications on the position without taking measurements from my other bikes.