Three books on the hard-won joys, monumental challenges and memorable feats of cyclists in the Tour de France and beyond.
By Michael Barry for the Wall Street Journal
The serpentine road cuts back and forth up the mountain, each of its dozen or so switchbacks tight and steep. My eyes stay focused on the tarmac ahead; I am oblivious to the surrounding climate as it changes and changes again, the lush pine forests soon replaced by barren earth, then deep snow. As I ascend, my breath syncs with my pedal strokes, the tick of the chain and the beating of my heart. I feel that familiar sensation in my legs and lungs that has accompanied me on my bike over hundreds of thousands of miles and a lifetime of riding. On the mountainside, I’ll find clarity, answers—elation.