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Ten Points

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  155 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Of the eight million dedicated cyclists in this country, just 32,044 own amateur racing licenses. There's a reason for that: Racing is not only incredibly difficult, it's downright excruciating, with the possibility for public humiliation never more than one pedal away. So when Natalie, Bill Strickland's preschool-aged daughter, asked him if he could win ten points during ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 3rd 2007 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 2007)
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My lovely girlfriend lent me this book over winter and told me I would really enjoy it. At first look I was intrigued by the fact that it was a cycling memoir by a guy a faintly knew from flipping through Bicycling magazine and I plopped it onto my to-be-read stack of books. I remember expressing to my girlfriend a few times that I was waiting to read the book in spring as a motivational tool for starting up my summer as a very novice cyclist. And each time I would talk about the book my girlfri ...more
Recently took up road cycling, it is getting cooler out, also after putting on a130 km ride and 3,000 km ,s on my new giant defy, I was struck while riding from behind, despite having red flashing USB light and an orange jersey!

So I am recovering, whiplash, and knee damage,

But this book took me away , I really found it to keep my attention, and tugged at my heart, hurting for the author.

And off I go, a bit more knowledge, and bravery, which I will need , I turn 60 soon and am cycling grandma!

I'm generally interested in books about different sorts of bicycling experiences and there certainly are many different sorts - both of such experiences and the books about them.

Nominally this is about Strickland trying to win a certain number of points as a criterium racer despite not being a natural for this sort of racing. (Criterium races are typically on a short urban course, doing laps, and at a very high rate of speed.) The descriptions of the race are pretty good and certainly make it al
Although marketed as a cycling story, Bill Strickland's autobiographical snippet is so much more than that. The psychology of this book goes beyond racing and training technique and ventures into the world of old childhood fears teamed with adulthood guilt.
Strickland tells harrowing tales of his abuse incurred by his father and relates these to his trials as a more peaceful and respectable father to his own daughter. These lessons in patience and inner strength transpose nicely onto the racing
Was given this book as a gift from a good friend who knows I love biking and memoirs. I can't believe what a fast and smooth read this book is, and I am still reeling from some of it. The stories of his childhood abuse hit you like sucker punches - like huge boulders when you are speeding downhill on a mountain bike. They leave you breathless and almost unbelieving. I would give this book 3 stars instead of 4, just because of how intensely and unpleasantly these things hit you. But I loved that ...more
Nov 06, 2007 Gil rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who have heard the phrase: "criterium race series"
This book was really heavy and at the same time gave great life stories. I thought it was awesome how Bill came as far as he did from the life he grew up with.

Be warned that there is graphic emotional, sexual, and physical abuse that is openly discussed in this book. Strickland talks about overcoming it on his bicycle.

Funny, but the premise of the book is he is trying to get ten points in a crit series (if you don't know what a crit is then it explains it in the book, but it might not be that in
OMG! I loved this book. I read it in 2-3 days. It's a memoir by Bill Strickland, Executive Editor of Bicycling Magazine. He shares his dream of earning 10 points throughout the summer at the local Thursday night crit series. The catch - his crit series is full of pro or practically pro cyclists due to his proximity to the velodrome just outside of Philadelphia. Many world-class cyclists spend time there to train and, therefore, race in the Thursday night crits. As an aside, his crit race is 30 F ...more
As one of the reviewers on the cover says, this can be hard to read at times, describing some pretty horrific acts of child abuse. But it's an extremely well done bit of memoir. It's a beautiful love letter to his wife and daughter. And it does a nice job of describing amateur bike racing.
Gary Ray
Very hard to read at times. Strickland's childhood in an abusive family leads him to strive to bury the demons of his past by nearly killing himself in the weekly bike races near his home; all in order to reach for the goal of scoring 10 points set by an off-hand comment by his daughter.
Loved loved loved this interweaving of cycling, fatherhood, and personal demons. Bill Strickland has a beautiful talent for stretching out a familiar or cliche moment and holding it up to the light for you in a brand-new way.

An aside: To say it's a fast read doesn't quite do justice to the care he evidently put into this, but I couldn't help reading faster during all of the racing parts.

More: The author Bill Strickland also keeps a regular blog on Bicycling Magazine: Sitting In. And if you liked
William Kimeria
This is a terrific, and at times, harrowing bike. I love Bill Strickland's regular column in Bicycling magazine, and this book is on the surface about his quest to win 10 sprint points within one season in the competitive Thursday Night Crits.

If you like bikes and bike racing, you will love this. If you've ever raced road bikes, you will identify with him.

But the book is really so much more than just about bike racing, it is about life, how we deal with our demons, how people deal with being de
Richard Hunt
Ten Points is a difficult book, both in subject matter and in admitting that it didn't win me over. The author nail the action scenes, but I just couldn't make myself feel the Great-Santini-like parental abuse sections. While they were obviously wrenching and hurtful, it felt contrived to keep using them as the motive decades later. When you learn it was as much a memoir as it was fiction, your heart goes out to the author for having suffered whatever, if not all, the duress and pain, but overa ...more
Diane Cross
Excellent book. He made you feel you were there
Sarah Burke
Jan 25, 2008 Sarah Burke rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
I bought this book for my husband, because it seemed to be (partly) a touching father/daughter tale and he's a real softie. Anyway, the book turns out to be a lot more than I expected.

The book's about bicycle racing and trying to compete at a level above yourself. Trying to rise above a childhood and a family that are less than you could or should be. Trying to be more than you think you can be because you know your kid needs that from you.

It's a great read.
Will Davies
Sometimes things happen at the right time for the right reasons. My wife brought this home from the library and I read it in two days. It is way better than 5 stars. I was not an abused child like the author but there are many lessons about your perception of life that this book just speaks to me about. I have to say, aside from making me want to get on my bike and ride, it makes me want to challenge myself not to win but to accomplish.
Tells the story of trying to score 10 points in a season of weekly bike races, intermixed with graphic flashbacks of child abuse. I was expecting the details of bike racing, and those were well done. I was not expecting the abuse, and it didn't help the story along in my opinion. I listened to this on audio. The male narrator voiced the 5 year old daughter in a "baby talk" voice which was quite annoying throughout.
Good. Many bits are very hard to read, but overall it's rather good. Not really what I expected and a postscript from further out would be nice, but I liked a lot of it. At first I didn't like him putting off an explanation of why the 10 points were necessary, but I think it came at a good spot. The choices of when to break up chapters was kind of strange.
Jun 12, 2011 Pea. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
WOW.... why this was not recommended by Oprah i will never know... why this is not a movie... and really why only less than 60 people on Goodreads have marked this on any of their lists is just a travesty of great proportions!
it is a fast, gripping heart wrenching read... and you may even pick up a few cycling terms that go beyond Lance Armstrong.
This book was given to me as a gift when I got out of the hospital after dealing surviving a blood clot on my brain. A good friend of mine (a fellow triathlete) gave it to me and it is a brilliant story of one man's battle to be a better man than his father and a quest to fulfill a promise made to his daughter. Yet another cycling book in my list :)
Jeff Wilson
Audio. Narrative about an ordinary guy with everyday struggles who turns to his love of cycling and racing to overcome his past and present demons. I really enjoyed the parts about cycling and couldn't stomach some of his deviations into his past. Would have scored higher if it wasn't for the language and the troubling accounts of his childhood.
Great writer, and if you love cycling you will enjoy this book. I actually listened to this on audio book. It was awesome because I would listen to it while I rode my bike getting ready for LOTOJA and it would pump me up for sure.
May 15, 2008 Claire rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nope
I actually never finished this book because I had a hard time getting through it. I think I was about 3/4 done and I just decided that it was not worth finishing. I thought the text dragged and seemed to be a very long magazine article.
Donald Silver
This book interested me due to a review. I thought it was an eye opener to abuse. It has several sections of language and sexual situations that I would discourage younger readers from reading the book.
Daniel M.
Great book for cyclists. Also great for someone married to a cyclist to help understand the craziness, obsession and what that expensive thing with two wheels can provide for a person.
Another sports book! This started a touch slow, but built up as it went on. It's a nice story of fighting one's one demons out there during physical pursuits. Quick read.

Not a very good writer but not awful . And story line was ok but not great Also went on for a little too long. I rate it on the lower end of 3
Best book I read in 2007. A very easy, and sometimes very disturbing, read. Recommend it to just about everyone, even if you know nothing about cycling!
Michael Powell
Would have been 5 stars except for the brutal depictions of his abuse at the hands of his father
Eric Reidsma
Picked it up because it’s a story about bike racing but is vulgar – I wish I had not read it.
Well written but slightly depressing.
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